Try this easy Banana Roll Cake recipe that combines a cream cheese filling that's baked along with the sponge cake that makes it so easy to roll up. We added pecans, dried cranberries, and candied ginger for an extra delectable dessert cake.
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I love rolled cakes with all the different flavors and interesting fillings; plus they look so festive rolled up, and when sliced, you can see all the layers.
What's different about this roll cake?
This roll up cake is made differently than most. Here the banana sponge cake is baked at the same time as the cream cheese filling. So, when you flip it out of the pan, you can immediately roll it up. And you won't have to deal with a fussy filling.
This cake looks and tastes extravagant, but it is so easy to make. Ready? Let's bake.
Not only are we using overripe bananas that have great flavor, but we added chopped pecans for some crunch, candied ginger for some spice, and dried cranberries for chewy sweetness inside the cake and on top of the icing. It's all so good!
- Cream Cheese - use this twice in the recipe, once for the filling and then for the icing.
- Sugar - this is used in the cake and the filling for the perfect sweetness.
- Eggs - four eggs are necessary for this cake since they are providing the fat
- Milk -
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder and baking soda will give a little rise to the cake
- Vanilla extract - this will enhance the flavor of the cake
- Bananas - overripe bananas are the best.
- Dried cranberries, pecans, and candied ginger this mixture goes in the cake then save some for the top of the cake
- Powdered sugar - use this to sweeten the icing.
Since this recipe is all about banana flavor, make sure you are using ripe bananas, you know those bananas that are turning black and getting soft inside, those are the best for baking.
If you have a lot of overripe bananas in your fruit bowl, don't throw them away. Check out this post on foods to freeze to see what to do with your bananas and how to freeze them to use for recipes just like this one.
How to make a Banana Roll Recipe: Step by Step
Step 1. To get started, gather the pecans, cranberries, and ginger on a cutting board and chop, chop, chop. I chop all these ingredients together and make the pieces pretty small. This mixture will go in the cake, and then I use it for the colorful garnish on the top.
How to make the cream cheese filling
Step 2. Mix the cream cheese filling first by creaming the softened cream cheese and sugar and spreading it into the prepared pan. Easy right?
Step 3. Mix the cream cheese mixture until smooth, then pour it into the prepared sheet pan.
How to make the banana sponge cake
Next, make the cake which is a three-step process, and yes, it takes an extra bowl, and you have to mix and fold and fold again.
Step 4. Add the egg yolks and vanilla to a mixing bowl and mix on low speed with an electric mixer until combined. Next, add the sugar to the beaten yolks and mix on medium speed until well combined.
Step 5. Add the mashed banana and beat on medium speed until combined, then stir in the chopped pecans, cranberries, and ginger. Reserve some for the top.
Step 6. Clean the beaters. Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl and mix on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Then add the sugar and beat again until the peaks are stiff.
Step 7. Add the banana batter to the egg whites and gently fold them in. Mix all of the dry ingredients, then fold that mixture into the batter until it's combined.
Step 8. Pour the sponge cake batter over the cream cheese batter in the baking pan.
Step 9. Bake the cake in a 375 F. degree oven for 15-20 minutes.
Step 10. Set a large towel or cheesecloth on the counter and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Step 11. When the cake is done, remove it from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes. Pick up the baking sheet with hot pads and quickly tip it over on top of the powdered sugar towel. You can do it!
Step 12. Peel the parchment paper off the top of the cake.
Step 13. Roll the cake starting at the narrow end. It's easier to do if you lift up the towel to help the cake start rolling. Keep rolling to make a tight spiral. Transfer the cake to a plate and place it seam-side down.
Make the icing and decorate the top of the cake
Step 14. Make the icing by mixing the softened butter with powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla. Stir this mixture until it is smooth and creamy. With a spoon swirl the icing over the top of the cooled cake.
Sprinkle the rest of the chopped pecan mixture over the icing while it's still soft.
Step 15. Your stunning creation is done, and the cake is ready to slice. Cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
How to roll a cake roll
Now while your cake is baking, you have a couple of things to do.
- First, get a clean towel and liberally sprinkle powdered sugar on top of it.
- Next, you really need to put an apron on because once you turn this cake upside down on the towel, the powdered sugar is going to get all over the counter, and most likely you too.
- Once your cake is baked, loosen the edges of the cake from the pan and immediately turn the cake upside down on the towel. You can do this. Just do a quick flip.
- Roll the cake, keeping it fairly tight.
- Roll the cake while it's still warm help to keep the cake from cracking
I hope you try this wonderful banana cream cheese roll. I know you gotta get some bowls messy, but your family and friends will think you are such an incredible baker when you present this cake to them. They don't have to know how easy it is to make such a tasty cake.
The cake topping
My absolute favorite topping is using pecans, dried cranberries, and candied ginger. Chopping all these ingredients together creates a colorful and tasty addition to your baked goods. It's extra tasty on top of this Pumpkin Sheet Cake. Same topping, different cake.
Other cake toppings to try
- Dried Cherries
- Mini Chocolate Chips
Another ginger favorite is these Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies have three kinds of ginger in the cookies.
And, for the cheesecake lover, make this fun recipe for Cheesecake in a Jar.
Try this Chocolate Cake Roll with a luscious cream cheese filling. It's a stunning dessert.
More to bake and eat!
Banana Cream Cheese Cake Roll with Pecans Cranberries and Ginger
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- 7 ounces softened cream cheese use the other 1 ounce for the icing
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 3 tablespoons milk
- Grease and line with parchment a 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan.
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
Cream Cheese Filling ~
- Prepare filling first by mixing 7 oz. of the cream cheese (the 1 oz. will be used for the frosting) and ½ cup sugar in a small mixing bowl until smooth with an electric mixer.
- Add the egg and milk and beat at medium speed until combined.
- Spread the filling in the prepared pan.
- Gather the pecans, candied ginger, and cranberries and place them on a cutting board. Using a chef's knife chop this mixture into smaller pieces. The reason I do this is to make it easier to slice the cake into smaller pieces.
- Prepare the cake by combining the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat the four egg yolks and vanilla for 5 minutes with an electric mixer at medium speed until the mixture is thick and lemon colored.
- Gradually add a ⅓ cup of sugar and mix on medium speed until combined.
- Stir in the mashed banana and ⅓ cup of the chopped pecans, cranberries, and ginger. Reserve the remainder for the top of the cake.
- In another large mixing bowl beat the four egg whites at medium-high speed to soft peaks (the tips will curl)
- Gradually add the other ⅓ cups of sugar, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (the tips will stand straight up.)
- Add the banana batter to the egg whites and gently fold them in until incorporated.
- Add half of the flour mixture and start folding it into the batter, (it doesn't have to be completely mixed in) then add the rest of the flour and continue folding in the flour until combined.
- Gently pour the cake mixture over the cream cheese filling mixture, and spread the batter out making sure to get into the corners. You can also drop the batter over the cream cheese mixture by the cup full, then spread this over the cream cheese.
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. While the cake is baking prepare a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar to turn the cake out on.
- When the cake is done let it sit for 5 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the baking sheet to loosen the cake. Pick up the pan with a towel or hot pads then position the pan next to the towel and quickly flip the cake out onto the powdered sugar-covered towel and peel off the parchment paper.
- Start rolling the cake from the narrow end; use the towel to help roll the cake. When rolled, keep the seam side down on the cake so it doesn't unroll. Let the cake sit for about 10 minutes to firm up and cool.
- Transfer the cake to a serving platter and let cool completely before adding the glaze and toppings.
Glaze and Topping ~
- Make the glaze by beating together 1 ounce of softened cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk until it is a drizzling consistency.
- When the cake is cooled, spread the glaze over the top of the cake then sprinkle with remaining chopped pecans, cranberries, and ginger.
- Cover the cake with foil or plastic wrap in keep it in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
First published: October 29, 2017, Last updated: March 24, 2023, for better readability.
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From learning to cook on a farm in Indiana to culinary school in California, my passion for food is never-ending. Turning on my oven to bake something for friends and family is my happy place, and I am glad to be here at One Hot Oven sharing sweet and savory family-friendly recipes for your cooking and baking inspiration.