Ice Cream Roll Cake: A Versatile Holiday Recipe

My Diet Matters
chocolate ice cream roll cake

I have been making this sponge chocolate ice cream roll cake for over 4 decades. It has become a favorite holiday recipe and even the in-laws and grand kids ask for it each holiday. It was passed down to me from an Aunt and I hope my own daughters eventually make it to keep it in the family. For now, they will assume it’s my job!

Here’s what I like about my chocolate ice cream roll cake

  • I love that it can be made in advance of the holiday. Whip it up and put in the freezer.  I’d say it could freeze for months, but it will most likely never last that long.
  • I call this a chameleon recipe because it can be changed so many ways to suit dietary needs or taste buds.  You can use a gluten free flour mix and make it a gluten free recipe. After cutting out most wheat, I have used gluten free baking flour for this recipe and no one can tell the difference. I still get a treat and no one is the wiser. You can also use lactose free ice cream and make it lactose free as well. You can even modify this recipe and make it a vanilla roll or put a different flavor of ice cream in the roll. There’s pretty much something for everyone.
ice cream roll cake

Ice Cream Roll Cake

Sue Rose, MS, RD, LDN
A versatile make ahead family recipe. This recipe can be chocolate, vanilla, or gluten free.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 22 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 200 kcal


  • oven


  • 6 egg whites
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp cocoa
  • 4 Tbsp sifted flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3.5 cups vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar


  • Separate the eggs so you have 6 egg whites and 6 yolk.
  • Place the egg whites into a bowl. Beat the egg whites until they begin to thicken. Add the 1/2 tsp. of cream of tartar to the the egg white mixture.
  • Beat 1/2 cup sugar into the egg white mixture. Set this mixture aside.
  • Beat the remaining egg yolks in another bowl until thick. Beat in 1/2 cup of sugar into the egg yolks.
  • Sift together the cocoa, flour, and salt. Add this to the egg yolk mixture. Then stir in the vanilla.
  • Carefully fold the egg yolk mixture in the egg white mixture. Carefully blend together with a spatula.
  • Generously grease a jelly roll pan with pam or vegetable spray. Place some wax paper that is also greased or sprayed with vegetable spray in a 15.5 by 10.5 jelly roll pan. It's very important to make sure the jelly roll pan and wax paper lining the bottom of the pan be well greased!
  • Place the mixture into the jelly roll pan. Bake 20-25 minutes in a 325° oven. Bake only until the surface springs back when touched lightly. Overbaking this cake will make it dry.
  • After baking, turn the cake upside down on foil which has a generous amount of confectioners sugar. You will need to cut the edges free from the pan. Then, peel the wax paper off the cake.
  • With the cake lying on the confectioners sugar piled on the foil, top with the ice cream immediately.
  • While still warm, even out the ice cream and then begin to roll the cake up. You may need to add more confectioners sugar if it cracks slightly or starts sticking to the foil.
  • Roll the cake up. Seal in foil with plenty of the sugar. Freeze. Keeps for months to pull out whenever company can enjoy.

Nutrition comments and information

Each 1/10 piece of the cake has about 200 calories, 8 g of fat, 30 g carbohydrate, and 5 g of protein. In order to make the cake vanilla, simply add about 3 Tbsp in place of the cocoa. If you would like the cake to be gluten free, then simply use any gluten free flour mixture in place of the regular flour. The versatility of this recipe never ends. You can also vary the ice cream flavor or make the whole recipe lactose free with lactose free ice cream! It’s such a versatile recipe that you can make ahead of guests for carefree entertaining.

Sue Rose, MS, RD, LDN

Sue Rose helps readers sort through the maze of nutrition information available to the public. As a seasoned clinical dietitian/nutritionist with decades of experience, her blogs attempt to educate and inform the public at a time when there is so much information it is often overwhelming to understand. Stay tuned for clarity on a variety of topics!


Use this information at your own risk. Although I am a licensed IL dietitian/nutritionist, I am not your dietitian. The information in my blog Chew on This located at is for educational and informational purposes only. It is also my own opinion and subject to change in the future. Please consult with your own medical professionals for individual treatment.