Spiced carrot cake rolled up with tons of cream cheese frosting! This Carrot Cake Swiss Roll is an Easter dessert your family will LOVE!
The grass is growing, flowers are budding, the air just smells like spring and I am LOVING it. What I’m also currently loving is testing out all of my family’s favorite spring desserts to get ready for our big Easter dinner! My boys always love a good strawberry cheesecake, but this year I’m switching things up a bit for Easter dessert and making a Carrot Cake Swiss Roll. This carrot cake Swiss roll recipe is a fun twist on a classic carrot cake that your family will devour!
CARROT CAKE SWISS ROLL
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Growing up, my absolute favorite part of Easter every year was participating in my family’s very competitive Easter egg hunt. I’m talking hundreds of eggs in the most elaborate (and difficult to find) places, plenty of competition, and family bragging rights for the entire next year for the winner.
Our egg hunt was always held right after we all stuffed ourselves with Easter dinner (one of my absolute favorite meals of the year). We burned off some of those calories running around searching for eggs and then everyone would come inside and eat my grandma’s carrot cake.
That cake was incredible and no one could ever make it like my grandma did. Because I could never achieve the greatness that was my grandma’s carrot cake recipe, I decided to make my own twist on the classic and make a carrot cake swiss roll! It’s got all the flavors of a spicy carrot cake and cream cheese frosting, but all rolled up into a beautiful, neat little roll!
This carrot cake swiss roll recipe will definitely be making an appearance on my Easter table this year – after I win the egg hunt of course!
Carrot Cake Swiss Roll Ingredients
Carrots – obviously, any carrot cake is going to be filled with carrots. If you’re anything like young me and are skeptical about veggies in a delicious dessert, don’t be. Just try it…you’ll be a carrot cake convert for sure!
You’ll need about 2 cups of shredded carrots. Pre-shredded or shredded by hand and then rung out a bit in some paper towels. Either way is fine!
Pecans – there is a great debate about what kind of nut goes best in a carrot cake (or if nuts belong in there at all!). In my personal opinion, I stick with a classic pecan. That’s how my grandma made it, so that must be the right way, right??
Cream Cheese Frosting – a non-negotiable for me when it comes to any carrot cake recipe is a great cream cheese frosting. I’ve been using this cream cheese frosting recipe for years and I really do believe that it is the BEST.
How to Make a Carrot Cake Swiss Roll
Because a swiss roll cake is so thin, the bake time on this recipe is REALLY quick. You will need some cooling time before you’re able to complete this recipe though. So, give yourself at least an hour to finish your carrot cake swiss roll from start to finish!
- Start by preheating your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Grab a half-sheet jelly roll pan and place parchment paper so it overhangs by an inch on two sides so you can easily lift the cake out to roll it. (You won’t need non-stick cooking spray.) This step is super important because if you don’t leave extra, it’ll be super hard to remove your cake without breaking it!
- Now it’s time to start making your batter! In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and spices together and set aside.
- Next, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs and sugar together then add the vanilla extract and oil.
- Fold in the grated carrots with a spatula.
- Next, add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. You don’t want to over-mix or else your cake won’t be as fluffy and perfect as it can be 🙂
- Pour your carrot cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes. Yes, only 10 minutes! Because it’s a thin cake, it only takes a little bit of baking time.
- Once your carrot cake is finished baking, lift the cake out of the pan immediately. Be careful not to burn yourself!!
How to Roll a Swiss Roll
So you’ve got a nice thin carrot cake baked…. now what? Now it’s time to get rolling! Here’s how to achieve that perfect swiss roll:
- While the cake is still very warm, with the parchment paper still on the cake, roll it up loosely from the short side to the short side and let it cool completely on a cooling rack. You want the parchment to stay on so the cake doesn’t stick to itself – you’ll be unrolling it again in a bit!
- Once the cake is cooled completely, unroll the cake gently. Do not force the cake completely flat, it’s perfectly fine to let the ends curl a little!
- Now it’s frosting time! Spread your cream cheese frosting on the cake leaving a half-inch border around the cake Otherwise, it’ll ooze out the edges when rolling. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
- Now, re-roll the cake, this time without the parchment. As you roll, carefully peel away the parchment paper from the cake.
- Gently (but tightly) wrap the rolled cake with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. This chill time allows the carrot cake swiss roll to really stick together and makes it easier to slice and serve.
- Serve your swiss roll sliced with powdered sugar sprinkled on top!
Pro-tip: Try freezing the cake before slicing it. This helps keep the cake from splitting and helps to keep the roll intact. All you have to do to achieve the perfect piece is warm the knife under some hot water before slicing!
Does carrot cake need to be refrigerated?
While most cakes can usually be stored at room temperature, a carrot cake (and a carrot cake swiss roll!) needs to be stored in the refrigerator.
There are two main reasons for this:
First, carrot cakes are baked with fresh carrots. Nobody wants those turning inside their delicious cake!
Second, carrot cakes traditionally are topped with cream cheese frosting. Cream cheese frosting definitely needs to stay cool!
Need more spring dessert inspiration? Check out these other Real Housemoms favorites!
- Strawberry Pound Cake with Champagne Glaze
- Swiss Roll
- Lemon Raspberry Loaf Cake
- Carrot Cake Cookies
- Strawberry Cheesecake Bites
- more DESSERT recipes…
Tools used to make this Carrot Cake Swiss Roll recipe
Jelly Roll Pan: I actually grab this pan for SO many recipes, not just my carrot cake swiss roll recipe!
Mixing bowls: I have had this set of glass mixing bowls for years. They’re my absolute favorite!
- 1 cup flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups shredded carrots
- 1 batch cream cheese frosting
- 1/4 cup pecans chopped
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Place a piece of parchment paper in the bottom of a half-sheet jelly roll pan. The parchment should hang 1-inch over on each side to help remove the cake from the pan later.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar. Add the vanilla and vegetable oil and whisk to combine.
- Add the shredded carrots and fold them into the batter. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove cake from oven. Immediately lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper. Be careful!! With the parchment paper still attached, roll the cake up starting at the short end of the cake. Let cake cool on a wire rack.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, unroll it gently. Do not force the cake flat. It's okay if the cake is curled on the ends.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle the frosting with chopped pecans.
- Reroll the cake, this time without the parchment paper. Tightly wrap the cake up in some plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. (see note)
- When you're ready to eat your cake, dust the entire top of the cake with powdered sugar. Then cut into 12 slices and enjoy!