Ho Ho Cake

Ho Ho Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni 

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chill: 30 mins
Total: 90 mins
Servings: 8 to 10 servings

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

Steps to Make It

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

  1. 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. 

    Gather the ingredients
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni 
  2. 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.

    Beat the egg whites
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. 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.

    Beat the egg yolks
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. In another bowl, stir together the flour, 1/3 cup of the cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

    Mix the dry ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Add the cocoa mixture to egg yolk mixture alternately with the water, beating on low speed just until batter is smooth. 

    Mix the wet and dry ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Gradually fold the chocolate mixture into beaten egg whites until well blended.

    Fold the egg whites into the batter
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. 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. 

    Bake the chocolate cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  8. 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.)

    Prepare to roll the cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  9. Immediately loosen cake from edges of the 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 a wire rack to cool completely.

    Roll the warm cake and let cool
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Filling and Ganache

  1. 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. 

    Mix the cream filling
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. 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. 

    Assemble the cake and roll
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. 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.

    Prepare the ganache
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. 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.

    Cover in ganache and cool
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Slice and enjoy!