This gluten free Pumpkin Roll Cake, with its spicy soft cake and cream cheese swirl, is actually really easy to make. It can also be made in advance, so it is perfect for entertaining too.
There are two kinds of pumpkin rolls. There is the yeast bread, cinnamon roll type. And then there is the kind that is like a jelly roll. Since I have already shared a recipe for the gluten free Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls, I thought I’d share a recipe for the jelly roll type.
This thin, moist pumpkin cake is flavored with my homemade pumpkin pie spice. You probably have the spices needed to make pumpkin pie spice in your pantry already, so there is no need to buy the expensive little container of pre-blended spice at the grocery store.
What is a jelly roll pan? Do I need one?
Pumpkin Roll cakes, and other roll cakes, are baked in a special pan called a jelly roll pan. A jelly roll pan is 15 1/2 x 10 1/2-inches with a low edge all the way around the outside.
It is important to bake your roll cakes and jelly rolls in the proper size pan so that the cake is the right thickness. If you baked this recipe in a 9×13-inch pan, the cake would be too thick to roll. And if you baked it in a larger cookie sheet, the cake would be too thin.
I invested in an inexpensive jelly roll pan a few years ago. They don’t have to be a huge investment.
Can I bake the gluten free Pumpkin Roll Cake ahead of time?
Yes! Pumpkin Roll Cakes need to baked ahead of time, actually.
You need to bake roll cakes ahead of time because you need to allow the cake to cool completely after rolling it up, but before filling it. Then you need to refrigerate it for at least 4 hours after filling it so that the filling has time to harden, helping the roll to hold its shape. Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before serving to let the filling soften slightly
This gluten free Pumpkin Roll Cake can easily be baked two days ahead of time. You just need to wrap it tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating it.
If the gf Pumpkin Roll Cake is tightly wrapped with plastic wrap and foil, you can freeze it for up to 2 months. Just be sure to defrost it in the fridge overnight before serving.
How to prevent cracks in your gluten free Pumpkin Roll Cake:
Although a few cracks may occur when you roll up your Pumpkin Roll Cake, there are ways to minimize them.
- Be sure to roll up the Pumpkin Roll Cake as soon as it has come out of the oven. You don’t want to let the cake cool in the pan, and then try to roll it.
- Be sure to use a thin, lint-free towel, without any texture, when you are rolling up the gluten free Pumpkin Roll Cake. A smooth, lint-free towel is less likely to stick to the cake when you are unrolling it.
- Once your cake has cooled completely (in about an hour), you will unroll it to spread on the cream cheese filling. If the ends want to stay curled a little bit, don’t try to force them flat. Just gently spread the filling on it, and roll it back up.
Looking for more pumpkin desserts? How about:
- Gluten Free Crustless Pumpkin Pie
- Easy Gluten Free Pumpkin Swirl Brownies
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Cheesecake
- Gluten-Free Pumpkin White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies
- Gluten Free Pumpkin Bars
Gluten Free Pumpkin Roll Cake recipe:
Pumpkin Roll Cake:
- 1/4 cup millet flour
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 1/4 cup tapioca starch
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- confectioners' (icing) sugar for sprinkling
- 8 ounces (250 grams) cream cheese, softened
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup confectioners' (icing) sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 10x15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the millet flour, rice flour, tapioca starch, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, sugars, eggs, and vanilla.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, and stir until thoroughly combined. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet, and spread out until you have an even layer.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 13-15 minutes, or until the cake bounces back when gently pressed.
- Remove from oven and, using a sifter, immediately sift the additional confectioners' sugar over the cake, until the entire cake is covered. This will help to prevent the cake from sticking when you roll it up.
- Place a lint-free, thin kitchen towel over the cake, making sure that the cake is covered, and one edge lines up with the 10-inch side of the cake. Place a cooling rack on top of the cloth, and carefully flip the baking pan upside down, turning the cake onto the cooling rack.
- Carefully remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and, starting on the 10-inch side, roll the cake into a log. Be sure to roll the cloth along with the cake, that will ensure that you can unroll it later to put the filling in. Allow the cake to cool for about 1 hour.
- Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat until smooth again.
- Unroll the pumpkin cake, and spread the cream cheese filling over the cake, leaving 1-inch clear at the 10-inch side that will be the outside of the roll.
- Roll up the cake again, this time without the cloth. I like to roll the cake up in the lint-free towel again, just to help hold it's shape. Wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving. The Pumpkin Roll Cake can be made one or two days in advance.
- Remove from the refrigerator 30 minutes before serving to allow the filling to soften slightly. Slice into 1-inch slices and serve.
This gluten free Pumpkin Roll Cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated for 2-3 days, or frozen for up to 2 months.
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Originally posted Nov 2013. Images and text updated Oct 2019.