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