hello kitty cake roll recipe: a birthday for a two-year-old
Recipe type: dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 1 large egg (and maybe another egg white to thin, if too thick to pipe)
  • scant ⅓ cup (60 g) granulated sugar
  • ½ cup + 1 heaping tablespoon (80 g) all-purpose flour
  • Scant 3 tablespoons (40 grams) of unsalted butter, softened
  • Black, yellow, and red food coloring
  • 10 eggs, separated
  • 1½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1¾ cup (155g) cake flour 155g
  • scant 1⅓ cup (260g) granulated sugar, divided
  • Lemon zest from 2 lemons
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups whipping cream, or a bit less (it will squish our as you roll up the cake)
  • Strawberry jam
  • Special equipment: Three piping bags or prepared parchment cones, three #1- or #2-sized piping tips (depending on the detail of your design), 11x17-inch pan, a clean tea towel the same size as the baking pan.
  1. PIPING THE DESIGN: Mix the ingredients for the piping batter, mixing well to make smooth. Divide the batter into three bowls, the black and red in larger amounts than the yellow. Tint each bowl accordingly.
  2. Fill each a piping bag with each color.*
  3. NOTES ON TEMPLATE: I scanned a picture of Hello Kitty from a coloring book, cropped it, repeated the design in a tile fashion, then printed out a couple of copies. Simple. The internet has tons of Hello Kitty pictures which are perfect. If you are using lettering or designs that are enantiomeric, make sure to reverse your design for the piping!**
  4. Position the chosen template underneath the parchment-lined pan. Lightly butter the edges of the pan, but not the bottom where the parchment is. Pipe Hello Kitty's outline with black, fill her bow with red, and dot her nose yellow.* Make sure you do the details thickly, meaning you don't to just shallowly paint on the nose and eyes. The colors need to be anchored into the cake. Otherwise, the details will come off when you roll up the cake. I had Hello Kitty emerge without eyes, nose, or whiskers after baking. It's a pain to fix the design with crappy piping gel so that it looks pretty on presentation. Get it right the first time.
  5. Freeze to firm up design. Give it about 10 minutes at least.
  6. CAKE BATTER: Meanwhile, mix up the cake batter.
  7. In a very clean mixing bowl attached to a stand mixer, whip egg whites, cream of tartar, and HALF of the sugar to stiff peaks. Transfer the cloud of egg whites to a large bowl and set aside.
  8. Don't wash the bowl you whipped the egg whites in, add whip attachment, and add the egg yolks, vanilla and remaining sugar. Beat until pale yellow, smooth, and ribbons in texture.
  9. Sift the flour one third at a time over the yolk mixture, folding it in.
  10. Turn your attention to the egg whites and similarly fold them in to the yolk mixture. Take care to fold gently and not smash. Sprinkle in lemon zest as you fold. Fold until you have a fairly homogeneous batter, a few white streaks being okay.
  11. Using a larger piping tip or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut off, pipe cake batter gently onto the now-frozen design, trying to fill all the nooks and crannies. The better you do this, the less air bubbles will be present in the final design.
  12. Next, scoop out the rest of the cake batter onto the pan and spread evenly with an offset spatula.
  13. Bake in the oven for 7 minutes at 375 degrees F, turn pan 180 degrees with pans doubled (one pan under another to prevent browning on the bottom), and bake for 6 more minutes or until cake tester comes out clean in the center or close.
  14. REST 'N ROLL: Cover the cake with the clean tea towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  15. Use a knife to release the edges if not already pulling away and, starting at a shorter width, roll up gently, keeping the towel atop the cake and the parchment stuck on the design surface. Allow to cool completely, towel rolled up, at least 30 minutes. This step is important to help keep the cake roll from cracking. The unfilled roll up while cooling helps with the cake's "memory" of the final intended shape. You also have to wait until the cake is completely cool to fill it with whipping cream as a warm cake plus whipped cream equals a soggy mess.
  16. FILLING PREPARATION: While the cake is cooling, mix up the filling.***
  17. Whip whipping cream until stiff.
  18. When cake is cool, unroll gently and peel off parchment paper. Add a larger and clean piece of parchment underneath the cake (this will wrap up the cake when chilling). Trim outside seam edge if raggedy.
  19. Spread jam on cake then whipping cream.
  20. Using parchment to help roll, roll up cake gently. Roll up into parchment and tuck or twist ends as if you were wrapping a large piece of candy. Wrap in plastic and place in the fridge to chill for at least two hours. Wrap with foil if freezing. Allow to thaw in the fridge overnight before serving. Serve with fresh berries, if desired. Keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.
* You may think you can get away with not using a piping bag for hello Kitty's nose but I advise against that thinking. In order for the design to stick properly to the cake, the piping needs to be thick. You can see from my assumption that shallow noses are okay, they may end up missing.

** Some important notes on design: Remember that your design will be mirrored once the cake is rolled up. In other words, if you write lettering, it will be backwards on the finished product unless you pipe it backwards. The same goes for Hello Kitty's bow. Switch her bow to the left side when piping so it ends up on the right ear after baking and flipping. Technically, if the hair bow is on the left ear on the final product, it is not Hello Kitty but her twin sister Mimmy.

*** Filling the cake roll with sweetened with cream and jam is too sweet. Unsweetened whipped cream and jam works, or sweetened with cream with fresh berries.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at https://www.storyofakitchen.com/miscellaneous-recipes/hello-kitty-cake-roll-recipe-a-birthday-for-a-two-year-old/