How To Make A Pumpkin Roll! (Vlog)
Welcome to another installment of ‘how to’ videos for baking and cooking! This particular recipe is dedicated to my brother-in-law Mike, who is the only family member (other than Nik), who will devour an entire pumpkin roll with me on Thanksgiving Day, and who coincidentally will also be coming home from his deployment with the Marine Corps this month! It only felt appropriate that we make sure there are PLENTY of pumpkin rolls around in time for his Thanksgiving month return to The States!
I began making pumpkin rolls somewhere around five years ago. I actually had never eaten one until maybe 6 or 7 years ago, but I was at an extended family’s Thanksgiving dinner on Nik’s side, and his mom;s friend Shawna made pumpkin rolls (damn good ones too!). One bite, and, being the typical pumpkin obsessed white girl I am, I was obsessed. The following year I went on a baking spree and decided to watch some YouTube videos on how to make these magical rolls, and I was told that I needed to purchase a jelly roll pan, a specific kind of towel to roll this little guy up in, and that Libby’s pure pumpkin was the way to go 100%.
Well, I was not in a place to spend money on more kitchen goods, and we lacked the space in our old house to even store anything more in the kitchen… or hallway… or bedrooms. So, I decided that I wasn’t going to do much of what the baking video I watched said was ‘necessary’, and I let the baking gods help me take this into our own hands. My first roll was, well, a disaster. I followed the Libby’s recipe online, but the directions were written and I was having a hard time understanding the part where you roll the cake up into a towel. Basically, the Libby’s recipe is delish, but also creates an airy cake and one that crumbles if you’re not a pro here. I’d always just added another egg when I wanted a more dense cake, but a few eggs later and I was chewing on a pumpkin fruit leather, so back to the drawing board. Honestly, it took me about 3 years to perfect this recipe, mainly because I didn’t want to burn myself out on these magic rolls. They always remind me of the holidays, and I didn’t want to disturb that fond memory. I figured with time and practice I’d eventually figure it out, and here we are today, with what I consider to be a pretty fool-proof recipe for even a beginner baker!
I won’t waste your time, though, there was also a vlog at the top so if you didn’t want the long winded version, I’m not really sure why you’re reading all this… either way, I’ll jump right into this recipe blog post for you!
Ingredients (for the cake):
1 Cup All Purpose Flour, you know I prefer King Arthur flour
1 & 1/4 Cup Granulated Sugar, C&H is what I use
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves (don’t overdo it, cloves are essential but you can make them overwhelming if you use too much)
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
3 Large Eggs
3/4 Cup Pure Pumpkin Puree (not pumpkin pie mix)
Ingredients (for filling):
8 Ounces Cream Cheese at room temperature
1/2 Cup Butter, unsalted and also at room temperature
1 & 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
You’ll also need an additional 1/4 Cup of powdered sugar and a thin, clean, cotton kitchen towel for your cake to be rolled up in.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and grease a 15” x 10” to 17” x 11” cookie sheet. I give a range here because I’ve used big and small ends of this spectrum and they’ve all turned out great. You do not need a jelly roll pan! If you think you like a more thick cake roll, use a smaller pan, or larger pan if you like your cake a little thinner, like I prefer.
Starting with the cake portion of the recipe, in a stand mixer using a whip/whisk attachment, or with an electric handheld mixer, beat together eggs and pumpkin well. Add in sugar and mix well.
Whisk together all dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
Combine dry ingredients with wet half at a time. Mix until well combined and mixture is the consistency of a wetter than normal cake.
Pour the cake batter into the greased pan and evenly spread it out. You want it to bake as evenly as possible.
Bake cake in a preheated oven for 11-15 minutes, depending on what size pan you used. If you used a dark or thick cookie sheet, you may need a bit more cooking time. Start checking the cake at 11 minutes and remove from the oven when you see a bit of browning around the edges.
While the cake is cooking, you’ll prepare your towel. Lay out your clean, cotton kitchen towel flat, and sprinkle the 1/4 Cup of remaining powdered sugar all over the towel evenly. You need the whole thing coated well. It’s better to use too much than not enough, so overdo it if you have to.
Once the cake is cooked completely, remove from the oven and immediately turn put onto the prepared towel as mentioned above.
Roll up your cake starting at either short end. Sit your cake/towel roll on a wire rack and let it cool completely, or for at least an hour.
While the cake is cooling, you can make your filling. Whip together butter and cream cheese until there are no lumps.
Add in your vanilla and whip again on a high speed.
Add in half of the powdered sugar at a time, start your mixer on low, and work your way up higher as it mixes in to avoid any kitchen catastrophes (been there, done that). Beat mixture until completely smooth.
When cake is cooled, carefully unroll the cake, and use your fingers to unstick any portions of the cake that may cling to the towel. GO SLOW!
Spread your filling mixture evenly inside the roll, and roll it back up inside itself, this time, without the towel.
Wrap the roll in plastic wrap or foil (plastic wrap is best), and refrigerate for at least an hour, but it’s bet to be left overnight before cutting.
Once set, unwrap and slice your roll. Serve cold and sprinkle with more powdered sugar if you wish before serving to help roll slices not stick together (and look super cute and festive)/
Use PLENTY of powdered sugar on your towel so you don’t ruin your roll/entire day. I’ve skimped on sugar here thinking it will make my cake too sweet. You really don’t notice it at all when you use too much, you definitely will tear your cake if you don’t use enough though!
Don’t get cray when you flip your cake out on the towel or you’ll blow all your powdered sugar off the towel and this is going to make your cake stick. Flip it over quickly, but don’t body slam your cake down on the towel (and remember the pan is still hot, hot, HOT!).
Go slow with the powdered sugar and electric mixer. Pour in a little bit at a time, no more than half, and start the mixer on low. Seriously, I’ve made god awful messes before.
Don’t be intimidated. Seriously. My rule of thumb is always ‘the less I pretend to care, the better my baked goods turn out’. They can sense your fear.
Don’t try to work with a hot cake. You HAVE TO LET IT COOL before you add in your filling or it will crumble.
If your cake does crumble, keep rolling with it. It will still taste great, it just won’t be quite as gorgeous, but seriously, only you will care.
Use a serrated knife to slide your roll, otherwise you’ll pinch and smoosh all the cream cheese goodness out.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this installation of Baking with The Boones. This is a Boone full of sugar, over and out. #moreboonepuns