Rolo Cake

Large Cakes | 10th April 2011 | By

A friend’s daughter was celebrating her 3rd birthday and I was asked to make the birthday cake. I was well chuffed, but also rather nervous – you don’t really want to mess up someone else’s birthday cake. Anyway, as soon as she asked me, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. The rolo cake I’d seen on Jac’s Tinned Tomatoes blog, over a year ago now, had made an impression and I was waiting for the right opportunity to make it. Jac in turn had got the recipe from The Caked Crusader and it was actually hers I used. Jac tends to use US measurements and I’m not a fan of cups. I did increase the measurements a bit anyway as I was using a larger cake mould than the one specified.

Whilst shopping for the rolos, I had a bit of an unexpected dilemma. Not being in the habit of buying them, I hadn’t realised they were made by Nestle – oh dear! I haven’t knowingly bought anything from Nestle since I was old enough to form an opinion on such matters. Okay, I thought I’ll do without the rolos and go for a large bar of Cadbury’s caramel chocolate instead. As I was picking the bar up, however, I realised how ridiculous the whole thing was. Cadbury’s has recently been taken over by Kraft – well, as far as I know, they are no more ethical than Nestle. For want of a better alternative, I have continued to buy Green & Black’s, despite them now being owned by Kraft. So I pulled a face and bought the rolos.

This is what I did:

  • Creamed 220g unsalted butter with 220g caster sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Beat in 4 duck eggs, one at a time and mixing in a spoonful of the flour between each egg.
  • Sifted in 170g flour (mostly white with a bit of wholemeal spelt), 50g cocoa and 1 large tsp baking powder.
  • Mixed in 1 large spoonful of Greek yogurt.
  • Chopped 20 rolos (2 packets) in half and stirred those in.
  • Spooned into a 22cm cake mould and baked at 180C for 40 mins until the cake was well risen and cracked on the top.
  • Turned out onto a wire rack and left to cool.
  • Creamed 100g unsalted butter together with 150g icing sugar and 2 tbsp cocoa.
  • Added a glug of toffee syrup and beat until smooth and light.
  • Spread this over the cold cake.
  • Attempted to decorate with a happy face on top of the cake using rolos and white chocolate buttons.

Luckily, I needn’t have worried; the cake proved to be a huge success and was enjoyed by adults and children alike. The birthday girl showed her appreciation in the usual way. Although I wasn’t there, a slice was very kindly kept back for me so that I could try it. It was moist and tasty with slightly chewy melted toffee bits in the middle. I’d be happy to have this for my birthday cake whatever my age.


  1. Leave a Reply

    10th April 2011

    I’ve made a choccamocha caramel cake using green & blacks caramel choc stirred through the mixture: then melted ones with butter and icing sugar for the topping: only for special occasions due to massive sugar content!
    your rolo cake looks deliciously soft ^_^

  2. Leave a Reply

    10th April 2011

    I’d like to put on order in for my birthday please!! Looks wonderful.

  3. Leave a Reply

    10th April 2011

    ChocolagteGirl – that sounds like one hell of a cake – good as cupcakes too I expect.

    Torview – thanks.

    Suelle – thank you. Cake decoration is not really my thing (as you well know) but everyone seemed pleased with this.

    Chele – and how many candles would you like? He he, no answer required.

    Gloria – thank you. rather wishing I had a slice to hand now 😉

  4. Leave a Reply

    10th April 2011

    It looks really moist and delicious! I love your smily face for the birthday girl!

  5. Leave a Reply

    10th April 2011

    An ethically challenging smiley face cake! So what did you do with the rest of the packet of Rolos? 😉

    Lucky, happy, small girl! 🙂

  6. Leave a Reply

    Michelle Peters - Jones
    10th April 2011

    That looks gorgeous and is just soooo cute!!!

    My biggest disappointment in life was finding out that Ben and Jerry’s ice cream was owned by Unilever 🙁 Lost my faith in ice creams for a while there!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Johanna GGG
    11th April 2011

    You can’t go wrong with chocolate and a little bit of fun amuses kids no end – love the little face on the cake and the little face lighting up at the sight of the cake. I have been through the same nestle – cadbury dilemma – because those are the only choc chips in my supermarket

  8. Leave a Reply

    The Caked Crusader
    11th April 2011

    I started reading this thinking “I’m sure I made something similar to that” and then saw that it was the same cake! Glad you loved it as much as we all did!

  9. Leave a Reply

    Xinmei @ Pudding Pie Lane
    11th April 2011

    Haha, it’s true, every thing’s now owned by big multinational companies now! Maybe you can make you own chocolate…? :p

    The cake looks amazing by the way, and I hope the birthday girl liked it, she’s adorable 🙂

  10. Leave a Reply

    Dom at Belleau Kitchen
    11th April 2011

    it’s a tuff one choclette… like you, convenience would have led me to buy the rolos but time would have rendered me making my own caramel… but like you say, even G&B are owned by Kraft… there’s no escape!

    At least you had the prinicple in the first place!

    It does look like a stunner of a cake though, so it’s good how it turned out.

  11. Leave a Reply

    11th April 2011

    I like the fact you’ve put some spelt flour in the cake too. She must have been one happy 3 year old!

  12. Leave a Reply

    11th April 2011

    Will def have to have a go at making this one. As soon as sweeties are included in the recipe I am immediately sucked in. It does look wonderfully moist and scrummy.

  13. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    11th April 2011

    Yum is all I can say. My wife used to make a gooey chocolate cake with mars bars in it but it’s now banned because of the impact on the waistline.

  14. Leave a Reply

    Ananda Rajashekar
    11th April 2011

    Your cake and post made me smile and laugh! that is a darn adorable cake and so is the b’day little girl 🙂

  15. Leave a Reply

    11th April 2011

    Jac – always good to have a happy cake 🙂

    C – thank you. Glad you liked the face – am never very sure about my decorating abilities.

    Celia – what a question 😉

    Michelle – the Ben & Jerry’s experience is repeated a lot. Small ethical business does well – bought out by big (and often unethical) business.

    Brittany – Thank you. Surprised to hear there are no rolos in Australia.

    Johanna – Thank you for your lovely words. I find it gets forever harder to shop ethically rather than easier.

    CC – you are the inspiration for many a cake around the blogosphere 🙂

    Xinmei – thank you. I’ve made my own raw chocolate, does that count? 😉

    Dom – I’m pretty conscientious about what I buy most of the time, so I try not to give myself too hard a time – it’s not easy though.

    MCB – I do like to squeeze a few healthy things into my baking where possible and I think spelt works really well in cakes.

    SewHappy – it sounds as though I’m leading you astray.

    Phil – I suppose your wife couldn’t be persuaded to pass that recipe on – just in case you understand?

    Ananda – thank you.

  16. Leave a Reply

    11th April 2011

    Lovely cake! Rolos are my dirty secret and this cake sounds perfect!

  17. Leave a Reply

    12th April 2011

    Oh, I know what you mean.. it is so hard to find ethical products on the shelves, everything is always owned by a big shot company. I try to avoid it as best I can, but sometimes hard to explain to kids and make them understand your reasons. Luckily, Master 10 has learned about Fair Trade at school and that was helpful.

  18. Leave a Reply

    12th April 2011

    Hehee. Haven’t heard of rolos in YEARS! Was there not an advert, who’s stolen my rolo, or something? One thing is for sure, it would be difficult not to steal this b’day cake. Looks just fabulous with the gungy caramely inside!

  19. Leave a Reply

    12th April 2011

    I hadn’t heard that Cadbury’s had been taken over by Kraft. Not that I buy Cadbury’s but that’s not a good thing 🙁
    What 3 year old wouldn’t be happy with that cake though!

  20. Leave a Reply

    12th April 2011

    I couldn’t think of a better cake for a young lady’s 3rd birthday, very cute!

  21. Leave a Reply

    The KitchenMaid
    12th April 2011

    Green and Black’s is owned by Kraft now? Crumbs, when did that happen?! Luckily here we can still buy excellent locally-owned AND produced chocolate – which makes it practically guilt-free (but no less easy to resist). Lovely cake!

  22. Leave a Reply

    13th April 2011

    LF – yes, it must be especially difficult if you have children.

    Thanks Jill – I do remember an add that went along the lines of love is giving away your last rolo.

    CityHippy – Cadbury’s was taken over about a year ago now. It may not have produced particularly good chocolate, but at least it was British.

    Thanks Maria

    Hazel – thank you

    KitchenMaid – yes, all very sad. There are still UK chocolate makers, but they are more niche and therefore a lot more expensive. The only chocolate I remember in NZ was Cadbury’s, but that was a long time ago now.

  23. Leave a Reply

    13th April 2011

    Have not eaten rolo’s in years, preferring the ones Ikea sell but I love the design on the cake, so cute! Looks delicious and chocolatey too!

  24. Leave a Reply

    13th April 2011

    Anne – thank you. Had no idea Ikea sold anything other than Dime bars.

  25. Leave a Reply

    Grazing Kate
    13th April 2011

    Charming cake! Liked the moral dilemma – so many years and then…oops. Little bit like being a strict vegetarian and then wolfing down a bacon sarnie. I also made a children’s birthday cake this weekend – a hedgehog cake – will post it on my blog now although the picture’s not great quality

  26. Leave a Reply

    14th April 2011

    Good analogy kate. It’s very annoying when you make something good and haven’t got a decent photo to reflect it.

  27. Leave a Reply

    14th April 2011

    The 3-year old in me isn’t buried very deep – looks ace- though you’ve hit the nail on the head with the ethical choc dilemma. The only Fairtrade G&B has been Maya Gold for years and now even that seems less ethical, but I can recommend the CoOp own Fairtrade brand, esp the orange and spice one

  28. Leave a Reply

    15th April 2011

    Oxslip – ethical shopping is a never ending dilemma. I do use co-op chocolate too, especially the orange and spice.

  29. Leave a Reply

    15th April 2011

    This cake made me smile – the decoration is so happy! Love the idea of a rolo cake, especially with the rolos stirred through the cake – delicious 🙂

  30. Leave a Reply

    23rd April 2011

    Lucy – thank you and glad it made you smile – that’s what I was hoping for.

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