This recipe transforms American pumpkin pie into a roll cake. The tangy mascarpone-based filling perfectly balances out the sweetness of the cake. It is a real crowd pleaser.
A little bit of food history: This type of cake – called a Swiss roll, jelly roll, or roll cake – originated in Central Europe in the 19th century. A thin layer of sponge cake is usually filled with cream, jam or icing and then rolled into a log resulting in a spiral of filling in the center.
Preparation time 1½ hours (plus cake cooling time) Bake time 10-15 minutes Makes one 23cm/ 9 in long log cake
For the cake
3 eggs, separated
50 grams (¼ cup) sugar
50 grams (¼ cup) brown sugar
150 grams (⅔ cup) pumpkin puree – canned or make your own (see below)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground cloves
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
90 grams (¾ cup) flour, gluten free or regular [note: if you using a gluten free flour blend, add a ½ teaspoon xanthan gum if the blend doesn't already include it]
For the filling and decoration
100 grams (3.5 ounces) mascarpone, at room temperature
180 milliliters (¾ cup) cold heavy cream
⅛ teaspoon salt
30 grams (¼ cup) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting
Preheat the oven to 175C (350F).
Measure all the ingredients.
Line a quarter sheet pan (size: 23x33cm or 9×13in) or Swiss roll pan with parchment, allowing for a slight overhang of paper. Butter the parchment. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and brown sugar until pale and thick, for 3-5 minutes. Add the pumpkin, vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
Sift in the baking powder and flour on top of the egg yolk mixture and gently fold.
In another large and clean bowl, whip the egg whites and salt until the beginning stage of soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and whip until stiff peaks form.
Fold the egg whites into the yolk-flour mixture using a rubber spatula. Make sure the batter is well blended but be careful not to overmix or it will deflate.
Pour the mixture onto the prepared pan and even out the top using an offset spatula.
Bake for 10-15 minutes, rotating halfway through. It is done when golden and springs back when lightly touched. Don’t over-bake or the cake may crack when rolled. The cake will deflate as it cools.
Cool the cake for 5 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the cake lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Place a second sheet of parchment paper over the powdered top and a cooling rack facedown over it. Flip the cake onto the now parchment covered rack. Carefully peel away the parchment paper and lightly sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on this side. Then, roll the cake and parchment together into a log – starting from the short side. Cooling it in a roll allows it to hold its shape when it’s filled and re-rolled.
Let the cake rest, seam side down, until it has cooled completely.
In the meantime, prepare the filling. Whip the cream, mascarpone, salt, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth and thick and peaks form.
Carefully unroll the cooled cake and spread the top with filling. Carefully, re-roll the cake (without the parchment this time!) with the filling inside and rest it, seam side down, on a serving platter.
Before serving, dust the cake with the confectioners’ sugar. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. The cake tastes best on the day that it is made. Its consistency changes in the refrigerator but it is still delicious.
Note: To make your own pumpkin puree, preheat the oven to 200C (400F). Line a baking sheet with parchment. Halve a pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Place the pumpkin halves cut side down on your prepared baking sheet and roast the pumpkin until it is completely tender inside, about 45 to 50 minutes. Baking time may vary based on the size of the pumpkin. When the pumpkin is done, let it cool for 10-15 minutes. Then scrape the pumpkin flesh off the skin with a spoon and puree in a food processor until smooth. Let cool and use as needed.