The creation of this cake came into being as a result of some leftover homemade cranberry sauce I had from the holidays. It’s the perfect cake to prepare for Valentine’s Day given the natural pinkish-red color the cranberry sauce gives the filling. This cake is so moist, thanks in part to the chocolate pudding and the filling is so creamy. The coconut adds just the right amount of texture and coconut flavor and is the perfect complement to cranberry sauce.
Helpful to know: Plan ahead. This cake is best made a day in advance. Kozy Shack Chocolate All Natural Pudding is delicious tasting and as close to homemade as I’ve found. It's located in the refrigerated section (near dairy) at most grocery stores nationwide. Another can-you-believe-this discovery of mine: the top flat-surfaced half of the cardboard carton holding a dozen eggs is a perfect (tightly perfect!) fit for this rolled up cake. After wrapping in plastic, place the cake in the improvised tray prior to refrigerating to better hold the shape of the roll. (This is especially useful if you don’t have an available flat surface in your refrigerator; slats or grids will make indentations in the rolled cake.)
Canola oil for rimmed baking sheet and parchment paper
¾ cup all-purpose flour plus extra for baking sheet
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup cocoa powder
¾ cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly oil a 17½ x 11½-inch rimmed baking sheet and then line the pan with parchment paper. Lightly coat parchment paper with oil and then lightly dust with flour; using a flour sifter works great. Set prepared pan aside.
In a medium bowl, combine ¾ cup flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cocoa powder and sugar.
3 eggs, room temperature
⅔ cup chocolate pudding
In a large bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer, add chocolate pudding and beat until well combined. Add flour mixture and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Spread batter evenly into pan (it will seem like there’s not enough batter, but there is!) and bake for 10 minutes.
While cake is baking …
Confectioners sugar for dusting kitchen towel
Generously dust a kitchen cloth (the cloth should be a little larger than the size of the cake) with confectioners sugar.
After cake has baked for 10 minutes …
Immediately remove cake (lifting it up by the parchment paper) from baking pan and carefully flip cake onto prepared kitchen towel. Gently pull off parchment paper. Starting at the narrow end, roll the cake with the towel (the towel will be the "filling" as well as the "icing".) Don’t worry if the cake breaks as you're rolling it up, it won’t be noticeable. Cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
Rolled Cake Filling
One 8-ounce package light cream cheese, room temperature
¾ cup cranberry sauce
½ cup coconut
½ cup confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese with cranberry sauce until well combined; add coconut, confectioners sugar and vanilla, beat for about 2 minutes on medium speed.
Un-Rolling and Re-Rolling
Confectioners sugar, for dusting finished cake
Carefully unroll cake, spread filling evenly over entire cake (while still on towel). Gently re-roll cake (without towel), place on plastic wrap and completely cover. Refrigerate for several hours prior to serving.
Several hours later …
To serve, transfer cake to a serving platter and cut into slices about 1-inch thick. Yield: 10-12 servings.