Next time you're feeling nostalgic for Ho Hos, consider making this homemade Swiss roll. It looks and tastes just like the small, cream-filled chocolate snack cakes from Hostess.
To make this Ho Ho cake, a chocolate sponge is rolled around a light and fluffy whipped cream filling and topped with a rich chocolate ganache. This super-sized take on the snack cake can be cut into slices and shared with friends.
Cake rolls look fancy, but if you work quickly and carefully, they're actually quite easy to assemble. The trick is to coat a tea towel with either powdered sugar or cocoa powder and coax the cake into a rolled shape while it is still warm to keep it from cracking.
- For the Chocolate Cake Roll:
- 4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup (divided)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (divided)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup water
- For the Filling:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this cake is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.
Make the Cake
Gather the ingredients. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and generously grease the paper.
In a large bowl, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup granulated sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.
In a separate medium bowl, beat the egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and continue to beat for 2 additional minutes.
In another bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup of the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Add the cocoa mixture to egg yolk mixture alternately with the water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth.
Gradually fold the chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites until well blended.
Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly in the center.
Coat a linen or thin cotton tea towel with remaining 1/3 cup of cocoa powder. (It should at least cover the size and shape of the jelly roll pan.)
Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan. Invert the cake onto the prepared towel. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Immediately roll cake and towel together starting from narrow end. Place on wire rack to cool completely.
Make the Filling and Ganache
When ready to proceed, prepare the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, about 2 to 3 minutes.
To assemble, carefully unroll the cake. Spread the cake with the prepared whipped cream filling evenly over the top, leaving about a 1/2 inch border around the cake. Gently roll the cake back up, this time without the towel. Place on a wire rack set on a baking sheet and refrigerate while preparing the next steps.
Prepare the ganache. Place chocolate chips, heavy cream and light corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time, until the chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.
Pour the ganache all over the cake roll. Feel free to spoon up any dripped ganache and spoon over the cake again. Refrigerate for at least 30 to 60 minutes before slicing and serving.
Slice and enjoy!