I love everything about pumpkins: the taste of pumpkin, roasting the seeds, shelled seeds (pepitas) added to soups and made into truffles, carving them. So when Fall comes around, I’m one of “those” people, always looking for a new pumpkin recipe. But this time I’m sharing a classic, the Pumpkin Roll, but we’re making it with real food ingredients.
I realize that many desserts are not actually healthful, but we can make a few easy ingredient swaps to make them less damaging on our gut and overall health. Check out the baking staples I keep in my Real Food Pantry here. Using organic or gluten-free flour doesn’t magically make a recipe healthy but these staples are what I use to help with digestion, lower sugar intake, and work in healthy ingredients (like real butter, fruit, fermented sourdough). I don’t think sweets should be a main food group we consume everyday, but when we use real food ingredients sweets can be enjoyed without the guilt.
Real Food Pumpkin Roll
3 eggs (free-range is better, pastured/local is best)
scant 1/2 cup real cane sugar
scant 1/2 cup coconut sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling, if you’re buying it check that ingredient list only has pumpkin)
scant 1 cup flour (I use 50/50 organic, unenriched flour and sprouted rye flour, but use a gluten-free baking mix if necessary)
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice OR 1 teaspoon cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Real Salt
These ingredients are for the cake part of the roll. Preheat oven to 375. Start by beating eggs. Then add sugars and pumpkin and mix. Stir in flour(s), baking soda, spices, salt. Pour into a greased jelly roll pan or largest baking/casserole dish you have—I usually use my 9×13 baking dish. Bake at 375 for 12-15 minutes. The cake should look sticky but not jiggly in the middle. Once done, allow to cool for 20 minutes in dish, then gently take knife around the edge and flip onto tea towel or cheesecloth. Turn over so that the top of the roll is facing up (it will be sticky, we don’t want it to face down and stick to towel). Allow to cool before icing, place in the refrigerator if necessary.
8 ounces cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar (store bought powdered sugar is not real food, instead take your real cane sugar and place it in a blender, food processor, or coffee grinder and “powder”)
4 tablespoons real butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
optional: chopped pecans
Let cream cheese soften to room temperate. Meanwhile, powder sugar. Add all filling ingredients to stand mixer and mix well. Once pumpkin cake has cooled, evenly spread filling (and pecans if using) over entire surface. Then gently roll the entire cake up. Allow to set up in fridge before cutting. Cut and enjoy. Store in refrigerator.