Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Pumpkin Roll

One of my husband’s favorite desserts (dare I say his most favorite?) is pumpkin roll. A moist, spice-kissed, pumpkin sponge cake rolled up with sweet cream cheese filling – what’s not to love?  

For the last few years, pumpkin roll has been a staple in the fall and especially at Thanksgiving, right alongside the pumpkin and apple pies.  It’s so tasty!

After baking the sponge cake, it is turned onto a kitchen towel dusted with powdered sugar, and rolled up to cool. This helps prevent the cake from cracking when you roll it up with the filling later.

After the cake cools, unroll the towel and spread the filling into an even layer. Then roll up the cake, dust with powdered sugar – and voila! You’ll have a beautiful pumpkin roll! (which of course I did not photograph before slicing and eating)

The recipe is straight from Libby’s canned pumpkin, with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg added to the cinnamon and cloves. I hope you make a pumpkin roll this year and love it as much as we do!

Pumpkin Roll
Makes about 10 servings

For the cake:
¼ cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree

For the filling:
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
6 tablespoons (3 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan (or a rimmed baking sheet, measuring approximately 10 x 15 inches) with butter and line with waxed paper. Grease and flour the waxed paper and set aside. Dust a clean kitchen towel with powdered sugar and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and salt. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the granulated sugar until thick. Beat in the pumpkin. Stir in the flour mixture until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.

Bake for 11 to 13 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Remove from the oven. Lift the cake from the pan holding the waxed paper and turn onto the towel dusted with powdered sugar. Peel off the waxed paper from the bottom of the cake. Roll up the cake in the towel, starting from the narrow end. Allow cake to cool while rolled in the towel.

While the cake cools, make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or large bowl (if mixing by hand), beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until well combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

After the cake has cooled, carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling into an even layer. Re-roll the cake. Wrap the cake in plastic and chill for an hour or so (this makes it easier to slice). Just before serving, unwrap the cake, dust with additional powdered sugar and slice into servings as large as you like!

(Recipe adapted from Very Best Baking)


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Amber! It's super simple and tasty - you should probably make one right about now!

  2. How do you get yours to roll so beautifully? Mine always crack!

    1. The trick is to roll the cake in the towel (which has been dusted GENEROUSLY with powdered sugar) right when it comes out of the oven. I unroll it and frost it when it is still ever so slightly warm, hopefully never giving it a chance to crack. Let me know how your next one turns out!!