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sliced ice cream roll cake with chocolate and vanilla ice cream on wood board with knife on side

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake Roll

Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake Roll, the perfect hot summer's day dessert. No need to buy an ice cream cake with this easy recipe that requires very little effort. Make a simple vanilla sponge, fill with Neapolitan ice cream and roll!
Course Dessert
Cuisine Italian
Keyword ice cream cake roll, Neapolitan ice cream cake roll
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Resting time 3 hours
Servings 10 servings
Calories 437kcal


For the sponge

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp. powdered sugar divided (for dusting on parchment paper and cake)

For the filling

  • 1/4 cup coffee liqueur (use up to 1/2 cup, if desired)
  • 1.5 liters Neapolitan ice cream (I used 3/4 of a 2 litre carton)


  • 1 oz dark chocolate grated


Prepare the sponge:

  • Remove the eggs from the refrigerator about an hour before preparing the sponge.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 10 x 15 inch baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Separate the eggs, place the whites in a bowl and set aside. Add the yolks to a large bowl and whisk vigorously with sugar until pale and frothy, about 3 minutes.  A hand held mixer or egg beater may be used for this step. Stir in vanilla.
  • Sift flour, baking powder and salt and use a rubber spatula to stir into the egg mixture until smooth. At this point the batter will be quite thick and have a pasty texture.
  • Whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold half the egg whites into the batter. Stir in the remaining egg whites just until there are no visible white streaks of egg whites. 
  • Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet and spread evenly with a spatula. Tap the baking sheet a few times on your counter to remove air bubbles in the batter.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes until golden and spongy. Do not overbake the sponge.
  • While the cake is baking, tear off a sheet of parchment paper the same size as the baking sheet. Dust the entire surface with powdered sugar. A clean dish towel may be used in place of the parchment paper.
  • When the cake is out of the oven, immediately invert it onto the prepared sheet of parchment paper. Roll, using the parchment paper to guide you, from the short end. Wrap in the parchment paper and let cool completely.

Assemble the cake roll:

  • Remove the carton of Neapolitan flavored ice cream from the freezer and slice into roughly half inch slices with a sharp knife.
  • Unroll the sponge and brush the entire surface with coffee liqueur.
  • Use a spatula to transfer slices of ice cream onto the sponge. Leave a 1-inch border at one of the short ends as the ice cream will ooze out when you begin rolling it.
  • Carefully lift one short edge of the parchment paper and slowly, as tightly as possible, roll the cake using the parchment paper to guide you along. If some of the ice cream rolls out at the opposite end simply remove the excess with your spatula. 
  • I used about 3/4 of the ice cream. Return unused ice cream to the freezer. 
  • Place the roll seem side down on a sheet of clean parchment paper. Dust the top lightly with powdered sugar to prevent it from sticking. Wrap in the parchment paper and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Place in the freezer to set before serving, at least 2 hours.


  • Remove from the freezer 5-10 minutes before slicing with a serrated knife and serving. Garnish with grated chocolate or other garnish of your choice such as whipped cream or fruit


Tips and suggestions:

  • The Neapolitan ice cream may be replaced with any ice cream flavor of your choice.
  • If you can not find ice cream sold in a rectangular carton, use ice cream in a bucket style container. Let it soften for 5 minutes, scoop onto the sponge and spread it with a spatula before rolling the cake.
  • Substitute rum, Amaretto or Frangelilco hazelnut liqueur in place of coffee liqueur.
  • If you don't want to use liqueur, you may leave the sponge as is or make a simple syrup. In a small sauce pan combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Let cool completely before brushing on the sponge.

How to serve Neapolitan Ice Cream Cake Roll:

You can definitely serve this ice cream cake roll as is. To dress it up garnish with grated dark chocolate, whipped cream, or fruit.

How long does it keep?

Keel leftovers well wrapped in the freezer for up to 1 month.
Please note that the nutritional information provided is approximate and may vary according to exact ingredients used and portion size.


Calories: 437kcal | Carbohydrates: 66g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 178mg | Potassium: 369mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 588IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 211mg | Iron: 1mg