Banana Bread Roll from Smitten Kitchen’s New Book

Banana bread roll cake filled with cream cheese frosting and covered in Swiss meringue | Photo by Zoë François

There’s nothing more satisfying than cutting into a rolled cake to reveal the swirl in the middle. It’s just fun. This banana bread roll is filled with a cream cheese frosting and it is delicious. The recipe is from one of my favorite bloggers and cookbook authors, Deb Perelman from the Smitten Kitchen (as if she needs introducing). In her new book Smitten Kitchen Every Day she dusts the top of the cake with confectioners’ sugar and it’s perfectly elegant. I decided to use meringue, because I just did a video series on Instagram about the 3 types of meringues, so I’m a little obsessed with it right now and figured this cake would be super fun topped with a Phyllis Diller-esque hairdo. You can watch me make many of my recipes on Instagram in my stories (they will also live in my “highlights” archive). I’ve been teaching baking and pastry for 20 years (wow, just added that up!) and I love the new challenge of fitting these recipe lessons into 15 second segments. If you haven’t checked them out, I hope you will, I’m having a ball creating them.

Deb was kind enough to allow me to share her Banana Bread Roll recipe with you here. I highly recommend her book for other desserts and her always amazing savory recipes.

Banana bread roll cake filled with cream cheese frosting and covered in Swiss meringue | Photo by Zoë François

Banana Bread Roll

by Deb Perelman from Smitten Kitchen Every Day


3 large eggs

1/3 cup (65g) brown sugar

1/3 cup (65g) sugar

2/3 cup (150g) banana puree (about 1 to 1 1/2 bananas)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (make your own)

2 teaspoons bourbon (optional, but highly recommended)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Freshly grated nutmeg

Pinch ground clove

3/4 cup (100g) all-purpose flour

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To bake the cake: 

Preheat oven to 350°F

Grease and line a jelly roll pan with parchment. Deb uses a 10×15″ jelly roll pan, but all I have are 11×16″ half sheet pans and the cake turned out thinner, but great.

Beat the eggs in a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, to foamy. Slowly add the sugars and then whip until light and the color of cappuccino. This takes about 8-10 minutes.

Add the banana puree, vanilla, and bourbon. Then mix in the spices, baking soda, and salt.

Stir in the flour just until it is combined.

Spread batter evenly over prepared pan.

Bake for about 10-12 minutes or until just set. Don’t over bake or it may crack when rolled.

Immediately run a knife around the cake, lay a damp (not wet) towel over the cake, invert it onto a second pan (or cooling rack) and carefully peel the parchment off the cake.

Place a clean parchment over the cake and roll the cake, starting from the short end.

Allow to cool as you mix the filling.

To prepare the filling: 

Beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.

Unroll the cake, peel off new parchment and spread the cream cheese evenly over the cake. Using the towel to help, roll the cake up around the filling, again starting from the short end.

Dust with more confectioners’ sugar and serve or cover with Swiss meringue.

Banana bread roll cake filled with cream cheese frosting and covered in Swiss meringue | Photo by Zoë François

Use a blow torch to toast!

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10 thoughts to “Banana Bread Roll from Smitten Kitchen’s New Book”

      1. Looks like a great recipe I want to make, but unfortunately can’t find Instagram story mentioned in this post. Is it still available?

  1. Oh my goodness. Aren’t you just loving it!! And, wow did you do the recipe justice. It like old LOVELY. We’re there leftovers? How did the cake keep?

      1. Hi Zoe,
        I was intrigued by the carrot purée idea so made a batch of each banana and carrot – steamed and then mashed the carrot to minimize excess liquid. Carrot was ok, color was the coolest part because the taste was muted. The banana flavor really shines though. Both look amazing with the meringue spikes. Sorry I couldn’t attach pics. I will say the saving grace from over sweet was the cream cheese filling!

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