Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion
A pumpkin spice roll with cream cheese filling is photographed on Oct. 31, 2022, in Nikiski, Alaska.

Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion A pumpkin spice roll with cream cheese filling is photographed on Oct. 31, 2022, in Nikiski, Alaska.

A little holiday indulgence for the pumpkin obsessed

A pumpkin spice roll kicks off the season

I am only slightly ashamed to admit that I am one of the pumpkin people.

From September to November, every latte and drop of creamer must be spiked with warm spices. I choose the pumpkin scones and soft pumpkin cookies. I serve pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and pumpkin soup for dinner (maybe on the same day). And, of course, I decorate my porch with pumpkins long before its time to carve.

My pumpkin obsession culminates on Halloween, when we light the candles and arrange our smiling squash at the end of the driveway to signal to the little witches and superheroes that there is candy to be found here.

Although, due to our location, we have yet to receive even a single trick-or-treater.

For savory applications, I prefer to use homemade pumpkin puree because I find the flavor to be richer and not as sweet as the canned, store-bought puree. However, for baking applications I don’t have a lot of luck with my homemade puree because the moisture content is so variable. The result is either too dense and dry or a soggy, sloppy mess. The canned product is always consistent so there is no guess work or eyeballing the liquid additions to find the right consistency.

This week I opened a can to make a pumpkin spice roll with cream cheese filling.

Pumpkin spice roll


For the cake:

¾ cup all-purpose flour

¼ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon ground allspice

½ teaspoon ground clove

1 cup sugar

3 eggs

2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree

Splash of vanilla extract

For the filling:

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar


Prepare a 13 x 18 sheet pan (also known as a half sheet pan) by lining with parchment paper and lightly greasing. Make sure to cut enough parchment to have some hanging over the sides of the pan — you will use this margin to lift the cake out of the pan while it’s still hot.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

In a large mixing bowl sift together your flour, baking soda, salt and ground spices.

In a separate bowl combine the pumpkin puree, eggs, vanilla and sugar and whisk until smooth.

Add the wet to the dry and mix until combined.

Pour out into the pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth out the batter as flat as possible.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, until the center is solid. The top may still be a little tacky, that’s OK. If the top is firm and dry, the cake is likely to crack when rolled.

Allow to cool for just a couple minutes before lifting out of the pan (with the parchment) and setting on a clean, dry kitchen towel.

Use the towel to protect your hands as you roll the cake and parchment up together, starting at a short end.

Allow the cake to cool completely before unrolling.

Make the frosting while the cake is cooling.

In a stand mixer or with a hand beater, cream together your softened cream cheese and butter.

Add the powdered sugar a little at a time until all of it has been incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract at the very end.

When the cake is completely cool, very carefully unroll and lay as flat as you can get it without breaking.

Spread the frosting in an even layer on top of the cake, then roll back up and tightly wrap in plastic.

Allow to set in the fridge overnight before cutting for the best results.

Dust with powdered sugar before serving cold.

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