Most folks have family members who love to bake, often in the older generations, though of course many of us youngsters are following in their footsteps. In my case, that family member was my grandma.
When grandma moved out of the city and finally had a big country kitchen, that kitchen became one of the best places to be. You know the type; warm, great smells of baking treats, and a table surrounded by family. Coffee, eggs, and bacon in the mornings, a scented alarm for visiting family. I still remember all the amazing dinners we had growing up (zucchini pie was a favorite!)
Sadly, grandma passed right around the time I was discovering my love of baking, and I never got to make anything together with her, or learn first-hand from her experience.
Recently, family forwarded pictures of a lot of her old recipes, the ones she used for years, and one of them stood out right away. This pumpkin roll was a favorite even with family who didn’t much care for pumpkin (and my partner, who is the same way, enjoys it) and you know what? It’s a lot easier than you might think.
Rolled cakes always intimidated me, after watching plenty of episodes of baking shows with cracked cakes and sad failures. I was sure I would ruin this one, but it’s really pretty fool-proof. There are just a few tips to make it easier, so your rolled cake will roll without a hitch.
- When you pull the cake from the oven, roll it right away. That way, it will cool in a rolled shape. Then, you carefully unroll, fill, and re-roll it into its final form.
- Leave the cake still on the parchment paper for this first roll. That way, it won’t stick together and become impossible to unroll.
My one word of caution is to avoid over-mixing the batter when you’re putting the recipe together. If you mix it too much, the cake will end up a little chewy and a little rubbery. Now, that makes it a lot easier to roll without cracking, but the texture isn’t really worth it. I’d rather have a cracked roll than a rubbery roll, and I bet you would too.
If you make this yourself, let me know how it goes!
- Cookie Sheet Or roll cake/jelly roll pan, if you have one. I use a 9" x 13" pan.
- Parchment Paper
- Mixing Bowls
- Stand Mixer
- Cooling Rack
- Rubber Spatula
For the Cake
- 2 Eggs
- 1 Cup Sugar
- ¾ Cup Flour
- ⅔ Cup Pumpkin Puree
- 1 Tsp Baking Soda
- 1 Tsp Cinnamon
For the Filling
- 8 Oz. Cream Cheese Softened
- 1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- 2 Tbsp Butter Softened
- 1 Tsp Vanilla Extract°
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease your pan and line it with parchment paper.
- In a small bowl, mix together your flour, cinnamon, and baking powder.
- In your mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and pumpkin until combined. Don't over-beat the eggs.
- Add the flour mixture and beat to combine, but avoid over-mixing!
- Pour your batter evenly over the parchment paper and spread it out.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for five minutes.
- Roll up your cake carefully, rolling with the parchment paper still attached. Move the roll to your cooling rack and allow to fully cool.
- While cooling, combine your filling ingredients and beat into an icing.
- Carefully unroll your cake. Spread the filling across the cake evenly, careful not to tear up the cake as you spread it.
- Roll your cake back up, peeling back the parchment paper as you roll this time; the icing will help stick it together.
- Cover the cake and let chill for 30 minutes. Dust lightly with powdered sugar and slice to serve!