This Easy Carrot Cake Roll is made using my one bowl carrot cake recipe. It is moist, tender and flavored with cinnamon, carrots, raisins and walnuts. The soft cake is rolled up with my Favorite Cream Cheese Buttercream!
Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray half sheet pan or large jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk eggs until smooth. Slowly whisk in the oil to emulsify. They should be pale and voluminous.
Whisk the sugars into the wet ingredient mixture. Fold the dry ingredient mixture into the wet.
Fold in carrots, walnuts, and raisins.
Pour batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven 8-10 minutes or until there is a slight resistance and spring-back when touched lightly in the center. The top will begin to brown slightly.
Allow to cool in pan 5 minutes, then turn out onto a tea towel. Pre-roll the cake to accustom it to its new, not flat shape. Allow to cool most of the way in the towel and then unroll and cool completely. This will help it to keep from cracking later.
While the cake cools, make the simple syrup and buttercream:
To make the simple, stir together water and sugar in a small pot. Bring just to a boil then remove from heat and cool completely. Refrigerate. Mix about ¼ cup of the simple syrup with 2 tablespoons of bourbon (more or less to taste).
To make the buttercream, cream together cream cheese, butter, and sugar until smooth. Add lemon juice and vanilla extract. If it gets too warm, chill it. Just pop the whole bowl and attachments in the fridge and give it an hour. Beat with your stand mixer's paddle attachment. ? Breathe. It’s just buttercream.
Once cool, soak the cake lightly with the simple syrup and spread a ⅛ inch thick layer of buttercream on the inside, leaving about ½ inch space at the end that is frosting free. Roll tightly starting from the center of the side and then top with more buttercream, dust with powdered sugar or a cream cheese glaze.
For easiest slicing, chill completely before serving.
Presentation - Cooling the cake in a towel really does make a world of difference! It also keeps your cake moist. Pre-roll your roulade before adding the buttercream, and let it cool almost all the way. Add your buttercream and the cake will be trained to want to be in the rolled shape for the REAL ROLL round. Winning. For the cleanest slices, chill the roulade before serving and slice with a sharp knife or a serrated knife!Flavor Tips - You cannot substitute for freshly shredded carrots that you squeeze of excess moisture. I use cheesecloth or a tea-towel in a pinch. You can use pre-grated carrots but they will be fatter and have variable amounts of moisture.Technique - Bake your cake right. Unfortunately, an over-baked cake will be dry and have a tendency to crack. Fix it by making a quick bourbon simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water brought to a boil and mixed with bourbon) and brushing the cake with the syrup prior to rolling. An under-baked cake is possibly worse because it will be sticky and gooey and it will stick to the towel and to you and to basically everything you don’t want it to stick to. Helpful Tools - Could I make this cake completely in one bowl? There is an important distinction between “can” and “should” in pastry. Can you mix this all in one bowl, yes. Should you mix it all in one bowl, perhaps a second momentary bowl is ok to pull out of the cupboard. Pre-whisking together the dry ingredients has two benefits: distributing the leavening and spices in the flour, and allowing for the fastest incorporation with the wet ingredients. Mixing it all in one bowl can more easily lead to an overmixed cake.Variations - You can omit the raisins and walnuts, or substitute for another dried fruit or nut of your choosing. If you don’t have light brown sugar on hand, you can absolutely substitute dark brown sugar in equal amounts. The flavor will be a bit more robust but you will still get all the benefits of the added moisture and caramel notes.Storage - Store unfrosted carrot cake well-wrapped at room temperature or freeze it! Unfrosted Carrot Cake will keep at room temperature for 3 days, refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to two months! Store unused cream cheese buttercream in an airtight, clean container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Buttercream can be frozen for longer storage. Once frosted, cake can be kept at room temperature for up to three days before the buttercream spoils. For longer storage, store in the refrigerator.Yield: 1, 12 inch Roll Cake
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