Milky Way Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll

5 from 3 votes
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This easy Milky Way Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll is full of incredible chocolate flavor! It’s made with moist, flourless chocolate sponge cake that’s filled with fluffy whipped cream and chopped Milky Way candy bars. Slathered in chocolate ganache, this low carb dessert takes the classic Swiss Roll to the next level!

Flourless Milky Way Chocolate Cake Roll

Easy Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll

I’ve loved to cook and bake and make fun desserts for a long time. As a kid, one of my first ventures into baking and cake decorating was that much-adored bunny cake. You know the one – you make two round cakes, one is the head, and the other you cut out ears and the piece that is left is a bowtie.

I made it for Easter many times using those squeeze tubes of colored frosting and jelly beans to make the bunny face. It really felt like I graduated to the big time when I started frosting it with homemade whipped cream.

Eventually, I moved on to layer cakes, with my Strawberries and Cream Cake becoming a family favorite. 

But let’s be real. I’m no Cake Boss or Duff Goldman when it comes to makings truly showstopping cakes. My decorating skills kinda topped off with my artistic abilities when I was, you know, 10-years-old.

But a cake roll is truly a dessert that will turn heads, even if you can’t wield a pastry bag or sculpt fondant with the best of them.

Looking at the inside of a Flourless Caramel Chocolate Cake with whipped cream and Milky Ways

Is it Hard to Make This Milky Way Cake Roll?

Seriously, don’t let this Milky Way Cake recipe scare you. It’s really easy. Now there are several components to this dessert, but none of them is especially time consuming or difficult.

This short video shows you how to make my Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Roll. The cake and ganache are exactly the same, and the whipped cream filling is actually even easier than the peanut butter filling. You can totally do this!

Here is a brief overview so you can see just how easy it is to make. Scroll down to the printable recipe card for the full quantities and details.
But don’t skip my PRO TIPS below!

What’s Involved:

  1. Make the cake. If you need a gluten free cake, going flourless versus dealing with all those different gluten free flours is an easy way to go.
  2. Chop the candy bars. While it bakes and cools make the ganache and chop the candy bars.
  3. Whip the cream & ganache. Before you are ready put it all together, just whip the cream and ganache. 
  4. Fill and roll the cake. Spread the filling on the cake, roll it up, and frost it with the whipped chocolate ganache. An extra drizzle of caramel sauce and you are good to go.

Easy peasy! That’s how I roll.

And if you only have small pockets of time to work, you can spread out the steps for this gluten free chocolate cake roll over an extended period of time. Each step is fairly quick!

And when all of these components come together, and you sink your fork into this slice of caramel chocolate cake roll goodness, you’ll know it was worth every second of time and ounce of effort.

Bliss! Pure, utter, and absolute bliss!

So let’s get into the details.

Slices of Milky Way Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll on a wooden serving platter

How to Make a Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll

Step 1. Make the Chocolate Sponge Cake

Start your caramel chocolate cake roll with this spongy cake that is more flexible than a traditional cake. There is no flour, nor any baking powder or baking soda to help it rise. All of the rising comes from the egg whites, so be sure to use the tips to ensure your whites whip to stiff peaks. That being said, it is not a thick, fluffy cake. But it is still moist, and deeply chocolaty.

You’ll need a rimmed baking sheet (also known as a half sheet pan or jelly roll pan), parchment paper, a couple of bowls, an electric mixer, a spatula, and a kitchen towel.

Cake Ingredients

  • Eggs – Separated
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa powder – I usually use Hershey’s Unsweetened Cocoa Powder. You’ll need some for dusting the sheet pan, more for dusting the towel that you’ll use to roll the cake, and some for the cake itself.
  • Salt
  • Cold coffee – You can use leftover coffee, or make a bit of coffee with instant coffee powder or espresso powder. You can just use water, but coffee does enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make the Cake

  1. Prep your tools. Coat a jelly roll with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray it again and dust with cocoa powder.
  2. Whip the egg whites. Separate the eggs and whip the whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  3. Whip sugar and yolks. Whip the sugar and egg yolks until it is thick and pale yellow. This will take a few minutes. Do not rush this step.
  4. Blend in cocoa powder, coffee, and vanilla.
  5. Add whipped egg whites. Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture in three additions.
  6. Bake. Spread the batter in a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake until it springs back with lightly touched. While it bakes, Dust a kitchen towel with cocoa powder.
  7. Cool. Let the cake cool for a few minutes, then turn it out onto the cocoa-dusted towel, roll it up, then let it cool completely.
Overhead of Milky Way Caramel Chocolate Cake Roll with a piece on a plate

Step 2. Make the Chocolate Ganache

Rich, velvety ganache has so many uses. While warm, it makes a great fudge sauce or a coating for a cake. But you can also let it cool then beat it with an electric mixer for a luscious whipped chocolate ganache for frosting a cake.

You’ll need a small bowl, small saucepan if you make it on the stove, heat-proof spatula, and an electric mixer.

Ganache Ingredients

  • Heavy cream
  • Semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Vanilla extract

How to Make the Chocolate Ganache

  1. Melt chocolate with cream. Combine the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a small bowl and heat gently in the microwave for about one minute or on the stove over a pan of simmering water until it just barely comes to a bubble.
  2. Stir until smooth, then stir in the vanilla.
  3. Let cool to room temperature.
  4. Whip the ganache. Before frosting the cake, use an electric mixer to whip the ganache to a thick but spreadable consistency.
Fork cutting into a piece of Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll with caramel

Step 3. Make the Whipped Cream Filling

It doesn’t get much better than light and fluffy freshly whipped cream. The trick is to use very cold heavy cream, and even chill your bowl and beaters if time allows. The layers of whipped cream and flourless chocolate cake are divine!

You’ll need a metal bowl and an electric mixer.

Ingredients for whipped cream

  • Heavy cream
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Milky Way candy bars – full size, fun size, minis, and bites all work. See the note below about gluten free options.

Directions

  1. Whip the cream. In a large bowl, combine the ingredients and whip until soft peaks form.
  2. Add the chopped candy. Gently fold in the Milky Way pieces.
Fork holding a bite of Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll with caramel

Assembling this Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll

This is where the Milky Way cake comes together into one head-turning, mouthwatering dessert.

I like to use a large offset spatula for spreading the whipped cream and a small offset spatula for frosting with the ganache, but use whatever type of spatula you have, Even a butter knife works in a pinch.

Additional ingredients

  • Storebought or homemade caramel sauce

Directions

  1. Carefully unroll the cake in the towel.
  2. Add the filling. Gently spread the whipped cream mixture over the top of the cake. Drizzle with caramel sauce.
  3. Re-roll the cake. Starting from short end to short end. Place seam side down.
  4. Cover the cake with the ganache frosting.
  5. Chill. Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
  6. Add caramel. Drizzle with caramel sauce before slicing. 
Fork with a bite of Flourless Milky Way Cake on a blue plate

Brianne’s Tips for the Best Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll:

  • You need an electric mixer for many steps of this cake. You can certainly use a Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, but I’ve used my little, inexpensive Hamilton Beach Hand Mixer to make it many times. I use the beaters for the cake and whipping the thick ganache, and the whisk attachment for the cream.
  • Be sure to prep your tools properly. Line the baking pan with parchment, spray it with cooking spray, and coat it completely with cocoa powder using a small sifter. This will ensure it comes out of the pan easily and in one piece.
  • I recommend separating the eggs while cold. This makes it easier to keep any of the yolk from getting in the whites, which will keep the whites fro whipping to stiff peaks. 
  • Let the whites come to room temperature before whipping them. Also, use a metal bowl for whipping the egg whites, and wipe it with a paper towel that had a bit of vinegar on it to ensure you remove any traces of fat that will keep the whites from whipping properly.
  • Chill your tools. Before whipping the cream, place your bowl and beaters in the fridge or freezer for a few minutes, if possible. This will make it easier to whip the cream.

How to Prevent Your Cake Roll From Cracking:

  • Prep your tools. As mentioned, lining the pan with parchment paper and dusting with cocoa powder is the first key step.
  • Use a kitchen towel + cocoa powder. While the cake is baking, lay out a kitchen towel. It will get quite dirty, so make sure it isn’t one that you will want to keep pristine. Using a small sifter, cover the towel with a layer of cocoa powder. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, flip it over onto the towel and peel off the parchment paper.
  • Don’t rush the rolling process. Then carefully roll it up in the towel and let it cool completely. Now all you have to do is unroll it, spread the filling inside, and roll it back up without the towel.

Make Ahead and Storage Tips

  • You can make the cake a day ahead and leave it rolled up in a paper towel.
  • You can also make the ganache in advance and keep it covered in the refrigerator. Just be sure to let it come to room temperature before trying to whip it.
  • I recommend whipping the heavy cream just before assembling the cake, as it can deflate a bit if left overnight.
  • Because of the heavy cream, this cake must be stored in the refrigerator. Once you chill it to set the ganache, you can wrap it tightly if you need to keep it for a few days. Once you’ve drizzled on the caramel, you’ll want to cover it loosely or place leftovers in an airtight storage container.

How to Make this Milky Way Cake Gluten Free

Gluten Free Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. This information is solely based on my research and personal experience, and I provide it as a courtesy to my readers. Please consult your doctor or medical professional for any questions as it relates to your needs, particularly if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten allergy or intolerance. Products, manufacturing facilities, and ingredients change frequently, so you should always contact the manufacturer for the latest information. 

  • The cake: Since this Milky Way cake is flourless, the cake itself, the whipped cream, and the ganache are gluten free as long as you have confirmed your ingredients are gluten free without cross-contamination.
  • Caramel sauce: Most storebought caramel sauces are gluten free, or you can make your own caramel sauce.
  • Milky Way candy: Gluten free candy can sometimes create confusion. Milky Way candy bars are made by M&M Mars. They do not specify a list of gluten free products, but will call out any barley, wheat, or rye ingredients on the labels, as well as any cross-contamination risks. At the time of this writing, Milky Way Original Bars contain barley, so they are not gluten free. But you should be able to substitute any of the Milky Way Simple Caramel or Milky Way Midnight products as long as you have checked the labels. In fact, this recipe was first made using the Simply Caramel Bites.
Flourless Milky Way Caramel Chocolate Cake Roll with a slice on a plate and milk

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More Flourless Desserts to Try:

Gluten Free Cakes to Try:

I Love this Milk Way Cake!

This epic Milky Way cake is decadent but surprisingly light. The flourless chocolate cake is moist and spongy. The ganache is rich and intensely chocolaty. But with only a thin coating, it doesn’t overpower the light, fluffy whipped cream that is studded with chunks of Milky Ways to give just enough chewy texture to contrast the cloudlike consistency of the rest of the dessert. And of course, a drizzle of caramel inside and outside puts it over the top.

Whether you are looking for leftover candy recipes, or want to treat the family for a holiday or birthday, this Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll recipe is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.

I hope you’ll leave a comment and give it a FIVE STAR rating or share a review on Pinterest or photo on Instagram!
Tag me @cupcakekalechip and use #cupcakesandkalechips!

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Slice of Flourless Milky Way Cake Roll on a plate
5 from 3 votes

Milky Way Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll

This easy Milky Way Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll is a must try dessert! Fluffy whipped cream is studded with Milky Way candy bars and drizzled with caramel, then rolled up in a chocolaty flourless sponge cake, covered with a chocolate ganache frosting, and drizzled with more caramel.
Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Chilling time 2 hrs
Servings: 12

Ingredients

For the chocolate sponge cake:

  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Tablespoons + 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brewed cold coffee leftover is fine
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

For the whipped cream:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped Milky Way candy bars (You can use Classic, Midnight, or Simple Caramel, and the full size, fun size, minis, or bites. You'll need about 10 minis or 5 fun size. See NOTE regarding Gluten Free options.)

Assembling the cake:

  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tablespoons caramel sauce (storebought or homemade)

Instructions

For the chocolate sponge cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Coat a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan) with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with more cooking spray and dust with 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder.
  • With clean beaters and a large clean bowl beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, in a separate large bowl, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar on high speed until thick and pale yellow. Don't rush this step. It may take several minutes.
  • Add 2 Tablesoons cocoa powder, salt, coffee, and vanilla, and beat in.
  • Gently fold about about a quarter of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture.
  • In three additions, fold in the remaining egg whites.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes. It will slowly spring back when lightly touched.
  • While the cake is baking, sprinkle 1/4 cup cocoa powder over a clean kitchen towel.
  • After removing the cake from the oven, cool for a few minutes, and run a knife around the edges of the cake.
  • Invert the cake onto the prepared kitchen towel and remove the parchment paper that is now on top of the cake.
  • Carefully roll the cake in the kitchen towel from short end to short end and allow to cool completely.
  • While the cake is baking and cooling, prepare the chocolate ganache frosting (it will have to cool to room temperature), and, just before you are ready to assemble the cake, the whipped cream.

For the chocolate ganache frosting:

  • Combine the heavy cream and chocolate chips in a small bowl and gently melt in the microwave for one minute or on the stove over a pan of simmering water until is just comes to a bubble.
  • Stir until completely smooth, then stir in the vanilla.
  • Let cool to room temperature. Just before you are ready to frost the cake, using a stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the ganache until it is a spreadable, but thick consistency.

For the whipped cream:

  • Place the Milky Way candy bars in the freezer for a short time until slightly firm, then coarsely chop. Set aside.
  • If you have the time, chill your bowl and whisk attachment or beaters in the refrigerator or freezer to chill.
  • In a large bowl using your stand mixer or hand mixer, whip the heavy cream with the powdered sugar and vanilla until soft peaks form.
  • Fold in the chopped candies.

Assembling the cake:

  • Carefully unroll the cake in the towel.
  • Gently spread the whipped cream mixture over the top of the cake, spreading to about a half inch from the long side, and and inch or two from the short sides.
  • Drizzle about 1/4 cup of the caramel sauce over the whipped cream.
  • Roll up the cake from short end to short end. Place seam side down.
  • Take a small amount of the ganache frosting to gently coat the cake with a thin “crumb coat”. This must be done carefully, as the cocoa powder on the cake will keep the frosting from sticking to the cake at first.
  • Now use the remaining frosting and evenly frost the cake.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours.
  • Slice off the unfrosted ends, if desired. Drizzle with about 2 Tablespoons caramel sauce before serving.

Notes

At the time of this writing, Milky Way Original Bars contain barley, so they are not gluten free. But you should be able to substitute any of the Milky Way Simple Caramel or Milky Way Midnight products as long as you have checked the labels.
Adapted from Simply Gluten Free’s Gluten Free Flourless Chocolate Toffee Roll.
Nutrition Facts
Milky Way Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll
Amount Per Serving
Calories 330 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 11g55%
Cholesterol 151mg50%
Sodium 130mg5%
Potassium 185mg5%
Carbohydrates 34g11%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 22g24%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 621IU12%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Enjoy!

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33 Comments
  1. dava

    I tried making this and when I took this out of the oven it wouldn’t roll. it broke and ripped. and one crumbled. can you tell me what im doing wrong? what makes the cake rise? is the suppose to be flour or anything in it?

    1. There is no flour in mine. If gluten isn’t a concern for you, crazyforcrust.com has a bunch of cake roll recipes, so you could try one of her cakes with this filling. This one doesn’t rise much, and it is a bit fragile, but as long as I rolled it carefully, I’ve had no problems. Perhaps you want to reduce your baking time or check the temperature in your oven. Maybe it dried out too much?

  2. um um um um YES PLEASE RIGHT NOW!!!! Wow, this look absolutely amazing. I’m an American who lives in Europe and they don’t have those caramel bites over here, but I’m sure I can find SOMETHING at least similar to make it! I’ve got to, I’ve got to!! 😀

  3. Sondra

    I’m pretty sure I need this in my life right now.
    This is perfect! We just had to switch to gluten free for my daughter and I’ve been languishing over what to do for a birthday cake! This is just the ticket! Thank you so much!

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