Bring on all the pumpkin Fall and Holiday flavors! Pumpkin Roll has become a staple in our house over the last few years and it's easy to see why - it pretty much rocks in all ways.
Let us count the ways that this Pumpkin Roll recipe is so freaking good:
- It has a sweet, but not too sweet, cream cheese filling
- LOADS of powdered sugar
- Subtle Fall spices rolled into a moist cake
- Stores really well for make-ahead holiday goodies (this is the kicker - you can make it now, freeze it, and pull it out for your holiday guests, as if you made it that very day!)
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Origin of this Recipe
So, obviously there are lots of Pumpkin Roll recipes out there, especially this time of year. This one is extra special to me because it came to me via my good friend's mom.
She gave me a copy of it printed on her recipe cards scrawled in her own handwriting and with just enough instructions to get the gist of it. Sadly, she passed away a little over a year ago.
I feel very fortunate to have one of her recipes, to continue baking every year. And that makes this Pumpkin Roll taste that much sweeter.
Rolling it up
Most of this recipe is pretty easy and straightforward. Mix all the ingredients for the cake, pour it onto a baking sheet, bake, mix together ingredients for the filling.
The next part can be a bit tricky if you've never done it before. It calls for rolling up the cake in a towel. The purpose of this is clear - this process makes the cake into its iconic spiral rolled shape.
And, doing this while the cake is hot prevents cracking of the cake and allows the cake to cool into the spiral shape.
The how-to part is actually pretty simple, too. While your pumpkin cake is baking, clear a big space on your countertop, lay down a clean kitchen towel (tea towels work best here, nothing too fluffy or cottony) and sprinkle with powdered sugar.
Once your cake is out of the oven, immediately place the towel, sugar side down, onto the freshly baked cake then place the bottom of another sheet pan on top of the towel.
Now you're ready to roll up the cake.
Starting with the narrow end, roll the cake and the towel together being sure to make the roll tight. Place in the fridge until cool. Easy as pie!
Looking for More Fall Recipes? Try these:
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup powdered sugar plus extra for dusting
Prepare the Cake
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and grease the top of the parchment with butter. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the eggs and sugar, mixing on medium until thoroughly combined. Add in pumpkin and mix well. With mixer off, add in flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Turn mixer on low and stir to combine. Pour batter onto prepared baking sheet and spread evenly. Bake for 15 minutes. As soon as cake is removed from the oven, spread a clean tea towel that has been dusted with powdered sugar over the cake and place the bottom of another baking sheet over top. With oven mitts protecting your hands, hold both baking sheets firmly together and flip the cake over onto the tea towel. Remove the original baking sheet and peel off the parchment paper. Carefully and tightly roll up the cake and towel together, starting with the narrow end. Place in the refrigerator until cool.
Prepare the Filling
- When cake is completely cooled, carefully unroll it from the towel. Spread filling onto the cake, leaving about ¼ inch around edges. Re-roll cake (without the towel) and refrigerate for about an hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.
- Cake can be made ahead of time and frozen up to one month. Remove about an hour before serving to allow cake to reach room temperature
- Do not use a thick or fluffy kitchen towel for this, as you do not want lint in your pumpkin roll. Use a tea towel or flour sack towel
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