Carrot Cake Roll

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This Carrot Cake Roll is a delicious take on the favorite Easter cake! Spicy carrot cake is rolled up with cream cheese frosting, for a dessert that will wow your family and friends.

If you think making a cake roll is hard, you’re wrong. Cake rolls are easy to make and SO good to eat!

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Carrot-Cake-Roll

I am often sad that I only have one child. If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, or know me at all, you know that I always wanted two kids. I myself am an only child, and while I loved that, I always wanted more. Having more than one child was not in the cards for us, and I really am okay with that – most days. Some days are harder. Some are easier.

And the easier days are when I am reminded of how much easier it is sometimes to have an only. (And yes, I firmly believe that it is not always easier to have one child. That’s another convo for another day.) This weekend was one of those reminders. Jordan was invited to sleepover at her cousins’ house that is a two hour drive from here. We met halfway yesterday, and I’ll pick her up at the same place this afternoon.

Which means that, all afternoon yesterday and until 1:00 today, I am childless.

And it’s kind of awesome.

My husband already had a trip planned for today. So he left at 5am. I got up and am now spending five straight hours getting 60% of my work done for the week because it’s Spring Break and ohmigod how do you work when the kid is home? I mean, without hiring Mr. T.V.?

So yeah, it’s days like today I am kind of happy I only have one. The days of wishing for two are stretching farther and farther apart, especially now that Jordan has found a “sister” who she can spend every waking moment on FaceTime with. Since she’s the only “only” child that we know, it’s nice for her to be able to connect with another kid who is in her boat. It reminds me of when I was a kid and all my friends were onlys: we were each others sisters.

Anyway, the wonder of the only child is the reason I can actually bring you a post today. And all week. So, yeah. I’m happy today. 🙂

And you should be happy too, because I made you another cake roll, one that is perfect for Easter. A Carrot Cake Roll.

Carrot-Cake-Roll

I got so much positive response on my Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cake Roll, that I decided to make another one. Since Easter is next week, Carrot Cake was the obvious choice. Traditional carrot cake is fun, but carrot cake ROLL is even better (although Carrot Cake Coffee Cake is a close second). Also, I can tempt my husband to eat my goodies, so it’s a double win. (And, since I posted this, I’ve gone on a cake roll rampage. My favorites: Birthday Cake Roll, Peanut Butter Cup Cake Roll, and Strawberry Shortcake Cake Roll.)

I had a lot of comments last time about how people are scared of making cake rolls. I was too – I had had a pan and a recipe for approximately 4 years before I gave in and tried it. And, with a little patience, it’s really SO easy. I thought I would try to do a visual for all of you who want to try, to help illustrate my instructions.

A carrot cake roll is the perfect holiday recipe. I love the cream cheese frosting inside!

{Process photos are so not me. I find them hard, and the lighting sucks. So…don’t judge, mmkay? Scroll to the bottom for a video tutorial!}

Carrot-Cake-Roll

First, while your cake is in the oven, lay out a (clean) kitchen towel on your work surface. Cover it with a heavy dusting of powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). Just make sure the powdered sugar covers the entire space with the cake will lay. This will ensure it doesn’t stick!

Carrot-Cake-Roll

When the cake comes out of the oven, immediately overturn it onto your prepared towel. Remove the pan and the foil.

Carrot-Cake-Roll

Starting at the short end of the cake, fold the towel over the edge, then gently roll the cake up in the towel. Try to roll it tight.

Carrot-Cake-Roll

Once it’s rolled up, let it sit in the towel until it’s completely cooled, about 1-2 hours depending on how warm or cold your kitchen is. While you’re waiting watch the RHOBH reunion, eat some cookies, and make your frosting.

Carrot-Cake-Roll

Once the cake is cooled, unroll it carefully. It won’t give you any trouble. Spread the frosting evenly across the cake, being sure to get right up to the long edges. Those will become the two ends of the cake roll once you’re done – you don’t want those pieces to be devoid of frosting!

Carrot-Cake-Roll

Then, simply roll it back up, as tight as you can, peeling away the towel as you go. I probably could have used a little more powdered sugar on the towel, but it came off just fine. Wrap it in plastic, and chill it for 30 minutes to one hour, until the filling is firmed up a little. Dust it with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.

See? Easy peasy, just like I promised!

Carrot-Cake-Roll

This cake was adapted from the Pumpkin Roll Recipe my mother-in-law is famous for. Pumpkin cake and carrot cake is not that dissimilar, except for the produce inside. The spices are pretty much the same, and well, a cake recipe is a cake recipe.  This cake is filled with the traditional carrot cake spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. There’s carrots, of course. I do not like pineapple or raisins in my carrot cake (or, really, ever) but you can totally add some raisins if they float your boat.

And the filling – cream cheese frosting. I mean…is there anything better ever? Some day I want to make a cake of just that: cream cheese frosting. Delightfully rich and sweet. If you like nuts in your carrot cake, I suggest adding a 1/2-1 cup of toasted walnuts or pecans to the filling. Sprinkle them over it before rolling. It will add a delicious crunch to your cake.

Because the filling is so rich, this cake doesn’t need frosting, so I sprinkled it with powdered sugar. That’s what my MIL does with her Pumpkin Cake Roll and it’s the perfect complement. You could also use some toasted coconut…that would be amazing too!

Now that I’ve made you two roll cakes and one set of instructions, you really must try it. No more excuses!

Carrot-Cake-Roll

How to make a Carrot Cake Roll – it’s really easy to do!

  1. You need the right equipment a cake roll pan. You’ll also need a clean kitchen towel, foil, and nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Don’t under mix the eggs. Beating them a full 5 minutes will ensure your cake is spongey and not too dense.
  3. Roll it while it’s hot!! Then let it cool completely.
  4. If it cracks, paste it together with frosting then make an extra batch fo frosting and frost the whole thing!
  5. You can make this ahead of time and freeze it if you want. Just sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.

Love carrot cake? How about Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cupcakes, Carrot Cake Pie, Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake, Carrot Cake Rice Krispies Treats, or Carrot Cake Cupcakes with Maple Icing.

3.67 from 3 votes
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Carrot Cake Roll

A delicious spring version of your favorite cake roll: Carrot Cake Roll! An easy spicy carrot cake rolled with cream cheese frosting inside. Check out the video and photo tutorial for tons of tips and tricks!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword cake
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 235 kcal
Author Dorothy Kern

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups shredded carrots about 2 medium carrots
  • Powdered sugar to aid in rolling

For the Filling:

  • 6 ounces cream cheese room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons butter room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a jelly roll (10x15”) pan with foil and spray with cooking spray (I like to use the spray with flour).
  2. Beat eggs at high speed for 5 minutes, until frothy and dark yellow. Beat in sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Whisk together salt, baking powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and flour. Stir into wet ingredients just until blended. Stir in carrots.
  4. Spread in prepared pan. Batter will be in a very thin layer and you will need to use a wooden spoon or spatula to spread it to all the corners of the pan. Bake for 9-11 minutes (mine took 10). **edited to add: ovens vary greatly. It can take up to 15 minutes to get this completely done.** Err on the side over over done vs. under done for best results in rolling.
  5. While the cake is baking, set a clean kitchen towel out on a large work surface. Sprinkle liberally with powdered sugar (about 1/4 cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn it over on the kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove foil carefully.
  6. Working at the short end, fold the edge of the towel over the cake. Roll tightly, rolling up the cake into the towel. Let cool completely while rolled, at least one hour.
  7. While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla.
  8. When cake is cool, carefully unroll the towel. Spread the filling on the cake evenly, and re-roll tightly. Chill until it firms up a bit, at least thirty minutes to one hour. Dust with powdered sugar,then slice and serve. Cake can be wrapped in plastic and frozen for up to one month.

Recipe Video

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Cake Roll
Amount Per Serving (1 slice)
Calories 235 Calories from Fat 90
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 10g 15%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 73mg 24%
Sodium 1773mg 74%
Total Carbohydrates 35g 12%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Sugars 29g
Protein 3g 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Click here for more Carrot Cake Recipes!

The Perfect Carrot Cake Roll with photo tutorial

You may also enjoy these cakes:

Chocolate Coconut Cake Roll

Coconut Carrot Cake

Coconut Carrot Cake

Lemon Cake Roll

Sweets from friends:
Banana Snack Cake from A Kitchen Addiction
Carrot Cake Poke Cake from Something Swanky
Triple Chocolate Poke Cake from Six Sisters’ Stuff

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293 comments

  1. No Substitutions, 10×15 Jelly Roll pan (I have used this pan before and had great results), carrots were dry.  I used Gold Medal All Purpose Flour, Domino Sugars, Store Brand Vanilla Extract, Rumford Baking powder exp. 9/21/17), McCormick Seasonings.  I used exact measurements.  The first one I thought maybe I had missed something, but carefully mixed the 2nd one and had the same results, made it a 3rd time and same results.  Your recipe says 2 cups of carrots (2 med carrots)  I find that 2 med carrots will not yield cups so that could be the problem.  I used 2 cups (loose) carrots.  

  2. Hi I just made your amazing carrot roll cake and I am not going to serve it till Sunday (it’s Friday eve here in UK and didn’t have time to of been able to make it tomorrow) will it be OK wrapped in cling film (plastic wrap) and stored in fridge until Sunday?

    Many thanks to you.

  3. Is there a special kind of towel I use, I.E., 100% cotton or linen or c  can I just use any dish towel brand new from Walmart or Kmart or the like? I live in an  building, where all of us share the same washer/dryer…should I wash this with other dishcloths/towels and wash cloths and bath towels or throw it out when I am done baking?
    Thank you for the video clip.  I am a little nervous, so that helped. I have wanted to try making a cake roll for so long, but being wary of my abilities, I threw away the cake pan!!! So, now I have to buy another!! 🙂
    Thank you for all your recipes and your fun blog.

    • I normally use a non-terry towel, the basic kitchen towels they sell that are thin, like tea towels. I just throw them in with another load of towels after, and my washer gets it clean. I’ve read you can also use parchment paper for a disposable version, so feel free to try that if yo want! Enjoy!

  4. cake was way too thin, i have made many cake rolls before and on the first roll the cake cracked badly.. I hoped I could salvage it when I added the frosting, but it only broke and cracker worse on the second roll.

  5. With another swiss roll recipe i have, the tea towell has to be wet before you roll the cake. With this recipe is the tea towell dry

  6. I just made this and it turned out great! hubby is going to be very happy tonight! thanks for the recipe!

  7. This is the second time I have made this carrot role and everyone absolutely loves it!!!! I LR didn’t even last 24 hours before it was all gone. I did change a couple things about the roll. To make it a bit more healthier I used all organic ingredients and instead of white sugar I used organic agave. I used a full 1/3 cup and then half of the 1/3 cup so 1/8 since agave is sweeter than white sugar. I also used parchment paper instead of a towel and it works way better than a towel. So what I do is I line the pan with parchment paper and then put it in the oven. Once the cake is cooked I take it out and wait about 5 minutes (or less, just until I can start rolling it without burning my fingers 😉 )and then I begin rolling it in the same parchment paper I used to bake it in. With this method there is no need to transfer the cake and prevents and cracking that can occur during the transfer. Also the cake comes off the parchment with absolutely no sticking and I didn’t even use powdered sugar either time I made this cake. For the frosting I only added 1 cup of powdered sugar instead of 2 since the first time I made the frosting it was too sweet. Anyway hoped this helped somebody 😉 

  8. made this twice and everyone loved it! thanks for the recipe dear 🙂 but i want to try cupcakes using this recipe. how do i do that?

  9. I don’t usually take the time to let people know how good their recipes are, but THIS recipe deserves it!!! FIVE STARS and thank you for sharing a new family favorite. This is tremendous. I’m off to recommend it to all the gals in my life!

  10. Over the years, I have made so many pumpkin rolls. I admit, this was the first year I did not make any for Thanksgiving, Christmas or for the bake sale at my church. I felt so worn out on them. I saw this post this morning attached to the Birthday Cake Roll, and thought, this would be a nice change of dessert and I love carrot cake. Normally I cannot have carrot cake because I am allergic to all citrus fruits, and most people put pineapple into their recipes, but this one I can have. I am going to make your carrot cake roll for Easter this year, and I have been perusing your other cake roll recipes and have one or two, ok maybe four marked. 🙂
    P.S. I am also a mom of an only. My son sometimes says he wishes he could have a sibling, and then when it’s his dad’s weekend, he has 3 step siblings and one half sibling. He comes home and says never mind mom, I don’t mind having no siblings. It’s perspective I tell ya!

  11. I love pumpkin cake roll and I’m sure I would like this one too! Added to “to try” list. 🙂

  12. Hi, sweet darling Dorothy dear!
    Such a marvellous cake roll!
    It was wonderful baking your cakes.

  13. Awesome!!! I am lucky to find your article. thanks for sharing this nice article…

  14. I’ve had my eye on this recipe for months, finally made it! I just liked the idea of a “fancy” carrot cake, but my husband LOVES the frosting/cake ratio and how you get frosting with every bite. Fantastic! Thank you:)

  15. ahh…awesome…looks very delicious…

  16. I’m literally obsessed with how your roll is perfectly shaped. Great job! My boyfriend loves carrot cake and I’m excited to make this for him. Thank you!!

  17. Skip the towel part and just roll it up in the parchment paper you baked it on. Way less mess!

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  21. Carrot Cake Roll is my favorite Roll. And I really love the cream cheese. Thanks for sharing! I think the instruction what you shared with us it’s different and friendly!

  22. People should love this recipe for the cream cheese! And the instruction was awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Made this recipe according to the directions and it turned out perfect. Loved it and I’m not a huge carrot cake fan. Going to make again for Easter.

  24. Ok I’m an amateur in baking. Your carrot cake roll looked so tempting that I thought of giving it a try. The cake came out really well. But the frosting was runny. Couldn’t roll the cake. Could you help me troubleshoot?

  25. I’m an amateur in baking. Your carrot cake roll looked so tempting that I thought of giving it a try. The cake came out really well. But the frosting was runny. Couldn’t roll the cake. Could you help me troubleshoot?

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  28. Hi
    This all look amazing 😉 
    For the Carrot Roll. When making the cream cheese feeling. Do I use salted or unsalted butter. It is not specified and I do not want to mess it up. 
    Thank you! 

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