Polka Dot Mocha Swiss Roll Cake

Patterned roll cakes have been on my to-bake list for the longest time. Today, I’m posting this mocha roll cake with a brown polka dot design. This was made following the same basic Swiss roll cake recipe, but instead I added instant coffee for the mocha flavor. As for the patterns, I opted for cocoa powder for the natural coloring. You may need to use food coloring for some of them, as it depends on what flavor your cakes are and what color you want your patterns to be. I have tested different methods of adding patterns but failed several times to get a good result. I personally prefer freezing the patterns over pre-baking the patterns.

Ingredients for the circle pattern paste:

10gUnsalted butter (softened)
10gPowdered sugar
10gCake flour
10gEgg white
1 TbspCocoa powder

Ingredients for the roll cake:

Ingredients A
80gEgg Yolk
Ingredients B
Ingredients C
72gCake flour
2 Tbsp (4g)Instant Coffee
2 TbspHot water
Ingredients D
120gEgg white

Cream filling:
1 CupHeavy whipping cream
1 TbspPowdered sugar
1 TbspInstant black coffee
1 TbspVanilla instant pudding

Directions for making the pattern:

  1. You can draw your own pattern template or download one online. Line a 9×13-inch baking sheet with parchment paper and place the pattern sheet beneath it.
  2. In a bowl, mix egg white, sugar, butter and flour until you get a smooth paste (DO NOT add cocoa powder yet). In a separate bowl, take out half of the mixture (one half for the white circles and one half for the brown circles) and slowly add in cocoa powder (add little by little until you get the color you want). (Pictures 1 & 2)
  3. Fill the Ziploc bag with the mixture and seal the top. Use scissors to snip off one corner of the bag – creating a tiny hole makes it easier to trace the patterns. (Picture 3)
  4. Once all patterns are done, place the whole baking sheet in the freezer. (Picture 4)

Directions for making the roll cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 340°F.
  2. Separate the egg yolks and egg whites into two bowls.
  3. Dissolve instant black coffee in hot water, set aside and let it cool. (Picture 1)
  4. In a large bowl, add salt to egg yolks and mix well.  Add in 35g of sugar, beat until well combined.  (Pictures 2 & 3)
  5. Add oil and milk to the egg yolk mixture and beat until the mixture is pale.  (Pictures 4 & 5)
  6. Sift the flour into the egg mixture and gently fold to combine.  (Pictures 6 and 7)
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy, gradually add sugar and beat until soft peaks form.  (Pictures 8 and 9)
  8. Add in black coffee liquid to the egg whites and fold to combine. (Picture 10)
  9. Pour the egg yolk mixture into the egg whites and gently fold to combine with a spatula.  (Picture 11)
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.  Spread the batter evenly and tap the pan several times.  This will remove any air bubbles inside the batter.  (Pictures 12 & 13)
  11. Bake for about 13 minutes, remove the cake from the pan as soon as it is ready.  Allow it to cool for about 10 mins.  Put a piece of parchment paper on top of the cake (you may want to lightly spray the parchment paper with oil to prevent the outer layer from sticking), and flip the pan over so that the pattern is on top.  Peel away the original parchment paper from the bottom of the cake. Trim the top and bottom edges.  Hold the knife at a 30 degree angle and trim the right and left edges. (Picture 14)
  12. Using a knife to score 2 vertical lines along the cake from the right edge, careful not to cut all the way into the cake. (Picture 15)
  13. Spread an even layer of whipped cream over the cake.  (Picture 16)
  14. Tightly roll the cake from the side you just scored toward the other end. (Picture 17)
  15. Secure the roll by taping or twisting the parchment paper at both ends.  Refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.  (Picture 18)

Directions for making the filling:

  1. Dissolve instant black coffee powder in 1 tsp. of hot water, set aside and let cool.
  2. Whip the heavy whipping cream on medium speed until it is smooth and firm, add powdered sugar and whip for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. To make the cream firmer, add vanilla instant pudding and whip for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add in coffee and whip for another minute.

Mocha Chiffon Cake

Mocha Chiffon Cake

I was not sure if this cake would turn out good or not.  First, I am not a coffee drinker, I don’t even know how to brew a cup of coffee.  Second, I couldn’t find a recipe that is light in sugar and flour, the ones found online were more dense.  Since my friend gave me a pack of instant black coffee, I decided to give it a try.  Again, I created this recipe based on Christine Ho’s black sesame chiffon cake which is the first chiffon cake I posted on my blog.  The cake was decorated with whipped cream frosting, it was very moist, light and fluffy in texture.  Please scroll down to the bottom for the whipped cream frosting recipe.  This cake was gone in one day!!

Ingredients (for a 10″ pan):

1 tsp
Egg whites
Caster sugar
Cream of tartar
1/4 tsp
1 tsp
1 tsp
2 Tbsp (4g)
Cake flour
Baking powder
Vanilla extract
Egg yolks
Caster Sugar
Olive oil
Hot water
Instant black coffee


  • Preheat oven to 340F.
  • To separate eggs, place 3 small bowls side by side. Crack the first egg and pull the shell halves apart. Pass the yolk back and forth, letting the white fall into the first bowl. Put the yolk in the second bowl. Transfer the white to the third bowl and repeat with the remaining eggs.  By doing it this way, if you have one bad egg, you do not need to discard all egg whites.
  • Beat the egg whites with an electric mixer until bubbles form. It is best to begin at a slow speed and gradually move up to high when beating.  Add cream of tartar. After mixing well, add 90 grams of sugar in three batches, about one-third at a time, and beat well between additions.  Continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.  Don’t over beat it, overbeaten whites look lumpy and watery.

beating egg white

  • Dissolve instant black coffee powder in 95ml of hot water, set aside and let it cool. (Picture 1)
  • Weigh all ingredients, combine cake flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl.   Set aside (Picture 2)
  • Mix egg yolks with 35g caster sugar until sugar dissolved.  Stir in oil until completely combined.  Add vanilla extract and black coffee and mix until well combined.  (Picture 3)
  • Sift the flour mixture into the egg yolk mixture, in three batches. Combine well.  The mixture is slight thicker now. (Picture 4)
  • Fold-in the beaten egg whites with a spatula in three batches.  (Picture 5)
  • Pour the batter into a 10″ tube pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 60 minutes.  (Picture 6)
  • After baking the first 15 minutes, if you find the cake surface gets browning, reduce heat to 320F.  Continue to bake until cooked through.  A needle comes out clean when inserted in the middle.

Mocha Chiffon  cake

  • Remove the cake from the oven.  Invert the pan immediately on a wire rack.  Let it cool completely (at least an hour).  (Picture below)

Chiffon Cake

  • Remove the cake by running a thin-bladed knife around the pan, angling the knife towards the pan to try to get the full crust on the cake.
  • I decorate the cake with whipped cream.  Please see below for the cocoa whipped cream frosting recipe.

Mocha Chiffon Cake

How to make Cocoa Whipped Cream Frosting:


3 cups
3 Tbsp
3 Tbsp
2 Tbsp
1 Tbsp
Heavy Whipping Cream
Powdered Sugar
Vanilla Instant Pudding
Rum* (optional)
Instant black coffee


  1. Dissolve instant black coffee powder in 1 tbsp. of hot water, set aside.
  2. Whip the heavy whipping cream with medium speed until it is smooth and firm, add powdered sugar and whip for another 1-2 minutes.
  3. To make the cream more firm, add vanilla instant pudding and whip for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add in coffee and/or rum and whip for another minute.

Mocha Chiffon Cake with Cocoa and Rum Cream frosting


  • My friend worked at a restaurant, he told me to use Vanilla Instant Pudding to make the cream more firm.
  • *I only used 1 Tbsp. of rum as my kids are eating this cake.  If you prefer to have a stronger flavor, use 2 Tbsp. of rum.
  • Whipped cream can be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge.