Soggy Bottoms: Spice Cake Swiss Roll with Brown Sugar Whipped Cream

Soggy Bottoms - a Bookish Journey through Technical Bakes with a floury spoon, a rolling pin, and eggshells on a slate backgroundWelcome back to Soggy Bottoms: Freestyle Edition, where I completely ignore Bake Off rules in favor of experimenting with cake. Let’s continue with my espousal of Snacking Cakes, the latest cookbook in my collection and my recent obsession.

You can catch my first Snacking Cakes recipe here, where I made a walnut cake with maple coffee glaze. It was delicious and a divvied up the pieces to give to my bookstore coworkers.

This time, I attempted something I’ve always wanted to try my hand at making: a Swiss roll. Is this a recipe in the book? Certainly not, but that’s why I love this cookbook so much. It gives you the tools to get a little creative.

Snacking Cakes
A | BN | K | AB
For this recipe, I used the All the Spices Cake instructions, which they pair with a vanilla bean glaze. However, I wanted a fluffier topping and with a Swiss roll format, a glaze may not have been a good idea.

Lucky for me, the back of this book has a whole host of different icings and glazes, providing a great mix and match quality to the recipes. There I found a super easy recipe for brown sugar whipped cream and yes, I did eat several spoonfuls before filling the cake.

Another plus is how forgiving this cookbook is. I could not get cardamom or clove for the spice cake, so I substituted with a bit of five spice and pumpkin spice and that worked out just fine. Each recipe also features baking times for different pan sizes, included a sheet cake (which I was doing instead of their standard loaf pan for this one).

Everything I know about making a Swiss roll is from The Great British Bake Off. Roll it still warm, preferably with a tea towel. Under bake the cake just slightly. Let it cool in the roll shape. I was nervous, but the roll held its shape! There was a slight crack, which was easily covered by the whipped cream. However, I’m so unbelievably proud of this bake, especially after cutting into it and seeing the swirl in action. You can peep some progress photos here!

Spice Cake Swiss roll covered and filled with brown sugar whipped cream with cocoa powder on top

I made this cake to bring to Christmas festivities at my boyfriend’s parents’ place (they’re part of my “pod” of isolated people). When I first met them, I brought over a Key Lime Pie, made from a family recipe as a nod to my Florida roots. Since then, I’ve (hopefully) wowed them with my bakes. Last Thanksgiving, I made a chocolate bourbon pecan pie and a cranberry curd tart. Last Christmas, I made five different cookies. And I will be the first to admit I put a lot of pressure on myself to get things right, especially when it comes to food.

The finished product looked complicated technically, but it was probably the easiest baked thing I’ve made in years. I also liked how Snacking Cakes gives me the basics and tools for delicious cakes, but lets me decide how to combine flavors and styles of cake.

If you want a reading recommendation to go with this spiced, swirly cake, I wholeheartedly suggest In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren ( A | BN | K | AB ). It’s a holiday romance with a bit of a twist and a more experimental element than what I’ve come to expect from the duo, a great pairing for getting a little adventurous in the kitchen.

Have I convinced you to check out Snacking Cakes yet? What did you bake this holiday season?

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  1. 1
    Ren Benton says:
    +11

    Yum! Looks beautiful and I bet smells delicious.

    It took me 44 years to get a bottle of cardamom in the pantry, and I regret every time I skipped it before then. It has a citrusy thing going on that’s amazing with fruit. A little pinch in a cup of Earl Grey. Added to absolutely everything involving other warming spices. My favorite splurge of the last many years.

  2. 2
    Natasha says:
    +5

    You’ve completely sold me on getting the Snacking Cakes cookbook. I heard you talk about it on the podcast and added it to my wishlist. Now it’s in my cart haha
    Also, that swiss roll looks so good!

  3. 3
    Lisa F says:
    +4

    Well, this sounds delicious!

  4. 4
    Ellie says:
    +4

    After you mentioned Snacking Cakes last time, I immediately went and purchased a copy for my son’s girlfriend for Christmas (to go with the “Star Baker” apron I’d already bought for her). But I looked through the whole book before I sent it, and I’m going to have to get a copy for me. I liked the versatility of the recipes.

  5. 5
    Kate says:
    +6

    That turned out beautifully! I bought Snacking Cakes after not being able to wait for the library hold and made the Buttered Walnut cake last weekend. It’s probably the best cake I’ve ever made and I didn’t even have to get out the mixer.

  6. 6
    AnnMarie says:
    +4

    Ah ha! I obviously added snacking cakes to my Amazon wish list after the last Soggy Bottoms but forgot to remember why or where I had seen it. Amazon was nice enough to recently send me a $5.00 off coupon specifically for this book (Kindle version) and so I bought it. Of course. Now to go make something yummy!

  7. 7
    Karin says:
    +4

    It looks gorgeous and you’ve inspired me to make spice cake. Chai masala would be a good substitute too, for anyone who doesn’t have cardamom and cloves.

  8. 8
    DonnaMarie says:
    +3

    I was going to ask where @Ellie got the apron, but then the coffee kicked in.

  9. 9
    Jazzlet says:
    +5

    Swiss rolls / roulades are ace for making it look lie you have done a ton of work and yours looks perfect. I’ve a recipe for one with a flourless chocolate sponge filled with chocolate mousse and chestnut cream, just divine.

  10. 10
    Kareni says:
    +2

    That cake looks delicious, Amanda!

    I just finished In a Holidaze yesterday. It was a fun read and had me laughing frequently.

  11. 11
    Kris Bock says:
    +3

    brown sugar whipped cream … mind blown!

    Sounds like any family would be lucky to have you around.

    I’m going to go put the cardamom by my tea so I’ll remember to try it in Earl Gray soon.

  12. 12
    denise says:
    +2

    Looks delicious!

  13. 13
    Amanda says:
    +3

    @Kate: That’s what I love about Snacking Cakes. Minimal equipment is needed!

  14. 14
    Trix says:
    +3

    I didn’t bake much over the holidays (just some stout cupcakes), but the prospect of a lockdown birthday made me attempt what I’d feared for ages: the Russian honey cake from San Francisco’s 20th Century Cafe (I hadn’t had a slice in two years, and had just gotten the cookbook). I cut the recipe in half (the full one serves 20) to make a very tall 6-inch cake. The part that worried me most (doing the layers) was actually the easiest (they handled like leavened pancakes, and cooled quickly), but caramelizing the honey was a little scary. (I also had no dulce de leche in the house, and REFUSE to do the dangerous boil-in-can method, so I half-assed some sweetened condensed milk in the microwave for about six two-minute half-power bursts. It was a little pale and the texture wasn’t ideal, but it did the trick in the frosting). Even though mine looked a little more like an upscale icebox cake than something from Hayes Valley, it tasted fantastic! Now I don’t have to make one for another few years. (Going to try her Linzer Torte next.) Haven’t done a roulade in ages, sounds so good…

  15. 15
    Ren Benton says:
    +2

    @Trix: I’ve seen people on TV caramelize sweetened condensed milk poured into a baking dish and popped into the oven. If I remember correctly, there’s a water bath involved, but I haven’t paid attention to the details. Googling “dulce de leche oven method” will work better than my memory, if anybody’s interested for future reference.

  16. 16
    Ginger says:
    +1

    Another big fan of Snacking Cakes. Just made the white chocolate pecan cake using the raspberries. I could have eaten the whole thing by myself.

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