Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pumpkin and tea

Yesterday I transformed this pumpkin into

this pumpkin roll. I found the recipe on the internet, but changed it substantially. I made two, this one is to share with you, my dear internet friends, the other is for Thanksgiving dinner dessert. I got a little carried away with the powdered sugar I sprinkled on top, then tried to remove it with a paper towel. Not sure you can see the mess I made, but I skipped that step with the second one.

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for the baking dish
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled, plus more for the baking dish
  • 7 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large or 4 medium eggs
  • 1 ½ cups pumpkin, pureed
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • ¾ pound powdered sugar
  • 1 pound cream cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups (3 sticks) butter
  • ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • pre-sifted powdered sugar and a decorative food safe stencil (optional)


  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Butter and flour two 9" X 12" cake pans.
  3. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and granulated sugar on medium-high until fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the pumpkin puree, milk, and molasses (the mixture may appear curdled). Reduce the mixer speed to low; gradually add the flour mixture and mix until just combined (do not overmix).
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pans until they are about ½" high. Smooth the batter out, making sure it is level and even.
  6. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55 to 65 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely, being sure you don't break the cake.
  7. While the cake cools, prepare the cream cheese filling by placing all the remaining ingredients in a bowl and mixing on low speed with an electric mixer until all the ingredients are mixed well.
  8. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat for several minutes until smooth.
  9. When completely cool, spread the cream cheese mixture on top of cake.
  10. Gently roll cake into a log.
  11. Add sifted powdered sugar using a decorative stencil or design.
  12. Chill.
  13. Serve cold.
I paired my pumpkin roll with some Mutan white tea, which is a bit mild and bland for my liking, but went well with the spicy and decadent pumpkin roll. I also used my Grandmother's "Christmas" china. It is called "The Old Curiosity Shop" and the images are different on each of the pieces.

I never much cared for this china, but it was my Grandmother's Christmas favorite when she was alive. She would drag it out for Thanksgiving and Christmas because for some reason, she loved it. So, I have always used it during this time period, too.

This is not a quick or easy recipe, but one would expect nothing less when making it for a holiday celebration. It took over five hours to make it yesterday, including cooling time.

Edited to include a response to Stephanie's question in the comments:

It was very hard to roll this "log" and get it right. I actually broke it several times, and I cracked it in a couple of places. I just made sure I cut it from the end that was not too badly damaged. I took it really slowly and found the secret was to place a lot of the filling on the end where you begin. That gives you more area to begin rolling. You can't roll tightly. The rolling must be loose, so the more cream cheese you place at the beginning end, the better off you are. After the first roll, I broke it. So, I just sort of started over. You might be able to see that from the photo. There's no way to hide the fact that it is in two pieces, once it's cut. To make matters worse, it really doesn't get much easier. I tried to keep the cream cheese mixture at a consistent thickness, which I thought was key. The second (outer) wrap was the one I spent the most time on. Also, the cream cheese mixture was a bit warmer at that point, and I felt it was easier to handle. I have to admit, much like making egg nog, this will probably go on my "did it once, won't do it again" list.

And finally, last week Annette (Voodoo Vixen), a proper Englishwoman, let me know the ONLY way to drink tea was in a tea cup with your pinkie held high in the air. Well, Annette, this one is for you, although I couldn't get my finger very high in the air. At least this cup has a proper handle. Of course, I'm not sure it qualifies as a proper tea cup, though!!

Speaking of tea, if you want to join us each Tuesday, please visit Kimmie. She keeps a list of the tea participants on her sidebar. Your name could be there, too!

Our newest Tea Tuesday participant is Sharon at Liveware Jewelry. Sharon, who lives in Pennsylvania in the US, has a lovely blog that mixes her handmade jewelry with paper arts. She paints, draws, and combines some of these images with her jewelry. She also works in ice resin, a product I hope to pick up after the first of the year. Sharon's art is gorgeous, very artsy, and a lot of fun to look at. Although I don't wear jewelry and probably never will, I certainly admire hers. But her paper art is not to be missed. I hope in your tea travels today, you'll stop by Sharon's Livewire Jewelry. After all, Sharon is my kind of gal: one who drinks more coffee than tea. But, like me, she trades her coffee for tea on Tea Tuesday. Have a great one, my dear friends.

31 thoughtful remarks:

Steph said...

This is absolutely delicious just by looking at it, E!!! Happy T to you!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe...I wished I could make time to bake....just too many interests at this point... :))

voodoo vixen said...

Oooh yummy looking pumpkin roll Elizabeth!! 5 hours? Good grief... that's a long time with lovely oven smells to contend with - I think one hour for banana bread is pure torture!! LOL
Love your Grandmother's tea set, so much nicer than a mug! ;) I always believe tea tastes better from a cup and saucer.... won't drink it from anything else. (DH actually went out and bought a tea service when he was courting me, so that I could drink my tea from a china tea cup... figured he was a keeper for that alone and married him)!! LOL
One of the ATC's has your name on it... the lady's face one, first in the set of three, it sort of reminded me of you when I was putting it together... so I need your mailing address? ;) You can email me at voodoo.vixen at shaw.ca
Hope Bleubeard continues scoffing all his dinner?

Stephanie Mealor Corder said...

Wow, very impressive recipe and results! I've never had the courage to try a rolled cake, but yours is gorgeous and looks delicious! What I was always scared off by is the actual rolling part- was it as hard as it looks? Think I'll stick with what I know, pies- pumpkin, apple and chocolate meringue......
Happy Thanksgiving!

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Yummy, it sounds and looks delicious, I'll go and make a mug of tea to go with mine - a china mug though hehe. The tea set looks lovely :-)
Anne xx

see you there! said...

I'm sure the pumpkin roll tastes as good as it look if not even better. You outdid yourself in the baking department.

Isn't it funny how we keep things like your Grandmothers china even if they don't thrill us?
Sentimental counts for a lot at my house.


La Dolce Vita said...

oh yummy and I bet you roasted that pumpkin too right? lovely tea with you and you did such a nice job styling that tea party E! and so glad sharon is joining us! x's

sharon said...

Oh, Elizabeth...thank you so much for your kind words! Of course, the 2nd week into it and I am slacking already. Came down with a terrible cold/achy crudy thing late yesterday afternoon, had to drag myself to work today...ugh. My apologies for not posting. It will be a struggle to get thru today. I can't thank you enough for the sweet mention! Loooove looking at that pumkin roll, it's been years since I made one. I will be looking more at your blog, but I already saw your older post of the altered book and need to go back and look again, it's wonderful!
I also have seen your icon for a long time, don't know why it took so long to get in touch, but so glad I did!

Liverpool Lou (Anne) said...

Hi again. I didn't measure the spots on the butterfly; life's too short; I used a diecut for the pattern ;-)
Have sent an email, so let me know if you don't get it.
Anne xx

~*~Patty S said...

extra special yummy and pretty tea today Elizabeth
you are an ambitious baker
your delicious pumpkin roll has one of my all time favorite spices in it: Cardamom

your grandmother's china is such a pretty color green...I would have fun looking at each different scene...I enjoy looking at the undersides of china too...curious minds you know ;)

Sharon is a lovely choice for your feature blog, she is so talented and sweet!
Happy T to you dear one

Halle said...

Oh my goodness!! YUM! I love pumpkin! Pie, bread, bars, muffins...etc.

Becklee Cottage Designs said...

Oh I love this and will post this recipe on my cooking blog. I feel like I am sitting down to tea with you. FAB!

Jeanie Callaghan said...

Looks delicious! Thank you so much for the recipe. I'll take a small piece. Watching my figure LOL.

Anonymous said...

Happy Tea to you, and that pumpkin roll looks really yummy! I look forward to trying it and am happy that there is no cinnamon as I am allergic to it! Happy day! Christen

Julia Dunnit said...

Yum. How I love pumpkin anything except pie, oddly. This looks lovely, and is not dissimilar to roulade in terms of method and rolling - it looks fab. And what a great gourd it was in the beginning too - I must say I do like a good shape! I see why the china is curiosity shop - are those really hinges as the image? Pretty colour tho - and if your grandmother liked it, then so should we!

Ellen aka Ella said...

You did a wonderful job; I have never made one, well not yet ;-D Thank you~

Kimmie said...

What a gorgeous dessert! It looks just perfect! Thank you for sharing the recipe with us too! I hope your Thanksgiving day is filled with warmth and sweetness! Just like you!

Sue said...

Hi ya hun
i was wonderin where you were was gettin worried, thanks for dropping by, oh that looks yummy n a lovely cuppa char, with ya pinky in the air! lol, see you 2moro hun, sue,x

Healing Woman said...

I love pumpkin in anything but after reading your additional information on the rolling of it, I think I will stick to pumpkin pie and pumpkin creme brulee. That being said, your pumpkin roll really looked delicious.

Anonymous said...

LOVE that pumpkin roll, a friend here made it once and there was almost a fight to make sure you got a piece! You are also right on both counts! Andrew is a degreed Mechanical Engineer, but also a woodworker too. At school he was always top in his class and his woodwork master was very unhappy that he chose engineering as a career! You should see the rest of his workshop, more big wood working tools than you could shake a stick at, plus a metalwork lathe in the garage too!


Anonymous said...

Just read about the problems with rolling the roll up! We make a similar cake in the UK called a Swiss Roll, and the secret there was to lay a piece of greaseproof on a tea cloth, invert the cake on to it carefully almost as soon as it comes out of the oven. Use the tea cloth to help you roll it up, with the greaseproof inside, and let it cool completely. When cool, carefully unroll, add your filling and roll back up! Hopefully this will stop the breaking and cracking.


Nancy said...

Thanks for sharing you pumpkin roll with us :) have a lovely T day!

Gayle...... that,s me said...

Happy Tea Tuesday to you Elizabeth !!! Your pumpkin roll looks absolutely delicious. Is it like a sponge roll ? The recipe did'nt say to beat the egg whites separately and yet it looks so light and fluffy. We never eat pumpkin over here as a sweet; it is always a savoury vegetable. Sad to think you will never make it again, was the taste worth all the effort, I guess thats what it's about. I think your whole tea 'setting' looks very English and 'propper,' right down to your pinky.

Yvonne said...

Thanks for the great recipe. I love pumpkin rolls. The green china used to be so popular. I had an aunt that had one simular if not the same. Happy tea day to you and happy Thanksgiving to you too!

Sue said...

aww bless you hun i am honoured muchly, now go get that post written i will be on the look out for you in the morning! lol, nite nite hun, hugs, sue,xx

Terri Kahrs said...

Elizabeth, your pumpkin roll looks and sounds delicious. I'll be the entire house was filled with a fantastic aroma while it was baking!!! Happy, Happy Thanksgiving!!! Blessings & Hugs, Terri xoxo

Dianne said...

I love pumpkin anything! But that pumpkin roll looks really really yummy!!!

akilli melek said...

OOoh that is just the thing i need, nice cuppa tea and a bit of pumpkin pie. Looks delish!

Hope you enjoyed it, especially in such pretty crockery.


Lavinia said...

Now if you lived near me I would be over like a shot! The Tea & Cake looks superb! Theres nothing more I love than a jolly good afetrnoon tea! Fabulous!

Terri said...

I love pumpkin anything...so I am sure I would love your delicious looking roll! What a job to make though, five hours? Hmmmmm. Can I just come over and have some ; )
I wanted to stop by and wish you a "HAppy Thanksgiving!"

priti.lisa said...

You had me laughing, Elizabeth! I made a pumpkin roll once. Once was enough. They are delicious, but we have an Amish community here that make wonderful ones...they are so much easier to buy :)

Dianne said...

oh my goodness, this looks scrumptious, even if it is in 'pieces'! yeah,,,I don't do roll up thingies either...and from the actual pumpkin, too! I'm so impressed...