Vanilla Cheetah Swiss Roll Cake Recipe

Have you ever wondered how the contestants on the Great British Baking show make their Swiss roll cakes so much fancier than the plain chocolate rolls you can buy in the store? I have. And not just because I wanted to know what a proper Swiss roll tasted like – because those mini cakes barely count.

So I did some research and talked to some bakers for ideas on up-leveling a standard Swiss roll – and voila. A vanilla Cheetah Swiss roll cake recipe with step-by-step instructions. Because the best recipes have easy to follow instructions!

image of Swiss roll filling in a bowl after mixing it using hand mixer

How to Make a Vanilla Cheetah Swiss Roll Cake

Now, if you’d like a different flavor? That’s awesome. Feel free to substitute out the vanilla mix for a chocolate one – or swap out the frosting for an orange creme pat. But first, let’s make sure we’ve got the basics down by sticking with vanilla – so we can focus on the aesthetic!

Just because it’s “plain vanilla” doesn’t mean this is an easy cake to make. In fact, it’s quite technically challenging.

Yield: 1 Swiss Roll cake

Cheetah Swiss Roll

Swiss roll cake with Cheetah spots

Take your vanilla Swiss Roll cake skills to the next level - here's how to add Cheetah spots for a truly unique dessert experience.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours


Swiss Roll Ingredients

  • 1 box of french vanilla cake mix
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 C sour cream
  • 1/4 C water
  • 1/4 C canola oil
  • 1 brown gel food coloring
  • 1 black gel food coloring
  • 2 squeeze bottles
  • 1 large disposable piping bag
  • 2 small bowls
  • 1 cookie sheet fitted with parchment paper

Filling ingredients

  • 1 1/3 C cool whip
  • 1 container of french vanilla frosting


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line cookie sheet with parchment paper
  2. Using a standing mixer, beat eggs on high speed until thick and lemon colored for about 6-8 minutes
  3. Beat in the cake mix, sour cream, water and oil for 1 minute
  4. Scoop 3/4 C of batter into the two bowls
  5. Mix in 2-4 drops of brown food color and mix till combined
  6. Mix in 5-7 drops of black food color and mix till combined
  7. Scoop the colored batters into their own bottles
  8. Designing the cake directions
  9. Using the black squeeze bottle, pipe out the outer rings of the cheetah's spots
  10. Using the brown squeeze bottle, fill in the black spots
  11. Scoop the non colored batter into the piping bag
  12. Cover entire cookie sheet and carefully spread evenly making sure to not ruin the spots
  13. Place into the oven to bake for 8-11 minutes or until the top springs back
  14. Sprinkle powdered sugar onto a clean kitchen towel and place onto the top of the cake
  15. Flip cake over and peel parchment paper carefully off the cake
  16. Roll the cake and towel up into a log
  17. Allow to cool for 1 hour
  • Filling directions
    1. Using a large bowl, fold together the cool whip and frosting until combined and smooth
    2. Building the cake directions
    3. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling evenly
    4. Slowly re-roll the cake back into a log and place into the fridge for 2 hours overnight
    5. Cut into slices and enjoy!

    Nutrition Information



    Serving Size


    Amount Per Serving Calories 298Total Fat 12gSaturated Fat 4gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 96mgSodium 370mgCarbohydrates 42gFiber 1gSugar 24gProtein 5g

    This nutrition data was automatically calculated and they most definitely didn't show me their work.

    Enjoy your Swiss Roll!

    PHEW. That was a lot of hard work. And if you’re impatient like a certain ginger we both know, then it’s even harder to wait overnight for your Swiss roll to set. You can serve it early, but it makes it lots more likely that it’ll crack or fall apart as you serve it.

    So if you want it to be Paul Hollywood level, let the darn cake rest overnight in your fridge.

    Cite this article as: “Vanilla Cheetah Swiss Roll Cake Recipe.” Kimberly C. Starr, 3 July 2019,

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    By Kimberly C. Starr

    I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all. I believe humor is the best medicine, followed very closely by chocolate and tacos. To read more about me, click here.