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Kaffe Rulltårta (Coffee Roll Cake)

Updated: Aug 7, 2023

Swiss roll
Rulltårta is so special in Sweden they even have a day to celebrate

I love days that celebrate a specific food. Not that I ever need an excuse to cook, bake and enjoy the product of my labours. But it's fun to think that other people are enjoying the same food on the same day and at the same time we can learn fun facts and exciting new ways to enjoy it.

Rulltårta (roll cake) is a firm favourite in Scandinavia. It's a regular on the shelves of the bakeries and cake aisles in the supermarkets, and comes in an inspiring variety of flavours and fillings. But did you know that in Sweden they love rulltårta so much that there is even a special day to celebrate it? It's not a day I am likely to forget because it's also my birthday - 9 August and that gives me yet another excuse to make and thoroughly enjoy rulltårta.

I've been experimenting with a few rulltårta recipes ready for the big day and decided that this one is definitely my favourite. I've adapted it slightly from a recipe from Mommy Oven (if you want to see the original it's here).

As the Swedes are such lovers of coffee I thought it would be a wonderful homage to make my rulltårta coffee flavoured. The flavour is not a strong one but goes very well with the vanilla cream filling and perfectly with a cup of your favourite coffee or tea.

Kaffe Rulltårta (serves 8 people)


For the cake

6 eggs, separated

160g /5.6 oz sugar

25g /1 oz water

2 teaspoons instant coffee or coffee powder

60g / 2.1 oz flavourless oil such as sunflower oil or rapeseed oil

120g / 4.2 oz flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the filling

225g / 8 oz butter, at room temperature

400g / 14 oz icing sugar or powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk


Preheat the oven to 160C/320F.

Prepare a swiss roll tin or deep baking tin (about 35cm x 25cm) by lining with baking paper.

Beat the eggs whites until stiff and snow white. When you lift the whisk out of the whites it should hold it's shape. Add 90g (3 oz) of the sugar in 3 batches, beating really well between each addition.

In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks with the sugar until they are a pale cream colour and light and fluffy. This takes a good few minutes so be patient because you are beating lots of air into your mixture which is going to help the cake rise. To the water add the coffee powder and mix together really well. Add this to the egg yolk mixture and beat together until well mixed.

Add half of the egg white (meringue) mixture to the egg yolks and carefully fold it in using a figure of eight motion. Add the oil and fold in again using the same motion but a bit more quickly. Be sure that the oil is all incorporated before moving onto the next step.

Sift the flour and baking powder in the egg yolk mixture and fold in until it's almost mixed before adding the remaining meringue and folding in gently until it's all well mixed. Be sure to get to the bottom of the bowl, because the flour can form pockets.

Pour the cake batter into your prepared baking tin and smooth to the edges. I use a spatula or palette knife to get a lovely smooth surface. Holding the edges of the baking tin tap it firmly on the work surface to release any air bubbles before smoothing the surface again.

Bake in the centre of oven for about 20 minutes or until the cake is a light golden brown and coming away from the edges of the tin slightly. If you give it a light press it should rebound to the touch.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes. Whilst it's cooling, lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper and lightly oil the surface. Lift the cake from the tin with baking paper attached and trim the edges to make a nice rectangle shape. Turn the cake upside down on the greased paper and starting at one corner carefully removing the baking paper you cooked it on. Starting at a short edge roll the cake up. Place it to one side still rolled until cold.

To make the filling, beat the butter until soft and gradually add the powdered sugar beating well between each addition. Add the milk and beat again. Unroll the cake and spread the mixture evenly all over getting right to the edges. Roll up again and chill for about an hour to allow the filling to set.

I like to slice my rulltårta and decorate each piece with a swirl of cream and some sprinkles.

Vær så god!

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Sadly I tried making this twice and both times the cake did not turn out. The cake batter doesn't fully set, and the frosting ratio is off (takes like straight butter). After it didn't turn out the first time, I meticulously weighed all ingredients but it still didn't work.

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