It’s finally here!
I truly do love all seasons for different reasons….
Winter brings the holidays and warm sweaters and extra excuses to snuggle up with James Les 😉 We celebrate our Savior’s birth and enjoy spreading kindness. Spring breathes fresh air and much desired color back to a muted landscape and dreary scenery. The Cubs always get so excited to see the first speck of green as the Drake Elms in the front of the house begin to put on the first new leaves in our yard. Summer, with it’s long, hot days means lots of water fun and extra hours in the day to work and play! Around our house, this time of the year is anticipated along the same lines as Christmas because we pack up, what seems like our whole house, to stay at the campground for two separate weeks to fellowship and worship with good Christian families in Christ! We treasure our time spent sweating 😉 and making memories with all that meet there! And then there is fall…. ah, Fall!
Such an enjoyable season. Not too hot-Not too cold. Most of the pesky bugs down here in South Georgia are becoming less and less noticeable. The smells of change ride along as the breezes begin to pick up and shift the Summer’s stale air. And somehow the color orange becomes pleasant as it takes on the form of a big, plump pumpkin! I love fall! I love to experience all the seasons with all my senses but nothing quite ranks higher than Fall in my book! I love to see the change in colors. I love the way the wind feels on my skin. I love the taste and smells of fall! Spices and warm, earthy smells. Rich tasting food traditionally reserved for this time of year. Isn’t it wonderful how God not only created the change in seasons but also allowed us to be able to experience it!!!! He is so good!!! And something about a change in season revives a spirit of awe in me toward our Master Creator! And what better way to welcome in Fall, than with a traditional dish?!?!?
Let’s welcome Fall into our homes with an equally simple and Delicious recipe……
Perfect Pumpkin Roll
For the Cake You’ll need:
- 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking soda
- 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 1/2 c. brown sugar
- 1/4 c. granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2/3 c. pumpkin puree
For the Filling You’ll need:
- 8 oz. Cream Cheese (room temperature)
- 1 (4 oz.) stick of Butter (room temperature)
- 1 Tbs. whipping cream
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp.pumpkin pie spice
- 3 c. powdered sugar (more may be desired depending on taste and texture preference)
You will also need:
- a mixer
- medium sized bowl
- measuring cups and spoons
- a rubber spatula or large spoon
- a medium to large sized cookie sheet 12×18 or larger
- Parchment paper (2 pieces cut to fit your pan with a little overhang allowance) and cooking spray
The uniqueness of a Pumpkin Roll is just that- the “roll” shape. Texture and consistency is key for a great roll. This is why I suggest letting all ingredients come to room temperature before you begin the mixing process. Temperature also plays a significant part in the actual rolling process. *I’ll walk you through that step when we get there!*
So now that you’ve got all your ingredients and a strong urge to welcome fall into your home :), let’s get baking!
*Disclaimer: I tend not to follow all the rules when I bake (and sew!), so when the instructions call for a preheated oven I usually overlook that part 😉 . 9 times out of 10 I just put the batter/casserole/pie/… in a cold oven and then turn on the temp and timer back to back. I know I should probably preheat the oven, but I don’t and no one seems to mind. It works for me, but if you feel more comfortable preheating your oven, I understand 😉 *
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
In a medium size bowl: Combine 3/4 c. of flour, 1/2 tsp. baking powder, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Whisk to combine ingredients and then set to the side.
Using a mixer: Combine 3 (room temp) eggs, 1/2 c. brown sugar, and 1/4 c. granulated sugar. Mix on low until eggs are just combined. *** Don’t over mix– over mixing while baking leads to a tough textured cake.
Add 2 tsp. vanilla extract and 2/3 c. of pumpkin puree to the egg/sugar mixture. Mix on medium speed until just combined. Again, Don’t over mix!
Now, you are going to combine the wet and dry ingredients together by pouring the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture. Mix on medium speed until well combined. (You don’t want any streaks of flour left in the batter.)
Line your cookie sheet or baking pan with one piece of parchment paper and then spray the cooking spray on the paper. (This greased paper will act as a tool in the rolling process.)
Pour the batter onto the greased paper-lined baking sheet. Using a rubber spatula, evenly spread the batter into a rectangle, leaving a 1-2 inch border on all sides.
Bake the cake @ 350 degrees for approximately 12-15 minutes. (keep a close eye on the cake once you pass the 10 minute mark because the cake can over bake quickly.
While the cake is baking (and your home is filled with the wonderful aroma of all things fall), go ahead and prepare the spiced cream cheese filling.
Using a mixer, combine 8 oz. softened cream cheese and 1 stick softened butter. Mix well on medium to high speed. Add 1 Tbs. cream, 1 tsp. vanilla extract, and 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice to the cheese/butter mixture. Mix well on medium to high speed. Next, add the 3 c. powdered/ confectioner’s sugar. Start mixer on low speed to prevent a sugary sweet blizzard on your workspace :), then gradually increase the mixer speed until the powdered sugar is well incorporated.
*At this point, I always test two things: #1 Texture and #2 Taste. If the texture is too thick and won’t spread well, then I add a little more cream and mix well. If the texture seems to sloppy and or if the taste is not sweet enough then I add more powdered sugar in, approximately, 1/2 c. increments, mixing well, until the texture and taste are just right ;).
Once the filling is ready, check your cake.
***Important*** The cake is finished when pressed with a finger the cake bounces back. You don’t want the cake too firm or it will not roll properly.
Once the cake is finished baking, remove from the oven and set on a cooling rack, leaving it on the pan for about 5 minutes.
After about 5 minutes, the cake has cooled enough that you can begin to roll it. *Note: The cake WILL still be hot to the touch but now is the prime time to work it into the roll shape.
Taking both hands and starting on one end of the short side of the cake rectangle, begin to roll the cake, while still attached to the parchment, like you would a scroll. Take your time and roll slow. Rolling too fast or too tightly will cause cracks once the cake has cooled. To see it in action, click Here.
Now that the cake is rolled, set it back on the wire rack and let it cool about 15 minutes more.
While you wait for the rolled cake to cool, make wise of your time:
- Do a Squeeze exercise
- Set your timer for 15 minutes and accomplish a certain task, like cleaning up the mess you just made 😉
- Read to your children
- Take time to Pray
- Load the washer/dryer
- Color with your children
Okay, now that you have climbed that mountain while you waited, its time to fill the roll with that sweet cream cheese goodness!
Set the parchment covered, rolled cake on a clean flat surface and slowly began to unroll the still warm cake.
Once the cake is unrolled, quickly smooth out the sweetly spiced cream cheese filling, leaving a 1 inch border on all sides.
Carefully, roll the cake in the same direction as before following the shape that you created from the first rolling, separating the cake from the parchment this time. Click Here for video.
Set the cake on the clean piece of parchment that you cut earlier, using the parchment to roll and cover the pumpkin roll (that’s right, you did it, you made your own Pumpkin Roll and it was easy!!)
Now, you thought the waiting game was tough earlier when the smells of pumpkin spice were warm and thick; it’s about to get even tougher while you wait for the roll to completely chill in the fridge for about an hour (to let the filling set).
Once the filling is set, take a moment to sit down and enjoy your hard work, the delicious flavors of fall, and all of God’s wonderful blessings!