Pumpkin Roll

Last month, I opened up our church newsletter and saw, right on the front page, a recipe of my mom’s was featured. It was her pumpkin roll recipe which she had shared with the ladies from church years ago. The lady in charge of the newsletter still remembered how delicious her recipe was and felt it was a great recipe to share this fall.

This was super special to me for a couple of reasons. One, my mom passed away just a few short months ago. It’s been a difficult loss and as the world moves on there’s this fear that lies within me that people are going to forget her. I was touched to see that not only is she not forgotten, but her legacy continues to live on. The second reason is because I don’t have this recipe. I’m sure it’s tucked away somewhere in her recipe box, but until I read about it in the newsletter, I had forgotten all about it. It has been years since she has made this!

Needless to say, I was excited to try out my mom’s pumpkin roll recipe and even more excited to share it with you. I used to help her bake all the time while I was growing up, but I’ve never done this recipe on my own. As I was interpreting the recipe and trying to figure out all of the steps (since there was no visual help in the directions), I started to get flashbacks of my mom  making these rolls. What a sweet day in the kitchen I had, remembering my mom doing one of her favorite things- baking at the holidays!

I’ve told you before that I learned from the best. My grandma and my mom had true talent in the kitchen. If you are looking for a sweet, delicious, pumpkin recipe this fall, here it is! If you’ve never made pumpkin rolls or cinnamon rolls before, don’t be intimidated; I will walk you through each step!

Here’s what you need, for the pumpkin roll and for the frosting:

If you don’t like nuts, you can eliminate them. Personally, I think that would be crazy.  Ha ha.

First, prep your ingredients. Chop your walnuts and in a small bowl, combine your flour, baking powder, and spices. Mix through and set aside.

Beat your eggs on high for five minutes. I use my Kitchen aid, but you can use a hand mixer if you don’t have one. Slowly add in your cup of sugar.

Stir in your pumpkin and lemon juice. You can do this on low with your mixer; I just did it by hand.

Next, fold your flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.

Now you are ready to bake your pumpkin dough. Place a piece of parchment paper on a 15×10 cookie sheet. Then, pour your dough onto the parchment paper and spread it across the sheet in an even layer.

Sprinkle your walnuts across the top of the dough.

Place your cookie sheet in the oven and bake for 15 minutes at 350. Keep an eye on it-you don’t want to overcook. But, make sure that it does bake all the way through. Put a toothpick in the middle to check that it’s not doughy.

While your cake is in the oven, sprinkle some powdered sugar onto a clean dish towel. It sounds weird, but you are going to roll your cake up in the towel in the next step.

When your cake is done in the oven, you are going to flip it out onto the towel, while it is still hot. Carefully peel off the parchment paper.

You may notice some slight cracks in the cake. It’s okay; they will mend nicely once you put the icing on and roll it back up. Now, this is the weird part. While I was reading the instructions, I was trying to figure out exactly what it meant and if it meant to literally roll the cake up in the towel (that’s what the directions say to do!) While I was contemplating this step, I had a sudden flashback of my mom, rolling up her cake in a dish towel at the kitchen table one Thanksgiving. I remember thinking how strange it was and that memory had been completely pushed out of my mind until I started making my roll. What a sweet memory it was, to have that flashback of my mom so clearly in my mind! In a strange, round-about way, my mom was back with me in the kitchen, teaching me as I went. So, this is the next step: to carefully roll up your cake with the dish towel. Once it is rolled, set it aside and wait for it to cool.

While your roll cools, make the icing using the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla.

When the roll is completely cooled, carefully unroll it from the towel. Spread your icing across the cake. You can see that there are a couple of cracks in my roll. To be honest, I should have baked it a couple of minutes longer, but it all worked out and it tasted amazing.

Roll your cake again, this time without the towel.

Your pumpkin roll is done! Doesn’t it look amazing? It tastes just as amazing! [Note: the picture is only half the roll. I didn’t have a pretty enough plate to fit the whole thing, ha ha].

You can cut it into slices and eat right away, or you can wrap it and freeze it until you are ready to devour. When you make this recipe, I want to hear what you think!

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Print Recipe
Pumpkin Roll
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
roll slices
For the roll:
For the icing:
Course Dessert
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
roll slices
For the roll:
For the icing:
  1. Beat eggs on high, gradually adding sugar.
  2. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.
  3. Stir together flour, baking power and spices; fold into pumpkin mixture.
  4. Spread (thin) into a 15x20 cookie sheet, lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle nuts on top.
  5. Bake for 15 mins at 350, watching closely as it bakes.
  6. Sprinkle a clean dish towel with powdered sugar.
  7. When cake is finished baking, take it out of the oven and flip it onto the prepared dish towel.
  8. Roll the cake in the towel and let it cool.
  9. While the roll cools, cream together ingredients for the icing.
  10. When cool, carefully unroll the cake. Spread the icing over the surface and then roll it back up.
  11. Wrap in tin foil to freeze, or slice and eat right away!
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