Sunday, November 24, 2013

#Thanksgiving Pumpkin Roll

From Peg Cochran

A jelly roll cake is always impressive but is actually easier than you think!  This version makes  a wonderful alternative to pumpkin pie and would also be delicious at Christmas.  Once you master the jelly roll, you can vary the cake and the filling with ease.  Don't worry if the cake cracks or isn't perfect--the filling will pull it together and the powdered sugar will cover any mistakes.  Besides, it's so delicious, your guests will be too busy eating it to worry about the appearance.


3 egg yolks

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pie filling)

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/3 teaspoon salt

Pinch of nutmeg (optional)

Powdered sugar

Beat egg yolks for five minutes, gradually incorporating pumpkin and sugar.  Sift together dry ingredients and add to pumpkin mixture.

Line a jelly roll pan (10 x 15) with parchment paper.  I find it "sticks" better if you spray the pan with PAM even though that means you'll have to wash it.  I also spray the parchment paper with PAM which I guess makes me a "belt AND suspenders" type of person.

Spread the batter in the prepared pan.  It will be thin compared to a cake. That's how it's supposed to be.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes but check after about 12 minutes.  You don't want it to be too dry or it won't roll.  It should be "spongy."  

Sift powdered sugar all over a clean linen dish towel.  The sugar will prevent the cake from sticking.  Invert the cake onto the prepared dish towel (sometimes it helps to have a second pair of hands for this.)  Peel off parchment paper, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and roll cake up into the towel (the towel will roll inside the cake.)  Let cool.


1 cup powdered sugar
1 8-ounce block of cream cheese, softened 
2 tablespoons butter
3/4 teaspoon vanilla

Beat the above until light and fluffy--approximately 5 minutes.

Carefully unroll the cake and spread with filling.  Roll back up (starting at the same end you rolled it up the first time.)  Sprinkle with powdered sugar.  For a neat look, cut off very ends of cake since they may be uneven.  (Enjoy the end pieces and look forward to the rest!) 

We were having a terrible storm while I was making this--the lights flickered several times.  Fortunately I have a gas oven so even if we lost power, I was confident I would be able to finish the cake! 

Use a strainer to sprinkle powdered sugar on towel

Pumpkin mixture

Dry ingredients

Batter spread in pan - it will be a thin layer

Cake inverted onto towel

Cake rolled in towel

Filling for cake ready to be mixed

Cake spread with filling

Cake rolled around filling and covered with powdered sugar

Just waiting for Thanksgiving dinner!

Wishing you and yours a most joyous Thanksgiving Day!

Me with the real life Reg at Dog Day in the Park

My Gourmet De-Lite mystery out now!

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  1. That's beautiful Peg--I bet it would wonderful with chocolate cake and a mocha filling...or yellow with raspberries...or.....

  2. Lucy, you're right! I do a chocolate jelly roll as the basis for our Buche de Noel at Christmas.

  3. Oh, Peg this is torture. I would love some pumpkin roll with my coffee this morning. Thank you for this delicious post, and happy Thanksgiving.

    ~ Cleo

  4. I was looking for an interesting dessert to make for Thanksgiving dinner. Think I've found it! Thanks, Peg. Have a wonderful holiday!

  5. Peg, doesn't this look amazing! Love the step by step instructions. What fun this will be to serve.

    Daryl / Avery

  6. I love jelly roll cakes. I make a Buche de Noel at Christmas, too. Could you please pass me a slice to enjoy with my tea?


  7. This looks great, Peg! I have never succeeded with a roll (and haven't tried in a long time), so I am very impressed.

    I'd like a slice now too!



  8. Thanks, Dru! It's in the freezer at the moment waiting for Thanksgiving (it was frozen in the picture LOL) but I almost suggested to hubby tonight that we get it out and have a piece! Resorted to my container of Hagen Dazs peppermint bark ice cream instead!