This incredibly elegant and delicious vegan pumpkin roll cake is as amazing as it is easy! With a super moist and soft pumpkin cake rolled between layers of vegan cream cheese frosting, this pumpkin roll cake only needs 6 ingredients and is naturally eggless, dairy free, oil free, and easily gluten free! The perfect Thanksgiving dessert or holiday cake for your table!

sliced pumpkin roll on parchment paper

Why you need to try this easy vegan pumpkin roll cake

If you’re like me, and love everything that is pumpkin and cinnamon and cozy and delicious, then you’re going to absolutely love this super easy vegan pumpkin roll. But don’t let the fact that this pumpkin roll cake is naturally vegan, eggless, and dairy free make you hesitate to try if you’re not vegan! Absolutely no one will be able to tell; they’ll think this pumpkin roll cake is just the best fall Swiss roll they’ve ever had!

With a super moist pumpkin cake that’s full of fresh pumpkin, pumpkin spice, and sweetness, and the fluffiest, best tasting vegan cream cheese around, this fall cake is sure to impress.

But not only does this vegan cake taste amazing, it’s actually (and shockingly) easy to make and only requires 6 main ingredients! How cool is that?!

Vegan pumpkin roll cake ingredients

  • Pumpkin puree: an absolute must, of course! Be careful that you’re not using “pumpkin pie filling.” You’ll get very different results! I have a note on using homemade pumpkin puree down in the FAQ’s section, so be sure to check that out.
  • Unsweetened applesauce: this will replace both the eggs and actually the oil in this cake. I found this cake was much easier to roll when it was oil free. Yet it still came out super fluffy and light- not gummy!
  • Flour: you can use all-purpose flour or gluten-free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag. I cannot verify if this will work with a homemade gluten free flour mix, as there is so much variation with that.
  • Sugar: to keep this pumpkin roll cake refined sugar free, use coconut sugar! Otherwise, be sure that your granulated sugar is truly vegan.
  • Spices: we’ll be using a pumpkin spice blend and a bit more cinnamon to really bring this pumpkin roll cake to life.
  • Leavening agents: this is your baking soda and baking powder!
plates of pumpkin roll cake

How simple are those ingredients?! Now for the vegan cream cheese frosting, you’ll use simply vegan cream cheese (I recommend Violife for the best tasting!), vegan butter (Flora Plant Butter or Miyoko’s is great here) and powdered sugar (again be careful that it’s truly vegan! Some Domino lot numbers are not, and I know that’s the most popular choice for powdered sugar).

How to make a pumpkin roll cake (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

How to make a pumpkin roll:

  1. Make the batter.

    I used a large bowl and a whisk for this. You can also use a hand mixer. Simply whisk together the wet ingredients, then gently fold in the dry just until there are no more clumps.

  2. Pour the pumpkin batter onto the prepared baking sheet.

    I like to lightly grease the parchment paper that’s on the baking sheet with a little oil to further prevent the cake from sticking. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter to the edges of the cake, then bake it for only 15 minutes!

  3. Flip the pumpkin cake and roll.

    Once the cake is baked, you’re essentially going to move straight into the roll. Some vegan bakers have said that their cakes become gummy when they roll it while hot, but I’ve practiced this many times, and haven’t had a gummy cake with this specific recipe. Dust the baked pumpkin cake with powdered sugar generously. Then drape a kitchen towel over it. Place a cooling rack on top, and flip the cake. Then carefully roll one end of the long side of the pumpkin cake, rolling the kitchen towel with the cake. Place the cake in an area to cool completely before frosting!

  4. Make the vegan cream cheese frosting.

    Once the cake has FULLY cooled (and I do mean fully- if there is ANY warmth to the cake, the frosting will melt right off when you’re rolling it), you can make the vegan cream cheese frosting.

  5. Assemble the pumpkin roll cake.

    Carefully unroll your cooled pumpkin cake, and spread the frosting on top, only to be about 1/4″ thick. Roll the cake back up like when you first rolled it, this time not rolling in the kitchen towel. Place the cake into the fridge to cool and set for 1 hour.

  6. Slice and serve!

    When serving, you can dust the cake with a little powdered sugar for decoration as well!

how to make a pumpkin roll cake
how to make a pumpkin roll cake

Tips for rolling a Swiss roll cake

  • Add a bit of olive oil to the parchment paper. This will help prevent the cake from sticking to the parchment paper, which would result in the cake tearing! I just rub about 1 tsp over the front side of the parchment paper, where the cake batter will be poured.
  • To invert the pumpkin roll cake: When you’re ready to roll the cake, I place a cooling rack on top of the dish towel that’s lying over the cake. That way, when I flip the cake, it will be securely in place. Just be sure to use oven mitts and hold the cooling rack and baking sheet as close together as possible without squishing the cake. Then flip it in one smooth movement!
  • Be generous with the powdered sugar. No one wants pumpkin cake stuck to their dish towel!
  • You can use a baking sheet that has walls or a jelly roll sheet. All of my baking sheets have tall enough walls that I didn’t need to get a jelly roll sheet. However, you definitely need something that has walls on it to prevent the cake from pouring over the edges!
  • DO NOT OVER MIX THE BATTER! This goes for all vegan cakes, but it’s super crucial! Over mixing the batter will cause the gluten to activate, and will ultimately result in a gummy cake.

Recipe FAQ’s

Why did my pumpkin roll crack?

This can happen for a few reasons. If you allowed too much time in between the baking and the first roll, your cake will be too cool to roll, and will crack when you try to roll it. It’s really important to roll the pumpkin cake nearly immediately after baking (but being careful about the heat- use oven mitts to help!). Another reason your cake might have cracked is because you didn’t use a dish towel. Rolling your vegan Swiss roll cake in a dish towel will help you not roll too tightly- which would lead to a cracked pumpkin roll cake!

Do I need to refrigerate my pumpkin roll cake?

Once you’ve rolled your pumpkin roll cake for the first round, you can refrigerate it to speed up the cooling process. I prefer to allow my pumpkin roll cake to fully cool at room temperature to prevent any chance of it drying out. However, the cake is super moist so you should be good! You will definitely need to refrigerate the pumpkin roll in order for the frosting to set!

How long does a vegan pumpkin roll cake last?

Once served, you can store any leftover slices of pumpkin roll cake in an airtight container and wrapped in the fridge for up to a week. Alternatively, you can freeze slices for up to 2-3 months!

How do I prevent my cake from sticking?

Since this is a low fat pumpkin roll cake (naturally!), it sometimes helps to grease the parchment paper slightly with a bit of olive or cooking oil before pouring the batter.

Can I make this vegan pumpkin roll cake in advance?

Absolutely! You can make this pumpkin roll cake up to 2 days in advance. Once the pumpkin roll has set, carefully and gently wrap it so that there is no chance of air coming into the cake. Store it in the fridge until you’re ready to serve!

Can I use homemade pumpkin puree for this recipe?

I haven’t personally tried this, but know that other readers have successful made my vegan pumpkin recipes using homemade pumpkin puree. The trick is to really get a clean and smooth pumpkin puree. I recommend using this homemade pumpkin puree technique for the best option.

slice of vegan pumpkin roll cake

I just know you’re going to absolutely love this super fun and delicious vegan pumpkin roll cake! Be sure to leave a comment down below about how it went for you!

Here are a few other vegan pumpkin recipes you might like below!

More vegan pumpkin recipes you’ll love:

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Cake

Best Vegan Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte

Best Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Easy Vegan Pumpkin Pasta

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Easy Vegan Pumpkin Roll Cake

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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plates of pumpkin roll cake

Vegan Pumpkin Roll Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 10
  • 1 hour set time: 3 hours cooling time
  • Cook Time: 15
  • Total Time: 22 minute
  • Yield: 10 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This incredibly elegant and delicious vegan pumpkin roll cake is as amazing as it is easy! With a super moist and soft pumpkin cake rolled between layers of vegan cream cheese frosting, this pumpkin roll cake only needs 6 ingredients and is naturally eggless, dairy free, oil free, and easily gluten free! The perfect Thanksgiving dessert or holiday cake for your table!


Ingredients

Units Scale

Vegan Pumpkin Roll Cake:

  • 156 grams all purpose flour or gluten free 1:1 baking flour
  • 150 grams coconut sugar or organic granulated sugar*
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin spice blend
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 150 grams pumpkin puree
  • 150 grams unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp powdered sugar, for sprinkling over the baked cake

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 220 grams vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 113 grams vegan butter, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, sifted

Instructions

  1. Please read through all instructions before beginning.
  2. Prep: Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a 10×15″ sheet pan with edges (or jelly roll pan) with parchment paper. Lightly oil on top of the parchment paper to ensure that the pumpkin roll cake will peel off easily (it’s an oil-free cake, so it needs a bit of help with the peeling). Measure out all ingredients for the pumpkin roll cake. 
  3. Make the batter: in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, pumpkin spice, ground cinnamon, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, applesauce, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour mixture, and gently fold together with a rubber spatula until just combined and there are no more flour clumps. 
  4. Bake the pumpkin cake: Pour the batter onto the prepared pan, and spread the batter until it reaches the edges of the prepared pan. Place the pan into the oven to bake for 14-16 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven.
  5. Roll the cake while it’s still hot: Immediately dust the top of the pumpkin cake in powdered sugar. Then carefully place a clean kitchen towel, followed by a cooling rack top-side down over the pumpkin cake. Use your oven mitts to carefully flip the pumpkin cake onto the cooling rack, the parchment paper facing up and the top of the cake facing down. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the pumpkin cake. Use the kitchen towel to roll the cake with the towel, much like how you roll a Buche de Noel cake. You can view the video tutorial here starting at minute 2:20. Keep the rolled pumpkin cake on a cooling rack and allow the cake to fully cool before making the frosting. This will take about 2-3 hours to fully cool.
  6. When ready to frost, make the cream cheese frosting: Add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a large bowl and beat together with a hand mixer. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream. Add in vanilla and continue to cream until fluffy. Store the frosting in the refrigerator for a few minutes while you unroll the cake.
  7. Unroll and frost the cake: When the cake is cool, carefully unroll the cake , leaving it still laying on the kitchen towel. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the pumpkin roll cake, leaving about 1/2″ space on both length sides of the cake for easy rolling. Begin to re-roll the cake as it was, this time without the kitchen towel. Once rolled, carefully place the cake onto a plate (you can leave the kitchen towel underneath if easier, like I did), and place the cake into the fridge to chill for 1 hour. 
  8. Slice and serve! When ready to serve, dust the cake with extra powdered sugar if desired, slice and serve! Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 5 days or in the freezer sliced for up to 2 months.

Notes

Gluten free: Use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill.

Vegan Cream cheese: My preferred brand of vegan cream cheese is Violife. They are amazing!

Using homemade pumpkin puree: I have not personally tried this, but have heard that this method of making homemade pumpkin puree may work. You really have to make sure you’re getting the same consistency as canned, however. I cannot guarantee results, as I have not personally tried this.

Sugar: not all granulated sugars are vegan. Be sure that the brand that you’re using is truly vegan and doesn’t use bone char. 

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