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A slice of Brazo gitano, a Swiss roll
|Place of origin||Central Europe|
|Main ingredient(s)||Flour, eggs, sugar, jam or buttercream|
A Swiss roll or jelly roll (or cream roll when so filled) is a type of sponge cake roll. A thin cake layer is made of flour, eggs, and sugar and baked in a very shallow rectangular baking tray, called a sheet pan. The cake is removed from the pan and spread with jam or buttercream, rolled up, and served in round cross-sectional slices.
The origins of the term "Swiss roll" are unclear. The cake originated in Central Europe, but not in Switzerland as the name would suggest. It appears to have been invented in the nineteenth century, along with Battenberg, doughnuts and Victoria sponge.
Different countries 
Chinese style 
Hong Kong 
The origin of this pastry is likely from the UK, since Hong Kong was a British colony from the 19th to late 20th century. The cake is never pre-packaged, as it is sold fresh daily in the Chinese bakeries. Overall, this cake has been sold next to other Chinese pastries well before the popularising of western-style bakeries such as Maxim. There are several popular variations.
- Swiss Roll (Chinese: 瑞士卷 or 瑞士卷蛋糕). Cake layer is made of a standard recipe, and a whipped cream filling is standard.
- Chocolate Swiss Roll (Chinese: 朱古力瑞士卷). Cake layer is made of egg in combination with chocolate flavouring. It also has a whipped cream filling.
- Some bakeries offer their own variations, such as layers of egg and chocolate swirl. Other variations include strawberry, coffee or orange fillings.
- Another flavour popular in Hong Kong is the Mango version, which has a mango flavoured roll with a whipped cream filling.
Overseas Chinatowns 
Most US Chinatown bakeries sell the basic Hong Kong Swiss Roll version. It essentially looks and tastes identical to the one sold in Hong Kong. A popular flavour in Chinese bakeries in the US is the Tiger Roll, which has a coffee-flavoured golden-esque striped outer appearance, and is chocolate-coloured or light-coloured, with traditional white cream inside. It is similar to the look of a Tiger Bread, or as known in northern California, the Dutch Crunch Bread.
In India Swiss rolls are called "jam rolls". Tiny village Kanjirapally in the south Indian state of Kerala is the best known place for jam rolls. A special type of Swiss roll with pineapple jelly filling was developed by Kunju's cake shop started in 1931. They use only organic raw materials and rolls are baked in wood-fired traditional oven.
In Indonesia, the Swiss roll cake is called Bolu Gulung. Most bakeries sell Swiss rolls daily, and they are filled with butter cream, cheese or fruit jam. It is also very common for Swiss rolls to be sold by the slice, but some shops sell by both slice and roll.
Latin America 
In Colombia, a Swiss roll is called either pionono or brazo de reina, where it is filled with dulce de guayaba (guava jam) or arequipe. In Argentina and Peru, it is also called pionono, where it is filled with dulce de leche manjarblanco. In Chile, it is called brazo de Reina. In Venezuela it is known under the same name as in Spain, but there is a vast array of fillings that include cream, chocolate truffle, dulce de guayaba (guava jam),dulce de leche manjarblanco, combined with fruits.
In the Philippines, it is called pianono, and has been adapted into several variations which use native flavors, such as ube and macapuno. A similar roll is the Brazo de Mercedes, Spanish for "Mercies´ arm. It however is composed of a soft meringue body and a custard core.
In Portugal, desserts called "tortas" are commonly found on restaurant menus. Such desserts are not tarts, nor are they similar to German torte. They are simply Swiss rolls with jam filling.
In Spain, the dessert is called brazo de gitano (literally translated as gypsy's arm) and is commonly filled with cream or chocolate truffle.
In Sweden, the Swiss roll is called rulltårta (roll-cake), and it is commonly served with coffee. The filling often consists of butter cream and strawberry jam. The base of a chocolate version, called drömrulltårta (dream roll-cake), is made mostly of potato flour, instead of the typical wheat flour, and it is filled with butter cream. More elaborate versions of the Swiss roll can be found in bakeries, with, for example, whipped cream and a whole banana rolled in the middle, or with a thin marzipan coating that resembles a birch log.
Despite its name, the Swiss roll did not originate in Switzerland. Swiss rolls are called Biskuitroulade or Roulade in Swiss German, gâteau roulé or roulade in French, and biscotto arrotolato in Italian.
United Kingdom 
In the UK, the Swiss roll is popular for tea time or as a dessert. A variety of Swiss rolls are available on sale in supermarkets in the United Kingdom, such as the chocolate Swiss roll, lemon Swiss roll or the jam Swiss roll; these Swiss rolls will have different colours. The jam Swiss roll will be filled with jam and also possibly cream as a filling, and sugar covers it on the outside. The chocolate Swiss roll is made in Great Britain in a similar way to the United States version. Jam Roly-Poly is a similar dessert, but made with suet pudding rather than cake, filled with jam and served hot with custard.
United States 
The most common method of making a Swiss roll is to use a basic sponge cake recipe. Chocolate Swiss rolls called Ho Hos were made in the same way, but cocoa powder is substituted for some of the flour, and the cake is filled with either whipped cream or with butter cream, and sometimes flavoured with vanilla, chocolate, or a chocolate-flavoured liqueur. A chocolate Swiss roll is sometimes called a chocolate log. Swiss rolls in the United States are often called jelly rolls. Swiss Cake Rolls are often sliced in half, and the two halves are then packaged together, creating the illusion that they are two smaller Swiss Cake Rolls.[further explanation needed]
In other languages 
- Bahasa Indonesia: Bolu gulung (literally rolled cake)
- Catalan: Braç de gitano
- Danish: Roulade
- Estonian: Rullbiskviit
- French: Gâteau roulé or Roulade or Rouleau Suisse
- Finnish: Kääretorttu
- German: Biskuitrolle, or Biskuitroulade (Austria)
- Hebrew: גלילה (gəlēlah)
- Hungarian: Lekváros tekercs, or Piskóta tekercs
- Italian: Tronchetto (literally "little trunk" (of the tree))
- Japanese:ロールケーキ (Roll cake)
- Lithuanian: Vyniotinis
- Norwegian: Rullekake (Roll cake)
- Persian: رولت (Rolet)
- Polish: Rolada
- Portuguese: Torta (Portugal), Rocambole (Brazil)
- Romanian: Ruladă
- Russian: Рулет or Рулетка
- Spanish: Pionono (Latin America)
- Swedish: Rulltårta (Roll cake)
- Thai: เค้กโรล
- Turkish: Rulo pasta (Roll cake)
- Ukrainian: Рулет
- Vietnamese: Bánh bông lan cuốn
See also 
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Swiss rolls|
- Izzy Ozawa (11 May, 2010). "Hong Kong's bakers du jour teach us how to roll a fat one". CNN Go. Retrieved 14 August, 2012.