Rolling into Fall Baking

By: Taylor Napolitan

     The fall season is quickly approaching, leading more people to get into the festive spirit. While the weather gets colder, getting cozy with some seasonal baked goods will warm up your fall season. One of my family’s favorite fall treats is pumpkin rolls. Pumpkin rolls are a delicious way to bring the fall season to your family dinners, fall parties, and even just your friends who want a fall treat. The sweet pumpkin cake that gets rolled up with the sweet cream cheese filling and dusted with powdered sugar adds a bit of spice to your fall. The Squire interviewed Eisenhower’s baking and home interiors teacher, Mrs. Criswell, to get an inside scoop on baking. 

     Mrs. Criswell is a new teacher here at Eisenhower, so The Squire enjoyed getting to know her a little better while chatting about her time in the kitchen. While she is at home, she enjoys baking with her two kids, Grant and Elodie. Criswell states, “Since baking is one of my favorite things to do, getting to share that with them brings me joy!  On occasion, you may also find my husband [baking], if I strong-armed him into helping.” Her favorite thing to bake during the fall season is, “a toss-up between apple pie and pumpkin cookies.”  She also shared that her husband’s favorite is apple pie and that when Big Joe’s has Honey Crisp apples in stock, “Apple pie is a must!”  

     Criswell gets her recipes from many places, including, friends, family, and her cookbook collection. When asked if she had ever tried to make pumpkin rolls, she responded with, “Ha-ha this question just makes me smile.  As a child, my family loved pumpkin rolls and I hated them!  My mom would always make pumpkin rolls to give away as gifts, so my sister and I would be stuck helping her all day long, usually for two straight days, and I hated everything about it!  They are tricky, messy, and time consuming, and I didn’t even like the end result!” She added that now she doesn’t nearly mind this process as much and that she thinks it’s, “Kind of fun!” and, personally, I agree! 

     Mrs. Criswell and I both love baking, and, like her, I also share my baked goods with friends, family, and neighbors. My friends are always so excited when I come to school and surprise them with my baked goods. This past week, I made pumpkin rolls for the first day of fall, following a recipe for a box cake mix made pumpkin roll. I, however, am gluten free, so my mixture is gluten free. If you don’t mind some gluten in your daily diet, feel free to try this recipe with normal pumpkin spice cake mix. The recipe was in my family’s recipe box, so I am unaware of the origin of the recipe, but it is quickly becoming a family favorite, and one that you may wish to try out this fall. As Criswell mentioned, don’t be afraid to try new things; baking is supposed to be fun! Be careful, follow the directions, try to understand the chemistry of baking, and measure your ingredients properly.  

Makes 2 Rolls  



1 Pillsbury Gluten Free Pumpkin Spice Boxed Cake Mix 

1 Can of Pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Filling) 


2 Blocks of cream cheese 

2 Sticks of Salted Butter 

2 Cups of Powdered Sugar 


Large Bowl 

Small Bowl (Optional) 

Hand Mixer 


10 x 15 Baking Sheet  

Parchment Paper 

Step One: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Step Two: In a large mixing bowl, mix ½ of the box of cake and ½ of the can of pumpkin with a hand mixer.  

Step Three: After mixed, place Parchment paper on the 10×15 baking sheet. Then pour the mixture on the parchment paper and bake for 10 minutes, or until the cake bounces back. 

Step Four: While the cake is baking, mix the other ½ of the pumpkin and the cake mix and redo steps two and three. Lay down a sheet of parchment paper on a counter or table. 

Step Five: Once the first cake is out taken it out quickly and place it on the parchment paper. Then peel the parchment paper off the cake and start to roll up the cake into a log- like roll from the 15-inch side of the cake. This will help form the roll later. Repeat this step with the other cake 

Step Six: Let the cakes cool for one hour, this is when you should mix the filling. 

Step Seven: Combine the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar in the smaller mixing bowl with a hand mixer. 

Step Eight: Put the filling in an icing piping bag to help transfer the frosting easier to the cake. Check to see if the cakes are cool, if not, wait. 

Step Nine: Unroll the cakes and add the frosting, leaving about a one-inch space uncovered on the edges. This will keep the frosting from spilling out once you roll.  

Step Ten: This step should be easy if you did step Five correctly. Roll them up and set them in your fridge to cool for an hour. Then take them out, cut, and serve them.  

     The fall is my favorite time to bake, especially because of the weather change. The coldness outside just makes baking in the warmth of your kitchen so comfy. The Squire hopes you enjoy your fall with some sweet treats and that you try this recipe!  

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