Pumpkin Rolls

I love pumpkin. I love pumpkin soup, pumpkin lasagna, pumpkin bread, and of course, pumpkin rolls! Growing up, my family would always buy a few pumpkin rolls from the same baker. The moist, spongy cake was delicious, but I would always eat in a spiral until I reached the center where I found a generous amount of the sweet cream cheese filling, by far the best part.

Last year was the first time I made these rolls. I was convinced that they would be difficult, that I would crack the cake when I rolled it or the thin cake would get dry too easily. They are actually quite easy to make. I’ve made a few adjustments, including adding allspice to the filling. It adds some complexity and helps keep the filling from being too sweet. You can omit it if you want, but I strongly suggest you give it a try.

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These rolls are perfect for fall occasions, like thanksgiving, when pumpkin puree is on every supermarket endcap. But they’re also perfect for Christmas, New Years, or anytime.

Pumpkin Rolls (Adapted from Food.com)

Cake
– 3 eggs
– 1 C sugar
– 2/3 C canned pumpkin
– 1 tsp baking soda
– 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1/4 tsp allspice
– 3/4 C flour

Filling
– 8 oz cream cheese, softened
– 4 tbsp butter, softened
– 1 C powdered sugar
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 1/4 to 1/2 tsp allspice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar, then beat in remaining cake ingredients.

Grease a 10”x15” jelly roll pan. Cut a piece of waxed paper larger than the pan, so that when the waxed paper is pressed into the pan a few inches hang over the ends. Press the waxed paper into the pan and grease and flour (or use baking spray) the waxed paper.

Pour the batter into the pan and spread evenly. Bake for approximately 15 minutes (be careful not to burn the edges).
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While the cake is baking, lay out a clean kitchen towel or large cloth napkin and dust generously with powdered sugar.

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Using the overhanging waxed paper as “handles”, carefully turn the hot cake onto the towel, cutting off any hard/burnt edges. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and roll.

At this point, you can make a choice. Rolling to create a long, skinny roll does not result in as pretty of a spiral but allows smaller portions. Rolling to create a shorter, fatter log creates a much prettier spiral but fewer servings. The picture above is of a shorter, fatter roll, the pictures of the rolling process are for a longer, skinnier roll.

Roll the cake in the direction you desire, then set aside to cool completely.

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While the cake is cooling, beat together all filling ingredients, adding the allspice to taste. When the cake is completely cool, gently unroll the cake and spread with the frosting. Roll up again with the frosting on the inside.

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To store, wrap the roll first in waxed paper then in aluminum foil. Refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, for the flavors to meld. Or, if you will not be not using it within a few days, the roll will keep well in the freezer. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

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