Genoise roulade - (when) should I use syrup?

My 9yo requested a scroll-shaped cake for her birthday. So I planned a roulade, kludging together some recipes from Epicurious to pretty good effect - so far.

I have a Genoise sheet, which rolled up very nicely and is currently being stored rolled with powdered-sugar-coated plastic wrap until it’s time to add the whipped cream filling before the party tomorrow.

The thing is, I tasted the cake and it definitely could use some moisture and flavor from a sugar syrup (as Genoise typically does, from my reading). First, do you reckon this will work out OK in this application - roulade with whipped cream filling? Assuming yes, my question is when to apply it - is it something that should soak in overnight, or something to put on sometime tomorrow? Also, how much is needed - should I be judiciously brushing on a thin layer or really trying to lay it on thick? I’d also appreciate any kid-friendly syrup recipes (i.e., not full of liqueur).


Apply simple syrup fairly thinly now so that it has a chance to soak in and disperse overnight. Too much syrup will just get you a waterlogged cake. If you want to flavor the syrup - what flavor is the cake? You could add some orange juice or concentrate, or some lemon or orange extract.

Put up a picture when you’re done! I’m really interesting in seeing how it comes out!

Cool, thanks guys! I will go paint on some vanilla syrup (she want’s it all pretty plain), with restraint.

I’ll put up a pic this weekend. I’m planning to do a treasure hunt with hidden scrolls for clues and then have the cake be at the end - on a bed of brown sugar “sand” and with a “ribbon” tied around the center made of strawberry Fruit by the Foot, accompanied by candy and Oriental Trading Company stuff for treasure. I’m actually kind of geeking out over it all!

If you use vanilla, taste it as you add it, as the flavor of the vanilla and the medium it’s in will be relatively strong in the syrup. Use your best judgment in brushing the syrup on - wet enough to penetrate, but not so wet as to soak it.

It sounds like a lot of fun!

THANK YOU for that warning - I probably would have started with a half teaspoon or more, but a few drops of vanilla was sufficient!

It went well. Next time I would also brush the top of the roll with syrup, as that side was a bit dry. The center of the roll was delectably moist and flavorful. Overall it got very good reviews, even from a bunch of kids who don’t necessarily have sophisticated taste.

To give you an idea of what I was going for, these are the clues I madefor the treasure hunt. Here’s the cake with its “ribbon” of Fruit by the Food, on a bed of sugar “sand.” And here’s what they foundwhen they completed the hunt.

Very cool!