Gluten-free Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Jelly Roll Cake with Maple Marshmallow Frosting

Every now and then life needs a little whimsy, and nothing does it for me better than over-the-top cakes. Now, I can’t actually eat of the incredible concoctions on my favourite eye-candy blog, Sprinkle Bakes, but I sure am good at adapting the recipes for when I want a sugar rush, or just inspiration for a fabulous dessert.

The cake I was making and selling last summer – a Triple Layer Chocolate Fudge and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting – was a gluten-free, dairy-free adaptation of a few of the site’s recipes. Clearly I need a real pastry bag and some cake decorating supplies, but I also clearly don’t make enough cakes to warrant those.

But every now and then it’s nice to make something ridiculous. Something that takes a lot of time and effort and it shows. Not something precious like crème caramel or a soufflé, but something where so many delicious flavours and textures combine, and it’s just fun.

So when I went browsing on Sprinkle Bakes a few weeks ago I came across a recipe for a jelly roll cake. The first time I ever had a homemade (or any kind of) jelly roll cake was when I was living with a Quebecois family in St-Lambert-de-Lauzon one summer with a French exchange program. I was 17. The family took me to have lunch in Rimouski with cousins and nieces and nephews and we packed a picnic lunch that included my maman‘s jelly roll cake. I’ve always hated whipped cream frosting, but there’s a lightness and texture that works perfect when wrapped up inside a long, thin cake. The cake has to be soft enough to roll without breaking, and the frosting has to be thick enough so you don’t have to force the cake too much to fold. It’s named after the jelly roll pan, but I always thought there’s have to be jelly in there too – like strawberry – to muck it all up. Nope, not true. My maman‘s cake had some fresh strawberries whipped into the cream, but that was about it.

Still, I never grew to love whipped cream, and I also saw a recipe for marshmallow creme-filled sweet potato whoopie pies. Put em’ together and what do you get? (Feel free to break into song: “Bibitty bobbity boo”):


Marshamallow frosting and…


…gluten-free sponge cake (naturally dairy-free)

You don’t need an official jelly roll pan. A rimmed cookie sheet does the trick. And if you like whipped cream frosting, add some whipped cream below when you’re beating the marshmallows, maple syrup and butter.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Vanilla Bean Jelly Roll Cake with Maple Marshmallow Frosting

  • 300 grams amaranth flour (yes, do it by weight!)
  • 250 g rice flour
  • 1/4 tsp guar gum (or xantham)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
  • Seeds of one vanilla bean, or 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 eggs , separated
  • 175 g sugar
Maple Marshmallow Frosting:
1/2 cup earth balance (or butter, or other vegan margarine), room temperature
2 cups marshmallows
3 tbsp maple syrup
  1. Preheat oven to 355 F (180 C). Grease and flour (rice flour) a rimmed baking sheet or line with parchment paper.
  2. Weigh and sieve flours and powders together with the seeds of the vanilla bean (add the extract below if not using bean).
  3. Separate egg whites and yolks. Beat the egg whites until soft peaks in a large bowl, then add the sugar (and vanilla extract if using) and and whisk to stiff peaks. In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks for 1 minute until pale, then whisk into the whites. Fold in the dry ingredients, then spoon into the prepared pan and level the top. Bake for 15-18 until lightly golden and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool 10 mins, then gently remove to flat surface. Cool completely before peeling off parchment paper if using.
  4. Make the frosting by setting a heat-proof bowl above a boiling pot of water to create a double boiler, or gently “defrost” the marshmallows in a bowl in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time until soft and gooey (or set microwave to low instead of “defrost” and do the same. The double boiler method takes more time but it’s harder to burn the marshmallows).
  5. Use clean beater to beat maple syrup and earth balance or butter into marshmallows while warm so it solidifies with the butter evenly spread throughout. Spread over cooled cake immediately before it dries out and is impossible to spread (i this happens, re-melt the frosting in the double boiler or the microwave VERY gently). Spread with spatula all over bottom side cake, leaving 1/2″ of un-frosted space on the long sides of the cake. Gently roll up cake folding long side over itself so it’s long rather than stout.  It’s okay to frost all the way to the edge on the shorter sides so you can see the roll from the side when rolled up. It shouldn’t ooze too much because the marshmallow frosting solidifies fairly quickly.


Mmm…warm and stick and sweet. Scrape the frosting you couldn’t get out of the bowl and into the roll out with a spoon after and enjoy when you need a little bit extra with a bite of this. Gluten-free, dairy-free joy!


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