Pumpkin Roll

The classic pumpkin roll: this recipe always seemed like an elusive one to get the hang of, or even attempt when we were younger. But! Seeing as how the interview trail has given me some down-time at home, plus the chance to celebrate Thanksgiving with family for the first time in 3 years, I decided to try my hand at it.

It's totally acceptable to replicate this at Friendsgiving in January, right?


The cake:
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground ginger
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin purée
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

The filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened to room temp
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar, more for liberal dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

First, line a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Leave an extra inch of parchment paper along the border so you can lift the cake out with a little more ease. You can also lightly grease the parchment paper with baking spray if you want, but I didn't!

In a large bowl, whisk most of the dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon). In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients (eggs, sugar, vanilla, ginger, and pumpkin purée) until smooth.

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the bowl of wet ingredients, and stir until just combined. Spread the mixture evenly into the lined pan.

Bake approximately 14 minutes until cake "springs" back to the touch. I would check at 13 min, and every minute after. Over-baking= more unwanted cracks!

Once baked, immediately lift the parchment paper and cake out of the pan, and starting at one end start to gently roll the cake with the parchment paper. It'll be hot, but the cake does better when it's rolled warm. Cool the cake completely approximately 1 hour until room temp.

While the cake is cooling, time to make the frosting filling!

Mix the softened cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and powdered sugar with a mixer until fluffy.

Once the cake roll is cooled, unroll it slowly. It may have minor cracks that don't run the whole thickness of the cake, so don't worry if there are some small ones. As long as the outside is intact that's what shows!

Smooth on the filling in an even layer over the cake, and then roll up the cake again like before. As you roll, slowly remove the parchment paper, avoiding strong tugging because this may also cause the cake to crack. Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

Before serving, lightly dust or sprinkle with powdered sugar using a sieve. Cut about 1/2-1 in. from the ends of the cake to create a straight edge on both sides to make it uniform.

The cake should be stored in the fridge, covered with plastic wrap and foil. It may be made to store up to 2 days before serving. The cake can also be frozen after rolling completely, for up to 3 months- just thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

Baking time is super important for this cake.
This is actually the second cake I made today. The first one I slightly over-baked :(, and when I went to unroll the cake before icing, there were enormous cracks that ran the entire cake. With the Great British Bake Off playing in the background, I decided to make a second batch while closely watching the cake to avoid over-baking it, and this time--success!

Enjoy and happy thanksgiving!


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