As I prepare for the holidays, the flavor of cream cheese starts to fill my taste buds. The holidays just aren’t the holidays without it. As far back as I can remember, my mom made either a double layer cream cheese pumpkin pie or, my very favorite, a pumpkin roll filled with yummy cream cheese. I have continued the delicious pumpkin-dessert tradition with my own family.
In 2004, when I began an integrative approach to treating my rheumatoid arthritis (RA), I chose to eliminate gluten from my diet. For 10 years I was hardcore gluten free, which meanteliminating all gluten from holiday meals. So you might imagine the happiness I felt the day my mother gave me the book The Gluten-Free Gourmet Cooks Comfort Foods by Bette Hagman, which included a gluten-free pumpkin roll recipe. It quickly became a family favorite for both Thanksgiving and Christmas and isso delicious that not once has anyone realized it is gluten free.
Besides cream cheese at the holidays, working side by side with family has always been a tradition. It has been no different with my children. From the time they could stand on a chair, my son and daughter have been in the kitchen helping me at the holidays. Since the gluten free pumpkin roll is my son’s favorite, too, he is always more than happy to help. A bonus for me are the great conversations we have while we bake.
This recipe can easily be made the evening before, which is a huge benefit in controlling fatigue.
½ cup gluten-free flour mix
¼ cup teff flour or an additional ¼ cup gluten-free flour mix
½ teaspoon xanthan gum (if you don’t regularly bake gluten free, I’d borrow this from a friend or find an alternative as this ingredient is pricey.)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon egg replacer
3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
One 8-ounce package cream cheese
¾ cup powdered sugar
1-1/4 cups non-dairy whipped topping
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut wax paper to fit an 11x16 jelly roll pan. Grease pan well; place the paper in the pan and grease the paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, xanthan gum, baking powder, egg replacer, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
In a bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until light. Mix in the lemon juice and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients and mix well. Spoon into the prepared pan, spreading well so the batter is even. Sprinkle with nuts (optional). Bake for 15 minutes.
Cool 10 minutes before turning out onto a clean, flat textured tea towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar. Remove the paper and roll from the short side up in the towel, folding some of the towel over the cake at the beginning. Let cool.
Unroll and spread with the filling, made by combining the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and whipped topping. Roll without the towel and seal in foil. Refrigerate until serving. Makes 8 servings.
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Cathy Kramer shares her positive voice as an advocate in the rheumatoid arthritis, chronic illness, and self-care communities. Her ongoing journey with RA can be found on her blog The Life and Adventures of Cateepoo. She often hangs out @cateepoo88 on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Watch her story on HealthCentral.