Brazo de Gitano (Cream Roll)

This is a traditional Puerto Rican dessert. There are different variations for the brazo de gitano filling. You can substitute strawberry or guava jam for the cream filling. If not serving immediately, place rolls in a refrigerator and remove 1 hour before serving.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
40 mins
2 9-inch rolls



  • 1 ⅓ cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • cup chilled water

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ½ teaspoon fresh lime juice

  • 4 eggs

  • 1 ⅓ cups white sugar

  • cup sifted confectioners' sugar, or as needed

For Cream Filling:

  • cup cornstarch

  • 2 cups milk

  • 2 egg yolks

  • ¾ cup white sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon salt

  • 1 small lime, zested


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 18x12x1-inch aluminum pan. Line with parchment paper and grease paper generously.

  2. Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Set aside.

  3. Combine water, vanilla extract, and lime juice in a separate bowl. Set aside.

  4. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl using an electric mixer on high speed for 1 minute. Reduce speed to medium and add white sugar gradually. Reduce speed to low and add flour mixture alternately with water mixture, mixing until well combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.

  6. While cake is baking, dissolve cornstarch in 1 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat until well blended. Add egg yolks and mix well. Pour in remaining milk, sugar, salt, and lime zest. Mix over medium heat using a wooden spoon until boiling; remove from heat. Keep filling warm if cake is still baking.

  7. Place a large, damp cloth on a table and sprinkle generously with sifted confectioners' sugar about 5 minutes before cake has finished baking.

  8. Remove cake from the oven. Release edges of cake using a knife. Turn cake over onto the sugar-coated cloth; remove parchment paper from cake and trim edges. Pour cream filling over cake immediately, spreading almost to the edges. Roll cake up from the bottom.

  9. Cut roll in the middle to divide into two 9-inch rolls. Transfer to 2 flat platters using 2 wide spatulas. Sprinkle rolls with additional confectioners' sugar just prior to serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

194 Calories
3g Fat
40g Carbs
4g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 194
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 3g 3%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 75mg 25%
Sodium 202mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 40g 14%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 29g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 82mg 6%
Iron 1mg 5%
Potassium 81mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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