The Secret Ingredient is Pumpkin

The Secret Ingredient Here are two Pumpkin recipes that I always enjoy and I wonder why I only think of these in the fall?  I remember from my youth the classic Pumpkin Cake Roll.  How can the marriage of pumpkin...

The Secret Ingredient
The Secret Ingredient

Here are two Pumpkin recipes that I always enjoy and I wonder why I only think of these in the fall?  I remember from my youth the classic Pumpkin Cake Roll.  How can the marriage of pumpkin and cream cheese not be magical?  I will admit that I always have doubled the cream cheese filling because you can never get enough of a good thing!  The recipe below reflects my changes.  I think I fell in love with the presentation early on, but the moist cake and rich filling is simple elegance.

A few years ago a neighbor shared a version of Pumpkin Pie Bars at the ‘Hood Halloween Festivities.   I have since changed up this recipe as my crew really likes the top streusel topping more so I have transformed this into a pie plate or square baking dish to allow for ample topping.

Pumpkin Cake Roll

Cake Roll
Cake Roll

Ingredients for the Cake Roll:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flout
  • ¾ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg ( freshly ground is always best!)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans ( walnuts or almonds could be substitutes, but I love my pecans)
  • Confectioners’ sugar

Ingredients for the Filling:

  • 12 ounces of cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Line a greased 15 x 10 x 1 baking sheet with wax or parchment paper and grease the paper too.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs for 5 minutes. Then add in the sugar, flour, pumpkin, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. Add in lemon juice and then spread evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle with finely chopped pecans.
  4. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly touched.
  5. Cool for five minutes.
  6. Turn the cake unto a clean and dry kitchen towel dusted with Confectioners’ sugar. I have learned to sift this sugar for the best dusting results!
  7. Gently peel off waxed/parchment paper.
  8. Roll the cake up in the towel, jelly roll style, starting with the short side.
  9. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  10. While your cake is cooling, in a mixing bowl, combine the filling ingredients; beat until smooth.
  11. Unroll the cake, spread the filling over the cake to within ½ inch of the edges.
  12. Roll-up again, placing seam side down on your serving platter.
  13. Cover and refrigerate at least an hour before serving.   Can be made the day ahead.

***If you do not pre-roll this cake for cooling, you risk the cake crumbling. I have learned this lesson!

 Pumpkin Streusel Pie

Pumpkin Streusel Pie
Pumpkin Streusel Pie


  • 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ¾ cup sugar, divided
  • ¾ cup cold butter, cut into small cubes
  • 1 cup old fashioned or quick oats, uncooked
  • ½ cup pecans, chopped
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 15 ounce can of pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice

*** If you cannot find Pumpkin Spice, you can create your own by combining 1 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and allspice.


  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease the bottom and sides of the pie or square plate. If you are desiring to create small bite-sized bars, line with foil creating foil handles for easier removal. Grease this foil as well as the bottom of the square plate for best results.
  3. Mix the flour, brown sugar and ¼ cup of the granulated sugar in a medium bowl.
  4. Cut in the cold butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  5. Stir in oats and pecans.
  6. Reserve at least 1 ½ - 1 ¾ cups of this oat mixture for the topping( again we like a lot of Streusel)
  7. Bake for about 15 minutes.
  8. Beat the cream cheese, remaining ½ cup granulated sugar, eggs, pumpkin, and pumpkin pie spice in a mixer on a medium speed until well blended.
  9. Pour over the crust, sprinkle with the reserved crumb mixture.
  10. Bake for 20 – 30 minutes. Lift from the pan if you created the foil lining and cool completely.
  11. Cut into bars or serve as pie slices.
  12. This can be served slightly warm, but prefer this with a bit of a chill to bring out the flavors.

What is your favorite pumpkin recipe?