This vegan pumpkin cake roll is the ultimate fall dessert. A tender, moist pumpkin spice cake is rolled up with silky, whipped brown sugar ermine frosting, chilled and sliced. Top with a bit more frosting and candied pecans for a pretty crown and easy presentation.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 15" x 10" jelly roll pan with parchment paper leaving an inch or two on the short ends for lifting the cake out later. Lightly oil the sides.
In a large bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, pumpkin spice and salt. In a medium bowl, whisk together the plant-based milk, pumpkin purée, maple syrup, oil and vanilla. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients, stirring just until combined.
Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan, smoothing out the batter to the edges. Bake in the preheated oven for 11-13 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with a few cooked crumbs on it.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, dust lightly with confectioners' sugar and cover the entire tray in aluminum foil, sealing the sides. Let come down to room temperature before frosting.
For the Brown Sugar Ermine Frosting:
Sift the flour into a medium bowl. Pour in the cold milk, whisking constantly. Pour through a fine mesh sieve into a small pot and place over medium-low heat, stirring constantly. Add the brown sugar. Once the mixture thickens and is bubbling, cook another 2 minutes stirring constantly. Do not under-cook or the frosting will taste like flour and will not thicken enough.
Pour into a bowl and place plastic wrap directly over the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool completely to room temperature. You can place it in the fridge, but it needs to be room temperature when it's time to make the frosting.
In a stand-mixer with whisk attachment, beat the room temperature vegan butter on high for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract. Reduce the speed to medium, and add the cooled flour mixture a spoonful at a time. Once it’s all added, beat on high for about 5 minutes or until light, fluffy and silky. It will have the consistency of a thick, satiny whipped cream.
For the Candied Pecans (optional):
Place a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Set aside.
In a small skillet, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the pecans over medium heat. Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 minute. Add in the pecans, stirring well to coat, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Spread the pecans out on the prepared baking sheet and let cool completely. Break apart once cool. Roughly chop half of them for sprinkling on the cake.
To Assemble the Pumpkin Roll:
Carefully spread 3/4 of the frosting evenly over the cake within 1 inch of the sides. Starting at the short end of the cake, roll the cake over the frosting firmly but gently. Keep rolling, slowly releasing the parchment paper as you go and using it to help roll the log over and down. When you get to the end, roll the log onto its seam and release the parchment paper. Roll in plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight so that the cake and frosting firm up. If desired, place the rest of the frosting into a piping bag with a star tip to pipe a design on the top of the cake just before serving. Garnish with the candied pecans.
Ermine Frosting Tips :If the frosting curdles, your frosting is too cold. Place the bowl over steaming hot water for 15 second increments. Try whipping again for a few minutes. If it does not feel cold to the touch, you've been whipping more than 5 minutes and the frosting is a bit steaky/curdled looking, add a couple of tablespoons more of room temperature vegan butter. If the butter is cold, it won't blend properly and the frosting will split further. If your frosting is too soft and slouching, it is too warm either from handling or the temperature of the kitchen. Place the bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes at a time until it firms up, rewhip.Make Ahead Tip:The cake roll can be made a few days in advance and left rolled up in the plastic wrap in the fridge. When ready to serve, decorate it as suggested in the recipe, or simply dust with confectioner's sugar and serve with a side of the candied pecans.