Sunday, November 20, 2011

Perfect Pumpkin Roll

Thanksgiving Blog Blitz Post #5

Welcome to the 5th and final installment of my Thanksgiving Blog Blitz. I gotta tell ya I am plum wore out. Been burning the candle at both ends over here, as I am sure many of you are too. I am just flat busted exhausted.  So  this post is going to be a little bare bones. I don't have any ideas for witty commentary or fancy photos. But I still want to give you the information for this project as promised:

How to make a perfect pumpkin roll:

Make the recipe and bake it.

Add some filling, roll it up, and it should look like this:

Enjoy! Hope you try it!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! 


 You guys know I would never do that to you! 
I was just messin' with ya!  Tee hee hee.

Here we go:

How to make this most gorgeous and beautiful pumpkin roll:

Make the recipe as directed (given below). Line a 10x15 jelly roll pan with wax paper or parchment paper, spray with pan spray, pour in the batter and bake as directed. Do not over bake. Take it out as soon as the top springs back when touched.

While the cake is baking, take a clean kitchen towel that does not have a very loopy surface and  dust it liberally with powdered sugar.

As soon as the cake is done, flip it out onto the towel and peel off the wax paper. Do this right out of the oven. Do not cool it. Do not go get a sip of diet coke and then forget about it. (Just sayin'; that does not work.)

Immediately roll up the cake and towel together, then place on a cooling rack for about one hour. Now you can go get something to drink.

Once the cake is almost completely cool, but just barely warm, unroll it and spread an even thickness of the cream cheese filling across the cake. (Recipe below.)

Roll it up, somewhat tight. If the cake was not over baked or over cooled, it should not crack. If it cracks, do not freak out. No freaking out over pumpkin rolls allowed. You can cover it with powdered sugar or icing later.

Wrap this in plastic and keep in fridge at least a couple of hours  or until a short time before serving. It is easier to cut while cold. The slices come out cleaner and prettier, but you do not have to serve it cold.  (Please ignore the fact that there is more diet coke in my fridge than milk.)

Take it out the fridge and cut off the two rough ends of the roll, as the ends are not too pretty. Those are your quality control portions. You have to test it before serving it to others, of course!

Sprinkle with more sifted powdered sugar once on your serving platter. Is that not gorgeous?

Incredibly yummy too.

Please do not be afraid to try this. I was afraid the first time I did one that it would be a disaster. It is actually a very easy process, and  you should get perfect results each time. The recipe is quick  to do and tastes great. This is a perfect last minute holiday dessert that you can whip up in no time. And of course, you will impress everyone with this stunner.


  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup LIBBY'S® 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)



PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

COMBINE flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.

BAKE for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.


BEAT cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

And here is a video of the process that might help:


I hope you guys have enjoyed the Thanksgiving Blog Blitz, and have found something that you would like to try for your family, friends and customers. Let me know which ones you made and how they turned out.

I would also like to take this opportunity to tell you all how thankful I am to have the honor and privilege to interact with you here on my blog and in my DVDs. You all have brought so much to my life. It gives me great joy to get to know you all and share our love of baking. I thank you for your business and your friendship. I truly hope you have  a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

Happy baking,

Friday, November 18, 2011

Turkey 3D Cookies

Thanksgiving Blog Blitz Post #4!

Gobble! Gobble!

How about some 3D turkey cookies?

As I have mentioned before, I have a weakness for cute little turkey confections. Here is another take on turkey cookies:

Bake your  favorite  cookie recipe and cut out large blossom shapes. After cooling, cut a portion off the bottom to make a flat  bottom edge. Outline your cookie with thickened icing and flood in your main color. I used glace icing here, but you can also use royal.

Immediately pipe in the above pattern with the other colors in flood consistency icing. It will sink right in. Then take a toothpick and drag it through that pattern, starting from the outer edge of the cookie, in toward the center.

Do this 3-5 times in each section of the blossom. You will create the feather pattern you see above. Let that fully dry, about 24 hours.

Use Nutter Butter cookies to make the turkey body. Take the cookies apart, scrape off the peanut butter, happily eat that, and then cut the  bottom portion of the cookie off. Happily eat that too. Dip the cookie in melted chocolate and let dry fully.

Use candy eyes, and royal icing to pipe the beak and red jiggly neck thingy. (Been getting a lot of use out of those candy eyes lately too. They rock.)

When you are ready to assemble, outline and flood a circle shaped cookie for the base. Let that set up for a few hours, but not until it is fully dried through. At this point you can put the feather cookie and body cookie on top of the base cookie. It will sink down a little bit into the still partially wet icing. When that fully dries, it will hold the whole cookie together. You might have to prop up the  back of the cookie with a little something while it is drying to  keep it perfectly upright.  Let that  base surface dry very well.

Use a clay gun to extrude a thick string of yellow fondant. Smash down  one  end with your finger and then cut out notches to make the feet.

Bend the feet up at the ankles and put them in place. I also used a very thin clay gun string in black to outline the base cookie to give it a little pop.

Turkey time!  How cute would these be on your Thanksgiving place setting? Or lined up on a dessert buffet.

I hope you try these. You will seriously impress your family and friends!

Sugar Cookie Recipe:

one cup sugar
one cup butter
one egg
1 tsp each vanilla and almond flavoring as desired
3 cups all purpose flour, sifted

Cream sugar and softened butter. Add egg and flavorings and beat for a minute or so. Add flour one cup at a time until just incorporated. Knead gently for a minute. Ready to roll out and use right away. Bake at 325.

Glace icing:

one pound powdered sugar
6 TBS light corn syrup
6TBS milk
clear flavorings as desired

Combine in bowl and mix well with a whisk. Adjust with more sugar or milk to create outline and flooding consistencies.


Happy Turkeys!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pilgrim Pumpkin

Thanksgiving Blog Blitz Post #3!

I hope you are having a nice Fall so far, and are enjoying the anticipation and preparations leading up to the holidays.  Thanksgiving is my very favorite holiday, and I love making  fun treats for the occasion. And I have to tell you that this little dude has got to be  my all time favorite! I have been busting at the seams since I made him; I am so excited to share him with you!

Meet my Pilgrim Pumpkin mini cake!

Don't you just want to squeeze him? 

Let me show you how I made him:

For his body I used two mini bundt cakes and a circle of cake I cut from a round layer with a cookie cutter. The height of the cut circle of cake was about 1/2 inch.

You need that extra height the circle of cake gives. Otherwise, he will be too squatty and you won't have enough room for his belt and his face. If you want to spackle the seem with some stiffened buttercream to hide it more, you can do so.

Crumb coat the cake with a  very thin layer of icing. Then cover the top half with orange fondant. Use a wooden dowel to impress in the grooves of the bundt pan to make them show up well. You will need a pretty thick layer of fondant or all the lumpy bumps  will show through. Or you can use two thinner layers of fondant, which is what I did. Once you get the top half covered, let it sit for a while to let the fondant set up some.

Then flip the cake over and do the exact same thing on the other half. Cut a clean seem between  both layers of fondant where they overlap in the middle, so that you get the result you see above.

Looking pumpkiny!

I airbrushed him just a little to help his colors pop, but that it optional. Cover the seem with a strip of black fondant to make his belt. Make his face with pieces of black fondant.

Cuteness emerging.

His hair is thin strips of a golden yellow fondant. Prop them away from his head  with  paper towels until they firm up. Make his adorable little pilgrim shoes from triangles of black fondant with an oval  piece of white fondant on top.

At this point, just go ahead and squeal with delight. You will want you. You will need to. You have my blessing.

Cut a circle of black fondant for the brim of his hat, and fashion another piece in the tapered shape of a pilgrim hat. Let those both firm  up well. Attach the hat pieces together with  chocolate.

Once all is in place, add the  buckles to the belt and hat. I presented him on a little bit of fondant grass  with some acorns. At this point I called in all my family, my neighbors, the postman, and a stray cat to share my excitement with them.

Isn't he just the cutest thing?

I heart him.


I often get asked where I get my ideas from, which can be all kinds of things. This project was inspired by this piece of  clip art I stumbled upon while searching on the internet for something:

My little guy came out pretty much how I envisioned in my head; which rarely happens. So I was very pleased.

Hope you give him a try, he was a lot  of fun to do!

Stray tuned for the next installment of my Thanksgiving Blog Blitz coming Friday!

Happy caking!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Turkey Cake Balls!

Welcome to post #2 of my Thanksgiving Blog Blitz!  I will have a new blog post for you every few days from now until Turkey day. I hope you enjoy.

It's Turkey Season!

I don't know about you guys, but I have  serious crush on cute little turkey themed treats. I love seeing all the adorable confections that people come up with  this time of year. I did a post a couple of years ago about Thanksgiving cake balls, which we make every year. But I wanted to kick them up a notch this year, and turn them into something  more fun and eye catching.

And here is what I came up with:

Tee hee hee.

They tickle me pink. Well, they tickle me orange and yellow, anyway.

Here is how you make 'em:

You will need Whopper candies and your dipped cake balls in the flavor of your choice.

Cut the fondant  "feathers" by  using 3 sizes of blossom cutters. See the brown ones? Ignore those. I decided later that I did not like the brown feathers so I  left them off.

If you like, hit the edges of them with some airbrush color to make them pop and give them dimension.

To make the little front wings,  cut two petals out of a blossom with an exacto knife.

Attach a whopper for his head, 3 blossoms for his fan of feathers, and his side wings with melted chocolate.

Attach candy googly eyes, and pipe his beak and that jiggly red thing with royal icing.

To make the base he is standing on, pour some melted chocolate into a round cookie cutter that has some wax or parchment paper under it.

Pop it into the freezer until fully firm and release it from the cutter.

Use two more petals cut and carved out with a knife to make his feet.

Attach the turkey and his feet with chocolate to the base.


What you lookin' at Willis?

I simply adore these turkey cake balls. I can see them sitting on top of a bread plate at each place setting on the Thanksgiving dining table.  Your guests will simply go nuts over them, and you will get rave reviews for being such a clever confectionery creator. 

I hope you try them out!

Happy turkey-ing,

PS. You can learn how to make perfect cake balls step by step in our Back To Basics DVD.