Staff Thanksgiving Recipe: Pumpkin Roll

Staff Blogger: Rena Arter, Digital Communications Intern


Pumpkin RollThanksgiving is almost here, which means it’s time to start planning the side dishes and desserts to take to that family feast. A Pumpkin Roll is a popular Thanksgiving treat, and this recipe is sure to be a big hit!

I found this recipe online and made it myself for the first time a few weeks ago. Baking is something I just recently took up, so, I’m no master at the art of it. I can mess things up easily, but my Pumpkin Roll turned out to be amazing, not only to look at, but to the taste buds as well. So, when I say this recipe is easy, I really mean it.

This recipe includes pureeing a pumpkin, but feel free to buy a can of pumpkin puree if you wish not to do the pumpkin yourself. It was a fun experience though!

Ingredients:
Pumpkin Roll:

  • 2/3 cup Pie Pumpkin Puree (or canned pure pumpkin – not pie filling)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1 cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Flour
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 8 oz Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla
  • 1 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 tbsp soft Butter

To start, I’m going to warn you that if you’re making your Pumpkin Roll with fresh pumpkin puree, it takes a while to puree. I made the puree the day before I made my Pumpkin Roll, which I highly recommend, or else you’ll be spending half your day in the kitchen making the whole recipe.

To puree the pumpkin (skip this section if using canned pumpkin):

  1. Make sure you have a pie pumpkin. These are smaller than a typical carving pumpkin and are sweeter. If you use a regular pumpkin, your Pumpkin Roll won’t taste as good and your puree will be stringy. Start by cutting your pumpkin into fourths. I used a serrated knife because it’s easier to cut the pumpkin.
  2. Once your pumpkin has been cut into fourths, take a large spoon and scrape the insides out. Make sure you get as much of the stringy goo out as you can. You can save the pumpkin seeds if you want to make a delectable snack. Here’s a like to a short video on 9 ways to season baked pumpkin seeds! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0MZ4ludtaKE
  3. With your pumpkin cut in fourths and cleaned out, prepare a double steamer on the stove, making sure that the water doesn’t touch the bottom of your pumpkin. Once the water is boiling, place your pumpkin fourths in the steamer. You may have to do two fourths at a time if you have a smaller steamer like me. Steam the pumpkin until you can easily stick a fork through it. Times may vary, but it took me about 10 minutes.
  4. Once you’ve steamed the pumpkin, “scoop” away the pumpkin from the skin. This should be a very easy process, and the pumpkin should come right off of the skin with a spoon. If not, you need to keep steaming the pumpkin a little longer. Place your scooped pumpkin in a medium mixing bowl.
  5. Next, it’s time to puree the pumpkin. You can do this with a food processor, a hand-held potato masher or a fork. Whichever you choose to use, work the pumpkin until it becomes a semi-thick substance. It shouldn’t be soupy or a paste. The consistency should be similar to baby food. Once this is done, you have your puree. You can freeze this for use at a later time, or it can be used for other recipes like cupcakes, pancakes and even milkshakes and smoothies. 

To make the Pumpkin Roll:

  1. Mix the pumpkin puree, baking soda, sugar, flour, eggs and cinnamon.
  2. On a standard cookie sheet or jelly roll pan, place wax paper over the entire sheet, making sure it covers all sides of the cookie sheet. Grease the wax paper on the bottom and sides making sure to grease the whole surface area. The Pumpkin Roll will stick easily if the wax paper isn’t greased well.
  3. Pour your pumpkin roll mixture onto the cookie sheet and spread evenly.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. It should be sort of a spongey texture.

To make the Cream Cheese Filling:

  1. While your Pumpkin Roll is baking, combine the cream cheese, vanilla, powdered sugar and butter and blend well. This mixture should be a thicker cream.

To finish:

  1. Once you remove your Pumpkin Roll from the oven, flip it over onto a thin towel. The recipe calls for a tea towel, but I just used a thin kitchen hand-towel. The cake should be lying on the towel with the wax paper facing upward. Carefully remove the wax paper.
  2. Roll the cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Let the cake cool while rolled up in the towel for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Unroll the cake and spread the filling about a half an inch from the outsides of the cake.
  4. Carefully re-roll the cake and filling mixture, and you have your pumpkin roll! Refrigerate before eating!

Have you ever made a homemade pumpkin roll? What are your favorite pumpkin recipes? If you try this recipe out, let us know how it turned out in the comments below!

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