A traditional jelly-roll cake is made by combining cake ingredients such as eggs, flour, sugar and baking powder and adding various spices. The cake portion is baked in a jelly-roll pan until done and spread with a jelly mixture. The final step involves rolling the cake into a log shape.
Preparing the cake portion of a jelly-roll cake is a simple process, and the main difference among recipes is the ingredients used in the cake batter. Some recipes use cake flour, but others use all-purpose flour, which does not have to be sifted. It is important to select a jelly-roll pan for baking the cake, and not a cookie sheet, which is similar in appearance. A jelly-roll pan typically measures 15 1/2 by 10 1/2 inches and has 1-inch sides, which serve to hold in the cake batter. The cake portion of the dish takes between 12 and 22 minutes to bake, depending on the recipe.
Jelly-roll cake recipes sometimes specify that any type of jelly or jam be used, or they may require that a specific jelly mixture be created from scratch. For instance, one recipe includes instructions for making a rhubarb jam filling that is cooked on the stove. Cooks wishing to save time can opt for a jelly-roll recipe that uses a prepared cake mix.