Sisters’ Christmas Dinner and Chocolate Rolled Angel Cake

What do you do when your table only holds 8 comfortably, and you’re hosting a large Christmas dinner?

For our family, this was our last meal to entertain for the holidays this past weekend, and my sisters and their families were coming.

I wanted all 15 of us to all sit down so we could enjoy our time together.

For large groups like this, I have several sets of tablecloths, extra tables in the garage, and I borrowed a few chairs from a friend.

Wah-Lah … a long table eating area has been created.

Every year we rotate houses for our “sister dinner.” It’s special because ever since our Mother passed away, we told each other we’d still give small gifts to each other.

Our Mom loved to give gifts, and she always picked out just the right thing.

So our giving, in a sense, was a reminder of our Mom.

I also planned out the meal and delegated many of the dishes. And we did it a little differently this year.

-We seated everyone and served the salad.
-For the main course we served the prime rib and all the side dishes buffet-style.
-Dessert came way later as we all mingled in the kitchen.

In Christmas tradition, we always take a picture of the women in the family. :)

And the sisters. :)

I’m thankful for sisters, for delegation so I don’t have to cook an entire meal for so many people, for love and gifts at Christmas, and for yummy desserts.

Speaking of desserts …

Don’t you find that sometimes it’s hard to serve dessert right after a big meal?

We decided to wait about an hour before cutting into my sister’s heavenly cake (well, it does have Angel Cake as an ingredient) that she brought. (It’s a good one because it serves at least 12.)

You’ll see how light and simple the recipe is, and elegant, too. Raspberries on the inside and just a few for color on the serving platter. Beautiful!

What’s your tradition for serving dessert after a large meal? Do you serve it right away or wait to serve it later?


Recipe: Chocolate Rolled Angel Cake

Summary: Light and festive cake perfect for a holiday dinner party.


  • 1 (16oz) pkg angel food cake mix
  • 1-1/4 cups water
  • 2 Tbls cocoa
  • 2 Tbls powdered sugar for dusting
  • 1-1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 2 Tbls powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh raspberries


  1. Heat oven to 350. Grease 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with waxed paper.
  2. Prepare cake batter as directed on package using water (add cocoa). Spoon batter into lined pan.
  3. Bake at 350 for 17-22 minutes or until golden brown and cracks in cake appear dry.
  4. Meanwhile, place clean towel on work surface. With sifter, lightly sprinkle powdered sugar onto towel.
  5. Loosen edges of warm cake with spatula; immediately invert cake onto sugared towel. Remove pan and waxed paper.
  6. Starting with long side, roll up cake in towel, cool on wire rack for 45 minutes or until completely cool.
  7. Meanwhile in large bowl, beat cream and powdered sugar until stiff peaks form.
  8. To assemble cake, carefully unroll cooled cake, remove towel. Spread whipped cream evenly over cake, leaving 1/2-in border.
  9. Sprinkle raspberries over whipped cream. Roll cake, jelly-roll fashion (cake may crack).
  10. Place 2 spatulas under roll, and transfer seam side down, to long platter. Store loosely covered in refrigerator at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.
  11. To serve, sprinkle roll with sifted powdered sugar and garnish with raspberries.

Preparation time: 40 minute(s)

Cooking time: 20 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 12


16 comments on “Sisters’ Christmas Dinner and Chocolate Rolled Angel Cake”

  1. Pinning the recipe- love the noel on the music stand- =) and what a wonderful tradition.
    Merry Christmas

  2. After a big meal, in fact after an everyday meal, we have dessert with our tea or coffee about an hour (if not more) after the dinner. This gives the hostess a chance to clear some things (with help from sisters) from the dining room and relax a bit before serving dessert. It’s usually in the living room and dessert is laid out on the coffee table or sofa table – help yourselves, relax and enjoy.

  3. Just love it.My mom died a year ago and we are a number of 6 sisters(4 brothers) and we are very determined to keep up Moms traditional Christmas All of being together.I know over the years some will not make it .But we will always have Christmas dinner (with presents too) and as many as we can just being together. What a special time it is! Merry Christmas!

  4. What a beautiful family gathering! So nice that you keep up a tradition your mother loved. I like to wait and serve dessert at a later time as well. Gives the meal a chance to settle, and then we can enjoy dessert in a bit more casual setting as well.

  5. Looks like the most wonderful kind of get together. The cake does look nice and light! A very Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  6. What a beautiful post, Sandy, and what a beautiful group of women! I can’t imagine life without my sisters. That cake looks amazing, by the way!

    Here’s wishing you a blessed Christmas!

  7. Looks delicious! The relationship you have with your sisters is exactly what I hope to cultivate among my four kids. You give me hope! :)

  8. We take a break after dinner also before digging into dessert. Usually we clear off the table, load up the dish washer, maybe play a game or two together and then have dessert and presents. This works best for us.

  9. Mmmm… that dessert looks delicious and is exactly what I wanted to make for getting together with friends Friday night. Thanks for posting!

  10. What a beautiful tradition! Thanks for the recipe. I printed one of your recipes for a gift for my kiddos’ teachers. They were all so excited to get it and make it. Thank you for your blog. I am always so inspired. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.
    (my friend and I were so busy this fall we didn’t have a chance to start Balcony Girls again. The girls are asking and anxious. January will be a perfect time to start fresh!)

  11. I use a chocolate sponge cake recipe from my ever faithful orange Betty Crocker cookbook (circa 1979) for chocolate cake roll. It is the most often-requested dessert for our Christmas birthday boy. I’ll be we’ve had it at least 12 of his 24 years and it’s on the menu again!

  12. My daughter (10yo)and I made the chocolate rolled angel cake for our Christmas Eve dessert, and it was perfect! Fun to make, pretty for serving, and not a crumb left for breakfast ;)

  13. Pingback: A Christmas Trifle «

  14. I made this cake for New Year’s Eve and it turned out quite well. I have never rolled a cake before, and I didn’t have any problems at all. :)

  15. I love it very much. How I’m supposed to make it for a party with my friends. I’m taking it to my list so I can have option to choose.

  16. Pingback: Angel Cake Roll with Exciting KitchenAid, Pottery Barn, Hip Hostess GIVEAWAY! | Reluctant Entertainer I Sandy Coughlin - Lifestyle, Entertaining, Food, Recipes, Hospitality and Gardening

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