Monday, October 3, 2011

Gluten Free Pumpkin Roulade Cake with Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Filling


Well, it seems my little 2 week vacation from blogging turned into a ::ahem:: a 6 week one. To be fair, I went back to school this semester for the first time in 6 years, and oh my gosh people, did you know that have to do homework when you are are in school? I seem to have forgotten this, and how much time it takes up. Especially when you have a 2 year old interrupting you every 30 seconds (not exaggerating) because he wants you to play choo-choos with him. I've found myself snapping "go play!" at him more than once, and it's definitely been an adjustment, figuring out how to balance getting my stuff done and being a good attentive mom.

And lest you think I am poring over the books (I mean I do, sometimes), I'm going back to school to pursue costume design, which means I have to sew all the time. Doing this with James around is a real challenge. Either he's yanking the fabric out of the machine with his sticky little hands that have been God knows where (Chocolate on silk! Nooooo!!), or worse, he's trying to help! A couple of months ago when he was trying to help, he was sitting next to me watching the machine when suddenly, he reached out mid-stitch and tried to grab the moving needle! I think you know what happened next. Yes, I stitched through his finger. I stitched him TO the fabric I was sewing. The needle went all the way through the finger and back out again, leaving threads running through his flesh. There was a moment while we both just sat there in shock, his finger caught in the machine, before we both started screaming. Yikes! I quickly cut the threads to get him out of the machine, and luckily, the needle puncture was a very clean wound and it didn't hit the bone (I'm thankful we avoided another ER visit). Still! Now I pretty much only sew during naps or after he's gone to bed for the night. This is, of course, when I used to blog (it's hard to use a computer when James is up - he's always pushing it out of my lap and trying to play with it), so you see my conflict. My blogging time is now sewing time.


I'm finally sort of getting the hang of it though, and I'm back with a bang! This recipe is hands down my absolute favorite autumnal recipe, and it's so, so good. It was a huge favorite at parties last year, and I must have made it 8 times. In fact, the only reason I didn't post it then was that I was never able to get a picture of it before someone or other had gobbled it up! My sister (who is also gluten-free) also made this cake over and over again, to rave reviews. And though this cake is quite impressive and looks difficult to make, it's actually very easy! Just follow the step by step guide, and you'll have your own pretty pumpkin roulade in no time!

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Roulade Sponge Cake with Cream Cheese Vanilla Bean Filling
adapted from Ina Garten

I tried using Ina Garten's mascarpone filling over and over again, and ever single time it was curdled, runny, and disappointing. So I started substituting this filling, and boy was it ever popular! My filling is practically foolproof and everyone loves it, so I'll never go back. Ina calls for chopped crystallized ginger in her filling, and I would say it's optional. Some people love it, but when I'm making it for a crowd I leave it out so the cake suits everyone's taste.

For the Cake:
3/4 cup gluten free flour (I like to use 1/4 cup gluten-free oat flour [such as the certified GF oat flour from Bob's Red Mill], 1/4 cup sweet rice flour, and 1/4 cup superfine white rice flour, but any all-purpose mix will work great!)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 cup powdered sugar

For the filling:
8oz cream cheese
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1/2 cup crystalized ginger, finely chopped
1/4 cup pumpkin butter

1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (a large baking sheet with sides that go up about 3/4 of an inch) with parchment. Lay out a large dish towel or tea towel on a flat surface, and sift the 1/4 cup of powdered sugar over it (this keeps the cake from sticking to the towel).

2. Sift together the gluten free flour(s), baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. In a stand mixer, beat the 3 eggs on medium-high speed with 1 cup granulated sugar until thick and pale, about 5 minutes (set a timer!). Add pumpkin, and mix until fully incorporated. With mixer on low, add flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour batter into prepared jelly roll pan and spread evenly (I like to give the pan a tap or two to really even it out). Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until cake is golden, and spring back to the touch.

3. Remove cake from oven, and flip face down onto the prepared tea towel. I know this move is scary - you can do it! Yes, do this when the cake is hot. We have to roll it up before it cools, so that it doesn't crack or break.

Peel the parchment off the back of the cake. Look how not-perfect my cake is - and it still turned out lovely! Yours will too :)

Fold one end of the tea towel over the cake, then roll it up. Let cool completely - if it's still warm at all, it will melt the filling and you will have a mess on your hands!

For the filling: While cake it cooling, beat the cream cheese in a stand mixer until smooth and fluffy, about 5 full minutes (you can bring your cream cheese to room temperature first, but if you often forget like me, just beat it a little longer and it will warm up in the bowl!). Mix mixer on low, add in heavy cream, and mix until incorporated. Once the cream is incorporated, increase speed to medium high, and beat until light and fluffy. Add in optional flavorings - 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or chopped ginger.

To assemble: Unroll fully cooled cake. If you are using (I love the additional pumpkim kick!) smooth on 1/4 cup pumpkin butter. Evenly spread cream cheese filling over cake, and roll cake up (but without the towel this time!) Place on a serving dish with the seam side down. Refrigerate to retain shape and for easy slicing. Just before serving, sift a little powdered sugar over the top. Tada!


  1. The first time I realized I loved loved loved pumpkin was when a good friend made a batch of some sort of bar cookie that had a pumpkin bottom, cream cheese top, and nuts all over. She finally gave me the recipe, and it was one of those things that took every measuring cup in the drawer, eight mixing bowls, and six different spatulas, leaving the kitchen a disaster. But boy were they good. You just reminded me, even though I knew that was a winner combination, I haven't spent any time looking for other pumpkin and cream cheesy recipes, other than the ubiquitous muffins. Thanks and cheers!

  2. Looks delicious! Breaking out the pumpkin now :)

  3. This looks so moist and delicious. Definitely putting me in the mood for some cozy fall baking. I've always wanted an excuse to buy TJs pumpkin butter. Yum!

  4. I am new to the Blogging world and have to say your Blog is so beautifully done! I know I won't have any problem recreating your goodies with how well you give instruction. Thank you for sharing!

  5. looks delicious! just wanted you to know it is not gluten free... oat contains gluten...

  6. Not true! Oats are often contaminated with gluten because they are grown in adjacent fields and/or processed in the same facility as wheat products. However, you can now purchase certified gluten-free oat products. I know Bob's Red Mill carries certified gluten-free oat flour, rolled oats, and steel cut oats. They are grown in isolated fields, and processed in their designated gluten-free facility, so you know they are safe!! :)

  7. You HAVE to butter the parchment paper! I made this and spent about 30 minutes slowly scraping the cake off the paper with a knife. Luckily I was able to mush it back into place, but it was almost headed for the garbage can, it was such an ordeal. It was good in the end though, and totally worth it, but DO NOT go with unbuttered parchment, you'll regret it.

  8. What is a substitute for pumpkin butter? I have no clue where to buy that in my area..

  9. I've always wanted to make a pumpkin roll and this one looks great. I think it just takes courage to trust the recipe and I think Libby's is a good source. Congrats!

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