This moist, festive Gingerbread Swiss Roll is filled with whipped cream cheese filling and rolled in soft, gluten-free sponge cake. The perfect holiday dessert!

This Gingerbread Swiss Roll screams holiday spice – ginger, cinnamon, allspice, clove, and nutmeg.

When I’m baking this roll in the oven, my home smells unreal! It fills up the room with its warm spice.

Moreover, this recipe is also gluten-free and sweetened with coconut sugar and blackstrap molasses – it’s the perfect amount of sweetness in a dessert.

If you like this recipe, you’ll definitely like my Chocolate Swiss Roll and my Pumpkin Roll.

Why is Gingerbread a Christmas tradition?

Gluten free gingerbread roll with vegan cream cheese frosting is being served on a small plate with a fork bite taken

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas, it’s super interested to see how popular Gingerbread is around the holiday season.

Have you ever wondered why?

In truth, gingerbread root was first cultivated in China 5,000 years ago for its healing properties. After that, we see it pop up in regular recipes in 2400 BC in Greece and some French recipes. Following, more countries had recipes of their own!

It became so popularized over the years that it was quoted by Shakespeare, adored by Queen Elizabeth, and a general crowd favorite – now, we all love to have it around these colder months.

I read a really interesting article about gingerbread’s history and the origins of gingerbread houses! Check it out for more information.

Why do they call it a Swiss roll?

Gingerbread Roll with vegan cream cheese filling is perfectly sliced on parchment and dusted with powdered sugar.

Unfortunately, the origins of the term “Swiss Roll” are unclear. However, it seems like the dish originates from Central Europe, likely from Slovenia or Austria.

Generally, a Swiss Roll is a type of cake consisting of a thin layer of sponge cake rolled around some sort of jelly, jam, or icing.

Newer interpretations of Swiss Rolls, often contain buttercream, whipped cream, nut butter, chocolate ganache, and other delicious fillings.

In this case, we are making a gingerbread version for the holidays with a cream cheese filling. However, if you ever feel like experimenting – the options are endless!

What’s the difference between a Swiss roll and a Cake Roll?

Occasionally, a cake roll is called a Roulade, referring to its rolled nature. In this case, a Swiss Roll is a type of Roulade.

However, Roulades can be both savory and sweet – Swiss rolls are just a dessert version of this classic dish!

Ingredients for Gingerbread Swiss Roll

Gingerbread Roll ingredients are laid out- molasses, eggs, flours, coconut sugar, pumpkin pie spice, and extract

Without a doubt, I am obsessed with these festive ingredients:

Gingerbread Swiss Roll

Gluten free flour

Baking powder

Baking soda

Gingerbread spices

Salt

Eggs

Vanilla extract

Coconut sugar or regular granulated sugar

Blackstrap molasses

Gingerbread spices:

Cinnamon, ground

Ginger, ground

Allspice, ground

Clove, ground

Nutmeg, ground

Cream cheese filling

Cream cheese, room temperature

Powdered sugar

Vanilla extract

Butter, room temperature

How to Make a Gingerbread Swiss Roll

Left image shows dry ingredients being added to wet ingredients, right image shows batter poured into a cookie sheet

First, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and blackstrap molasses in a bowl.

Second, mix the flour, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, clove, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a separate bowl.

Third, combine the wet and dry ingredients.

Left image shows dry ingredients being added to wet ingredients, right image shows batter poured into a cookie sheet

Then, pour into a lined 10×15 jelly roll pan or baking pan with a little bit of a raised edge. Even out the batter with a spatula.  

Afterward, bake at 350F for 12 – 13 min.

Left image shows the vegan cream cheese layered on the gingerbread cake, right image shows the gingerbread cake being rolled.

Then, once it’s done, take it out and cover it with another baking pan or tin foil to retain the moisture. Loosen the edge a little bit if it appears to be sticking at all.

Next, while it’s still warm, gently roll it from the short end. Wrap with a small piece of tin foil to keep it in place.

Following that, whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and butter in a separate bowl.  

Once cake has cooled for an hour or so, gently unroll it and spread the cream cheese evenly leaving a little bit around the edge.

Left image shows the vegan cream cheese layered on the gingerbread cake, right image shows the gingerbread cake being rolled.

Afterward, gently roll it back, not too tight – it should be easy to roll because of the pre-rolling.

Finally, once rolled up all the way, wrap it with a plastic wrap tightly and leave it in the fridge overnight.

Before serving, sprinkle it with powdered sugar, slice, and enjoy!

Frequently asked questions

Gingerbread Roll with vegan cream cheese filling is perfectly sliced on parchment and dusted with powdered sugar.

How to make this roll gluten free?

In this case, I used bob’s red mill gluten free baking flour that is 1:1 ratio with regular flour.

However, you can use unbleached all-purpose flour for this recipe as well.

How to make this roll dairy free?

Yes! The cake itself is dairy free. Additionally, I love using my Vegan Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting for the filling to make this Gingerbread Roll gluten free and dairy free.

How do you roll a cake without cracking it?

First, make sure to pre-roll the cake while it’s still warm. Second, do not roll it too tight. Third, do not overbake and dry out the cake!

Can I use a different size pan?

No, it affects the thickness of the cake which could change the baking time, and amount of filling you need in it.

Why does my Swiss Roll taste rubbery?

In this case, you might have overmixed the batter! Overmixing can deflate air bubbles, which flattens the cake. In addition, if you end up using regular flour, overmixing develops the gluten, which gives it a rubbery, gummy texture.

How to store a Gingerbread Swiss Roll

Gingerbread Roll with vegan cream cheese filling is perfectly sliced on parchment and dusted with powdered sugar.

In this case, you can leave the Swiss Roll on the counter for a day and then I recommend storing it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Can I Freeze Swiss Rolls?

Yes, it freezes well up to a month. However, I like to slice and then wrap into individual serving sizes.

How do I Defrost a Roll if I make it ahead?

In brief, simply take them out of the freezer and allow them to thaw before serving.

Generally, it only takes 1-2 hours to thaw.

How to serve a Gingerbread Swiss Roll

Without a doubt, this Swiss Roll tastes amazing on its own!

I love having a slice with a warm cup of coffee or tea. The creamy filling mixed with the soft cake pairs perfectly with a warm beverage- if I had to choose, I would pick a chai latte!

Additionally, if you want to take it to the next level add a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Delicious!

What other recipes would you like to see this holiday season?

Gingerbread Roll with vegan cream cheese filling is perfectly sliced on parchment and dusted with powdered sugar.
Gluten free gingerbread roll with vegan cream cheese frosting is being served perfectly sliced on parchment paper

Get the recipe:Gingerbread Swiss Roll with Spiced Frosting

This moist, festive Gingerbread Swiss Roll is filled with whipped cream cheese filling and rolled in soft, gluten-free sponge cake. The perfect holiday dessert!
5 stars (1 review)

Ingredients

Gingerbread Cake

  • 2/3 cup gluten-free flour, you can also use regular flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp gingerbread spice, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp ginger, 1/4 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp clove, pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs, large
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup coconut or regular granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

Frosting Filling

  • 6-8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powder sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1-2 tsp gingerbread spice
  • 2 tbsp butter, room temp

Instructions 

  • Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and molasses.
  • Mix gluten-free flour, baking powder, baking soda, and gingerbread spice in a separate bowl.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.
  • Pour the mixture into a lined 10 by 15-inch jelly roll pan or baking pan with a little bit of a raised edge and even it out with a spatula.
  • Bake on 350F for 12 – 13 min.
  • Take the cake out of the oven and cover it with another baking pan or tin foil to retain the moisture. Loosen the edge a little bit if it appears to be sticking at all.
  • While it’s still warm, gently roll it from the short edge. You’ll want to wrap it with a small piece of tin foil to keep it in place.
  • Whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, gingerbread spice, vanilla extract, and butter into a bowl until smooth.
  • Once the cake has cooled for an hour or so, gently unroll it and spread the cream cheese evenly, leaving a little bit around the edge.
  • Gently roll it back, but not too tight. It should be easy to roll because of the pre-rolling.
  • Wrap it with a plastic wrap tightly and leave it in the fridge overnight.
  • Sprinkle powdered sugar, slice, and enjoy this gingerbread delight!

The Nutrition Facts above are specific to the ingredients I chose to use for this recipe, which may vary.