Updated Friday, April 11th, 2008
Total Time: 35
Yield: 1 roll
If rolling up a cake intimidates you, don't roll from the short end, but rather from the long side of the baked cake. That way, you'll have fewer turns to make--and fewer chances for the cake to crack or tear. This autumn-hued pumpkin cake can be served year-round, but is particularly suited for the Thanksgiving table.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Grease the bottom, but not the sides, of a 15-1/2 X 10-1/2 X 1-inch baking pan (a jelly roll-sized pan). Line with baking parchment paper and make sure to leave a flap at both ends to help you lift the cake out of the pan when done. Grease and lightly flour the parchment paper.
In a large bowl, beat the eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually add the sugar, then the pumpkin. Beat in the flour, cinnamon, and baking soda.
Spread the batter evenly across the pan. Sprinkle the nuts over the batter (see Note).
Place a clean linen or cotton dish towel larger than the baking pan on a countertop or other flat surface. Dust it with confectioners' sugar.
Bake until the batter is set and the cake feels springy to the touch, 14 to 15 minutes.
Immediately turn the cake out onto the dish towel, using mitts and grasping the flaps of parchment. Peel off the parchment paper. Starting at the long side, roll up the cake in the towel, making sure to curl in--not merely fold--the cake during the first roll. Let the cake cool in the towel.
To make the filling, beat the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and butter in a medium mixing bowl until well blended. Beat in the cream cheese until smooth.
When the cake is cool, carefully unroll it. Spread the cream cheese filling to within an inch of the edges. Roll the cake again. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to serve. Dust with additional confectioners' sugar.
The nuts may go inside the roll or decorate the outside; the choice is yours when you roll the cake.
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