Pumpkin rolls are a classic Thanksgiving dessert for many people, but not in my family. I had never tried one until last weekend when I decided to make one myself. I’d like to tell you I’m not sure why I waited so long to try making a pumpkin roll, but that wouldn’t be true. Visions of torn cake plagued me every time I considered making one, and I was just sure I would break the cake while rolling it. I’m not sure why I thought that, especially considering I’ve done cooking-related things that are much, much more difficult than rolling a cake. It seems pretty ridiculous to have ever thought that now that I’ve made one. If you’re worried about it like I was, don’t be. This cake was a breeze to roll up. In fact, I rolled this one while talking to my sister on the phone. The truth is, this is one of those desserts that looks harder to make than it actually is.
If pumpkin pie’s not your thing, this might be just the dessert you’re looking for. The cake is fragrant and filled with the wonderful flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon and clove. Because it’s a sponge cake, it’s incredibly moist. The cream cheese filling is sweetened, but it still has a slightly tangy taste, as well. It goes perfectly with the pumpkin cake (think pumpkin cream cheese muffins, but in dessert form). Eric and I each had a slice the night I made this, and I kept an extra slice when he took the rest of it to work. It’s a good thing, too, because I very well could have eaten several slices of this! I like pumpkin pie, but this cake has definitely won me over. If you’re still looking for a Thanksgiving dessert, this one can be made in next to no time and will taste delicious even after a day in the refrigerator.
I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, tasty and fun-filled Thanksgiving!
- COOK TIME:
- YIELD: 10 servings
For the cake:
¼ cup powdered sugar, for dusting
¾ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
⅔ cup pumpkin purée
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
For the filling:
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Heat oven to 375º. Butter a 10×15 jelly roll pan and line with wax paper. Butter and flour paper and set pan aside. Lay a tea towel (or other thin, cotton towel) on the counter and sift powdered sugar over.
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in a small bowl. In a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat together eggs and sugar on medium-low speed until mixture is thick and lighter in color. Beat in pumpkin until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in flour mixture. Pour batter onto prepared pan and spread evenly, tapping the pan on the counter as needed to release any air bubbles. If desired, sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Bake cake for 11-15 minutes, or until the top of cake springs back when touched. Immediately turn cake onto prepared tea towel. Carefully remove wax paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting at the narrow end of the cake. Place on a wire rack and cool completely.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla together on medium-low speed, either in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer. Increase speed to medium-high and continue beating until filling is smooth.
Unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cooled cake, spreading just barely to the edges. Reroll cake and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least an hour. If desired, sprinkle with powdered sugar right before serving.