Just as I promised, everyone, enter pumpkin spice 😀 And what better entrance than ROLLing out the red carpet with a vegan pumpkin roll! This recipe is absolutely packed with pumpkin: soft pumpkin cake spiraled around sweet pumpkin frosting, both with a hint of pumpkin spice goodness. I was a bit concerned, if I’m honest, about how I’d feel bringing pumpkin in this week. Don’t roll your eyes quite yet–I think if I give you a bit of context, you’ll understand.
Last week, I was finishing up the blog after returning from a trip to buy groceries. I was in Nike shorts and a t-shirt, and I sloppily pulled my hair up the minute I returned home because moisture was beginning to accumulate on the back of my neck. As I worked to get the post completed (I was incredibly behind as usual), my racing thoughts blended into the hum of our portable air conditioner next to me, and the setting sun outside our window shot heat into my cheeks and reminded me of my tardiness.
Fast forward to this morning, as in SEVEN DAYS later. I am bundled in sweatpants, thick fuzzy socks, and a blanket on our living room carpet. My electric blanket, which I giddily pulled out from storage last night, rests on my bed, where it will remain until at least March. I am about to decide what to make for breakfast today, and the thought of anything that isn’t warm and steamy makes me shiver.
Welcome to Pittsburgh, those of you that don’t already experience the joys of this fickle city. Perhaps now you can fathom why, in the second week of the month for jack-o’-lanterns, I was once hesitant to make a pumpkin dessert. Warm, spiced food just doesn’t mix well with sports bra glued to your back with sweat type of weather. But oh how the turntables have…turned (Michael Scott reference, of course). Thursday evening in Pittsburgh looked like a different planet than the preceding week: the Sun retreated into its 6-month hibernation without as much as a wave goodbye; the amount of visible skin among passersby was reduced to faces and hands; and all October things –which had been present but feeling awkwardly unwelcome among their tanktop-filled surroundings–burst forth in unapologetic glory throughout the sweater-clad Steel City. No sooner did the thermometers begin to lead with 4s and 5s than the groups texts to plan Hocus Pocus hot chocolate movie nights were created.
I am not a fan of abrupt changes. Of course, I’m not referring to shifts in the weather–I may whine about those, but I will make it through them just fine. Often we encounter changes that are a bit more consequential than temperature drops. People are constantly experiencing alterations in their jobs, schedules, activities, and families– constantly having to adapt to unfamiliar elements that arise in their lives. I can easily get lost obsessing over how I’m going to handle these situations, especially when it feels like there is one change after another. In times like those, I find it helpful to shift my focus away from whatever is causing me frustration (as much as I wish that being angry at changes had the power to reverse them, it simply doesn’t work that way) and intentionally notice the consistent things in my life.
No matter what is changing, I have a supportive family who is just a phone call away. No matter what is changing, I have friends who will stop whatever they’re doing to make sure that I’m ok. No matter what is changing, I will be lucky enough to wake up every morning in a beautiful city and interact with wonderful people. No matter what is changing, the things that matter are here to stay.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
Pumpkin Roll (V)
- 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
- 3 flax eggs (3 TBSP ground flax mixed with 9 TBSP cold water and left to thicken in fridge for at least 5 minutes)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 1 cup vegan sugar
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 TBSP pumpkin pie spice
- (vegan powdered sugar for rolling)
- 3/4 cup vegetable shortening
- 1/4 cup plus 1 TBSP canned pumpkin
- 1 1/4 cup vegan powdered sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 TBSP almond milk
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 10″x 12″ jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides); line the bottom with wax paper; grease and flour the top of the wax paper and sides of sheet.
- Dust a kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
- In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin, flax eggs, sugar, lemon juice, and salt with a spoon or spatula.
- Sift flour into a smaller bowl. Whisk in baking powder, baking soda, and pumpkin pie spice.
- Gradually mix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until thoroughly incorporated.
- Spoon batter onto cookie sheet, and spread into an even layer with a spatula.
- Bake in preheated oven for 14-16 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and place towel onto cake sugared-side down. Holding the pan and towel together, flip it upside down so the cake will turn out onto the towel (the wax paper side will be on top, but leave the paper on).
- Starting from one of the short ends, roll the cake and the towel together into a spiral. Place in fridge to cool for about an hour.
- Remove from fridge. Gently unroll cake and remove wax paper. Spread all of frosting evenly over the cake.
- Roll the cake up again, this time without the towel.
- Place back in fridge and allow to chill at least another hour before slicing.
- Combine shortening and pumpkin in a medium bowl. Mix with hand mixer or stand mixer on medium until smooth.
- Add almond milk and mix until smooth.
- Gradually add powdered sugar, mixing after each addition until all is incorporated.
- Mix in pumpkin spice and salt for at least a minute.