It’s officially pumpkin season!! Before I moved to the States, I wasn’t a fan of pumpkins in any way, shape or form. But then again, I don’t think I had the kind of pumpkin you have here. They were a different variety I suppose. Anyway, I love fall and am slowly warming up to all things pumpkin. It started with this delicious crumbly moist Pumpkin Bread with Pecan Streusel Topping and has slowly progressed to a love for pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin spiced cheese cakes and this….
A Pumpkin Spice Roll With Maple Cream Cheese Filling….a recipe I first spotted on a can of Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree. I just had to make it! Never mind that I had never made a roll cake before… I was suddenly obsessed! I had to try….and if it didn’t work (which it didn’t my first attempt, more on that later) I was determined to try again until I got it. I was going to make a pumpkin roll just as pretty as the picture on the can. And I’m proud to say I did! After a little research on cake rolling, I attempted the recipe just as it was on the can, but I didn’t have the right pan. I used a regular cookie sheet with a slightly raised lip (which technically would have worked) but it was much too big- 12×18 or something like that. So I ended up doubling the recipe to fill the pan and then mucked up the baking time and managed to undercook the cake so it had a funky almost gelatinous texture. It tasted alright…but the texture was not at all what it was supposed to be. The second mistake I made, was I got a little excited and too impatient to let the cake cool down all the way. So, I ended up filling a warm cake that hadn’t set all the way in its roll form, needless to say it developed a few big cracks in it. So I tried again…with a 10×15 inch jelly-roll pan and tweaked the recipe just a little. This time I paid closer attention to the texture of the cake before I pulled it out of the oven. It felt spongy and sprang back when I touched it in the center of the cake. That’s how I knew it was going to turn out well. Secondly, I let the cake cool down all the way. I had to just walk away and let it be, which was hard…but at the end I was happy I did.
I realized that rolling a cake isn’t as complicated as it may seem, if you get the basics right. Once you successfully make one, I can easily see how fun it would be to try out different cake/filling combinations. It sure is a beautiful way to present a cake and dazzle your friends or family, making it seem more complex than it really is.
Here’s how you can make a delightful and elegant Pumpkin Spice Cake Roll which is delicously moist and filled with a creamy sweet… maple cream cheese frosting….mmmm!
- For the cake
- - 3 large eggs
- - 1 cup granulated sugar
- - 2/3 cup Pure Pumpkin puree
- - 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- - 1/2 tsp baking powder
- - 1/2 tsp baking soda
- - 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- - 1/4 teaspoon salt
- - 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
- - 1 (8oz) packet of cream cheese, softened
- - 4 tbsp butter, softened
- - 1-1 1/4 cup of powdered sugar
- - 1 tbsp maple syrup
- - Start by preheating your oven to 375° F and spray a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with oil and line the pan with parchment paper. (Tip: I spray the pan before I line it so that the parchment has something to stick to. I also cut slits in the corners of the parchment so that it overlaps and shapes the corners properly)
- - Crack open 3 large eggs into the bowl of a stand mixer or a regular bowl and add 1 cup of fine sugar to it.
- - Whisk the eggs and sugar together on medium speed for 3-4 minutes until it's pale yellow, thick and frothy.
- - While the eggs and sugar are whisking, put together a bowl of the dry ingredients- 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 teaspoon each of baking powder and baking soda, 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix it all together.
- - Once the egg mixture is pale and frothy add 2/3 cup of pure pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling!) and whisk it in for a minute, until combined.
- - Stir in the flour mixture very gently, until the it's all combined, being careful not to over beat it. (This step is best done by hand with a spatula in folding motion, to avoid over working it. The flour should be just about combined, but not whisked vigorously)
- - Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and spread it out evenly. Give the pan a few firm taps on the counter to help level out the cake mix.
- - Bake the cake at 375 F for about 11-16 minutes. To test for doneness gently press the center of the cake, and if it springs back it's done. If it doesn't spring back give it a few more minutes to bake and check again. (Mine was done at 14 minutes. But as every oven is different, your time may differ. You want to keep an eye not to overcook the cake as that will dry it, making it difficult to roll)
- - While the cake is baking, sprinkle a thin, (lint-free) kitchen towel generously with powdered sugar. This is to keep the cake from sticking to the towel when we roll it.
- - Once your cake is done you will have to work with the cake rather quickly while it is still warm.
- - Invert the cake onto your powdered kitchen towel and carefully peel away the parchment paper.
- - Starting from the narrow end, gently roll the cake up in the towel and place it on a wire rack to cool down. It's very important not to get impatient at this stage cos the cake has to really cool down before you can fill it. So step away for at least half an hour...get together the ingredients for the filling, make sure you have taken out the cream cheese and butter on the counter to soften at room temperature...go read a book, watch TV, whatever!
- - Once your cake has cooled (check with your hand and if it's still warm on the outside, it'll definitely be too warm on the inside so let it cool more) start with the maple cream cheese filling.
- - Beat the cream cheese and butter together on medium speed.
- - Add the powdered sugar (I added one cup at first, gave it a taste and then added another 1/4 cup, so add the sugar according to your taste preferences) and beat again until it's smooth and fluffy.
- - Add the maple syrup and whisk on high until combined.
- - Carefully unroll the cake and spread the cream cheese mixture as evenly as you can over it away from the edges (because when you reroll the cake it will push the filling out to the edges)
- - Reroll the cake, cleaning out any excess filling that comes oozing out at the end.
- - Wrap the cake roll in cling wrap and refrigerate it for at least one hour or longer before serving.
- - Cut off the edges to reveal nice cake spirals and dust with more powdered sugar before serving.....mmmm!