** SCROLL TO BOTTOM FOR NUTRITION FACTS **
Enjoy a beautifully colored sponge cake filled with a creamy taro filling!
If you are unfamiliar with the taro root, I would like to introduce you to this versatile and nutritious ingredient. It is an excellent source of fiber and is used in both sweet and savory recipes, such as taro chips, taro milk tea, taro fritters, and more! It is commonly used in East and Southeast Asian cuisine and is popular among consumers because of it’s beautiful purple color. The purple color is not very intense, so the color is often enhanced with natural dyes such as ube powder or natural food gel coloring.
This taro roll cake includes a creamy taro filling wrapped inside of a chiffon cake sheet. I typically make the filling out of whipped cream, but because taro has a creamy texture, I replaced the whipped cream filling by using taro root as the main ingredient. Instead of using a simple vanilla cake sheet, I wanted to incorporate purple into the cake, so I created a two-tone ombre effect on the cake roll. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any natural dye or powder so I used purple food gel. Some good natural colors are ube extract or powder, or Rishi butterfly pea powder. The end product reminds me of a geode rock!
Roll cakes can seem intimidating, but they are relatively easy to make. The most common issue is a cracked cake sheet, which can be prevented by keeping the cake sheet moist and working quickly. Don’t let it dry out and the cake won’t crack or break. I have included a recipe video to accompany the written recipe instructions.
Taro Roll Cake
yield: 10, 3″ slices of cake
- 1/3 c. cake flour (OR 1/3 c. all-purpose flour + 1 tsp cornstarch)
- 4 tsp. granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3.5 tbsp. 2% or whole milk
- 3 egg yolks
- 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
- 4 egg whites + 1/4 tsp cream of tartar (Cream of tartar is optional. It helps to stabilize the egg whites)
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 3-5 drops of purple food gel OR 1 tsp. ube powder
- 1 1/2 c. taro, steamed and cooled
- 2 tbsp. water
- 3 tbsp. honey
- 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- pinch of salt
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 drop purple food gel OR pinch of ube powder (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- In a large mixing bowl, sift together cake flour, 4 tsp sugar, baking soda, and salt.
- Add the yolks, oil, lemon juice, vanilla extract and milk and whisk to incorporate and set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg whites on high and add the 3 tbsp sugar halfway through whipping. Whisk the beats until stiff peaks form, to where you can turn the bowl upside down and the meringue will not fall out.
- Gently fold the meringue into the flour batter by adding it in 3 batches. Gently fold with a spatula for about 35 folds.
- Divide the batter in half so that you now have 2 bowls, each with equal parts batter.
- Pour one bowl of the original batter in a small cookie pan lined with parchment paper. Spread the batter out evenly.
- In the second bowl of batter, add the purple food gel OR ube powder and fold the batter gently until evenly incorporated. Don’t overmix!
- Pour the purple batter into a piping bag or Ziploc bag and pipe the purple batter onto the white batter in the cookie pan. Pipe the batter in straight lines.
- Take the handle part of a wooden spoon and run it through the batter in the opposite way the batter was piped. So, if patter was piped horizontally, the wooden spoon would run through the batter vertically.
- Tap the pan on the counter to release large air pockets.
- Bake the cake for 16-18 min. and remove the cake from the oven. Allow the cake to cool for about 10 min. and remove the parchment paper. Set aside and cover with a towel to prevent drying out.
- In the meantime, combine all the taro filling ingredients until a soft paste is formed. You may run the paste through a sieve to get rid of large chunks.
- Spread the taro paste onto the white side (not the purple side) of the cake sheet. Roll the cake up slowly and pinch the edges of the parchment paper to seal it tight.
- Place the roll cake in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the cake from the fridge, remove the parchment paper, and slice to enjoy!
Store the cake in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Pair it with a cup of tea or coffee for the perfect snack or dessert!