This carrot cake roll with cream cheese frosting is a fun twist on a classic dessert. Made with all of the warming spices and flavours of a traditional moist carrot cake, it is then topped with candied pecans for an added sweet crunch!
This carrot cake roll is the perfect way to enjoy carrot cake, super moist with fresh carrots and delicious spices like cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. The flavourful cake is rolled and filled with a simple and luscious cream cheese frosting. A sprinkling of chopped candied pecans tops off the roll nicely. This makes a perfect Easter dessert that will have everyone asking for seconds.
How to Make this Carrot Cake Roll Recipe
Start by preheating the oven and lining an 11 X 15 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Make sure to leave the parchment paper overhanging the ends so it is easy to remove after baking.
In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt, stirring to combine then set aside. Next, peel and grate the carrots until you have 2 cups total, then set to the side.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, add the eggs, and both sugars. Then with the mixer on high, whip the eggs and sugar until they are frothy and light in colour.
Remove the bowl from the stand mixer and add the oil, vanilla, and grated carrots then stir using a spatula until fully combined.
Grab the bowl with the flour mixture and add it to the bowl of carrot mixture. Use a spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients in until everything is just combined and the flour can’t be seen. Be careful not to over mix.
Pour the carrot cake batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and, using an offset spatula to spread it into an even layer. Place into the preheated oven and bake for 10-13 minutes, until the cake springs back to the touch and is pulling away from the edge of the pan.
How to Roll Carrot Cake
When the cake has finished baking remove it from the oven and immediately transfer the cake from the jelly roll pan to a tea towel on the countertop. Use the overhanging edges of the parchment paper for easy lifting. Place a piece of parchment over the cake. This way you’ll have one piece of parchment paper under the cake and one piece over the cake.
Starting at one end, rolling short end to short end, use the tea towel to guide the roll. You will be rolling the cake with both pieces of parchment paper included. See below for end result, but essentially, everything will be rolled inside the towel.
Carefully lift the rolled cake onto a wired rack and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Candied Pecan Topping
While the cake is cooling this is the perfect time to make the candied pecans if you don’t already have them on hand. Homemade candied pecans are way too easy not to make yourself! Coat in egg white, water, cinnamon, salt, and sugar and bake until sweet, crunchy, and toasted. Once they are done, coarsely chop some of them to use as a topping for this cake, and use the rest for LINK and LINK (Other recipes)
The Best Cream Cheese Frosting
When the cake has almost cooled, start preparing the cream cheese frosting. Add cream cheese and butter to the bowl of a stand mixer, then whip on high until light and fluffy. Add the icing sugar, salt, and vanilla then mix one more time on high until fully combined.
How to Assemble Carrot Cake Roll
Take your cooled roll and gently roll it back to flat on the counter. Discard the tea towel, you’ll no longer need it. It may not lay perfectly flat, and this is ok.
Now, add a layer of cream cheese frosting to the top of the cake, reserving some for the outside. Use an offset spatula to spread an even layer, leaving a 3/4″ border. Sprinkle pecans evenly over the icing and begin rolling back up the same way you did before. There may still be a natural bend in the cake, so just follow its lead.
Transfer the cake to a piece of plastic wrap. Tightly roll up the carrot cake and place it in the fridge for about an hour to chill. When you’re ready to serve, dust with icing sugar and enjoy a slice!
How to Store Carrot Cake Roll
If you’re lucky enough to have leftovers, it will keep in the fridge for up to 4 days, covered.
Carrot Cake Roll
- 3/4 cup all purpose flour
- 2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups grated carrots
- 1 batch cream cheese frosting
- 3/4 cup chopped candied pecans optional
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz cream cheese room temperature
- 6 tbsp butter room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 375 and line a 11 X 15 jelly roll pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang of paper at short ends. In a small bowl add the flour, spices, baking powder and salt then mix to combine and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer add the eggs and both sugars then mix on high speed for 2-3 minutes, should be frothy and light in colour.
- Remove the bowl from the mixer then add the carrots, oil, and vanila stiring with a spatula to fully combine.
- Now add the flour mixture that was set aside into the bowl with the wet ingredients. Carefully fold the flour into the wet ingredients until just combined.
- Pour the carrot cake batter into the prepared pan then place in preheated oven to bale for 10-13 minutes, until it springs back to the touch.
- Remove from the oven and use the ends of the parchment paper to remove the cake from the jelly roll pan. Place on a tea towel and, from short end to short end, gently roll up the cake. Place on wired rack to cool to room temperature.
- While cake is cooling prepare the icing and chop the candied pecans.
- Once the cake is at room temp gently unroll it back to flat, dont force it round end is ok. Cover the entire surface of the cake with the cream cheese frosting making sure to leave a 1/2" border on the outside.
- Sprinkle the chopped pecans evenly over the top of the icing then starting at the short end tightly roll the cake back up. Wrap the cake tightly in plastic wrap then place in the fridge to chill for an hour. Remove and dust with icing sugar then slice and serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, with the whisk attachment, place the cream cheese and butter then whip on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the salt, vanilla, and icing sugar and mix again on high speed until fully combined and smooth.