Arctic Roll

This is a dessert that every child who grew up in the 90’s (and probably 70’s & 80’s ) will know and love. This retro wonder is vanilla icecream, wrapped in a swiss roll sponge with a layer of jam.

This, along with a Vienetta was the staple post Sunday lunch dessert for our family and it holds serious nostalgia value for me.

Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/REX (4550102bn)

This was always shop bought, never homemade, but when I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. For old times sake of course – and because it’s bloody brillant.

I used cheap vanilla ice cream, because that is what arctic roll is about. I also used sugar free strawberry jam, because I’m diabetic. The only homemade part is the sponge, so this is surprisingly easy to make. It’s really all about the assembly.  The trick is to buy ice cream that is not soft scoop, because you will not be able to shape it properly without it melting.

I’m so glad I made it as it left me with the warm, fuzzy nostalgia feelings I was looking for. And a boatload of ice cream, obviously.

Serves 8

Arctic Roll

120Prep Time

30Cook Time

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  • 750ml/1pint 7fl oz good vanilla ice cream, softened
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 110g/4oz self-raising flour
  • 250g strawberry jam


  1. For the ice cream, soften slightly and place onto a sheet of baking parchment, then roll up and mould into a sausage 5cmx30cm/2inx12in long and freeze until solid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas 5 and line a 23cmx33cm/9inx13in Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
  3. Place the eggs and sugar into a bowl and whisk until very light, fluffy and thickened.
  4. Sift the flour over the mixture and fold in carefully.
  5. Pour into the lined tin and smooth with a spatula until evenly spread out.
  6. Bake the sponge for 10-12 minutes, or until just firm to the touch.
  7. Place a sheet of baking parchment that is slightly bigger than the tray onto the work surface and dust with some caster sugar.
  8. Turn the sponge out onto the parchment paper, then peel off the parchment on the bottom of the sponge. Set aside to cool slightly.
  9. To assemble the roll, spread the strawberry jam over the cooled sponge, leaving a 2cm/1in gap around the edge.
  10. Place the ice cream cylinder along the long side of the sponge, then using the parchment paper underneath, roll up the sponge so the ice cream is encased in sponge.
  11. Roll the sponge off the parchment and cut into slices to serve.


This keeps well in the freezer wrapped in parchment paper. You just need to leave it out long enough for the sponge to defrost slightly before serving.