This classic Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll is a staple on our family’s Thanksgiving table. I know it looks fancy schmancy, but this roll is surprisingly easy to make!
Last month, I asked the Mr. if there were any foods or recipes he considered essential for Thanksgiving–the things he had to taste at least once during the holiday season. After a bit of consideration, he named these Pumpkin Pinwheels. These cream cheese swirled slices have quite a reputation in the Mr.’s family, and for good reason. The recipe comes from his grandmother, who made them every year for Thanksgiving. It has since been passed down to my father-in-law, who became quite famous for them at the school where he taught. Apparently, his fellow teachers loved them so much, he had to start bringing three Pumpkin Pinwheels to the teacher’s lounge to share each year.
The Mr.’s family lives in Texas, so I’ve decided to take up the Pumpkin Pinwheel mantle and continue the tradition in our home. This recipe has earned every bit of its fame. What’s not to love here? Fluffy cinnamon spiked pumpkin cake swirled with sweet cream cheese filling? This is the stuff Autumn dreams are made of.
And the best part is, it’s surprisingly simple to make. The cake itself is only 6 ingredients and comes together in about 5 minutes. The cake is poured into a rimmed 9 x 13 inch baking sheet and baked until puffed and set in the center. I always line the baking sheet with parchment paper and it comes out of the pan in one piece without a problem.
While the cake is baking, you can whip up the dreamy cream cheese filling. If you like cheesecake, you’ll want to eat this with a spoon. My mother-in-law told me she tweaked the recipe a bit by increasing the filling, since that’s obviously the best part. She’s a woman after my own heart.
After the cake is cooled, you can flop it out onto some powdered sugar dusted wax paper, remove the parchment, and spread the cream cheese around. I like to put it almost to the edges, but leave just a tad of space so it doesn’t come squishing out when you try to roll it.
Then all you do is roll! Starting from the short end you roll the cake over the cream cheese. It will likely crack along the way (you can see that mine did), but it still rolls up fine and will taste just as yummy.
Once it’s rolled up, you’ll want to wrap it and refrigerate for a few hours before serving. I honestly think the longer this sets, the better it gets. The flavors really start to meld together the following day. You can also make a bunch of these ahead of time and freeze them. It’s just one less thing you’ll have to worry about on Thanksgiving day (or any day!).
I hope you’ll give these a try and share them with your friends. Just don’t be surprised if you suddenly find yourself the designated Pumpkin Cream Cheese Roll maker!
For the filling:
Recipe by NeighborFood