Carrot Cake Roll

Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Add'l Time 2 hrs
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

This easy Carrot Cake Roll with cream cheese filling is moist, perfectly spiced, and my go-to spring dessert!

Looking for more fun takes on classic carrot cake? Try my Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies or these Carrot Cake Cheesecake Swirl Bars!

A sliced carrot cake roll with one slice on a plate.

An Easy Carrot Cake Roll for Spring!

The other day I was thinking to myself, “Self, carrot cake sounds good right now, but I really want it to be something special”. You know, I’m all for quick and easy – but, baking can be super relaxing for me, too. So, sometimes I like a recipe with a few more steps that’s still super easy.

When I’m baking something that requires extra attention to detail, I get laser focused and all of my stress and worries melt away. Can you picture it? It might work for you too. There you are in your kitchen, eyes narrowed, gently rolling up a carrot cake focusing on it not breaking. Spreading out the frosting and then reveling in the masterpiece you’ve created as you finally dig into a pinwheel slice with a hot cup of coffee. 

What’s your focus face? Mine involves my tongue digging into my right cheek. Don’t laugh!

Now, don’t go running! This recipe does have more steps than a traditional carrot cake, but it’s not nearly as difficult as it looks or you’re likely expecting. Make it next time you’re in the mood for some fun and impressive baking!

A slice of carrot cake roll dusted with powdered sugar.

What is a Cake Roll?

Cake rolls are the coolest! To look at them, they appear impressive to make and super difficult to pull off. Before slicing, a cake roll looks like a long log. After slicing, each slice looks like a perfect pinwheel.

A cake roll is usually made of sponge cake. Instead of baking it in a cake pan, you bake it in a jelly roll pan or a cookie sheet with sides. This gives you a long thin cake that is pretty malleable. You roll it while warm, let it cool, unroll, add frosting, and re-roll. Sprinkle it with powdered sugar and you’re good to go!

Cake rolls do require some precision but I’ll bet this recipe is easier than you’re expecting.

The ingredients for carrot cake roll.

Recipe Ingredients

Carrot cake has so much deep flavor it may be surprising that most of these ingredients are typical pantry staples.

Here’s what we’ll need for the cake roll:

  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves
  • eggs
  • granulated sugar
  • vanilla extract
  • finely grated carrots
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Carrot cake frosting ingredients:

  • cream cheese
  • butter
  • vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar

How to Make a Carrot Cake Roll

1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 10×15 inch jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with a raised edge) with parchment paper. Allow the parchment paper to come at least 1 inch above the sides of the pan for ease in lifting the finished cake from the pan. Spray the parchment paper in the pan with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Once mixed, set it aside.

3. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs at high speed for 5 minutes until thickened and frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla, then beat at high speed for 1 minute.

4. Combine: Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir gently just until combined. Stir in the grated carrots.

5. Bake: Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan, spreading all the way to the edges. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Me careful not to underbake.

Warm carrot cake on tea towel with powdered sugar.

6. Get Ready to Roll: Sprinkle a large, clean kitchen towel very generously with powdered sugar (use at least ½ cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn the cake out of the pan onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper carefully.

7. Roll: Fold the end of the towel over one of the short ends of the cake. Roll the cake up into the towel, starting at the short end. Set the cake aside to cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.

A warm carrot cake being rolled to cool.

8. Make Frosting: While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined and the frosting is creamy.

9. Unroll, Ice, and Roll: Very gently, unroll the cooled cake roll and be sure it is fully released from the towel. Spread the frosting onto the cake, edge to edge. Re-roll the cake gently. Transfer the cake roll to a plate, seam side down.

A carrot cake roll freshly iced and rolled up.

10. Chill and Serve: Chill the cake roll in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Tips for the Best Carrot Cake Roll

This cake requires a bit more precision than a simple carrot cake, so follow these recipes to make sure it’s perfect:

  • Use room temperature eggs in your cake batter. Using room temp eggs will ensure the cake ingredients mix better.
  • The carrots need to be finely grated. I used a regular box grater to do this, but a food processor with a grater would be easier.
  • Turning the cake out onto the towel is tricky! I lifted the cake out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper and then quickly turned the cake over. Moving fast is the best thing to do. I turned the cake out onto the towel then peeled off the parchment paper.
  • When making your cream cheese frosting, be sure your cream cheese and butter are nice and soft before starting. This will make it nice and creamy frosting.
  • The cake needs to be rolled in the kitchen towel immediately after it comes out of the oven, not after cooling.

A carrot cake roll on a serving dish with one slice.

How to Prevent Your Cake From Breaking

When making a cake roll, there are a few times when you run the risk of breaking your cake. Follow these steps to lower your risk of a cake break:

  • Line your pan with parchment paper and allow it to come at least 1 inch above the sides of the pan for ease in lifting the finished cake from the pan.
  • Spray the parchment paper in the pan with non-stick cooking spray. This will make it even easier to remove from the pan.
  • Remove the cake from the pan when it is still warm, not cooled.
  • Roll the cake in the towel when it is still warm, not cooled.
  • Gently unroll the cake from the towel before gently icing and re rolling.

How to Store a Cake Roll

If you don’t finish this Carrot Cake Roll in one sitting, no worries. All you’ll need to do is wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and store it in your refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Yield: 8 Servings

Carrot Cake Roll

A sliced carrot cake roll with one slice on a plate.

This easy Carrot Cake Roll with cream cheese filling is moist, perfectly spiced, and my go-to spring dessert!

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¾ cups finely grated carrots
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  • Frosting Ingredients:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan (or cookie sheet with a raised edge) with parchment paper. Allow the parchment paper to come at least 1 inch above the sides of the pan for easy lifting the finished cake from the pan. Spray the parchment paper in the pan with non-stick cooking spray.
    2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.
    3. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs at high speed for 5 minutes until thickened and frothy. Add the sugar and vanilla, then beat at high speed for 1 minute.
    4. Pour the dry mixture into the wet mixture and stir gently just until combined. Stir in the grated carrots.
    5. Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared jelly roll pan, spreading all the way to the edges. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (do not under bake).
    6. Sprinkle a large, clean kitchen towel very generously with powdered sugar (use at least ½ cup). As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, turn the cake out of the pan onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper carefully.
    7. Fold the end of the towel over one of the short ends of the cake. Roll the cake up into the towel, starting at the short end. Set the cake aside to cool completely to room temperature, about 1 hour.
    8. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and powdered sugar and mix on low speed until combined and the frosting is creamy.
    9. Very gently, unroll the cooled cake roll and be sure it is fully released from the towel. Spread the frosting onto the cake, edge to edge. Re-roll the cake gently. Transfer the cake roll to a plate, seam side down.
    10. Chill the cake roll in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 499Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 261mgCarbohydrates: 77gFiber: 2gSugar: 64gProtein: 6g

Want to Save This Recipe?

This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Related Posts

Share Your Comments

Want to share a photo of what you’ve made? If you’re not already logged in, click the login link below and then click the camera icon on the comment form.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Welcome!

Jessica
I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.
Read More...
Novice Chef eCookbooks