Holiday (and other times) recipe: Easy pumpkin roll dessert

Pumpkin RollBesides the seasonality of this vegetable, I’ve always wondered why we relegate pumpkin dishes to the fall. It comes in a can year round — which is far easier than spearing a fresh gourd — so we could be enjoying its comforting, smooth and rustic flavors all the time.

It might be the cinnamon, nutmeg and other fall-tinged spices in many recipes which contribute to pumpkin’s autumnal reputation: pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie… we all know them. I can’t really talk… I practice the same prejudice but perhaps it’s time for a pumpkin revolution. Go ahead… make this pumpkin roll recipe in the summer. I dare you. Your family and friends will love you for it. That, I guarantee… it’s a fantastic recipe. If you’re feeling decadent, pair with a late harvest Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc dessert wine.

Spiced Pumpkin Roll
Makes 1, 10-inch roll — about 12 slices


3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup canned pumpkin (you can freeze the rest of the can in a small container)
3/4 cup self-rising flour
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts, finely chopped
Powdered sugar

6 ounces cream cheese, softened
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Thoroughly butter (or use cooking spray) and flour a jelly roll pan (aka cookie sheet with sides).
3. Beat eggs on high in a stand-up mixer for 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar to the mixing bowl, then stir in pumpkin, flour and lemon juice. Add cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg and stir well.
4. Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle walnuts on top.
5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. In the meantime, spread out 2-3 paper towels large enough to cover the roll and, using a sifter or sieve, sprinkle a layer of powdered sugar onto the towels. Set aside.
6. When roll is baked, turn out and place the pumpkin cake onto the towels, walnut side down. Roll up and allow to cool.
7. For the filling, combine all ingredients until evenly mixed. After roll has cooled, unroll and spread filling evenly onto the cake with a metal spatula. Roll up again, without the towels.
8. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to two days.

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