Fall brings to mind changing leaves, the beginning of school, the sight of men with deer on the brain and an orange onesie on their back…and of course it also brings to mind a harvest of gourds, including that October beast of goodness, the pumpkin. Everyone is making something pumpkiny, and while I attempt to replicate a recipe for pumpkin custard with huckleberries that I had the pleasure to eat this weekend at the Blue Duck Tavern in Washington D.C., I instead offer up this humble, though scrumptious, dessert: The pumpkin roll.
The recipe is pretty easy and requires many basics you’ll find in your own kitchen pantry (perhaps save the can of pureed pumpkin). I went ahead and bought a big ol’ can of the puree, but came home to a recipe that didn’t ask for a whole lot of it. Not wanting to waste good pumpkin, I ended up making four of these in a week and a half. They were all gobbled up, so I’d like to think it was pretty good.
Start by preparing the batter and prepping the pan and oven for the cake portion of the proceedings. Once you have completed the cake mix, you’ll want to pour it out onto a flat cookie sheet that’s been lined with parchment paper that has also been greased and floured (to maximize ease). Bake it for 12-15 minutes, or until the cake springs back a little bit. Remove it from the oven.
Flip the cake onto a clean kitchen towel. Dusting the cloth with powdered sugar will help with removal of the towel later on. Now I didn’t have an available kitchen towel, but did have some available cheesecloth, which worked just as well, though perhaps harder to get clean afterward. Flip it out of the pan, peel off the parchment paper, and roll the cake immediately in the towel. The longer you wait increases the likelihood that the cake will break apart.
While the cake is cooling mix the ingredients together to create the filling. I find that melting the butter is ideal, since otherwise you’ll just end up with lumps of soft butter, instead of having it spread out amongst the cream cheese filling.
Spread the frosting evenly on the cake, leaving just a little bit of space between the end of the cake and the end of the frosting. Roll up the cake and voila, your tastebuds will dance.
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- powdered sugar for dusting
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 15x10x1 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs on high for five minutes. Gradually add white sugar and pumpkin. Add flour, cinnamon, and baking soda. Spread batter evenly in pan. Sprinkle walnuts evenly on top.
- Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 15 minutes (I cooked mine for about 12 minutes) or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Immediately turn out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Cool.
- To Make Filling: Mix confectioners sugar, vanilla, butter or margarine, and cream cheese together till smooth.
- Carefully unroll the cake. Spread filling over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover and chill until serving. Dust with additional confectioners’ sugar, if desired.