Do you ever think about how much of your childhood was a blur? Your parents may remember certain events, such as you tearing into your birthday gifts with reckless abandon, yet you can only recall a glimmer of that moment.
But some memories are fixed hard into our brains when we are children. My memory of tasting my first pumpkin roll (made by mom, of course) is vivid. I don’t recall anything what was happening outside of my mouth, but that was happening inside of my mouth is still as clear to me now as it was then. I remember the texture of the spongey, yet dense cake, and the perfect way that its sweetness juxtaposed the savory and rich cream cheese filling wound into the roll.
In light of my wonderful memory, I hope that this recipe will bestow upon you the same feelings of comfort and enjoyment that they do me.
Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with cooking spray. Sift the flour, cinnamon, ginger and allspice into a small bowl. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks, granulated sugar and brown sugar with a mixer until very thick (about 5 minutes). Add the pumpkin and beat on low speed until incorporated. Add the dry ingredients and beat until incorporated. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and salt with a mixer until stiff by not dry. Fold the egg whites into the cake batter with a rubber sptuula until most of the white streaks are gone.
Spread the batter on the sheet pan and smooth the top. Bake until a tester comes out clean, 15 to 18 minutes. While the cake is hot, dust generously with confectioners’ sugar. Loosen the edges and turn the cake out onto a kitchen towel and peel of the parchment paper. Starting from one long side, roll up the cake around the towel. Turn seam-side down, put on the baking sheet and transfer to the refrigerator to cool completely, about 1 hour.
Beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake and remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over the cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.