Dessert,  Thanksgiving

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

When shopping for a house, a car or finding a special outfit on salt, ”as is” makes me cautious.  It means not perfect.  It means I’ll have to make alot of repairs and changes.

But there are times when “as is” is actually very good.  As in people…. love me as I am and I will love you as you are 🙂   And as in this pumpkin roll recipe by Ina Garten, as it is written is absolutely perfect, I would not change a thing!

The Barefoot Contessa, Back to Basics Cookbook has this amazing Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream dessert.  I’ve made it several times now and rarely return back to the more traditional pumpkin roll with a nut filled cake and cream cheese filling.  You do have to love the taste of ginger as it is intense, but then again, that is why everyone loves it so.

I guess when I say I wouldn’t change a thing, I’m fibbing just a bit as I do increase the marscapone to 16 oz versus 12.  Is it that since I buy two 8 oz tubs, I use it all up?  or just that I love the filling so much!  And, because you all know me so well, I will spike up the filling with a touch of alcohol…spiced rum anyone?

Just like rum cakes, this does taste even better made a day or two before serving making this a great dessert to prep ahead for Thanksgiving or any other dinner party.  The recipe states 8 servings but when there are other desserts being served and especially after a Thanksgiving dinner, you can easily get 10 servings from this roll.

Pumpkin Roulade with Ginger Buttercream

slightly adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients

For the cake:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pie filling)

1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting

For the filling:

16 ounces Italian mascarpone cheese

1 1/4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

2 tablespoons heavy cream

1 tablespoon spiced rum, optional

1/4 cup minced dried crystallized ginger (not in syrup)

Pinch kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 18 by 1-inch sheet pan. Line the pan with parchment paper and grease and flour the paper.  Make sure the parchment paper hangs over the edge of the pan, it will make it much easier to lift out and flip.

In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt and stir to combine. Place the eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium-high speed for 3 minutes, until light yellow and thickened. With the mixer on low, add the pumpkin, then slowly add the flour mixture, mixing just until incorporated. Finish mixing the batter by hand with a rubber spatula. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake the cake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the top springs back when gently touched.

While the cake is baking, lay out a clean, thin cotton dish towel on a flat surface and sift the entire 1/4 cup of confectioners’ sugar evenly over it. (This will prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.) As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, loosen it around the edges and invert it squarely onto the prepared towel. Peel away the parchment paper. With a light touch, roll the warm cake and the towel together (don’t press!) starting at the short end of the cake. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, make the filling. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, confectioners’ sugar, and cream together for about a minute, until light and fluffy. Stir in the crystallized ginger, and salt.

To assemble, carefully unroll the cake onto a board with the towel underneath. Spread the cake evenly with the filling. Reroll the cake in a spiral using the towel as a guide. Remove the towel and trim the ends to make a neat edge. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve sliced.  Serves 8.



I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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