How to make a ‘carrot cake’ swiss roll

Melanie Johnson shares her recipe for an unusual — but delicious — take on carrot cake.

The humble carrot is endlessly versatile — and it’s easy to forget just how tasty. ‘Sweet, with a delightful crunch,’ says Melanie Johnson, before warning, ‘don’t peel away the flavour from home-grown summer carrots.’

Carrot rosti are a superb way to do something different with this veg. Grate two large carrots and a sweet potato, then sprinkle with salt and leave for 15 minutes. Squeeze out the gratings in a clean tea towel, then mix with a beaten egg, chopped parsley, a teaspoon of harissa and a chopped spring onion to create your raw rosti mix.

Pan-fry dollops of the mixture in vegetable oil for a few minutes on each side or until golden. Serve with feta crumbled over the top, a scattering of pomegranate seeds and some peppery rocket.

And for dessert? More carrots, naturally:

Recipe: Olive oil and carrot Swiss roll with cream-cheese filling


  • 100g self-raising flour
  • 1tspn cinnamon
  • ½tspn ginger
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • A pinch of salt
  • 125g light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tspn vanilla-bean paste
  • 40ml mild olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, grated

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For the cream-cheese filling

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1tspn vanilla-bean paste
  • About 250g icing sugar


Preheat your oven to 160˚C fan/180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4 and line a Swiss-roll tin — about 23cm (9in) by 33cm (13in) — with baking parchment.

Whisk together in a large bowl the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and olive oil, then stir them through the dry ingredients. Add the grated carrots and gently fold them in. Pour into the prepared tin and bake for 15–20 minutes or until cooked through.

Dust a clean tea towel with icing sugar. When the cake is cooked, invert it onto the sugared tea towel. When the cake is still warm, very gently use the tea towel to roll it up from the long side. Leave it in the tea towel to cool completely.

Make the filling by beating the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together and then add the icing sugar gradually to reach the consistency of a thick, spreadable filling. (You may need a little less or a little more than 250g.)

Once the carrot roll is cool, gently open it and add the filling. Roll it back up again and dust with icing sugar or add more decorative icing to the top if desired, then serve.

This will keep for a few days in an airtight container.