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You didn’t? I blooming well did! This is my recipe for Gluten Free Arctic Roll which incidentally is simple to make dairy free too. In fact, the Arctic Roll you see in these images are dairy free because I used dairy free ice cream and the genoise sponge is naturally dairy free too.
My recipe write up’s include useful tips on how to achieve the end results, altenative ingredients for dietary requirements and sometimes a bit of fascinating ‘did you know’ history behind the recipe. I’ve added a handy contents list so you can jump to the bits that interest you.
Skip to the good bit
- Where does Arctic Roll come from?
- How do you make the sponge for Arctic Roll?
- How do you get the swirl in the ice cream?
- Method without raspberry swirl
- Can I make my own ice cream for this dessert?
- Why does it take so long to make an Arctic Roll?
- Can I make a vegan Arctic Roll?
- How do you store this frozen dessert?
- More delicious gluten free cold dessert ideas
- Gluten Free Arctic Roll Recipe
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Where does Arctic Roll come from?
For those of us of a certain age (cough, over 40) I bet you have childhood memories of Arctic Roll, me too. So, as with many of my adapted well known recipes, I’ve done a bit of digging into the history of the humble Arctic Roll.
One of the nation’s most iconic sweet treats – the Artic Roll – celebrates its 60th anniversary this year. The dessert with a unique structure was the invention of Dr. Ernest Veldenin, who decided to create the perfect combination of vanilla flavoured ice-cream, rippled and coated with raspberry sauce, before being wrapped in sponge cake. He set up an ice cream factory to manufacture his innovative dessert in Eastbourne, Sussex, in 1958.Wales Online – September 2021
It wasn’t until the 1970’s that Birds Eye started to manufacture the frozen dessert and sales peaked in the 1980’s apparently with 25 miles of Arctic Roll being sold each month. As I’m a heatwave baby of 1976 I can imagine my mum eating her body weight in Arctic Roll which may explain my fascination with it.
In the late 1990’s Birds Eye stopped production only to start up again in the late 2000’s – it seems we just couldn’t live without the frozen treat!
Today, the humble Arctic Roll is back and can be found back on shelves in most stores with other brands jumping on the band waggon too. But, you can’t buy a gluten free Arctic Roll nor can you buy a dairy free Arctic Roll so my recipe covers both dietary options.
How do you make the sponge for Arctic Roll?
The sponge for Arctic Roll is a simple gluten free genoise sponge. I love this type of sponge, it’s so flexible and lovely to work with. It’s also super spongy and light. For this recipe I have adapted my original genoise recipe slightly as I’ve added less sugar.
The reason for this is that sugar can turn to liquid (why a lemon meringue pie tends to seep clear sugary juice) and it can also crystallise and I didn’t want to the sponge to be compromised when frozen.
For this sponge I’ve used;
- 30g self raising gluten free flour
- 30g plain gluten free flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 2 eggs separated
The method is the same as a normal genoise sponge for example my Easy Gluten Free Swiss Roll Recipe. This is where you whip the egg whites, add the sugar gradually, fold in the egg yolks. Finally you fold in the flours. Super simple I promise.
How do you get the swirl in the ice cream?
I’ll be honest here, this is not easy, but it’s jolly good fun trying! To add the raspberry swirl to the ice cream I weigh out the ice cream and place it on a baking tray with a sheet of cling film over it (I hate the stuff but for this recipe it’s a must).
Placing a second sheet of clingfilm (plastic wrap) over the top, I use the heel of my hands to spread the ice cream out into a rectangle shape. You can also use a rolling pin but with my hands I have more control over the shape.
This flattened ice cream sheet goes into the freezer until it’s frozen solid.
Once frozen remove from the freezer, peel off the top layer of clingfilm and spread raspberry jam over the ice cream.
Next comes the not so fun, tricky bit. Using the underside sheet of clingfilm to help you, start to roll the ice cream like a swiss roll. You may get cracks, don’t worry just keep rolling as gently as you can.
Finally, using the original sheet of cling film, wrap the ice cream roll up into a sausage shape, securing both ends of the clingfilm and return to the fridge to freeze solid again. This is your ice cream swirl ready for wrapping in sponge.
Method without raspberry swirl
A less stressful method to the one above is to spread the cooled genoise sponge with raspberry jam and then roll around a sausage of ice cream.
To make the ice cream sausage just wrap the ice cream up in clingfilm and work into a sausage shape then freeze.
Can I make my own ice cream for this dessert?
You could opt to make your own ice cream for this frozen dessert. I’ve gone for the easy option but as I used dairy free ice cream it’s not cheap with 350g of ice cream costing around £3.00. Normal dairy ice cream would of course be cheaper. However if you wanted to make your own dairy free vanilla ice cream the recipe below makes approx. 800ml of ice cream so more than enough for this recipe.
Plain Dairy Free Vanilla Ice Cream Recipe
Why does it take so long to make an Arctic Roll?
There are a few elements to making this Gluten Free Arctic Roll and each one relies on time to freeze or cook, or cool so this is not a quick recipe by any means. Working with ice cream is fiddly so you need to keep popping it back in the freezer for the next stage to work.
Can I make a vegan Arctic Roll?
I’ve not tried it yet, but having already conquered the vegan genoise sponge I’m confident you will be able to make this vegan as well if you use my Vegan Genoise Sponge recipe.
Did you make this?
What did you think? I do so hope you love the recipe as much as were do in our family. I would be so grateful for a comment and STAR rating if you don’t mind.
How do you store this frozen dessert?
I wrap the dessert loosely in baking paper and clip with a sandwich/freezer bag clip. I then pop it into a large enough Tupperware container to keep the frozen dessert from getting frost or absorbing freeze smells. Wrapping in baking paper also makes it easier to get the dessert in and out of the container. This Arctic Roll slices beautifully straight from frozen, no need to defrost (especially if you made it with dairy free ice cream). Any unused Arctic Roll will keep for up to a month if in an air tight container.
More delicious gluten free cold dessert ideas
Gluten Free Arctic Roll Recipe
If you make it and like the recipe I would be eternally grateful if you popped back and commented leaving a star rating as this will tell search engines that this recipe is worth checking out and others will get to find it in searches.
Gluten Free Arctic Roll
- Cling Film plastic wrap
For the sponge
- 30 g gluten free self raising flour
- 30 g gluten free plain flour
- 50 g caster sugar
- 2 eggs separated
For the ice cream swirl
- 400 g vanilla ice cream I used dairy free ice cream
- 2 tbsp raspberry jam raspberry jelly
To make the ice cream swirl
- Weigh out the ice cream and place it on a baking tray covered with a sheet of cling film.Placing a second sheet of clingfilm (plastic wrap) over the top of the ice cream.
- Using the heel of your hand, spread the ice cream out into a rectangle shape. You can also use a rolling pin but with my hands I have more control over the shape.This flattened ice cream sheet goes into the freezer until it's frozen solid.
- Once frozen remove from the freezer, peel off the top layer of clingfilm and spread raspberry jam over the ice cream.
- Next, using the underside sheet of clingfilm to help you, start to roll the ice cream like a swiss roll. You may get cracks, don't worry just keep rolling as gently as you can.
- Finally, using the original sheet of cling film, wrap the ice cream roll up into a sausage shape, securing both ends of the clingfilm and return to the fridge to freeze solid again. This is your ice cream swirl ready for wrapping in sponge.
To make the sponge
- Add the egg whites to a mixer/bowl and using the whisk attachment beat into firm peaks.
- Add the caster sugar a table spoonful at a time and continue to beat until the whites become stiff and have a beautiful glossy sheen to them.TOP TIP: You know it's ready if you take a pinch a bit and rub your fingers together, if you can feel the sugar grains between your fingers you need to continue beating.
- Next add the egg yolks and whisk on slow, just enough to combine the two.
- Fold in the sifted flours quickly with a silicone spatula. Make sure you do this gently to prevent knocking too much air out of the mixture.
- Spoon onto a baking sheet covered with grease proof paper and tease into a rectangle shape approx. 20x25cm. Next, using a pastry brush and a small bowl of water, gently brush the mixture to level it out.
- Bake on 180°C | 160°C fan | 350°F | Gas 4 for 15 minutes, a this is a thin genoise sponge, cooking times are reduced.Remove from oven and cool for 5 mins.
- Once 5 mins has passed cover with a tea towel to allow the sponge to cool completely.TOP TIP: do not let the tea towel touch the sponge, I use two rolling pins either side to lift the tea towel up. The idea is to retain moisture but allow the sponge to cool so's not to melt the ice cream.
To make the Arctic Roll
- Once the ice cream has frozen and the sponge has cooled you can take the ice cream sausage from the freezer, remove the clingfilm wrap and place at one end of the upturned genoise sponge. Gently roll the ice cream inside the sponge and place on a sheet of baking paper.
- I dust with caster sugar at this stage and gently secure the two sides of the baking paper with a freezer/sandwich bag clip.
- Return to the freezer for at least 1 hour, then your Arctic Roll is ready to serve. No need to defrost simple slice off portions as required.
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