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One Last Pumpkin Hurrah: Pumpkin Cake Roll

Thanksgiving can overwhelm me, but in a good way. The day devoted to turkey, pie and my footie pajamas is inching closer. I can feel it, I can smell it.

I catch myself drooling over recipes on Pinterest and feasting my eyes on the pictures in my cookbooks. The possibilities for Thanksgiving desserts are endless. How is one supposed to only pick a select few to serve? What if I want one apple pie with pecans and another with dulce de leche? Can mashed potatoes be smothered with too much gravy? Hence, I am overwhelmed.


As I was hunting for my next recipe adventure the other day, a friend of mine suggested a favorite family recipe of hers: a pumpkin cake roll spiced with nutmeg, ginger and cinnamon, stuffed with cream cheese.

To be honest, she had me at pumpkin. The spices and cream cheese just topped it off. There is nothing quite like a warm pumpkin flavored cake with melted, mousse-like cream cheese stuffed in the middle of it. If heaven has a taste, this is it.

Although the recipe slightly intimidated me—considering you are required to physically roll the cooked cake into a yule log shape— it is not all that bad.

I will always encourage you to try and make any delicious recipe, no matter how challenging, and I keep that trend going as I urge you to try this one.

First off, anything pumpkin is perfect for the Thanksgiving table and this recipe will leave your family feeling extra thankful. Second, who doesn’t like a bite of pumpkin smothered in cream cheese?

As you are deciding whether to make pecan pie or pumpkin, I encourage you to add this recipe to your table this November. It is a beautiful dessert and it is full of the flavors of fall.

Pumpkin Cake Roll Ingredients

1 cup walnuts, chopped

3 eggs


1 cup sugar

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

¾ cup flour

2 Tablespoons cinnamon

1 Tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

8 ounce package cream cheese

¼ cup butter, cut into pieces

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar


In a medium-sized mixing bowl, mix the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and lemon juice until completely smooth.

Stir together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt and nutmeg in another mixing bowl. Add to the egg mixture. Mix together until flour disappears, but do not over mix!

Spread the batter into a large, greased baking pan. Sprinkle with chopped walnuts, and bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes.

Once the cake is out of the oven, turn it onto a kitchen towel that is sprinkled with powdered sugar and laid flat on the kitchen counter. Start at a narrow end of the cake and roll it with the towel included — I know this is funky, but trust me — and then let the cake cool for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth. Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix together. Unroll the cooled cake and spread the cream cheese mixture over it. Re-roll the cake and chill it in the fridge for about 2 hours. Slice hamburger style to serve.

Collegian Entertainment Reporter Rae Ehly can be reached at 

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