Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's Pumpkin Time

Always sad to see summer come to a close, but I welcome the crisp, clean air of autumn. The trees seem to be ablaze with the beauty of nature's colors in shades of gold, bronze, and red, and it's easy to see why artists never tire of capturing this seasonal canvas.

Nor, do we ever seem to tire of the aromas of spicy and creamy pumpkin pies baking in the oven. There is just something comforting in the tastes and smells of "this time of year."

I tried a new twist on the traditional pumpkin pie last year at the cafe', incorporating butterscotch in the filling--a recipe I had found in Bon Appetit. It was luscious.....smooth.....delicious. I also made several Pumpkin Cheesecakes with Gingersnap Crusts; Pumpkin Scones and Biscotti, but one of the easiest recipes.....and a big hit, was my Pumpkin Roll with a Cannolli Cream filling........served with whipped cream, of course. (What's a few more calories among friends?) All of those desserts are shown here, but here's the recipe for the Pumpkin Roll. This is the traditional one found on Libby's Pumpkin for the cake; but the filling is my Italian twist.


1/4 cup powdered sugar, to sprinkle on towel)
3/4 cup of 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 sugar
2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 cup ground pecans, optional (Libby's calls for walnuts, optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan; then line with parchment paper. Lay out a clean kitchen towel; dust with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a bowl; blend eggs and sugar in a large mixing bowl until thick; add pumpkin; beat to combine. Stir in flour mixture. Spread mixture evenly in prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top springs back when lightly pressed with finger. Immediately loosen edges of cake and invert onto prepared towel. Peel off parchment paper; roll cake along with towel from the short end, and place on wire rack to cool completely.

Cannolli Cream Filling:

16 ounces Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
1/8 teaspoon orange flower water
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, optional

Combine mascarpone and sugar in mixing bowl; blend on low until combined well. Add zest and orange flower water until incorporated; mix in chocolate chips.

Unroll cake carefully and remove from towel; spread cake with filling; reroll; place seam-side down on serving dish; refrigerate until ready to use. Sift additional powdered sugar over the top; slice on the diagonal; serve with whipped cream. (I spread my whole cake with whipped cream, as shown in the photo).


  1. Oh my goodness. Pam, this is unbelievable. What a glorious recipe for the fall! Pumpkin and cannolli filling?! What a beautiful combination!

    It is definitely on my list of must-tries!

  2. I love the flavors of fall. I make a similar pumpkin roll and serve it with a homemade carmel sauce.

  3. Wow. this is absolutely the most amazing dessert in my mind....I can't wait to give a try!!