Paleo Pumpkin Roll Cake (Grain/Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

There is something about roll cakes that I just adore. I don't know if it is the airy and light cake, the fluffy whipped cream, or the perfect distribution of cake and cream in each bite, but I have always had a soft spot for roll cakes. In Asia, I encounter roll cakes much more frequently in bakeries and restaurants, and I find that the Asian versions tend to be much less sweet and more delicately balanced in texture. (Yes, after a quick google search I realize that roll cakes originated in Central Europe, but, hey, I'm just speaking (...err writing) from personal experience).

I love the experience of making a roll cake. One of the very first desserts I recall making when I was a child is a roll cake. I was 11 years old and constantly trying out new baking adventures (yet none that involved cleaning up after myself, much to my mom's dismay). The process of baking the sponge cake, spreading it with fresh whipped cream, and rolling it up without having it all fall apart was a miracle and I remember devouring the cake with a proud grin on my face.

Now that my baking adventures do require that I clean up the kitchen afterward, I try to stick to simple desserts. While making roll cakes may be a multi-step process, I find that it is much simpler than it looks and actually easier than making a regular layered cake. And since the cake is rolled up, there is some room for error as it will likely be hidden within the cake.

This Pumpkin Roll Cake is made with a super moist yet light pumpkin cake that is rolled with whipped coconut cream. It is very lightly sweet and doesn't feel heavy at all, which makes it the perfect cake for breakfast with coffee or as an afternoon snack with a cup of tea. I also sprinkled in toasted pecans, which adds a nice crunch for a contrast in texture. My husband actually requested this cake for dessert every night until we ate it all, which is quite a feat since he is neither a sweet tooth nor a pumpkin fan. Try making this cake for those who live for pumpkin season (like me) or those you are trying to convert into pumpkin lovers (like my husband) - this cake might be the one that tips them over to the pumpkin side!

Paleo Pumpkin Roll Cake (Paleo, Grain/Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Refined Sugar-Free)

Servings: 10-12

Time: 40mins

Difficulty: Moderate

For the cake:

Ingredients:

  • 115 grams blanched almond flour
  • 45 grams arrowroot
  • 10 grams coconut flour
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 115 grams coconut sugar
  • 3 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease and line a jelly roll pan (10.5' x 15.5') with parchment paper and grease the top of parchment paper.
  2. Sift together almond flour, arrowroot, coconut flour, and pumpkin pie spice. Add in coconut sugar and whisk to combine.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until foamy and voluminous. Add in cream of tartar and whip on high speed until soft peaks form. Add in the maple syrup and beat on high until stiff peaks form and egg whites look shiny. Pour the meringue into a different clean bowl.
  4. Add eggs and pumpkin puree into the stand mixer bowl and beat on medium speed with the paddle attachment. Add in the flour mixture and beat until well incorporated.
  5. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and fold in the egg whites.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 10-13 minutes until the top springs back when gently pressed.

For the whipped coconut cream:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans full-fat coconut cream
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  1. Place the cans on coconut milk in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours. Do not shake the cans! After sitting in the refrigerator, the cream will have separated from the water and risen to the top. Flip the cans upside down and open the can from the bottom. Drain the water from the can, leaving behind only the cream portion (I save the water and add it to smoothies).
  2. Place the coconut cream into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, whip on high speed for 3 minutes until thick and voluminous. Add in the maple syrup, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice and whip again on high until fluffy.

For the assembly:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans (optional)

Directions

  1. Remove the cake from the oven and run a knife along the edges of the cake to loosen from pan. Lightly dust a kitchen towel (I use a cheese cloth) with coconut flour or arrowroot. Turn the cake out on the towel and remove the parchment paper. With the short edge facing you, gently roll up the cake into the towel. Let cake cool completely.
  2. Once the cake has cooled, carefully unroll the cake. Spread the whipped coconut cream over the top, leaving about 1/2-inch margin around the edges. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans, if desired.
  3. Roll the cake carefully, being careful that the whipped coconut cream is not being push towards the end of the cake. Refrigerate the cake to let the whipped coconut cream firm up a bit and serve!