How to Make the Perfect Pumpkin Roll

Thanksgiving has come and gone but the deliciousness of my pumpkin roll will live on.


Ever since Home Ec class in my junior year of high school, making my pumpkin roll on Thanksgiving Day has become a tradition.

I must admit, the pumpkin roll recipe that was bestowed upon me at such a young age has stuck with me over the years as I’ve continued to perfect my baking craft.

Now, I’m not going to give away my secret recipe, but today, I am going to offer you some helpful tips on how to make a pumpkin roll that’ll knock your guests’ socks off.

Pumpkin Roll

Read the directions for your pumpkin roll recipe over and over again. You never want to start baking before you understand the recipe. Remember, baking is a science!

When a recipe calls for a greased cookie sheet, you had better grease that cookie sheet to within an inch of its life. The more Crisco for this recipe the better because when it comes time to flip the cake out of the pan onto a sugared towel, you don’t want it to stick! Plus, this isn’t a healthy recipe to begin with so what’s some more fat and calories going to do? Nothing. The answer is nothing.

Now, when you put the batter in the oven, close the door and don’t open it again until the buzzer goes off. When you open the oven, the heat escapes and can mess with the baking process. Rather than opening the oven, use that handy oven light, You know the popular saying, “A watched pot never boils,” and in the case of a pumpkin roll, if you keep opening the oven and staring at it, it’s never going to cook. Stop being nosy!

While the batter cooks in the oven, make sure to sugar every square inch of the towel to which you’ll roll your pumpkin roll in a few minutes. You want to make sure that every surface of the cake is covered in sugary goodness.

This is what your cake should look like once you pull it out of the oven. Always remember to stick a toothpick in the middle of your cake. If the toothpick comes out clean, you’re good to go. If cake sticks to the toothpick, leave it in the oven for a minute or two. But, this time you should keep and eye on it. After all, no one likes burnt cake.

This part of the baking process will shear years off of your life. The moment when you invert your cake onto the sugared-towel is the pivotal point in the process. My advice is to get two sturdy pot holders, hold the sheet by opposite corners and flip. From there, take a spatula and lift the sheet from the towel slowly and watch the cake slide right off.

From here, you’ll want to roll that cake and towel all nice and tight! Let it stand for about 20 minutes. Once it’s cooled, it’s time for the icing.

The icing portion  is so simple. It’s cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla extract that’s then mixed with a hand mixer. Let the icing hang out while the cake is cooling. When it’s time to ice the cake make sure that every corner is covered. Once you’re done, roll the cake again like you did before.


Cut those ragged edges to reveal your work of art.

Now, this year I made three rolls, two without nuts and one with nuts and let me tell you the one with nuts is considerably better. What’s tastier than a sugared walnut coating? I’ll answer that – not much! If you do choose to use nuts, use about a cup and add it to your batter prior to baking.

(cue angels singing)

“Hello, it’s me…pumpkin roll.” – Adele voice.

Well those are my pumpkin roll tips, I hope you enjoyed them and I hope you are now salivating as much as I am.

Happy baking!


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