Family Recipes // Pumpkin Nut Roll

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I come from a long line of women on both sides of my family who are absolute warriors in the kitchen. On my mom’s side, my Grammie and her sisters would always call each other back and forth to ask about how many teaspoons of this or that spice was in whatever recipe they were mastering. And I can remember the baked goods flying back and forth, especially during the holidays. Each sister had her specialties. This holiday season, I’m on a mission to recreate some of my favorites, and I thought it would be the perfect project to share with you lovelies, right here. So today we’re tackling Aunt Isabel’s Pumpkin Nut Roll.

My Aunt Isabel would host these massive Thanksgiving dinners for the whole family, and just go to town making everything from scratch. But this was my favorite. She would make Pumpkin Rolls for everybody to take home and I totally remember sneaking bites of this thing when it was lurking in the fridge (sorry, Mom). It took me two attempts, but I learned some tricks along the way and included them in the recipe here.

Aunt Isabel’s Pumpkin Nut Roll

Cake Ingredients

3 eggs
1 c sugar
2/3 c pumpkin
1 t lemon juice
1 t vanilla
3/4 c flour
1 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/2 t salt
handful of chopped nuts

Filling Ingredients

1 c powdered sugar
6 oz cream cheese (room temp.)
4 T butter (room temp.)
1/2 t vanilla

Bake the Cake

Beat eggs for 5 minutes, gradually beating in sugar. Stir in pumpkin, lemon juice, and vanilla. Sift together flour with baking powder and all spices and fold into pumpkin mix. Line a jelly roll pan (I used 11 x 17) with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly on the pan and sprinkle with nuts. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn over onto a flour sack towel, removing the parchment paper. Roll the cake up with the towel (the towel keeps it from breaking), so that the nuts are on the inside of the roll. Leave rolled until cool.

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Make the Filling

Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Unroll the cake and carefully spread an even layer on the surface. Reroll the cake and wrap in foil.

Ta-daaaa! I was kind of freaked out to try this one but it really comes together easily. (The flour sack towel is crucial, I tell ya.) I like the roll best when it’s a little chilled, and these babies will keep in the freezer for months.

Side note — those walnuts are from my parents’ farm! Mr. Lovely and I got all country and picked a bunch recently. So fun to see them go from the tree right into a recipe. Stay tuned for the next installation of the Family Recipes series, coming soon. And I’d love to know what some of your family’s tried and true favorites are! xoxo

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10 comments

  1. Oh dear! they look so lovely!!
    besides looking good i’m pretty sure they taste divine as well!

  2. ohhhh my – looks perfect! Can’t wait to see more!

    • chelsea on said:

      Yay! Thanks Anna! It’s been a really fun project so far.

  3. Brittni on said:

    Well, this looks delicious! I might have to try this recipe for Thanksgiving this year. Yum!

  4. If THIS is what your family recipes look like, I am SO excited for this series! YUM! I’ve always been so intimidated to try a roll like this, but I think I need to give this one a go!

    • chelsea on said:

      Yay! I know, I was totally scared. But it’s way easier than I thought it was going to be, and probably the most delicious thing in all the land.

  5. Emma on said:

    Hi,
    I really like everything you’ve made here, you’re amazing.
    I have a question, I’m franch and not very good in conversion, so i would like to know what “t” means in your recipe.
    Thanks a lot

    Emma

    • chelsea on said:

      Hi Emma! Thanks for the question. The abbreviations for the recipe are as follows:
      t = teaspoon
      T = tablespoon
      c = cup

      Have fun!

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