If you are a frequent reader of The Kitchen is My Playground, you know I'm cooking my way through my family's cookbook ~ slowly, but surely. Well, this week I tackled a recipe that scared me ~ the classic Pumpkin Cake Roll my Mom used to make when I was growing up.
I'm so happy to say that I can report success with this one! Because I had concerns. Alas, I am scared no more. While this creation is a bit nerve-wracking the first time through, the beautiful and absolutely scrumptious result is worth the tiny bit of wear-and-tear on the nerves.
After my afternoon adventure with this cake, which included three in-process phone calls to my Mom, I can now walk you through its creation step-by-step. Complete with tips from Mom, of course.
So, how do you create this classic confection, you ask? Start by lining a jelly roll pan with waxed paper. MOM TIP #1: Mom says this is very important. Do not skip this step. Or you'll be sad later.
|The all-important waxed paper|
Then whip up the cake batter, being sure to beat the eggs for the full 5 minutes called for in the recipe. This incorporates air into the batter and creates a light, springy cake. You'll like it this way, I promise.
Spread the batter into your prepared jelly roll pan, like so ...
|Light & airy batter|
... and sprinkle evenly with the finely chopped walnuts.
Bake up the cake. And now comes nerve-wracking part #1 ... turning the cake out of the pan. This part made me sooooooo nervous. To get ready for this nail-biter step, spread a towel out on your counter and sprinkle it generously with powdered sugar. Okay, now take about three deep breaths.
Take your cake out of the oven ... take a few more deep breaths ... and immediately flip your pan over onto your powder-sugared towel. Say a little prayer that when you lift up the pan, you'll have a cake sitting there neatly separated from the pan.
Now, go ahead -- lift up the pan. Keep saying your prayer ... cross your fingers ... whatever you do ... until you see ...
|And I'm thinking - "Please, oh, please, come out of the pan in one piece! Please!!"|
... THIS!! Yay! A cake! I was so excited that mine came out of the pan in one piece.
Time now to peel off the waxed paper. I had to do a little coaxing with mine. I very gently worked on the corners first, loosening them carefully. Next, I got all the edges loosened ...
|Gently coaxing off the waxed paper edges & corners|
... and after that, the rest of the waxed paper peeled up really easily.
Now comes nerve-wracking part #2 ... rolling up the warm cake. TIP FROM MOM #2: Roll it up tightly, gently, and slowly.
Towel-and-all, gently roll the cake up into a log, keeping it as tight as you can. Then set it aside to cool to room temperature.
And now we're onto nerve-wracking part #3 ... unrolling the cooled cake.
Once your cake is cooled, very gently unroll it. TIP FROM MOM #3: Unroll very slowly!! To quote Mom, "This thing will crack on you."
And, yep, mine sure did. See those three or so big cracks? Moving slowly helps avoid this. I moved slowly, but still couldn't avoid a few cracks. I just gently squished the cake back together, and 'glued' the cracks up with cream cheese filling.
|... and unrolling|
Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the unrolled cake. And, now, roll it back up! Just as before, keep it tight and roll slowly. Oh, and this time, leave the towel out of the cake roll. :-)
Success!! Isn't it gorgeous?
Transfer this beauty to a serving platter and chill. The cake that is. And you, too. You deserve a little chillin' after all your hard work.
Pumpkin Cake Roll with Cream Cheese Filling
Source: My Mom - and I'd bet she got the recipe from Libby's years ago!
1 c. granulated sugar
2/3 c. pumpkin puree (100% pure pumpkin)
1 tsp. lemon juice
3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. finely chopped walnuts
Cream Cheese Filling:
1 c. powdered sugar
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 T. butter, softened
1/2 tsp. vanilla
For the Cake:
1. Grease a 15x10x1" jellyroll pan; line with waxed paper or parchment paper (this is very important!). Lightly spray waxed paper with cooking spray.
2. Beat eggs on high speed for 5 minutes; then gradually beat in granulated sugar. Stir in pumpkin and lemon juice.
3. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. Fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread batter into prepared pan. Top with finely chopped walnuts.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Immediately turn out onto a towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully remove waxed paper. Starting at the narrow end of the cake, roll towel and cake up together. Cool. Once cool, slowly and gently unroll cake.
For the Cream Cheese Filling:
5. Combine powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; beat until smooth. Spread evenly over cooled cake.
6. Roll cake back up. Chill.