When I told my mom I wanted to make a pumpkin roll a couple of years
ago, I think her reaction was something like, "Eahuuugh!" It's easy to
be nervous about a cake that you have to roll up without breaking, but
trust me. This pumpkin roll is delicious, easy, and
impressive-looking. It's perfect for any of your fall dessert needs,
and it's a beautifully light treat. Don't be afraid of the roll. I
promise it will not betray you.
Perfect Pumpkin Roll
Requires: wax paper, tea towel (Don't do it without these two items,
or you will cry bitter, bitter tears.)
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2/3 cup mashed (canned) pumpkin
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (a secret: whenever a recipe calls for
cream cheese, I always use neufchatel cheese. It tastes the same and
has 1/3 the fat.)
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
1. Preheat the over to 350. Cover a jelly-roll pan (edged baking
sheet) with wax or parchment paper, and lightly grease the paper.
(This is very important. Don't do it without wax paper!)
2. Mix together the sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, eggs
and pumpkin in a large bowl. Pour the mixture into the baking sheet
and spread it evenly over the whole surface. It will be very thin.
Don't worry about it. If you decide to add the walnuts, sprinkle them
over the top at this point. (I've never added them, but I'd recommend
chopping them small so it doesn't ruin the structural integrity of the
3. Bake for 14-15 minutes. The cake will start to pull away from the
sides and a toothpick will come out clean.
4. Lay a large dishtowel on the counter, preferably one without a lot
of texture, like a tea towel. Spread a nice, thick dusting of powdered
sugar over the tea towel.
5. Deep breath. This is the trickiest part. When the cake comes out of
the oven, carefully flip the pan upside down onto the dusted tea
towel. (The first couple of times I did this, I made someone come and
stand by me for moral support - and to catch the middle of the cake if
it fell out. However, so far it's never broken for me. Just flip it
quick!) Peel the wax paper away very carefully so it doesn't tear the
6. Starting at the short ends, gently roll the cake up with the tea
towel so that the tea towel is between the layers of cake. Let the
roll cool completely in the towel. This will help the cake to easily
roll up and not break when you add the frosting to it when it cools.
7. While the roll is cooling, mix the cream cheese, butter, vanilla
and powdered sugar until creamy. The frosting isn't quite as sweet as
you might expect, but trust me. It's excellent with the pumpkin
8. When the roll is cooled, gently unroll it. Spread the filling
gently with an offset spatula and then carefully roll it back up
without the towel. Cover it in plastic wrap, place it in the fridge
and chill it for about an hour. (This is one dessert that is much
9. Slice it into beautiful, swirly slices and die of happiness.
This post is a part of the Month O' Pumpkin series at Housewife Eclectic. You can read the rest of the crafts, recipes and photography ideas in this series here.