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Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos

Ho ho ho! Time for a chocolate treat! Introducing Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos!

Can you believe I only heard about Ho Hos last month? And it was actually in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle…I know it’s a 10-year-old tv show, but it never gets boring to me.

After countless cakes breaking while trying to roll them, I finally nailed it. And the result is mindblowing. These vegan Ho Hos are incredibly soft, filled with delicious cashew vanilla cream, and coated with a thin layer of chocolate. You get the contrast of the crispy chocolate shell, the softness of the chocolate cake, and the creaminess of the filling. These are very addictive. You have been warned!

If you are from Europe, you could compare these to kinder délice in a different shape and with a coconut vanilla cream filling instead of the regular milk one.

Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos

The gluten-free roll was the most challenging part of the recipe. Making a Swiss cake that you can roll is not an easy task, especially when your rolls have to be small. To give the batter enough elasticity, I relied on a mix of rice flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. My first tries broke while rolling. The next ones were too elastic and had a gummy texture. I found out I was actually using too much xanthan gum, so once I got the amount right, the chocolate cake was soft and rollable with a fluffy texture.

I guess you could use guar gum instead, but make sure to double the amount as it is less powerful than xanthan gum.

Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos

Here are a few tips to get perfectly shaped Ho-Hos:

  • Spread the batter as evenly as possible on the baking sheet. You want to have the same thickness everywhere. Otherwise, the thinner areas will be crispy instead of soft, and you will have trouble rolling it.
  • As soon as the cake is cooked, transfer it to a clean damp towel. This will prevent it from drying. This way, your cake will be soft and rollable. No need to flip it. Just transfer it from the baking sheet to the towel (the baking paper being in contact with the towel).
  • Do not overfill them. Spreading too much vanilla cream will make it harder to roll: they might break, and you won’t get a nice swirl.
  • Don’t wait too long until you dip the rolls into the melted chocolate once they are rolled and filled with the cream. You don’t want them to dry in the refrigerator and break, so I would recommend dipping them in chocolate just after or less than 1 hour after rolling.

Then you can cut it into 12 even squares and spread each one with a thin layer of cashew vanilla cream. Roll them up tightly and chill in the refrigerator while you melt the chocolate for dipping.

Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos

The chocolate shell makes these rolls 10 times better. I mean, who doesn’t love a crispy chocolate coating with a soft, creamy inside? Plus, it protects the rolls from drying, meaning they stay fresh longer. So, don’t omit the dipping step!

To get a very thin shell, I melted the chocolate with some cocoa butter. If you don’t have cocoa butter, then go with a bar of chocolate with a high cocoa butter content. 70% dark chocolate is usually good.

Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos

Each roll is about the same size as a Mars bar, making it the perfect grab-n-go snack. I hope you will love this recipe. It’s super chocolatey, creamy, and you “get a big delight in every bite!”

Let me know in the comments if you try this Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos recipe!

Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos
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Recipe

Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos

4.72 from 14 votes
Author: Thomas Pagot
Delicious chocolate swiss rolls filled with creamy vanilla cashew cream. "A big delight in every bite!"
Servings 12 Servings
Calories 289 kcal

Ingredients
 

Vanilla Cream Filling

Chocolate Roll

  • 3 tbsp white rice flour
  • 3 tbsp brown rice flour
  • 1/3 cup tapioca starch
  • 1/3 cup coconut sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 + 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 9 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tbsp melted coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp applesauce
  • 14 ounces dark chocolate for dipping, preferable 70%+
  • 1/4 cup cocoa butter optional, makes a thinner coating

Instructions
 

Vanilla Cream Filling

  • Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a blender and blend on high speed for 30 seconds or until you get a very smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic film to touch, and place in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. You can speed up the process by placing the cream in the freezer. The cream will thicken as it cools. I usually make the cream the day before and let it harden in the refrigerator overnight.

Chocolate Roll

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 10×15-inch baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and xanthan gum.
  • Stir in the almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and applesauce. Whisk until smooth and well combined. The batter should have the consistency of a pancake batter.
  • Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared baking sheet and spread it as evenly as possible using a spatula. This step is important to get the same thickness everywhere.
  • Bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a clean damp towel. This will keep it from drying.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares.
  • One at a time, spread a cake square with a thin layer of vanilla cashew cream (about 2 tbsp). Don't add too much, or you will have trouble rolling the cake. Carefully roll up the cake to form a tight roll. Transfer the rolls to a baking sheet and place them in the refrigerator while you melt the chocolate.
  • Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Let it cool slightly. If you want, you can melt it with the cocoa butter, it will yield a thinner coating.
  • Using a fork, dip each cake roll into the melted chocolate, starting with the ends and then the tops and bottoms. Shake to let excess chocolate drip into the bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining rolls. Let them cool completely before placing them in the refrigerator.
  • Ho Hos will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. I like to wrap each one individually and have them as a decadent chocolate snack.

Notes

Nutritional information is just an estimate.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 Ho Ho | Calories: 289 kcal | Carbohydrates: 29.7 g | Protein: 3.8 g | Fat: 18.4 g | Fiber: 1.8 g | Sugar: 17.3 g
Course : Breakfast, Snack, Sweets
Cuisine : American
Did you make this recipe? Tag @fullofplants on Instagram and hashtag it #fullofplants
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About the Author

Thomas Pagot is the founder, photographer, and recipe developer behind Full of Plants. He created the blog in 2016 as a personal cookbook for vegan recipes. Through years of recipe development, Thomas has successfully grown Full of Plants into a trusted resource for plant-based recipes.

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5 stars
OH MY GAWD THOMAS!!!…..You are, quite simply put, A MIRACLE-WORKER!!!! This recipe is, truly, MIRACULOUS…..Why the hell aren’t you famous? (…..with the accompanying “RICH”!!!)….I’ve not yet tried this recipe, but I WILL…..but I’ve rated it anyway, because I KNOW it is utterly MARVELOUS!!!….(Now, the NEXT thing I hope you’ll try is “RING DINGS” (made by a company called “Drake’s”)….The night I came back from my divorce in December, 1977, I was so depressed I ate an entire BOX, consisting of 12 cakes (that was LONG before I got into health food as a way of life, and, specifically, PLANT-BASED health food, but I still see these little cakes at the store and I’m always SOOOOO TEMPTED…but I will NEVER buy them again!!….the idea for Ring Dings is probably the same for the cake, cream filling and chocolate coating as your Ho Ho recipe, but they are in the shape of little 2-1/4″ x 1-1/4″ round cakes…..SUCH JUNK FOOD, but SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!! (and SOOOOOO bad for us!!!)……..Thanks again Thomas…..your ingenuity and creativity CONTINUE to ASTOUND ME!!!!!!…..your ardent fan and admirer…….Daryl Grant Lindsay

5 stars
Hi Thomas! . . . you know, every time I enter your site, I’m like a kid on xmas morning, frantically running around the tree, jumping up and down frenetically, not knowing where to begin to open my gifts. Excited to a feverish pitch by the anticipation of what’s inside those beautifully-wrapped gifts, and enchanted by the beauty, the sparkling colors and twinkling lights all around me. That is PRECISELY how I feel as I view your recipes, look over the ingredients and directions and gaze at the gorgeous photos you’ve taken of your prepared recipes. I will often jump from recipe to recipe, wanting to try them all, but finding myself almost paralyzed with the adrenaline-rush that your wonderful creations create within me. Your perfectly clear and precise instructions add to the anticipation as I visualize going through whatever steps are necessary to reach “Recipe Nirvana”: The successful reproduction of each of your recipe “gifts” to us all, and, of course, serving them to myself, friends and family and DEVOURING them. In a world filled with so many sad, ugly, terrifying and upsetting things, you, your recipes and your website here are like an oasis . . . a lovely bit of “heaven on earth” for me and, I’m sure, for many of us. I know I always “go on and on” (too much, really, I know!), but I just can’t seem to help myself when I log onto your site. I go on like this because I believe creative artists such as yourself can NEVER be thanked enough for the time, the energy, the money and the love you spend in creating and sharing your creations. So, once again, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I appreciate you beyond words!!……Sincerely, Daryl

PS: In my exuberance, I forgot to answer your QUESTION regarding “Ring Dings”. Actually, I’m sure the taste and texture is VERY similar to that of Ho Hos and some of the other, similar types of processed junk food snack cakes. I have, indeed, had Ho Hos (in my past life), but I always returned to Ring Dings because I found the flavor of the chocolate just a bit more “chocolatey” and the flavor, the amount AND the texture of the cream filling just a bit more satisfying. I looked online and saw that they do still produce Ring Dings, but I’m skeptical that the quality is what it used to be, as that seems to be the case for MANY things, food products or not, which I used to “adore” in the “olden days”. Today it’s all, apparently, about making a PROFIT, rather than producing a high-quality product, EVEN in the world of mass-produced junk food. To me, without yet actually making your recipe, I would venture to say that the taste and texture of your version is probably very similar to the original. And I would also suspect that the same recipe would work equally well for a “Ring Dings” type of cake, just in a different shape, and without having to do any “cake rolling”. When I get around to making your “Ho Hos” recipe, I intend to try out that theory with at least a part of the batter and filling. I promise I won’t eat 12 of them in one sitting! (Although the TEMPTATION, i’ll bet, will be strong to do so!….hahaha!)

Hi,

How do the cakes stay rolled up?

Thanks!

HI Thomas, great recipe. I was wondering if it could be frozen before the chocolate dipping and if so for how long. Thanks

I am a big fan of Malcolm in the Middle too! I cannot believe you nailed this recipe, and vegan too!! this is truly impressive work..genious

Wow! These look just like the real things! Love that they are gluten free and vegan!

5 stars
These are gorgeous!! I have always wanted to make ho hos, but a vegan kind?? Yum!!

Wow, they look really yummy! 🙂 I want to make them with wheat flour but I guess I can’t just replace the rice flour in your recipe. What do you recommend? Experiment? Or do you have a rollable chocolate sponge recipe with wheat flour?
Thanks in advance!
(I love your site)

Hi Thomas,
Your recipes look amazing! I’m in the process of making your blue cheese. I also made it for my YouTube channel and linked your website. Any chance you’re working on a brie or Parmesan? I’m definitely going to make these hoho’s. I frequently had these in my lunch growing up and loved them but stopped eating them as the original ones are so full of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients. Now, thanks to you I can have them again!

I was wondering to cut costs and easier to get can I sub coconut butter O found some organic Coconut butter the other day ornciuldnInuse vegan organic shortening? For the chocolate shell? Seems like the fat content will give it a good viscosity and I know it will solidified when refrigerated. Mahalo for recipe! I have a vegan sis-in-law.

Thank you for the recipe, and for being so detailed and specific with the instructions. Is there any reason why regular wheat flour can’t be substituted for the rice flour?

I revisited this recipe today, thinking I’d make a batch of your ho-hos for my activist-friends at a fur protest tomorrow. But I had gotten this post about coconut oil this morning, and I just can’t bring myself to continue cooking with it and pretend that it’s an innocuous ingredient. I’m still waiting for the genius who figures out how to make firm non-dairy cheeses and creams without the use of coconut oil. Maybe I’ll try using agar instead. I appreciate all the painstaking care you put into your photographs and recipe creations. I’m going to take another look at your cheese recipes. Thank you so much for all the work you put into this! https://nutritionfacts.org/video/coconut-oil-and-abdominal-fat/?utm_content=buffer67571&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer

5 stars
These were fabulous and my husband just asked me to make them again for dessert tonight. I have one suggestion that worked well for me the second time around- the roll came out much cleaner by leaving the cake whole and using the parchment to help make one big roll, which I then cut into pieces. Aside from that, awesome recipe- thanks!
P.S.- I knew them as Yodels 🙂

4 stars
Hi! I tried to make these yesterday and everything worked well except that they wouldn’t stay put when I rolled them.
I think it’s just a matter of practice, I think I cut the pieces too small.

I wanted to say that I LOVED the base. I have tried to make so many chocolate cakes, and never been happy. I found myself eating the cake part of the ho hos and loved them. I think I might just try and make it into a cake? I came on to your site to see if yu have a chocolate cake but didn’t find one.

Thank you!

How long will the Vanilla Cream Filling last in the refrigerator? Thank you.

Hi!

Can we substitute some of this ingredients
3 tbsp (25g) white rice flour
3 tbsp (25g) brown rice flour
1/3 cup (43g) tapioca starch

For almond flour?

And for this – 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp xanthan gum, what else can I use?

Wow Looks amazing! it doesn’t look homemade at all !

4 stars
Everything up till the last step was perfect. I noticed you didn’t really say much about tempering the chocolate so I feel a little weird about the whole thing. Overall I really like the recipe but the last part. Had I not known about the tempering process after a previous fail I think I would have failed again. I swapped regular white rice flour for mochiko japanese rice flour and I doubled the cake part to accommodate my larger pan. Overall I love them and o greatly appreciate having plant based and gluten free recipes, so thank you.

5 stars
Hi Thomas. These are soooo delicious however the problem I’m having is that they crack when I try to roll them. I followed the recipe the first time I made them and when I tried rolling them they cracked. Second time round i tried rolling the sponge while it was still a bit warm, however the same thing happened. I don’t know whether the sponge was thicker than it is suppose to be since the batter is a bit thick and I couldn’t spread it out as evenly as possible. I don’t mind if they are a bit messy but I want to perfect them and make them look as professional as yours. Maybe I need to let the sponge cool off completely before rolling it? Thank you so much and keep up the good work 🙂

5 stars
Great send me recipe

Can i use regular flour instead?

Do you think I could sub the various flours with the same quantity of all purpose gf blend? Thanks- these look amazing!

I have a tree nut allergy (walnuts, cashews, pecans, hazlenuts, and so on), what can I substitute the cashews for? Coconut is fine and so are peanuts.

5 stars
This recipe is amazing! I was afraid it was going to be a #pinterestfail for me, but it was so easy and perfect! Any recommendations for the leftover filling? I definitely had a fair amount left over and being that it has [expensive] cashews in it, I didn’t want to waste it.

I don’t have tapioca starch. I can work have corn starch yes or no

5 stars
These are so good, I have made them 5+ times and they never disappoint! Thank you so much! <3

5 stars
YUM, these are good. I make them whenever I want a fun creamy desert.

[…] If you are looking for more re-creations of my favorite childhood snacks, check out these Healthier Chocolate Candy Bars, Soft Thumbprint Cookies, or these soft and delicious Ho-Hos! […]

[…] frosting is easy. I tweaked the cream recipe from these Ho-hos, adding unsweetened cocoa powder, reducing the amount of coconut cream, and leaving out the lemon […]

[…] apparently I’m into what you could call a rolling frenzy. First, these vegan Ho Hos, and now these pizza rolls, I’m basically spending my days rolling things. Hopefully, this […]

5 stars
Damn you. Why such big and clear pictures?????? I want to yell “GET ON MY PLATE.” Im too lazy to make these after I tried to make rice in banana leaves yesterday…what a mess but what didnt fall apart tasted good. Where can I buy these or something close to it but vegan of course??

5 stars
Damn you. Why such big and clear pictures?????? I want to yell “GET ON MY PLATE.” Im too lazy to make these after I tried to make rice in banana leaves yesterday…what a mess but what didnt fall apart tasted good. Where can I buy these or something close to it but vegan of course?? And the post about Ring Dings…damn you….I love love love ring dings. My mom would make devil dogs for me when I was in school, three times the regular size. They looked so homemade but I could trade them for chips and cookies.