Pumpkin Rolls

We’ve been spending the last two Thanksgiving with D’s cousin’s family.  Thank goodness for them; otherwise, our Thanksgiving would be pretty lonely.  There are 6 additional cousins all around the same age so its more fun and lively for our girls.  Plus this was the first Thanksgiving without Papa. It would have been harder to not feel the loss keenly.

I was bringing my famous mac and cheese, whipped sweet potatoes, salad and pumpkin bread.  Without the burden of cooking a full meal, I had some time to experiment.  When Cousin L mentioned how pretty the pumpkin rolls looked and she was thinking of buying some at a bakery, I offered to make them.  So bold of me considering I’m still a little afraid of baking, let alone something as unfamiliar as a rolled cake.

I Googled for recipes and the first hit was from Libby’s.  I looked at a few more, but they were all pretty similar so I decided to go with the Libby’s.  Everything is pretty standard apart from the rolling portion of the recipe.  The thin cake cracked a bit as I rolled.  It may have been due to fact that I forgot to sprinkle the kitchen towel with powdered sugar.  The cake turned out okay visually until I started slicing it.

The rolled cake needs to be chilled before slicing!

However, the main problem is the taste.  The cake didn’t taste that great and the filling’s sweetness overpowered the cake.  A friend suggested trying the recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction and the difference is night and day.  Sally adds more spices and switches some of the granulated sugar with brown sugar and the resulting cake is delicious.  Looks visually more pleasing, too! I love the browner color and the added spices balanced out the sweet filling.

Go to Sally’s for step-by-step instructions.  I think she even has a video posted.  Here are a few of my photos.

Rolled right after baking:


Finished cake:

Pumpkin Roll
From Sally’s Baking Addiction

Yield: 12 slices


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice*
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar

For filling
6 ounces block cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F. Line 10×15 jelly roll pan with wax paper. Grease and flour the paper. Sprinkle a thin cotton kitchen towel liberally with powdered sugar and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking sofa, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and salt together in a large bowl and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla until combined. Our the wet ingredient into the flour mixture until just combined.

Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Give the pan a shake to level the batter. Bake for 17 – 18 minutes or until the cake springs back when poked with a finger.

Remove the cake from the oven and invert it onto the prepared kitchen towel. Peel off the wax paper carefully and immediately start slowly rolling the cake up with the towel.

Place the rolled up cake in the refrigerator for 2 hours to cool completely. Remove the cake roll and let it sit on the counters for a few minutes to warm up while you make the frosting.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute until it’s completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter. Add the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy.

Slowly and gently unroll the cake and flatten it out. Spread the frosting evenly on top, leaving about 1/2 in border around the cake. Slowly roll the cake back up without the towel in a tight roll. Loosely cover with a plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

*Make your own pumpkin pie spice with 1/4 teaspoon each of ground nutmeg, ground ginger, ground cloves and ground allspice.


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