I’m so excited to share this recipe for my Pumpkin Roll with Mascarpone. This recipe comes from a classic handed down from my mom, but with a sweet little Italian flavor twist. I have incorporated mascarpone cheese and anise extract into her recipe for a fun variation that is still very reminiscent of the one I knew from childhood.
Classic Pumpkin Roll
Everyone has had pumpkin roll, right? It’s kind of a Fall staple I think. At least that was the case for me growing up. I always looked forward to the Fall season as a child for several reasons. One of them, was because my mom would make her delicious Pumpkin Roll, not only once, but twice if we were lucky. The classic Pumpkin Roll recipe consists of a thin pumpkin flavored cake that is rolled up with a cream cheese filling and sliced into individual pieces. It’s the perfect combination of spice and creaminess that makes a tasty treat. Although, I could never make a better Pumpkin Roll than my mom’s, I thought it would be fun to do a twist on this old classic.
How to Make Pumpkin Roll with Mascarpone
I didn’t want to change the integrity of the original recipe too much, so I just substituted a couple of ingredients to change the flavor profile a bit. There are two main components to this Pumpkin Roll with Mascarpone. The light and fluffy pumpkin cake and the rich and creamy cheese filling. Below I will breakdown some techniques and tips to make sure they both turn out beautifully.
This pumpkin flavored cake is actually what my friend Paul Hollywood from The Great British Bake Off would call a “delicious sponge” (said in his amazing accent of course). You want this part of the pumpkin roll to be light and fluffy to contrast the rich and creamy filling. Here are some tips to make that happen:
- Make sure you beat your eggs for the full 5 minutes. I know, it will seem like forever, but watching those eggs change color and texture is something magical. You will go from a deep yellow color to a light yellow color that is airy and double in volume.
- Add the sugar slowly and while you have your mixer running to make sure it’s incorporated slowly and doesn’t ruin all of those beautiful air bubbles you just spent 5 minutes creating. Then, mix it just a couple more minutes to allow the sugar to dissolve into the egg mixture.
- When adding in your pumpkin puree and anise extract, fold it gently together with the egg mixture, again to not ruin all of those bubbles.
The cheese filling is pretty straight forward, however, you want to make sure it is ULTRA creamy so follow these few simple steps:
- Make sure your mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, and butter are all room temperature or at a minimum, softened. I feel like I say this all the time, but it’s important. When you are mixing together thick ingredients like cream cheese or butter, they incorporate better with other ingredients when they are room temperature.
- Mix all of the ingredients together for the cheese filling thoroughly. Scrape the sides of the bowl a couple of times if need be to make sure all of those bits of cheese and butter are mixed well.
- Make your cake first. Then, while your cake is baking, lay a large kitchen towel or tea towel out and sprinkle it with powdered sugar. This will make sure your cake doesn’t stick to the towel when you roll it up.
- After baking, let the cake cool about 5 minutes and then turn it out onto the towel. Remove the parchment paper and roll up your cake, towel and all, starting on the short side of the cake. If you try and do this after the cake is completely cooled, it will most likely crack and break. Allow it cool completely, all rolled up in the towel. This will make sure it doesn’t crack and break when you roll it up later with the cheese filling.
- Once the cake is completely cooled, unroll it and spread on the cheese filling. Make sure it’s cooled completely or the filling will melt and ooze out the sides.
- Next, roll the cake back up with the cheese filling on the inside, not including the towel this time.
- Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and chill for 2 hours. It may be tempting to just eat it at this point, but chilling will help those cheeses set back up and again, not ooze out when you slice it.
Pumpkin Roll with Mascarpone
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon anise extract
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup powdered sugar, for rolling up cake
- 4 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 4 oz whipped cream cheese, room temperature
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray well with baking spray.
- In a stand mixer or medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes until fluffy and pale yellow.
- While the mixer is still running, slowly add in the sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Turn off the mixer and using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon, fold in the pumpkin puree and anise extract. Set aside.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Add dry ingredients to the pumpkin batter and gently fold together until all ingredients are incorporated well.
- Pour batter into prepared baking sheet and bake in preheated oven for 10-15 minutes until cake is cooked through and slightly browned around the edges.
- While the cake is baking, lay a large kitchen or tea towel on the counter and sprinkle with ¼ cup powdered sugar.
- When cake is done baking, remove it from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edges to make sure it is released from the sides of the pan. Turn the cake out onto the towel sprinkled with powdered sugar and remove the parchment paper. Starting on the short side of the cake, roll it up with the towel like a jelly roll and allow to cool completely.
- While cake is cooling, combine mascarpone cheese, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium sized bowl. Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat on high until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Once cake has completely cooled, unroll it and spread the cheese filling mixture evenly over the exposed side of the cake.
- Roll the cake back up, without the towel this time, into a tight roll. Wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 2 hours.
- When cake is completely chilled and ready to serve, remove plastic wrap and slice.
Looking for more Fall baking projects? Here are some of my favorite recipes to bake in the Fall:
- Cinnamon Applesauce Muffins
- Whiskey Chocolate Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread (Gluten Free + Vegan)
- Ultimate Peanut Butter Cookies