Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Roll Recipe

4.43 from 14 votes
A red circle with the letters GF

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Make the Reese’s lovers in your life the ultimate treat – a decadent Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Roll. If you are looking for the best chocolate peanut butter desserts, this is it. And nobody will believe that it is naturally gluten free!

Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Roll with Reese’s

Chocolate and peanut butter are never a bad idea. Now triple the chocolate and triple the peanut butter, and you have a winning combination. When I saw this Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll from Dorothy at Crazy for Crust, I knew I had to make it with my favorite flourless chocolate sponge cake. It is way too easy to be this impressive and amazing. Yes, it takes a little time and effort. But by following a few simple steps, you can make this incredible dessert.

A moist, tender sponge cake is filled with a creamy peanut butter cup mousse, then enrobed in chocolate ganache. If you don’t turn heads with this dessert, I’ll be shocked. It’s rich, indulgent, and totally worth the decadence. In addition, since it’s a flourless chocolate cake roll, it’s naturally gluten free, too!

Why You’ll Love this Recipe

Check out this review:

I made this for my husband’s birthday. He cannot have gluten, but he still loves a good rich cake, especially a chocolate and peanut butter combination! This was a delight to make and a joy to share and devour! His family doesn’t have a lot of understanding of his limitations (not because of lack of care, of course! they are amazing family) and almost bought a regular cake. This recipe saved his body and his birthday. Thank you for posting it!

Lesia

Of course, you do always want to read labels on ingredients such as vanilla extract and cocoa powder. It is important to ensure that they do not have any sneaky gluten-containing ingredients or are produced in a facility where there could be cross-contamination. But in this recipe, you don’t even have to worry about buying special gluten free flours since it is completely flourless.

Just one thing you make be wondering…

Are Peanut Butter Cups gluten free?

Hershey confirms on their website that all Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are gluten free except the seasonally shaped items, so skip the pumpkins and Christmas trees. Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups are also gluten free. That means you have no problems making this recipe as a gluten free cake roll.

piece of peanut butter chocolate cake roll topped with chopped Reese's peanut butter cups on a white plate

Ingredients

For the chocolate cake roll:

  • Eggs: Separate them, and put the eggs and whites in different bowls.
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa powder: This is divided to use some in the cake, some for dusting the baking pan, and some for dusting a kitchen towel to roll the cake.
  • Salt
  • Brewed cold coffee: Leftover coffee is fine. You can also use instant coffee powder or espresso powder to make the coffee. If you prefer not to use coffee, you can just use water, but coffee does enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • Vanilla extract

For the peanut butter filling:

  • Cream cheese: Regular or light is fine, just be sure it is softened to room temperature.
  • Peanut butter: You’ll want creamy for this recipe.
  • Powdered sugar
  • Vanilla extract
  • Heavy cream: The exact amount will depend on how creamy you want your filling.
  • Chopped Reese’s: You’ll need about 9-10 miniature peanut butter cups for the filling and about the same amount todecorate the top of the cake. You can use any size Reese’s, just make sure you end up wiuth the right finaly amount after they are chopped.

For the chocolate ganache topping:

  • Semisweet chocolate chips
  • Heavy cream

How to Make Reese’s Chocolate Cake Roll

You can see how easy it is to make, but keep scrolling for some more tips and tricks to make the perfect cake roll, plus all the details in the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Prepare the pan: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a rimmed half-sheet pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with more cooking spray and dust with 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder.

cocoa powder dusted over a parchment-lined baking sheet

Make the chocolate cake roll: Separate the eggs. With clean beaters and a large clean bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks and set the bowl aside. In another bowl, use the mixer to beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar on high speed until thick and pale yellow. This will take several minutes – don’t rush this step! Beat in cocoa powder, salt, coffee, and vanilla. Gently fold in about a quarter of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, then fold in the remaining egg white in three portions.

Bake the cake: Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. It will slowly spring back when lightly touched.

Cool the cake: While the cake is baking, sprinkle 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. Starting from the short end, carefully roll the cake in the kitchen towel and allow it to cool completely.

baked sponge cake unrolled on a kitchen towel

Make the peanut butter filling: Beat cream cheese and peanut butter with a hand mixer until smooth, then beat in the powdered sugar. Blend in vanilla and heavy cream and beat until it is smooth and you achieve the desired consistency. Stir in chopped peanut butter cups.

Make the chocolate ganache: Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave for 30-60 seconds. Stir until smooth. Chill in the fridge until thick and spreadable.

Assemble the cake: Carefully unroll the cake in the towel. Gently spread the peanut butter mousse filling over the top of the cake, spreading to about a half-inch from the sides. Roll up the cake from short end to short end. Place seam side down. Carefully frost the cake with the ganache and top with the remaining chopped peanut butter cups.

rolling up the cake after the peanut butter mousse has been spread on it

Chill before serving: Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before slicing. Slice off the unfrosted ends, if desired.

Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Flourless Chocolate Roll Cake closeup

How do you keep a cake roll from cracking?

I find this flourless cake to be more “flexible” than a traditional cake, so it is less likely to crack. However, I do take a few precautions.

Before baking the cake, line the baking pan with parchment, spray it with cooking spray, and using a small sifter, coat it completely with cocoa powder. This will ensure it comes out of the pan easily and in one piece.

While the cake is baking, lay out a kitchen towel. 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.

Then carefully roll it up in the towel and let it cool. Now all you have to do is unroll it, spread the filling inside, and roll it back up without the towel.

slice of flourless reese's chocolate cake roll on a plate with a blue and white fork in it

Storing the Chocolate Cake Roll

This cake will need to be kept refrigerated until ready to serve. But the good news is that it keeps nicely in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days. I would not recommend freezing it.

Make it in Advance

As mentioned, since it is stored in the refrigerator, you can make it a day or two ahead of time. You can also make the various components in advance, then assemble it a couple of hours before serving.

The cake itself can be rolled in the towel and kept at room temperature overnight. You can cover the peanut butter musee and keep it in the refrigerator for up to a day or so. And while the ganache need time to cool, if you refrigerate it, you will have to bring it to room temperature to get it back to a spreadable consistency.

A slice of Flourless Chocolate Peanut Butter Roll Cake topped with Reese's

More Tips for Success

Whip fluffy egg whites: Carefully separate your egg yolks from the whites while they are still cold to help ensure you don’t get any yolk in the whites, or they will not whip well. Then let your whites come to room temperature. Wipe your bowl and beaters or whisk attachment with a bit of white vinegar to remove any traces of fat which will inhibit the whites from getting stiff.

Beat the yolks and sugar well: Make sure you give the yolks and sugar a few minutes of whipping at high speed so that they get thick and pale yellow.

Fold gently: Use a large spatula to carefully fold in the egg white in portions. This will ensure that you keep the air bubbles so that your cake gets the right amount of rise.

Use an old kitchen towel: Since you are dusting it with cocoa powder and rolling up a chocolate cake, the kitchen towel you use will get dirty. So don’t use anything that you want to keep in good condition.

A fork in Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Flourless Chocolate Cake Roll

Things You’ll Need

SHEET PANS: I use my favorite Nordicware baking sheets to make this flourless chocolate cake roll.

PARCHMENT PAPER: Essential for easily flipping this tender cake out of the pan and rolling it.

MESH STRAINERS: I like to use the tiny one to dust a nice, thin, even layer of coca powder over the parchment paper and the kitchen towel for rolling the cake.

SMALL OFFSET SPATULA: THe perfect size and angle for spreading the peanut butter filling inside and ganache over the outside.

a fork standing up in a slice of the reese's chocolate cake roll on a plate
4.4 from 14 votes

Flourless Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Roll

Make the Reese's lovers in your life the ultimate treat – a decadent Flourless Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Roll. If you are looking for the best chocolate peanut butter desserts, this is it. And nobody will believe that it is naturally gluten free!
Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Cooling time 3 hrs
Total: 30 mins

Ingredients

For the chocolate sponge cake:

  • 8 large eggs, separated
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon + 2 Tablespoons + ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided
  • tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons brewed cold coffee (leftover is fine)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the filling:

For the topping:

Instructions

For the chocolate sponge cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet (jelly roll pan or half sheet pan that is 12×16 inches) with cooking spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with more cooking spray and dust with 1 Tablespoon cocoa powder.
  • Using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks and granulated sugar on high speed until thick and pale yellow. Add 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder, salt, coffee and vanilla, and beat in.
  • With clean beaters and a large clean bowl beat the egg whites to form stiff peaks.
  • Gently fold in 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 ¼ 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.
  • Starting from the short end, carefully roll the cake in the kitchen towel and allow to cool completely.
  • While the cake is baking, make the filling and topping.

For the filling:

  • Beat cream cheese and peanut butter with a hand mixer until smooth, then beat in the powdered sugar.
  • Add vanilla and 2 Tablespoons heavy cream and beat until smooth, adding up to an additional 2 Tablespoons heavy cream is necessary to achieve desired consistency.
  • Stir in 1/2 cup chopped peanut butter cups.

For the topping:

  • Place chocolate chips and 2/3 cup heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl or measuring cup and microwave for 30-60 seconds. Stir until smooth.
  • Chill in the fridge until thick and spreadable.
  • May be stored, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for 24 hours before serving.

Assembling the cake:

  • Carefully unroll the cake in the towel.
  • Gently spread the peanut butter mousse filling over the top of the cake, spreading to about a half inch from the sides.
  • Roll up the cake from short end to short end. Place seam side down.
  • Carefully frost the cake with the ganache and top with the remaining chopped peanut butter cups.
  • Refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours before slicing. Slice off the unfrosted ends, if desired.

Notes

Filling and topping is from Crazy for Crust.
Nutrition Facts
Flourless Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Chocolate Cake Roll
Amount Per Serving (0.0625 of the cake)
Calories 285 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 7g35%
Cholesterol 99mg33%
Sodium 136mg6%
Potassium 209mg6%
Carbohydrates 29g10%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 24g27%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 300IU6%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 1.6mg9%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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86 Comments
  1. Nikki

    I make this as a double batch in a half sheet cake pan. What I get wrong is how much to increase the cook time. How can you tell when this style of cake is done baking?

  2. Lesia

    5 stars
    I made this for my husband’s birthday. He cannot have gluten, but he still loves a good rich cake, especially a chocolate and peanut butter combination! This was a delight to make and a joy to share and devour! His family doesn’t have a lot of understanding of his limitations (not because of lack of care, of course! they are amazing family) and almost bought a regular cake. This recipe saved his body and his birthday. Thank you for posting it!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      I am so happy to hear that your husband (and everyone else!) enjoyed the cake roll, Lesia. Thank you for your comment and for rating the recipe!

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Roll cakes are pretty forgiving, and mistakes are easy to cover up. I’m sure yours will come out well!

  3. Auntiepatch

    It calls for 1/2 cup chopped PB cups mixed into the filling. Then it calls for remaining chopped PB cups for the top of the icing. The recipe only calls for 1/2 cup. What is the quantity for the topping?

  4. Tashina

    The cake turned out a lot thinner than I had imagined it would be. Could it be because I haven’t made a flourless cake roll before, or could I have done something wrong?

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Tashina, the cake portion of a cake roll is quite thin. This is so that the cake doesn’t become too large once the filling is placed inside and the cake is rolled up.

  5. Joan

    Hello, this cake looks so good that I want to try it. It looks tricky though. I’m afraid the cake will stick to the kitchen towel. Does this really work and are there any tricks to this?

    Thanks!
    Joan

    1. Brianne Cupcakes & Kale Chips

      Hi Joan,
      Cake rolls really are easy to make, and don’t let the recipe intimidate you. Use a kitchen towel that doesn’t have a lot of texture, such as a flour sack cloth. Also, you can sprinkle the towel with a dusting of unsweetened cocoa powder. That will help prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.

  6. Hi Brianne! Have you ever frozen this cake for later? I want to make it for something that’s in 3 weeks but I’m not sure I’ll have time then so I was hoping to make it ahead and freeze it if possible. Thanks!

  7. Rachel

    I really want to make this cake but wondering if you could tell me what size sheet pan you used? I have 2 different sizes and need to know which to use! Thanks!

  8. kaylene

    I’m curious about the recipe. It only calls for 2 tablespoons of cocoa for the actual cake; that seems like it wouldn’t be very chocolatey.

  9. 5 stars
    I think it’s fabulous that you have the traditions with your children of sitting down to dinner together. Life get’s so crazy and it’s important to remember why we are a family! As for your dessert….YOWZA! I need this in my life!

  10. Lisa | Mummy Made.It

    We eat dinner together everybody and on a Saturday it’s with my parents also. We use it as a time to reflect on the day, teach table manners and talk about what ever is on our minds! It’s part of our routine and it will stay that way!

  11. Brianne, you have totally outdone yourself with this cake. It is gorgeous! Family dinners are so important. It sometimes amazes me that they have fallen by the wayside. When my parents were kids their parents worked and they had activities and they managed to make home cooked meals happen nearly every night. Sometimes I think they were happier too … we should get back to that feeling.

  12. I love reading how important Sunday Supper to your family because we obviously share the same value.And this chocolate cake roll sounds like an awesome treat on dinner table. I’m sure everyone would love a slice of this sweet log.

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