I have been fantasizing about making one of those gorgeous this gluten free carrot cake roll type cakes. Today I am going to be keeping it real with you! My goal was to give you instructions on how to make a carrot cake log so pretty that it belonged in a magazine. Let’s just say that isn’t what happened!
First, I have to tell you that while I wasn’t thrilled with the look of the cake, the flavor was terrific! With each bite, you get a spicy cake loaded with walnuts, raisins, and luscious cream cheesecake filling.
If you love carrot cake, you make make it in a layered cake like this Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.
From this view, the cake looks so pretty, right? As you can tell from my blog, I bake and spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Even the most experienced baker can have some mishaps now and again.
What do you do when you mess up in the kitchen? I dusted myself off, grabbed a slice and went to town on that cake! Mr. Fearless Dining even joined in and guess what? It was worth every bite!
Here is the inside view:
Gluten Free Baking Fails. You can see the big "whoops" from here!
I considered tossing this gluten free carrot cake roll right in the trash. I didn’t want to do that for several reasons. First of all, I don’t like to waste food especially when it tastes this yummy! Second, gluten free ingredients can be so expensive and I didn’t want to throw it out. Lastly, when you are a blogger, you spend a lot of time making sure every photo is beautiful.
So my pictures are not beautiful. What I CAN do is make tell you where my fails were, and tell you how to fix them so that this doesn't happen to you!
I want to hear your stories about making this cake. How did yours turn out? Do you have any tips for me or my readers on how to prevent your cake from cracking? Let’s keep it real with each other and have a little fun! Tag me if you make this cake because I want to hear all about your experience.
If you are addicted to everything that is carrot cake, you have to try these recipes:
So let's talk about the cake and what I did wrong. I am going to show you pictures of EVERY step I took in making this carrot log cake. You can easily see where I went wrong as you read along with me.
This part was easy enough. I added all of the dry ingredients, including nuts and raisins to a bowl. Whisk to blend. (Note, if your gluten free flour blend doesn't contain Xanthan Gum, add 1 teaspoon!)
Add all of your wet ingredients, including the shredded carrot to a bowl. Mix well.
Pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
This is what your gluten free cake batter will look like in the bowl.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spread out your gluten free carrot cake batter in a thin rectangular shape. Your batter should be about 1/2 inch tall.
This is what your carrot cake batter will look like when baked. HERE is where I went wrong. I didn't roll my cake right away while it was hot. AND when I did roll the cake, I rolled it in the parchment paper I used to bake it. Here is what I should have done...
How to roll a cake (or not)
How you should roll a cake is by baking the cake, and when the cake is finished baking, lay it on a clean towel. Some bakers recommend sprinkling a layer of powdered sugar onto the towel to prevent the cake from sticking.
When I rolled the cake, I didn’t use a soft, clean kitchen towel. I rolled it in the parchment paper I had baked it on. Instead of getting a towel dirty, I figured why not use what I already had. Let’s just say that didn’t work out so well.
My beautiful masterpiece cracked! Thankfully, I can at least I can laugh about it! (I think the towel must help with moisture and helping the roll cake set. The parchment paper I used is dry and doesn't absorb moisture.)
So, given how expensive gluten free products are, what is a girl to do? I did what anyone who loves cake would do. I continued and unrolled the cake to add the frosting.
If you like seeing Food Blogger Fails, you will want to read my post on Toffee Making Fails. It is super funny, and I had 3 fails before getting it right!! (And to be fully candid, the first two toffee attempts ended up in the trash!)
In hindsight, I could have made the cream cheese layer a bit thinner. If you are the type who likes the cake more than the frosting, you may want to make a thin layer of frosting.
Next, I rolled the cake. Not so easy and I could tell right away when my cake roll broke. At this point, I thought again about tossing the cake. Frugality got in the way because after tasting a tiny bit of the cake, it tasted AMAZING.
So, not the pretty cake I had hoped for. I do plan to make this cake again soon "rolling it the right way" and will share pictures when I do.
I am sure you have a ton of questions so I will try to answer the most common:
Can I use wax paper instead of parchment paper for baking?
It isn’t a good idea to bake with wax paper because it can melt or possibly even catch fire. I recommend using parchment paper whenever you bake because it is heat resistant. Another option is a silicone baking mat because they are non-stick and made to handle high heat.
Can I freeze cake roll?
Yes, you can freeze this gluten free carrot cake. The best way to freeze the cake is to place the log in the freezer and allow to freeze solid. It will take around 3-4 hours to freeze properly. Once it is frozen, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container.
The carrot cake will taste its best if consumed within 4-6 months of freezing. You can eat it if it has been frozen longer, but the flavor and texture may not be as good. When ready to eat, defrost cake slowly in the refrigerator for best results.
Can I make this recipe dairy-free?
Yes, there is a dairy-free option for this carrot cake. Simply replace regular cream cheese with dairy-free cream cheese like Daiya or Kite Hill.
- Toasted Nuts - You can add toasted nuts to change and enhance the flavor. Here is my recipe for Simple Honey Roasted Cashews.
- Not a fan of raisins? That is fine, you can omit them and the cake will still be moist and delicious.
Here Are More Gluten Free Cake Recipes You Should Try:
- Super Easy Gluten Free Lemon Cake
- Gluten Free Chocolate Layer Cake With Raspberry Icing
- Gluten Free Vanilla Cake With Cream Cheese Icing
- Mini Gluten Free Champagne Cupcakes
Gluten Free Carrot Cake Roll and Troubleshooting Fails
- 1 1/2 cups gluten free flour
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 1 1/2 cups shredded carrot
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
- For Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1/2 cup shredded coconut
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl, add the dry ingredients, raisins, and walnuts and whisk to blend.
- In a smaller bowl, add the wet ingredients and shredded carrots. Whisk.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well.
- Spread a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet.
- Pour the gluten free carrot cake batter on the parchment sheet and spread to 1/2 inch thickness in a rectangle shape.
- Bake for 20 minutes until done.
- Take a clean towel and move the cake to the towel. Roll the cake gently and allow to cool.
- In a mixer, add the frosting ingredients and mix well until fluffy.
- Carefully unwrap the roll cake and spread a thin layer of frosting on the cake.
- Re-roll the cake.
- Optional: Frost the outside of the cake and cover with shredded coconut.
If you love the recipes you are finding on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free chocolate e-cookbook!)