The ULTIMATE Gluten Free Mocha Roulade for coffee lovers… Espresso-chocolate Swiss roll sponge, layered and swirled with sumptuously smooth and intense coffee mousse and grated dark chocolate. Perfect for celebrations or just because we deserve it!
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Why this is the ULTIMATE Gluten Free Mocha Roulade
Calling all chocolate and coffee lovers… This Gluten Free Mocha Roulade is the ULTIMATE dessert. It’s rich, deep and decadent… A perfect spiral of light, moist gluten free mocha swiss roll sponge… Filled with sumptuous coffee mousse that has been infused with the intense and aromatic magic of ground espresso beans… And a generous and luxurious sprinkled layer of grated dark chocolate… Tempted?
It’s been a favourite at GFHQ for many years (first appearing on the blog in 2016). But its timely request as a Christmas Day dessert gave the opportunity for a quick photo update and inclusion of a recipe card for the post. So… If you love chocolate.. and coffee… and cake, there’s no excuse. Whether you’re throwing a dinner party or just feel like treating yourself, this Gluten Free Mocha Roulade is a keeper…
Is Gluten Free Mocha Roulade easy to make?
As sponges go, making a roulade is really no more difficult to any other cake bake. If you have a modicum of baking skill and an electric whisk (or for preference a stand mixer), then you’re good to go.
As with all baking though, be sure to follow the recipe. The usual reason for a failed cake is less likely to be skill, than that the recipe was changed in some way. While some small changes may make minimal difference to the result, it’s really hit and miss. So, it’s always best to stick with what’s written.
What gluten free flour should be used for this recipe?
As with most gluten free bakes, it’s important that you use a gluten free flour blend when making this mocha roulade. Single gluten free flours on their own rarely have the qualities to produce the same results as wheat flour and need to be combined for best structure and texture.
I personally use Gluten Free Alchemist white baking flour Blend A to make this recipe. But given that the flour blend is only a small part of the dry mix (the rest being made up of cocoa powder and ground almonds), for this recipe, subbing with an alternative gluten free flour blend should be fine. For preference, I would still aim to use a blend that isn’t entirely white rice, potato and tapioca, as these blends lack any protein element and are likely to be drier and thus more crumbly. However, alternative well-balanced flour blends should not massively impact the roulade structure. For anyone avoiding rice, my rice free flour Blend B should also work fine.
Although for obvious reasons, I have not tested the recipe with standard wheat flour, I suspect it will also work as a gluten-based sponge too.
Use instant Espresso powder when making Mocha Roulade and Coffee Mousse…
Given that this is Mocha Roulade, the coffee is a really important element both for the sponge and the coffee mousse filling. And thus, using a coffee with intensity makes a huge difference.
The best coffee for both elements is without doubt, INSTANT espresso powder. Not only will this give the required coffee punch, but it will dissolve perfectly into both mixes without adding additional liquid or impacting texture.
Historically, I’ve always used the Nescafe Azera brand… But having just checked on-line, it looks like this may be mid-rebrand. Nonetheless, other options should be available in good supermarkets.
Is this Chocolate-Espresso Roulade safe for people with Coeliac Disease?
Yes. My Gluten Free Mocha Roulade has no gluten-containing ingredients and thus, is 100% safe for people with Coeliac Disease (Celiac Disease). As always though, check the labels on all ingredients to be sure there is no risk of cross-contamination or ‘may contain’ warnings.
Can this Gluten Free Mocha Roulade also be made dairy free?
Although the mocha roulade sponge is naturally fat free and therefore dairy free, the coffee mousse filling is heavily invested with dairy (both in the form of cream and Mascarpone cream cheese).
However… While I personally haven’t tested a dairy free alternative recipe, I understand there are now some good dairy free neutral cream cheeses available on the market. Not only are these suitable for making cheesecakes, but they should also be a good substitute for this mousse when combined with a whipped coconut or soya cream. Like I said… It’s not something I’ve tried. But you could always whip up a little in a bowl and check the consistency before committing it to the roulade.
Or better still… whip up a batch of my 3-ingredient vegan Chocolate Avocado Mousse and add a little coffee to the ingredients list.
Can I make this Mocha Roulade vegan?
No. This particular recipe for Gluten Free Mocha Roulade is reliant on lots of egg to make it work. So unfortunately, it is not suitable for anyone who is either Vegan or egg-intolerant.
Tips for making the best gluten free Mocha Roulade
Although making this roulade should be within anyone’s reach, there are always a few tips that will help to get the best results…
- Make sure to use large eggs (UK sized) that are as fresh as possible for making mocha roulade. Bear in mind that UK large eggs may not be the same size in other countries. To make sure you get the right eggs, check out my International Egg Size and Weight Guide.
- Eggs used should be at room temperature and not straight from the fridge.
- The eggs MUST be whisked with the sugar long and hard… You are looking for them to be thick enough to triple in volume and to leave a lasting trail when the whisk head is drizzled across the surface. And that will take 5 to 10 minutes at high speed.
- Because of the amount of whisking required, it is easiest to use a stand mixer. I have a KitchenAid stand mixer which I highly recommend, both for performance and versatility. But if you only have an electric hand-held whisk, this will work fine too (and will probably give you strong arm muscles along the way)!
Other sponge-mixing tips…
- When mixing the dry ingredients, make sure that all lumps are broken down. For best results and lightness, the flours and cocoa powder should be sifted.
- The flour blend used for making a gluten free mocha roulade is covered above.
- Be sure to dissolve the instant espresso coffee (see above) in the correct amount of boiling water. And then let it cool slightly before adding to the rest of the mix. The amount of liquid is so small however, it will cool in a flash!
- Air is your friend when making roulade… Fold the ingredients together with lightness… turning the spoon in large, high arcs to ensure as much air remains in the mix as possible.
Baking the sponge and rolling the roulade…
- Be very careful not to over-bake the roulade sponge. Bake too long and it will quickly become dry, crumbly and cracked. And that will make rolling it very tricky… Ovens vary, so watch like a hawk. Somewhere between 12 to 15 minutes max is about right. And the sponge should just spring back when gently pressed.
- When the sponge first comes out of the oven, quickly cover the whole tin with a clean tea-towel to prevent any further drying. It may only be for a minute or so before you turn it out, but it still counts.
- Working quickly… Generously dust a large sheet of fresh baking paper with cocoa, before immediately flipping out the hot sponge onto it, upside-down. And then… immediately (and carefully) peel off the baking paper that protected it in the oven.
- Straight away and while the cake is still nice and warm, roll the sponge, incorporating the baking paper between the layers, to give the roulade a ‘memory’ (see below).
How to roll your Mocha Roulade sponge for ‘memory’
As with all the best swiss roll recipes, your Gluten Free Mocha Roulade sponge needs to be allowed to cool with a ‘memory’. That basically means rolling it warm, unfilled and flexible, but in such a way that the sponge doesn’t stick to itself… As it cools, it will take on the memory of being a spiral, making it easier to fill and re-roll without cracking.
So… How to do that…
- While the sponge is still nice and warm… Carefully score one short end with a knife about 1 to 2 cm in from the edge.
- Immediately roll up the sponge, folding the baking paper over the end and rolling it into the spiral of sponge as you go (see photo). This prevents the sponge sticking to itself and helps to hold the moisture in as well.
- Make absolutely sure the roulade sponge is completely cold before unrolling and filling…
- Once cold, carefully unroll, spread with coffee mousse and a sprinkle of grated dark chocolate… Then carefully re-roll, pulling up the baking paper from behind, to help you roll as tight as possible.
The Coffee Mousse for Mocha Roulade
It took me several re-workings to get the coffee mousse right for my gluten free Mocha Roulade. But the final result is utterly incredible. In fact… Every time I make it, I tell myself I really need to tweak the ingredients for a specific stand-alone coffee mousse dessert.
Essentially made with whipped Mascarpone cheese and cream that has been infused with espresso and a little sweetness, it is without doubt rich… But it is also silky smooth and sumptuously creamy… The intense coffee with a slight hint of bitterness pairs in total harmony with the gently-sweetened cocoa-rich sponge and texturally-contrasted grated dark chocolate. Dessert at its finest.
Although the mocha sponge needs to be filled the same day it is made, the coffee mousse can be made ahead of time. Simply whip it up a day or two before and store (covered) in the fridge.
How long will this roulade keep?
While my Gluten Free Mocha Roulade is not likely to need much keeping (it will get scoffed far too quick), it can happily be stored in the fridge for 3 to 4 days if necessary. It needs to be covered to keep as fresh as possible. I do this by placing an upturned tin or container over the roulade so that it sits completely on the serving dish, but without touching the cake.
Gluten Free Mocha Roulade – The recipe
And that’s it… Below is the recipe for my delicious Gluten Free Mocha Roulade. I hope you make it and (more importantly) love it. Don’t forget to let me know what you think. Leave a comment, rate the recipe (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️😁🙏) and share your delicious roulade photos on social media. You’ll find me on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.
Remember to tag me in and use the hashtag #glutenfreealchemist, so I can find you.
And check out our amazing Gluten Free Recipe Index for loads more inspiration. We have a busy kitchen here at GFHQ and love to share our recipes for FREE so that the gluten free community can get to enjoy them as well. If there’s anything you still miss, let me know. We may be able to make it work for you.
Happy baking lovely people
Other Gluten Free Sponge Roulades at Gluten Free Alchemist that you might like…
Mocha Roulade (gluten free)
- 38 cm/15 inch by 25 cm/10 inch (2½ cm/1 inch deep) Swiss roll tin
- clean tea towel
- fine grater
- piping bag and nozzle – optional
Mocha Roulade sponge
- 40 g plain gluten free flour blend I use GFA Blend A (see NOTES) – sifted
- 50 g cocoa powder sifted (unsweetened)
- 20 g ground almonds (almond meal)
- ¼ tsp xanthan gum
- 1 tsp baking powder gluten free
- ½ tsp vanilla bean powder/paste/extract
- 120 g golden caster sugar
- 4 large eggs at room temperature – lightly beaten (UK large (Canadian ‘Extra Large’; Australian ‘Jumbo’; and US ‘Extra or Very Large’)
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 20 ml/g hot water
- cocoa powder for dusting
Coffee Mousse filling
- 300 g Mascarpone cream cheese
- 150 g icing sugar powdered/confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 6 to 7 tsp instant espresso powder
- 1 to 2 tsp boiling water as little as possible however, to mix the espresso powder into a paste
- 180 ml/g double cream
Grated chocolate layer
- 50 g good quality dark chocolate grated
- 50 g dark chocolate melted – to drizzle
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 100 ml/g double cream + a couple of tablespoons reserved coffee mousse
- mocha beans cake decorations
- grated chocolate to sprinkle
- Prepare a 38 cm/15 inch by 25 cm/10 inch (2½ cm/1 inch deep) Swiss roll tin by lining with non-stick baking paper.
- Pre-heat the oven to 170C Fan/180 C/350 F/Gas 4.
- Weigh and mix together the flour, cocoa, almonds, xanthan gum and baking powder (and vanilla if using powder), making sure any lumps are completely broken down (sift the flour and cocoa). Set aside
- Using (for preference) a free-stand mixer, whisk together the sugar and eggs until they have tripled in volume and the whisk leaves a lasting trail on the top when lifted (takes 5 to 10 minutes of whisking).
- While the eggs are whisking, mix 1 teaspoon instant espresso powder with 20 ml hot water and stir until dissolved.
- When the egg-mix is fully whisked, quickly and lightly fold in the dry ingredients and the coffee (and vanilla if not already added), trying to maintain as much air as possible in the batter.
- Pour into the prepared baking tin and spread evenly, making sure the mixture reaches the corners.
- Bake for about 12 to 15 minutes (dependent on your oven) until the top springs back to the touch. Be really careful not to over-bake as this will dry the sponge, making it difficult to roll.
- When baked, remove from the oven, leave in the tin and immediately place a clean tea-towel over the top to keep moist.
- Quickly prepare a large piece of baking paper (slightly larger than the sponge) by dusting with cocoa powder. Run a sharp knife around the edges of the sponge (if stuck) and then, while still warm, carefully flip it out (top down) onto the cocoa-dusted baking paper.
- Very carefully peel off the cooking-paper from the back of the sponge and then fold the edge of the cocoa-dusted baking paper over one of the shorter ends of the sponge rectangle.
- Carefully roll up the sponge (still warm) from this point, rolling the baking paper within each ‘layer’ as you go, to ensure the layers of sponge do not become stuck. (Rolling the sponge unfilled in this way gives it a 'memory'). See photo in main blog post.
- Set the rolled sponge aside to cool completely, covered with a clean tea towel.
Coffee Mousse (make this ahead of time if you wish)
- Using a firm wooden/silicone spoon, beat together the mascarpone, icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth, thick, light and well-blended.
- In a small bowl or cup, mix together the espresso powder with hot water (a dribble at a time – as little as possible), until you have a thick, smooth paste. Then add and beat into the mascarpone mixture.
- Separately whisk the cream to firm peaks and then lightly and evenly fold into the mix.
- Chill in the fridge for about an hour.
Putting it all together
- When the sponge is cold, carefully unroll and spread a thick layer of the coffee mousse evenly across the surface (reserving 2 to 3 tablespoons for decoration).
- Sprinkle a layer of grated dark chocolate over the top of the coffee mousse.
- Now, re-roll the sponge carefully and tightly (pulling the baking paper from behind to help you roll). Secure the baking paper round the sponge and place in the fridge to ‘set’.
- Set your Mocha Roulade on a serving dish.
- Carefully melt the decorating chocolate either in a microwave (30 second bursts set at medium, stirring between each), or set over a saucepan of just simmering water.
- Once melted, add and stir through the butter until melted and smooth.
- Drizzle or pipe over the roulade.
- Whisk the additional double cream with the reserved coffee mousse until it forms soft but firm peaks (piping consistency) and pipe as you wish onto the roulade surface.
- Finally decorate with grated chocolate/sprinkles and mocha beans and serve.
© 2019-2023 Kate Dowse All Rights Reserved – Do not copy or re-publish this recipe or any part of this recipe on any other blog, on social media or in a publication without the express permission of Gluten Free Alchemist