Courtesy of Chef Oonagh Williams of Gluten Free Cooking with Oonagh
I’ve made regular carrot cake for years. I always had to make one for my friend Rick’s parties. He always gets the carrot cake, even at Christmas. I know! My friends tell me what dessert to bring to a party, and it doesn’t matter that it’s gluten-free and they’re wheat-eaters, it still gets demolished. I was tweaking this recipe and took it to a chamber of commerce luncheon, as I really don’t need a full size jelly roll in the house. One of the young men came back for seconds, said I could make it for him anytime and had no idea it was gluten-free.
Don’t worry about length of recipe. It’s easy, and I try to give as much advice as possible to help you. I always try and simplify my recipes, as none of us have time for involved methods and lots of dirty dishes. I saw one recipe that cooked the carrot and puréed it, but that just didn’t work for me. I also tried cooking a shredded carrot in the microwave, but it didn’t make a difference, took more time and dirtied another dish. I prefer shreds of raw carrot because they give texture and do cook in enough time. I prefer the finished cake served at room temperature so the filling softens and the whole jelly roll melts in your mouth.
- ⅓ cup and 1 Tbsp. (2¼ oz., 65 g.) King Arthur gluten-free flour blend of rice flour, potato starch and tapioca starch
- ¼ tsp. xanthan gum
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded like shredded cheese (about 1 cup or 4 oz. shredded)
- 1 tsp. (5 ml.) gluten-free baking powder
- 1 tsp. (5 ml.) cinnamon
- 1 tsp. (5 ml.) pumpkin pie or apple pie spice OR 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup (2 oz., 60 g.) packed light (soft) brown sugar
- ⅓ cup (2¾ oz., 75 g.) granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. (5 ml.) gluten-free vanilla extract
- ¼ cup (60 ml.) chopped pecans or macadamia nuts
- 3 Tbsp. (45 ml.) shredded, sweetened regular coconut
This is a large amount of filling, really evil, but even more delicious.
- 8 oz. (250 g.) cream cheese, softened to room temperature (I use lite Neufchatel.)
- 4 oz. (125 g.) butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 tsp. (5 ml.) gluten-free vanilla extract (Don’t be heavy handed, as it overpowers.)
- 2 cups powdered/icing sugar
- 1 can (8 oz., 250 g.) crushed pineapple in juice, drained well
- Preheat oven to 350° F (180° C).
- Spray a 10×15” jelly roll (swiss roll) pan and line with greaseproof parchment paper, pushing paper into the edges, corners and up the sides for overflow. Spray paper as well.
- Put eggs, both sugars and vanilla in large bowl (or stand mixer) and whisk for several minutes until mix is fluffy, increased in volume and whisk leaves trail in the egg mix.
- Mix flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, spices and salt with shredded carrots.
- Gently fold flour and carrot mix into whisked eggs, taking care not to deflate.
- Spoon mix into jelly roll pan, gently spreading it to the corners and edges. Sprinkle with chopped pecans and coconut. These give a different texture and prevent cake from sticking to dish towel when cooked and turned out.
- Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, checking at 12 minutes. Cake should have risen almost level with top of pan, have a nice light golden color and feel cooked, but soft fluffy.
- Remove from oven and place lint-free towel on top of cooling rack. Place rack with towel on top of cake, flip and remove pan. Tear small pieces of the parchment paper off the cake. If you try and tear large pieces, cake can be caught and tear.
- Loosely roll cake with lint-free towel caught inside to make a short, fat roll. I wait only about 15-20 minutes to cool down. If you leave cake for 45-60 minutes, it cracks when you unroll.
- If you don’t feel confident rolling cake, then cut it into 2 or 3 strips in either direction and stack like a layer cake. It will taste just as good.
- Beat really soft butter and cream cheese together. If they are hard, you won’t get smooth mouth feel and little blobs of hard butter and cream cheese will be visible.
- Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Taste.
- Unroll jelly roll after 15-20 minutes. It won’t lie flat. If it is still quite warm in the middle, let it cool for another 15 minutes. Gently spread filling to edges, trying to make filling reasonably even. Make sure you spread to the edges, because there is nothing worse than a bite without filling.
- Spread drained crushed pineapple (there isn’t that much).
- Re-roll with seam underneath, place on serving plate and refrigerate or serve immediately. If refrigerating, remove from fridge before serving so the filling can soften (butter causes it to stiffen to piping consistency).
- Dust with powdered sugar. I find it easiest to cut in half lengthwise down the middle and then cut bigger chunks, rather than trying to cut pretty and thin slices.