This Rhubarb and Raspberry Roly-Poly is one of my favourite winter weekend or dinner party desserts.  I love the combination of raspberries and fresh rhubarb rolled in a soft pie like dough.  Serve with double cream or coconut yoghurt (my preference), though the rest of my family say vanilla bean ice-cream is ‘a must.’


This is a healthier version of the sugar and jam drenched traditional ropy-poly in one of my nanas old cook books (actually it is a book filled with cuttings from magazines and lots of handwritten recipes that no doubt a neighbour or friend had shared). It’s still certainly not an everyday food, rather seriously good comfort food for those times when a little deliciousness in life is called for.


Makes about 8 roly-polys



For the dough
480 grams wholemeal spelt flour

5 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon sea salt

180 gram of butter, chilled and cubed

250ml (1 cup) full-fat milk


For the filling
1 cup of raspberries. fresh or frozen

1 bunch of rhubarb, 1cm dice

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons of coconut sugar or rapadura


For the syrup
170g (½ cup) of sweetener (rice malt syrup, maple syrup or honey)

250ml of boiling water



  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  • To make the dough: combine the flour, baking powder and sea salt. Add the butter and either rub into the flour by hand or process until well combined with the flour (to form a crumb). Add the milk and mix until a firm, slightly sticky dough is formed.  If it is too sticky, add more flour or to dry, add a little more milk.
  • Roll out between two pieces of baking paper into a 1cm thick (roughly) rectangle.
  • Remove the top piece of baking paper and scatter the filling evenly over the dough then roll it up into a cylinder. Trim the outer doughy edges and cut into approx. 2cm wide slices, carefully placing each slice onto a baking tray, leaving a little room between each one (they will expand).
  • For the syrup: combine the sweetener and hot water and mix until the sweetener has dissolved.  Drizzle over each roly-poly.
  • Bake for 40 minutes or until the dough has risen and browned slightly (and most of the syrup has reduced).



Hot out of the oven with double cream, coconut cream or dare I say it (my kids and hubby are cheering me on)… a good quality vanilla ice-cream.




Replace the butter with 100ml of macadamia nut oil and milk with the approx. same quantity of coconut milk.  I’d recommend adding the coconut milk gradually to form the right consistency in the dough.



Replace the spelt flour with good quality gluten-free bread flour.



Replace the coconut sugar with a pinch of stevia powder and chose the rice malt syrup as your sweetener for the syrup (and definitely skip the ice-cream)!


A different filling

Absolutely possible, the limit is your imagination. I love playing with various spices in the syrup too like ginger, cardamon, cloves etc; pear and ginger is divine and also in season now.


Lighter dough

You can substitute white spelt or half/half for a lighter consistency.



Making a good dough, especially gluten free requires TLC and a keen eye to achieve the right consistency in the dough.


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