pumpkin roll

Nov 20, 2011 by


thanksgiving week is upon us!  tom and i have a lot to be thankful for; we have been very blessed in this crazy whirlwind of a year.  this thursday, we’ll be thinking of our family in michigan and most definitely missing them. tradition is something that will make me feel a lot closer to family.  we’ll be having a brown paper bag turkey, served on a “dump platter”.   we’ll watch the macy’s thanksgiving day parade. (hopefully, it is on at a reasonable time in the pst!)  most importantly, tom and i will be giving thanks (like we do most every day) for all of our blessings.

this recipe is for a pumpkin roll, i can’t really think of a specific “traditional” recipe that we made growing up, we usually experimented with new desserts and they always turned out great!  this is definitely very thanksgiving-ish.  i made it for halloween this year and it’s pretty simple to throw together.  it stays nicely in the fridge, so you can make it a day or two before thanksgiving and not think about it until after dinner is over.

two very important things that you’ll need for this recipe are a jelly roll pan (measuring 15″ by 10″) and about 1″ deep.  i have a non-stick one that works great with this.  you will also need a linen-y towel, covered in powdered sugar.

  • 1/4 c powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel, plus more for a garnish)
  • crisco, to grease pan
  • flour, to grease pan
  • 3/4 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2/3 c pure pumpkin (home-roasted or from the can)
  • 1 c walnuts (optional)
  • 1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c powdered sugar
  • 6 tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  1. preheat oven to 375°.  grease a 15″ x 10″ jelly-roll pan using crisco and a paper towel.  cut a piece of wax paper to fit in the bottom, if it is a little large, that is ok.  place the wax paper on the pan, cover that with crisco.  flip the piece of wax paper over and cover that side with crisco, too.  flour the pan by adding a 1/8 of a cup of flour to the pan and tilt the pan to ensure that the entire surface of the pan is covered in flour.  sides, bottoms, everything.  dump any excess flour out.  (i used this method, even though i had a non-stick pan.)
  2. lay towel out on the counter, sprinkle with the 1/4 c powdered sugar.
  3. combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl.  beat eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thick.  beat in pumpkin.  stir in flour mixture.  spread evenly into prepared pan.  sprinkle with nuts.  (optional.)
  4. bake for 13-15 minutes or until the top of cake springs back when touched.  immediately loosen, by running a knife around the edges and turn the cake onto the towel.  carefully peel off paper.  roll up the cake and towel together, starting at the narrow end.  cool on a wire rack.
  5. while your cake is cooling, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in a small mixing bowl until smooth.  set in fridge to keep cool.
  6. when cake is cool, carefully unroll it.  you can leave it on the towel and then spread the cream cheese mixture over cake using a frosting spatula. go all of the way to the edges.  it should look something like this:

  7. re-roll the cake and wrap in plastic wrap.  make sure that the ends are secure with twist ties.  refrigerate at least one hour.  it will be ok in the fridge for a couple of days.  sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

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  1. Joy Lince

    Your Ol’ Mom likes to put chopped pecans on the cake before you bake it to add the nutty flavor to this awesome dessert favorite!

    • jess

      I love the pecans, too! I’ll have to add them next time, I didn’t even think about it last time.

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