Pandan Strawberry Tiger Skin Roll Cake – Recipe

No tigers were harmed in the making of this cake.

I've been wanting to make a tiger skin swiss roll cake ever since I was about ten years old. My mum took me to our local Asian shopping centre (Yaohan Plaza, later renamed Oriental City- RIP) Inside there was a Chinese bakery, and in this bakery was an assortment of sponge cakes in a tempting range of colours and flavours. However, the cakes that really caught my eye were these beautifully textured swiss roll cakes: some were plain, some were rainbow-coloured, but all featured the same tiger-like ripple on the surface. I can't believe it's taken me 17 years to make one.

This cake has three parts: the inner swiss roll, the filling and the tiger skin cake that wraps around it. If you look closely you can see my tiger skin doesn't fully join at the bottom: this was because I was being far too cautious in spreading it in the cake pan, and it was too short in the end. During my research for this cake I read somewhere that you can't spread the tiger skin batter or it won't form the stripes However I found that I had to spread the batter with a spatula, as it was too thick to spread by itself. As you can see, it still formed the beautiful effect. It's also a little on the thick side here, so I definitely could have spread the mixture out fully in the tin.

Don't chicken out like I did, spread it out fully!

I was also lucky enough to find strawberry flavour made by the same brand that makes the pandan paste I use- it's really brightly coloured (just how it like it!) You can substitute these for any flavours and colours you like, though- it's totally up to you.

You could also fill it with anything you want. Whipped cream, jam and berries all work well as standard swiss roll fillings, but I decided to experiment and make a cheesecake mousse. It was a little difficult to roll up inside the cake as it was a little soft before it set, but it worked very well in the end.

Remember to whisk the egg whites first, and not to mix any oil from the egg yolks into it while you're making the meringue first, or it won't whip up as high. I happen to have a lot of (too many!) bowls, so I made the two flavoured sponges at the same time (so that's two bowls to make two lots of meringue and two more bowls for strawberry and pandan egg yolk mixtures.

Well, what are you waiting for? Let's make a tiger roll cake!


Pandan Sponge:

-2 eggs, separated
-20g caster sugar
-20g self-raising flour
-10g cornflour
-1tsp pandan paste (or vanilla and a few drops of green food colouring)

Strawberry Sponge:

-2 eggs, separated
-20g caster sugar
-20g self-raising flour
-10g cornflour
-1tsp strawberry flavouring
-A few drops of pink food colouring (optional)

Filling/ Cheesecake Mousse:

-Strawberry jam

-1.5tsp powdered gelatin soaked in 2tbsp water
-50ml milk
-150ml double cream
-150g cream cheese
-2 egg whites
-100g caster sugar

Tiger Skin Cake:

-6 egg yolks
-50g icing sugar
-25g cornflour


1) Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C/ Gas Mark 4

2) Line a 26x36cm baking tray with non-stick greaseproof paper, and very lightly grease it

3)  Make the pandan and strawberry sponges in the same way (but separately!): whisk the egg whites with half of the sugar in a large bowl until they form stiff white peaks, and whisk the caster sugar in well, making a meringue. In another bowl whisk the egg yolks with the other half of the sugar until pale and fluffy and stir in the flavour/ colouring. Sift in the flours and fold in, trying not to over-mix to keep it fluffy. Finally, add a bit of your meringue to the flavoured egg yolk mixture to loosen it up a bit, and add the coloured mix back to the egg whites. Fold in carefully until only just incorporated, being careful not to knock too much air out

4) Dollop the two mixtures onto your lined baking pan in diagonal stripes (I just spooned it in- you could pop the mixtures into piping bags and pipe it out to make it neater, but the less handling the better)

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes until it only just starts to turn lightly golden- check on it after 15 minutes so you don't brow it too much

6) Invert the cake onto a cooling rack lined with more baking paper (or it'll stick) and leave to get completely cold

7) To make the cheesecake mousse, heat the milk in a pan until just simmering and thoroughly dissolve the soaked gelatin in it. Turn the heat off and leave to cool slightly. Whisk the egg whites until they form stiff peaks and whisk in the sugar (making another meringue). Now whisk the cream and cream cheese together until they form soft peaks. With a balloon whisk, whisk the slightly cooled gelatin milk into the the egg whites, and lightly fold everything into the cream cheese mixture

8) Peel the baking paper from the cake and make sure it's facing top side up (so the side that was at the top when baking is still on top. Cut a bit off one of the short ends at an angle so that the cake will roll up neatly. Spread with jam, spoon on about 3/4 of the mousse (leaving a couple of inches free at the angled end to allow for squidge) and roll up

9) Wrap with baking parchment, wrap tightly with clingfilm like a sausage and refrigerate for at least four hours, or ideally overnight

10) To make the "tiger skin", preheat the oven to 230 degrees C (yep, needs to be hot). Put all three ingredients into a bowl and whisk on high speed for about 10 minutes until really light and fluffy. Pour (don't spread) into the same pan you used before (again lined and greased) and bake for 7-8 minutes until wrinkly and browned. Leave to cool, but don't invert it like you did with the sponge

Yolk mixture before whipping

Yolk mixture after whipping

11) Once it's cool, retrieve your sponge roll from the fridge, flip the tiger skin out of the tin onto a clean sheet of baking parchment, spread a little more jam onto the underside of the skin and roll your sponge roll up to "clothe" it!

12) Roll it back up into a parchment-clingfilm sausage and refrigerate for another hour to set it. Now you're ready to slice, serve and impress.



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  2. have you ever had the one with chocolate cake in it too?? been on the hunt to find them but so hard to search!


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