For our dessert party last weekend, one of the things I made was a pumpkin cake roll with cream cheese filling.  My beloved aunts make this all the time, and it’s the only pumpkin-flavored thing I like.  But my aunts are like dessert genies, and their baked goods always come out perfectly, and enviably well. 

I thought, “Hey, the baking gene must be in the family, right?” – neglecting to remember that they also have that whole “making their own insulin gene” thing intact as well, so I should have seen disaster looming.  But I decided to go for it.  So here’s the breakdown: 

First, I needed to make sure my kitchen was stocked with all of the proper ingredients.  I decided to go with the Libby’s Pumpkin Roll recipe mainly because it was the brand of pumpkin I bought.  (Hey, I had to make an educated decision on the fly!)

Ingredients for the ol' pumpkin roll.

Ingredients To Make the Cake:
1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)

Ingredients To Make the Delicious Cream Cheese Filling:
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Powdered sugar (optional for decoration) 

To Make the Cake:
Preheat the (not often used) oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan (in our home, known as the “lasagna pan”) and then line with wax paper. Grease and flour the ol’ paper. Then, for some reason to be disclosed later, sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Throw the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves (try to forget how expensive the cloves were when you find yourself spilling some onto the counter by accident), and salt in small bowl. Beat the crap out of the eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until the mixture is thick and kind of pasty. Beat in pumpkin (and here’s where I went wrong – I added  just a pinch too much pumpkin, which made the whole thing too moist.  And you know how I feel about the word ‘moist.’) Stir in flour mixture and then spread evenly into the prepared pan.  

The mix.

Toss (gently) the pan into the oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.  (And by “springs back,” this recipe means when you touch the top of the cake, it doesn’t come off on your fingertip.)  Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel (which was a trip to accomplish – easily could have been a disaster but thankfully, I survived without flopping the cake onto my feet). Carefully peel off the wax paper. And then, oddly enough, roll up cake and towel together and let this cake snake cool on a wire rack.

Hidden in a dishtowel.  Which is a little gross.

To Make That Delicious Cream Cheese Filling:
Smash together the cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until the mixture is smooth. 

The awesome cream cheese frosting.

Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.  

Finished roll - seriously finished, like we already ate half of it before I took a photo.

So here’s where I went wrong:  Either I added too much pumpkin, or I didn’t let the cake cool enough before adding the filling.  But whatever happened, my pumpkin roll ended up too moist, with filling spilling out everywhere, and the cake was cracked.  Basically, it looked like holy hell.  But thankfully, it ended up tasting awesome.

And was completely and utterly bolus-worthy