‘There were two cupcakes in Philip Parker’s lunch bag and Albert got a Hershey bar with almonds and Paul’s mother gave him a piece of jelly roll that had little coconut sprinkles on the top. Guess whose mother forgot to put in dessert?’
-Alexander and the Horrible, Terrible, No Good Day, Judith Viorst
They’re known as sponge rolls, jelly rolls, jam rolls, roll cakes, swiss rolls and even roulade. Regardless of what name you call it, many kids will have grown up knowing these at a treat at some point.
While appearing in different variations over the years, history shows the jelly roll in the form we see it now, appearing under the name ‘jelly cake’, in New York in 1852. 1 Of course, the rolled cake with filling isn’t anything new. The yule log, or bûche de Noël, dates back to at least 1615 when it first appeared as a written recipe in Gervaise Markham’s “The English Huswife.2Whatever the name, this simple childhood treat is a memory for many.