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Pumpkin cake roll with pecans

November 14, 2009

If I were a little more on the ball, I’d be freaking out right about now. It’s mid-November. Mid-November, peeps. Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away. I know I said I’d write more about the cooking competition, but I need to get this pumpkin recipe out there, before the holidays completely disappear. And they will. Before you know it.

I made a lot of pumpkin rolls last year. I mean, a lot.

Last weekend, when I realized that autumn was getting away from me, I went on the hunt for a bakery pumpkin roll. To my shock, as delicious as they are, I found only one. One. And it was $10. For a pumpkin roll. Apparently, pumpkin rolls are a commodity this year. I could’ve made a pumpkin roll fortune, if this were last year.

So, I dragged myself home, despondent over the thought of restarting that cycle from last year, and broke out the canned pumpkin. But then I scanned my recipe and remembered why I made so many pumpkin rolls last year. Because they’re so easy. As in, 10-minutes-of-hands-on-work easy. Mostly measuring and pouring. And sliding the levers of the Kitchenaid, all both of the them, with no sweat broken. (Still, I did manage to break a nail. But that’s to be expected of me.)

Do plan to make this a little in advance so it has time to firm up in the fridge. But, then slice it up, sit back, and savor the scrumptious spicy pumpkin and cream cheese flavors. And then go back for seconds. I mean, that cake’s not going to eat itself, is it?

pumpkinroll1_110709Because I hadn’t planned on baking last Saturday, I didn’t buy ingredients for the cake. I had to scrounge for bits and pieces. Which included two almost-empty cartons of eggs.
pumpkinroll2_110709See what I mean about the measuring? Lots of yummy autumn spices go in here. Feel free to add ground cloves, too, if you’re a fan (maybe a 1/2 teaspoon).
pumpkinroll3_110709SoupAddict’s kitchen is far from perfect. The handle broke off of this measuring cup long ago. But I can’t part with it. Its 1/3 cup compadre is acid pitted from fresh orange zest that I left sit too long. And the 1/4 cup handle is broken off, too, from scooping out rock-hard brown sugar one too many times. You won’t be seeing my kitchen on the Food Network any time soon.
pumpkinroll4_110709The pecan is my favorite nut, and I love the little bit of cceeerrrruunch a sprinkling of it adds. I bet walnut-lovers would find it equally yummy with walnuts. (But not Brazilian toes. I cannot believe how gross they are. Planters, please take those things out of your nut mixes. Gross. I’m just sayin’.)
pumpkinroll5_110709I love my Kitchenaid. Mixing this batter isn’t going break your wrist, but, it’s still nice to just flip a switch and be done with it. Clean-up is a breeze, especially when you have two mixer bowls. Like I do. And can leave the dirty bowl soaking in the sink for the last 6 days. Like I have.
pumpkinroll6_110709Beautiful and glossy, the batter spreads like a dream.
pumpkinroll7_110709When will the internet invent smell-o-vision? I’m sticking my head in the oven, not because of the long work-week that just ended, but because the smells are delicious and I can’t wait any longer. For now, you’ll just have to imagine it.
pumpkinroll8_110709Okay, I have to fess up. This is a picture from last year’s pumpkin rollfest. Saturday’s cake cooled too long in the pan and cracked and cracked and cracked when rolled. Tip: don’t cool your cake too long in the pan. I ended up making a 5-layer pumpkin stack cake out of it, which oozed all over everything when sliced and was most definitely not camera-worthy. There were stifled smirks amongst the peeps at the sight of it, but not a word of complaint once fork was brought to mouth. The last smirk—and plate of finger-lickin’ ooze—was mine.
Pumpkin Cake Roll with Pecans
  3   eggs
  1 cup sugar
  3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  3/4 cup canned pumpkin
  2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  1 teaspoon baking powder
  1 teaspoon ground ginger
  1/2 teaspoon salt
  1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg (freshly ground is best. And you wanna be the best, don’t you? I thought so)
  1 teaspoon lemon juice
  1 cup finely chopped pecans
      confectioners’ sugar
  1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
  1/4 cup butter, softened
  1 1/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  1 teaspoon vanilla extract


1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. rimmed baking pan with parchment paper; set aside.

2.  In a mixing bowl, beat eggs for 5 minutes. Add the sugar, flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt and nutmeg; mix well. Add lemon juice. Spread the batter evenly in prepared pan; sprinkle with pecans.

3.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes (but no more – the cake needs to be warm when you roll it). Turn cake onto a kitchen towel* dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off parchment paper. Carefully roll up the cake in the towel, jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Go slowly; use both hands (otherwise, cracking, and later, pointing fingers and mocking, will follow). Cool completely on a wire rack.

4.  In a large mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients and beat until smooth. Gently unroll cake; spread filling over cake to within 1/2 inch of edges. Roll up again; place seam side down on a serving platter. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving. For a perfect presentation, cut off a thin slice from each end to eliminate the ragged edges. Discard the slices (as if! Devour the slices and bask in your baking genius.)

* Do not use a terry cloth towel. I found this out the hard way. It doesn’t really affect the roll, but you’d be amazed at how much sugar likes to get in those loopy nooks and crannies and hide. And after the warm cake has been rolled up in the towel for a while, it essentially steams the sugar into little shake-out-resistant clumps. Well, just trust me on this one. Use a linen towel; a large cloth napkin works well, too.

  1. November 14, 2009 5:17 pm

    oh so yummy!
    check out my food blog and tell me what you think:


  2. November 21, 2009 4:43 pm

    As long as it has pecans….i’ll have it

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