Roll With It Baby

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When my son’s girlfriend, Lauren, comes over and we decide to check out what’s on TV, I make sure she gets the remote control. Those of you without daughters understand how exciting it is to get to watch “girl tv”. The guys might settle for a something on HGTV or maybe the occasional movie or sitcom, but the level of interest is decidedly low unless a football, soccer ball, or basketball is involved. Last week Lauren clicked on The Great British Baking Show  and everyone was happy. If you haven’t seen it yet you will love it! British people compete to bake very specific items for very particular judges and it is currently taking place in a tent in the middle of a big field. How can you not like that?  The audience in my household was rapt. They were most impressed by what the judges referred to as a Swiss roll, but what we would might call a jelly roll or roulade. This has been made and served here in this house before, but somehow seeing it on television in a competition was just a great big thrill. You know what happened next: I had to make one. For the fancy results, it’s actually a fairly easy dessert to make in a short amount of time. Basically, you bake a skinny cake and roll it up while it’s still hot. Then let it cool. The baking takes 12 to 15 minutes and it’s a done deal. The filling can be anything you want. Long time Nashvillians may remember the lemon-filled roulade at Sunset Grill, a place I will miss forever. 

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This particular cake, however is a pumpkin roll – ’tis the season – and so a luscious cream cheese filling is an excellent choice for all of the delicious spices – nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves – in this cake. The filling has just four ingredients, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. The idea is to unroll the cake you rolled and cooled, spread it with filling and roll it back up. That’s all there is to it and you have a Pumpkin Spice Roll. The thing is – I would not have won The Great British competition, my cake is not as tightly rolled as the pros would have it done – but in the long run it won every award that mattered. It was delicious, devoured and delighted in. What other awards could one little American-made roll-up cake ever desire. The answer is none.  It is perfect! Enjoy!

Pumpkin Roulade

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¾ cups flour

1 cup sugar

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ginger

½ tsp cinnamon

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½ tsp nutmeg

½ tsp ground cloves

¼ tsp salt

3 eggs

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

Powdered sugar for dusting

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8 oz cream cheese, room temperature

1 stick butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Line a 15 x 10 inch pan with parchment paper.

Combine dry ingredients in a mixing bowl, then add in eggs and pumpkin.

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Spread batter in prepared pan and bake for 13 to 15 minutes until cake springs back when touched.

Spread out a dish towel and lightly dust with powdered sugar.

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Invert cake onto dish towel and roll up length wise while still warm.

Cool in refrigerator about 30 minutes.

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In a mixing bowl combine ingredients for filling.

Unroll cake and spread with filling.

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Roll the cake up and refrigerate until serving.

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To serve, dust with powdered sugar and cut into 1 inch slices.

Bonus Recipe for left over pumpkin!

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Pumpkin Puppy Treats


½ cup pumpkin

½ cup peanut butter

2 ½  cups whole wheat flour

1 cup oatmeal

1 cup hot water

Combine and roll out on waxed paper.

Cut into strips and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Open oven door, turn off heat and allow to cool.

Bark Bark! 

© Deer One Publishing 2019