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Who's Cooking: Joan Spivak, Farmingdale

Joan Spivak sometimes switches the fruit in her

Joan Spivak sometimes switches the fruit in her Strawberry Roll and says rolling the cake is simple. (March 23, 2013) Credit: Danielle Finkelstein

An operations assistant at a theatrical and architectural lighting systems company, she lives in Farmingdale.


Your mother was featured in her local paper's "Cook of the Week" column. Did you learn to cook from her? My mother always experimented and had parties. You follow your mother's footsteps, and that's what I did. I took a lot of her recipes. But I'm always trying new things.

Who do you cook for? Cooking is therapy for me. My children are grown now, I have grandchildren and great-grandchildren. I probably cook more now for my friends. I met four widows after my husband died. We like to have a good time. We get together on Saturdays, and I'll cook for them.

Where did this recipe come from? I probably cut this recipe out from somewhere, I don't remember where, about 40 years ago. The paper is yellowed. I've altered it over the years. Sometimes I'll use blueberries or different fruit. Sometimes I'll make a chocolate cake instead of a yellow one.

Any tricks for rolling up the hot cake? It sounds difficult, but if you grease the pan and use greased wax paper, the cake just falls right out. When it's hot, it's easy to roll up. I guess you roll it up when it's hot so it can take its rolled shape. Then you unroll it, fill it and roll it up again. I often brought this cake to my neighbor's house when we played cards. She was very intimidated by it because it looks impressive and she thought it would be difficult to make. But when I gave her the recipe and she tried it, she couldn't believe how simple it was.



For cake:
4 extra-large eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Confectioners’ sugar for forming roll
For filling:
1 pint strawberries, stemmed, sliced, plus a few more sliced for garnish
1/3 cup raspberry jam
3 teaspoons raspberry liqueur
2 cups heavy cream
2 teaspoons sugar

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a 10 1/2-x-15 1/ 2-inch jellyroll pan and line with wax paper. Grease wax paper.
2. For cake: In a large bowl beat eggs and sugar with an electric mixer until thick. Stir in vanilla. Whisk together cake flour and baking powder and gently fold into egg mixture.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until golden, 10 to 12 minutes.
4. Sprinkle a kitchen towel (not terry cloth) with confectioners’ sugar. Remove cake from oven and quickly invert onto towel. Peel off wax paper. Roll cake in towel jellyroll style, starting with the longer side. Place seam-side down and let cool for 30 minutes.
5. For filling: In a bowl, combine strawberries, jam and raspberry liqueur if using. Whip cream with 2 teaspoons of sugar until it holds stiff peaks.
6. Gently unroll cake and spread evenly with 3/4 of the cream almost to edges. Spread berries over cream an inch from the edges. Roll up and place on a platter, seam side down. With a spatula spread remaining whipped cream over outside of cake. Garnish with additional berry slices and serve, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.

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