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AIP Pumpkin Roll

Yes, this gorgeous Fall dessert is AIP-friendly and paleo! This AIP Pumpkin Roll looks impressive and complicated, but it is actually very easy to make even for beginner bakers. It has a layer of delicious gluten-free pumpkin cake and dairy-free cream rolled up into a beautiful dessert. This pumpkin roll can be made ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated, and is a great AIP pumpkin dessert for a crowd!

Gluten-free pumpkin roll

A traditional pumpkin roll is made with wheat flour, dairy cream cheese, refined sugar, and egg, all of which are not allowed on the AIP diet. Luckily, pumpkin roll is very easy to make gluten-free and AIP-compliant. All you need is a mix of AIP-friendly flours in equal parts: cassava flour, coconut flour, and tapioca starch. These three flours, combined with the egg-free and dairy-free wet ingredients make a nice soft pumpkin cake that is very easy to roll and work with to make a pumpkin roll.

The pumpkin cake is seasoned with ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger. These spices make the perfect AIP-friendly pumpkin pie spice mix that complements organic pumpkin puree that is added to the pumpkin roll.

Just like many baking recipes, you combine the dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another bowl. The wet ingredients contain a “gelatin egg,” which is simply gelatin dissolved in really hot water. This helps the cake set as it is baking and keep a firm texture that is easy to roll.

Once you mix everything together and make the pumpkin roll batter, you place it on a prepared baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper that is brushed with melted coconut oil. The oiled parchment paper helps make sure that the cake comes out of the pan easily in one clean flip and remains whole for rolling the pumpkin roll.

How to make a pumpkin roll

The trick to making a pumpkin roll is to quickly roll the pumpkin cake soon after it is baked before it cools down. To do this, you place it on a clean kitchen towel that is sprinkled with finely ground unsweetened coconut flakes. The coconut flakes help prevent the cake from sticking to the towel. You’ll roll the cake up with the towel into a tight spiral. The cake has to cool in this rolled up shape. Once it cools, it can be unrolled and topped with the dairy-free frosting, then rolled back up again.

Dairy-free pumpkin roll filling

The filling for this pumpkin roll is made with coconut cream and organic palm shortening as the main ingredients. These two creamy ingredients make a tasty, rich creamy filling without any dairy. I sweeten the filling with maple syrup and add more flavor with vanilla extract and unsweetened shredded coconut flakes. The coconut flakes are optional, you can skip them if you want a smooth pumpkin roll filling.

Make-ahead pumpkin roll

This recipe is easy to make, but it does require some planning ahead because the pumpkin roll has to be chilled twice for at least an hour: before and after adding the frosting. That’s actually what makes this a great make-ahead recipe! You can make the cake up to two days ahead and keep it wrapped in the fridge until ready to serve. Or you can prepare it as much as a month in advance and keep it frozen. Just move it to the fridge 48 hours before you want to slice and serve. When you’re ready to serve, unwrap the pumpkin roll, sprinkle it with finely ground coconut flakes, slice, and serve!

This pumpkin roll makes a great Thanksgiving dessert or ending to a special Fall meal. Serve it after enjoying this Fall Harvest Salad with Herb-Roasted Turkey and Corn-free Cornbread Stuffing. This AIP Pumpkin Roll pairs really well with a Chai Tea Latte or Antioxidant Tea

More AIP pumpkin desserts to try

AIP Pumpkin Roll


8 servings

Prep Time

20 minutes

Cook Time

20 minutes


For the pumpkin roll:
  • 1/4 cup Cassava flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tbsp gelatin
  • 5/8 cup hot water
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil plus extra for brushing pan
  • 1 cup unsweetened organic coconut flakes
For the frosting:
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened coconut cream
  • 1/3 cup palm shortening
  • 3 tbsp maple syrup to taste
  • 1 tbsp tapioca starch
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened finely shredded coconut flakes optional


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 9x13 baking pan with parchment paper and brush with melted coconut oil.

  2. In a large bowl, sift together the first 8 ingredients (cassava flour through baking powder). Mix well.

  3. In a medium bowl, combine the gelatin with the hot water and mix well until the gelatin dissolves completely. Add the pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and coconut oil, and whisk together.

  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well until the mixture is smooth.

  5. Pour the batter into your prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth it out and make a thin layer. You will need to brush or spray the spatula with coconut oil so the mixture doesn’t stick to the spatula.
  6. Bake at 350F for 15-18 minutes, or until completely done. The cake will spring back if pressed gently and will not have any shiny uncooked parts. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

  7. While the cake is baking, pulse the coconut flakes in a food processor until it is very fine and each coconut flake is about the size of a snowflake. Optional: Add a tablespoon of stevia and pulse to combine.

  8. Lay a clean towel down on a flat surface. Sprinkle a little of the coconut powder on the towel to cover just over 9x13-inches of the towel.

  9. Quickly but carefully flip the cake pan over onto the prepared towel with coconut powder. Peel the parchment paper off. Sprinkle the top of the cake with coconut flakes.

  10. Fold the end of the towel over one short side of the cake. Carefully roll up the cake starting with the side that has the towel. Wrap the ends of the towel around the cake and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  11. While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the frosting, aside from the coconut flakes, and mix with a blender until smooth. Stir in coconut flakes, if using. If the frosting is very runny, refrigerate it for at least a half hour to thicken it.
  12. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the frosting all over the top. Roll the cake back up the same way you rolled it originally. Wrap the rolled cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before frosting and serving, or freeze until ready to eat.
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