When holidays and special occasions are celebrated, Charleston native, Bea McKay’s family looks forward to enjoying her delicious Chocolate Roll. Mrs. McKay, a 97 year-old widow, mother of two sons and many grandchildren, has been baking this cake for more years than she remembers. A retired RN, Bea McKay stays busy with church, family, reading, playing bridge and cooking.

Ingredients (Chocolate Roll)
  • 1 cup sugar, divided use 3 tablespoons cocoa
  • 6 eggs 1 pint heavy cream, whipped with 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons flour 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ cup chopped pecans (if desired)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Instructions (Chocolate Roll)

Preheat oven to 350°. Line one 15½ × 10½ inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper and grease and flour lightly. Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until stiff and gradually add 1/4 cup sugar. Cream ½ cup of sugar with egg yolks and stir in vanilla. Sift the cocoa, baking powder and flour together and add to egg yolk mixture. Carefully fold in beaten egg whites. Evenly spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes, or until cake springs away from sides of pan. Let cake cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a towel sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, peel off parchment paper and roll cake up with the towel. Let cake cool completely. Unroll cake and spread with the whipped cream. Roll again, frost with chocolate frosting and sprinkle with chopped nuts.

Ingredients (Frosting)
  • 1 cup sugar 1 egg white
  • ½ cup water 2 tablespoons cocoa (or to taste)
Instructions (Frosting*)

Beat egg white until stiff. Boil sugar and water until reaches soft-ball stage (a drop will form a soft ball in a cup of cool water). Stir in cocoa, cool slightly and fold gradually into beaten egg white.

Mrs. Willie P. Gramling
Orangeburg’s Choice Recipes

* Mrs. McKay usually sprinkles with powdered sugar instead of using the frosting.