If you love pumpkin spice and all things nice, then this roll cake is for you! With the simplest of ingredients, this incredibly delicious roll is super easy to make and guaranteed not to crack. Yes, a gluten-free roll cake that does not crack, I couldn’t contain my excitement when this rolled up perfectly the first time I made it. A light and fluffy roll packed full of pumpkin spices, cream cheese filling and finished off with a dusting of icing sugar. Pumpkin roll is the perfect autumnal dessert!
Hokkaido pumpkin is perfect for baking with and especially perfect for gluten-free bakes. Gluten-free bakes often risk being too dry or crumbly, but adding fruit or vegetable purees such as pumpkin or beetroot, can bring back that missing moisture and create a beautifully soft and fluffy texture. Making your own pumpkin puree may be time consuming but it is very rewarding when you see the amount of delicious bakes you can get out of it. Take a look at my Pumpkin Cupcakes with cream cheese frosting or my perfect Pumpkin Pie for more ideas of what to bake with pumpkin puree. Plus, the whole pumpkin can be used so nothing goes to waste. The seeds can be roasted with salt for a healthy snack!
This pumpkin roll is super simple to make with simple ingredients and no particular special equipment, making it the perfect addition to a family feast or for Thanks Giving and Halloween get-togethers.
What equipment do you need for this cake?
- Swiss roll baking tray (approximately 34cm x 24cm x 2cm)
- Stand mixer or electric hand-held mixer
- Baking paper and clingfilm
- Kitchen tea towel
What ingredients do you need?
Butter – I often use unsalted butter for my recipes but salted is okay too if you leave out the extra sugar from the ingredients. Make sure the butter has been softened to room temperature before using
Sugar – I use standard caster sugar for this roll cake but light brown sugar would work too
Eggs – Medium free-range eggs are best
Gluten free flour – A gluten-free flour blend such as Doves Farm Self-raising Flour with added Xanthan gum and baking powder is perfect for this recipe, otherwise a standard flour blend will work fine
Pumpkin Puree*- Homemade or tinned puree is fine for this recipe. The most important thing, is that any excess water has been removed either through blotting or the cheesecloth draining method
Xanthan gum – Xanthan gum is essential for most gluten free recipes and there’s no exceptions here. Doves Farm is my preferred choice but you can use any. If your flour already contains Xanthan Gum, you can choose to leave out the extra 1/4 teaspoon.
Cream cheese – Plain full-fat cream cheeses taste the best
Baking powder – Any will do, just check that it is definitely gluten free
Mixed spices – For this recipe you can use your own mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, black pepper and ginger or a pumpkin pie spice mix, all spice mix or mixed ground spice, depending on what is available in your area
Icing sugar – Standard sifted icing sugar
Tips & Tricks
Blotting or draining – It’s imperative to blot or drain the pumpkin puree beforehand so as to remove any excess water before baking. Too much water will make the cake soggy and wet and has the potential to ruin the roll!
Rolling the cake whilst warm is essential if you want the cake to retain the roll shape. You can turn the cake over onto a kitchen towel dusted with icing sugar or leave it in the baking paper to roll.
Chilling or partially freezing the roll cake before serving will help the filling to set so you can cut the perfect slice without making a mess of your beautiful swirl.
Room temperature ingredients are essential for this recipe to work. Room temperature ingredients ensure that they can all be mixed together thoroughly. If you forget to take your eggs out of the fridge beforehand, place them in a bowl of lukewarm (not hot, you don’t want to cook them!) water 15 minutes prior to baking to bring them to room temperature more quickly.
The toothpick test is a great way to check whether your cakes are done. As all ovens are calibrated differently, the baking times stated are always suggested as a rough guide. To check if the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the centre and if it comes out with no crumbs stuck to it, you can assume that the cake is baked through and ready to come out.
I use grams for weighing almost all of the ingredients in my recipes as it is what I am most used to when cooking and baking on a daily basis. I use measuring cups for simple ingredients such as spices or smaller amounts as it can be much easier to measure. I would recommend sticking to what the recipe suggests as there is no guarantee that converting into cup measurements or vice-versa will have the same outcome.
For the pumpkin roll
- 95 g gluten-free self-raising flour blend
- 200 g caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs room temperature
- 150 g pumpkin puree blotted
- ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp vanilla paste
- 4 tbsp icing sugar
For the cream cheese filling
- 250 g plain cream cheese
- 75 g unsalted butter room temperature
- 250 g icing sugar
- ½ tsp vanilla paste
- For the roll
- Preheat the oven to 180 ° C Fan and line a Swiss roll baking tray with baking paper.
- Whisk together the eggs and sugar until lighter and paler in colour.200 g caster sugar, 4 medium eggs
- Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla paste and whisk until completely combined.150 g pumpkin puree, ¼ tsp vanilla paste
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, Xanthan Gum, baking powder, salt and spices, and whisk until combined. Sift into the wet ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain.95 g gluten-free self-raising flour blend, ¼ tsp Xanthan Gum, 1 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp ground cinnamon, ½ tsp ground ginger, ½ tsp ground cloves, ½ tsp ground nutmeg, ¼ tsp salt
- Pour the mixture onto the lined Swiss roll baking tray and spread evenly into each corner with an offset spatula, gently shaking the tray from side to side when finished to ensure the mixture is distributed evenly.
- Bake on the middle shelf for around 11-12 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Whilst the cake is baking, lay a kitchen tea towel out onto a flat surface and dust generously with icing sugar.4 tbsp icing sugar
- After removing the roll cake from the oven, turn it over onto the powdered kitchen towel and gently remove the baking paper.
- Using the towel, roll up the cake slowly and tightly from one of the shortest edges, then set aside on a cooling rack to cool completely before preparing the filling.
- For the filling, combine all of the ingredients in a bowl or stand-mixer and whisk until thoroughly combined and no lumps remain.250 g plain cream cheese, 250 g icing sugar, ½ tsp vanilla paste, 75 g unsalted butter
- Once the roll cake has cooled, unroll carefully and spread the filling evenly onto it, leaving a 1cm border around the sides to allow for spreading.
- Gently roll up the cake and wrap in clingfilm before placing in the fridge to set for 1-2 hours.
- Remove from the fridge 10 minutes before serving and dust with icing sugar.