My aunt makes the best pumpkin roll in the world. And I would know, I’m pretty much a pumpkin roll sommelier (even though it took me 3 attempts to spell sommelier until I even got close enough for autocorrect to pick up what I was putting down). Her pumpkin roll is tried and true, and my favorite dish of the holidays. It’s the kind of pumpkin roll you wake up dreaming about having with coffee. The kind you eat in place of dinner. The kind that lasts no more than 2 days in the fridge. But aunt Christine’s infamous pumpkin roll is also the kind of dessert that induces a sugar rush, and ultimate crash. The kind that uses eggs, 2 cups of sugar, flour, butter and cream cheese.
This recipe is an adaption of my aunt’s pumpkin roll, but with 2/3 less sugar, no dairy, no eggs, and no gluten. It is slightly less sweet, using more natural sugars from fruit, which allows for the flavor of the pumpkin to really shine. It is the perfect marriage of spicy pumpkin and tangy cream cheese. And it doesn’t leave you feeling bloated, sugar spiked, or guilty for indulging.
This recipe wasn’t a one-hit-wonder, it took a lot of patience and experimentation until I found the perfect combination of ingredients. My biggest lesson learned is that you should treat your pumpkin roll how you want to be treated: with respect. Roll her gently, peel off the wax carefully, and spread the frosting with grace and you’ll have a hell of a roll to show off.
Provided that didn’t scare you off…
BEST HEALTHY PUMPKIN ROLL
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Reduced Sugar, Heart Healthy
Prep Time: 30M | Cook Time: 20M | Yields 10 Servings
I N G R E D I E N T S >>>
- 3/4 cup Pumpkin Puree (I use Farmer’s Market)
- 1/2 Medium Banana, Mashed
- 1/2 cup Unsweetened Applesauce
- 1 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice
- 2 tsp Grade A Pure Maple Syrup (I use Adirondack)
- 1 cup Organic All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour (I use ArrowHead)
- 1/3 cup Raw Organic Cane Sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
- 1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 1 tsp Cinnamon (I use 365 Vietnamese Cinnamon)
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- 1 packet (2 tsp) Monkfruit Sweetener or Stevia (I use Lakanto)
- 1/4 cup Chopped Walnuts
- Sprinkle of Powdered Sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
- 1 tsp Olive Oil, if needed for spreading (I love the rich depth of the olive oil flavor, but you could alternatively use coconut oil)
optional add-ins: 2 tsp cacao nibs
>>>CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FILLING
- 8-10 oz Vegan Cream Cheese (I use Miyokos)
- 2 tbsp Vegan Butter (I use Miyokos)
- 1 tsp Pure Organic Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 cup Organic Powdered Raw Sugar (I use Florida Crystals)
- 1 packet (2 tsp) Monk Fruit Sweetener or Stevia (I use Lankato)
D I R E C T I O N S>>>
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Gently combine wet ingredients (pumpkin, banana, apple sauce, maple syrup, lemon juice) in a mixing bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, gently combine dry ingredients (flour, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, monk fruit sweetener).
- Gently fold dry mix into wet. Some pumpkin purees will be more water than others. If your mixture is too clumpy, add 1 tsp olive oil.
- grease a 10×15 pan. Cover in wax paper, sticking paper firmly to waxed pan. Lightly grease wax paper (**important!**).
- Gently spread pumpkin cake mixture across pan. The layer will be thin, but close all holes with the back of a spoon so mixture is smooth and even.
- optional: Sprinkle chopped walnuts and cacao nibs on top.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- While cake is baking, lay out a clean tea towel and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
- Remove cake from oven and flip upside down onto tea towel. Gently (and slowly) remove wax paper.
- Roll the cake in the towel to make a log (starting from one 12in side). Place in refrigerator for 6+ hours.
- Whip frosting ingredients (cream cheese, butter, sugar, monk fruit sweetener, vanilla) using a standing or hand-held mixers until fluffy.
- Gently unroll pumpkin cake. Cover in a generous layer of frosting.
- Gently roll, starting from 12inch side.
- Sprinkle pumpkin roll with powdered sugar, and return to refrigerator until ready to eat. Enjoy!
The pumpkin spice cake is so delicious on its own, you can easily use it to make muffins or cookies. I’ve had some luck turning this recipe into pumpkin spice whoopie pies – which are better grab and go foods for a party.
I’m entering this recipe into the Florida Crystals fall recipe contest! To learn more about their contests, head to their socials:
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