Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting

pumpkin roll 2 (1 of 1)

So thanksgiving. Are we still talking about that? Some of us might still be enjoying the leftovers, although since I only made dinner for two, I am not one of the lucky ones. Making Thanksgiving dinner for myself and a Norwegian was something of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it really left a lot of room for improvisation, sparing me the whining that might come from people who have a lifetime of Thanksgiving expectations behind them. For example, we didn't have turkey (but that's another post).

pumpkin roll1 (1 of 1)

On the other hand, R doesn't like pumpkin pie. I'll pause for second so my readers from the US can recover from the shock. My husband, whom I've promised to love and cherish for the rest of my life does not like pumpkin pie. Does not appreciate the custardy, autumnal filling, baked to not-quite-solid. And since it was only dinner for two, I couldn't very well make an entire pumpkin pie just for myself. Even I have to draw the piggy-line somewhere.

Pumpkin Roll  (1 of 1)

So instead, I made a pumpkin roulade with cream cheese frosting that I've made before, a couple of years ago for a friend's dinner party. Still of the season, still includes pumpkin, but in a form both of us were willing to polish off in under two days (boom). And even though Thanksgiving is over now, it's still relevant because no one wants to stop eating pumpkin yet. And no one ever wants to stop eating cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Frosting
Adopted from Saveur Magazine, number 106, November 2007

1 tablespoons butter softened, plus extra for greasing the pan
3/4 cups flour
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
3 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 375F. Spray a 10"x15" jelly roll pan with either butter or spray, and place a piece of parchment paper over it. Spray the parchment paper and set aside. In case you don't know, a jello roll pan is just a cookie sheet with a rim. And this size is bit smaller than the standard size, but perfect for my little mini-oven.

Sift the flour together with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt into a medium bowl and set aside. Break the eggs into a bowl of an electric mixer, or just use a hand mixer, and beat them until fluffy and tripled in size. This will take 4-5 minutes, so maybe go with a standing mixer if you have one. Add the granulated sugar in thirds, and be sure to beat well after each addition so it's completely incorporated. After the last addition, beat the mixture for another 2-3 minutes until it's thick and creamy.

Switch to a wooden spoon and stir in the pumpkin and lemon juice. Fold in the flour mixture gently. Pour the batter into the prepared pan evenly, and spread it all the way to the sides. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans. Bake for 15 minutes, until cooked through.

While it bakes, get a work surface ready by sprinkling a clean kitchen towel with 1/4 cup powdered sugar. When the cake is done, quickly loosen the parchment paper from the pan, and (show no fear, commitment is your friend) flip it over onto the towel. Roll the cake up in the towel right away like a jello role. Set aside and let it cool for 1 hour, seam side down.

For the filling:

Combine the 4 tablespoons of butter with the 1 cup of confectioners' sugar and all of the cream cheese, as well as the vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer until the frosting is smooth.

To finish:

Carefully unroll the cake and spread the frosting over it. Gently reroll, but this time without the towel. Transfer to a serving place, seam side down and refrigerate until set and ready to serve.


Pumpkin cake with cheese? What could be better?
Brittany said…
Oh, that looks heavenly.
Unknown said…
the pictures are just so lovely, how can I resist.
Anonymous said…
My husband doesn't like pumpkin pie either! I think of it as a pretty serious and fundamental character flaw. But strangely, he loves to make pumpkin pie, and makes a darn good one for me to eat. So I forgive him. This cake looks like a ridiculously delicious alternative though, just in case.
This looks gorgeous. I'd devour the entire log in one sitting.
agua de sobron said…
Quite worthwhile information, lots of thanks for your post.

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