Friday, November 21, 2008


My husband's cousins' mother or my mother-in-laws cousins' wife used to make this every year. Got that? Let's just call her a very sweet lady named Marie.

Well, Marie made a pumpkin roll every holiday, anniversary, birthday, family reunion or social gathering. Thanksgiving was no exception. In fact, she made dozens of them around this time of year for every single member of the family. Only she called hers pumpkin logs. She'd make several at a time a couple weeks in advance and she'd freeze them. When her kids came over or a neighbor stopped by she'd pull one or two out of the freezer and send them home with her creations.

Marie passed away early this year from cancer. She no longer makes pumpkin logs for her family, but I will. I cannot promise to make them as good or nearly as many, but whenever I do, I'll be sure to think of her. She brought many years of happiness to everyone who knew her and hopefully you will too when you make this for your family.

Marie, this pumpkin roll is for you.

Libby's Pumpkin Roll from Very Best Baking


  • 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)


  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

FOR CAKE: Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan (a jelly-roll pan is a cookie sheet with sides); line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Generously sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl and set aside. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin then stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts (optional).

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto towel sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully peel off paper and roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack til completely cool.

FOR FILLING: Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Unroll cooled cake, being extra careful not to break it. (It will curl slightly from being rolled up and may be a little sticky.) Spread cream cheese mixture over cake and roll it back up. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

NOTE: Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick. Because of the heat from the freshly baked cake, the sugar will melt some. As it cools it may become sticky and that's okay, just make sure you use enough so it doesn't stick.

Don't use a terry cloth towel, it will stick and your cake will be dimply from the cotton threads. Use a thin cotton kitchen towel slightly larger than the cake itself.

I doubled this recipe and made one with nuts and the other without. My family and I preferred the one without nuts. It seemed smoother and creamier and the nuts just got in the way.

Also be sure you buy the pure canned pumpkin, NOT the pumpkin pie mix. There is a difference, so pay close attention when you go to the store (or when you send your husband to get the items off your grocery list).


Anonymous said...

I make one really similar, I love a good pumpkin roll.

When do we get to see pictures of the birthday cake?

The Food Librarian said...

This is one of my favorite holiday treats. Your aunt would be very proud of you! I like to make my late aunt's cookies each year too.

Ingrid_3Bs said...

Hey, I made this to bring instead of the pumpkin cobbler. It smells and looks good. My roll though was holey and YAY, I didn't get any cracks! I also used vanilla bean paste instead of just the extract.

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