Toasted Pecan Roulade

At the same time I found the recipe for the pecan date cookies, I also found this recipe for a pecan roulade. Never having made a roulade, I was a bit hesitant. But, I couldn’t quit thinking about it and what a lovely addition it would be to our Christmas Eve dinner.

I won’t deny that I was a little anxious about how this cake would turn out. Mostly, I feared that the cake would fall apart during the rolling process. However, it rolled up beautifully without so much as a crack.

Toasted Pecan Roulade is an elegant and delicious dessert worthy of a special occasion.

My only complaint about this recipe is that I wished it had been more flavorful. With all those toasted pecans in both the cake and the filling, I was hoping for a big pecan taste. After I adjusted my expectations, I did enjoy it very much. It was just a bit different than I thought it would be. It’s delicate flavor was probably a bit lost with the pecan pie cheesecake and the caramel cake (details to come). It would probably do better as a solitary dessert offering.

The magazine describes this dessert as impressive. I was certainly impressed by how well it turned out. While it didn’t quite have as much flavor as I had hoped, it is certainly delicious. The sponge cake plus the whipped cream filling make for a lovely, light dessert perfect for most any occasion. Just be sure you display it so you can maximize the ooohs and aaahs you’ll deserve for your efforts.

Toasted Pecan Roulade

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 12-16 servings

Toasted Pecan Roulade


    For the cake:
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, cooled
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, plus more for garnishing
  • chopped pecans, for garnishing
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons heavy whipping cream, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 375°. Lightly spray a 15″x 10″x 1″ jelly roll pan. Line pan with parchment paper, and spray paper as well.

Combine pecans and flour in food processor until pecans are finely ground.

Beat egg yolks at medium speed for 2 minutes. Add ground pecan mixture, 1/2 cup of sugar, and vanilla. Beat until well combined, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar at medium-high speed until foamy. Gradually add 1/4 cup sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture. Spread into pan. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Cake should spring back when lightly touched in the center.

On a cloth towel, sift confectioners’ sugar into a 15″x 10″ rectangle. When cake is done, loosen from sides of pan and turn onto towel. Peel off parchment paper. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel. Place the cake seam side down on a wire rack. Let cake cool completely.

Gently unroll cake. Spread with filling (directions below). Reroll cake (without towel) and place seam side down on a serving platter. Garnish with confectioners’ sugar and chopped pecans, if desired.

To make the filling:

Combine brown sugar, 3 tablespoons cream, and butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Stir in pecans and vanilla. Set aside to cool completely.

Beat 1 cup heavy cream at medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add brown sugar mixture, and beat until stiff peaks form.


Recipe adapted from Southern Lady.

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  1. rachel December 26, 2007 Reply

    It is very pretty!

  2. amanda December 26, 2007 Reply

    i have wanted to make one of these rolls before but I keep thinking that it will break apart when I try to roll it out. Did you use a towel to roll it up after you got it out of the pan?

  3. jennifer December 26, 2007 Reply

    Thanks, Rachel! I thought it turned out well.

    Amanda, that was exactly my fear also. I did roll it up with a towel. I think that’s the only way to keep the cake from sticking to itself.

  4. Dana December 26, 2007 Reply

    Beautiful! I love roulade-style cakes. They’re always so light and delicious!

  5. sara December 26, 2007 Reply

    yum, looks amazing!

  6. Marni December 26, 2007 Reply

    I’ve never attempted one of those either. You must have gotten applause when you served it. It’s gorgeous!

  7. JEP December 26, 2007 Reply

    That is the most beautiful picture! I have never even eaten anything like this. Tell me, how did you slice it? Size portions?

  8. peabody December 26, 2007 Reply

    Oh yum. I just got a ton of pecans for Christmas I will have to give this a try.

  9. jennifer December 26, 2007 Reply

    Thanks, Dana. This one was definitely both light and delicious.

    Thanks, Sara!

    Marni, thanks. I thought I could have gotten a few more ooohs and aaahs, but what can you do? :-)

    Thanks, JEP! I sliced the servings about 3/4-inch thick.

    Peabody, have fun baking with those pecans. I always keep a freezer full!

  10. Kristen December 27, 2007 Reply

    That photo could not be any more tempting at all. Wow!

  11. Tartelette December 28, 2007 Reply

    I used to think pecans were pretty bland until we moved to a lot with a pecan tree on it and man! was I in for a treat! I don’t mean to sound blazay about it or anything but they really smell and taste great. I can send you a box full if you wish:)

  12. Tartelette December 28, 2007 Reply

    Meant to add that the log and the pictures are gorgeous!

  13. jennifer December 28, 2007 Reply

    Thanks, Kristen!

    Tartelette, thank you! I absolutely adore pecans and the fact that you have your own tree just kills me. I would be ecstatic!

  14. Patricia Scarpin December 28, 2007 Reply

    It looks perfect, Jen!

  15. jennifer December 28, 2007 Reply

    Thanks, Patricia!

  16. Nan December 29, 2007 Reply

    This dessert was fantastic (as your creations always are)! You just can’t go wrong with pecans, and it was so light and delicate. The roulade was just the right amount of cake and pecan mixture not to be too heavy after a big dinner. Perfect!

    P.S. Leftovers are not that shabby either. It keeps well in the fridge, and sadly…I have eaten my last piece.

  17. Mango Power Girl January 10, 2008 Reply

    What a stunning Roulade! Might I add it’s a perfect photo … I’ll have to try this Roulade out for sure!

  18. jennifer January 11, 2008 Reply

    Thanks, Mango! I hope you enjoy it. It’s so light and delicious.

  19. James December 24, 2012 Reply

    Try making this with a caramel sauce (just boil a can of condensed milk for a few hours). Even better instead of a cake roulade i have made with meringue. Cook meringue on gas mark 5 for 45 mins so still soft in middle but crunchy on the outside, when rolling just be confident, it will crack but the cream filling will hold it together! Best made on the day of eating.

  20. Paula April 2, 2013 Reply

    I’m kinda sorry I found this blog. I don’t need another place to find yummy dessert recipes. They look fantastic though; I can’t wait to try some.

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