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More than just pie: Thanksgiving cake and other unique holiday desserts

Turkey, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie…if you feel like your Thanksgiving menu is getting a little stale, mix things up this year with a new dessert. Instead of pie, bake a Thanksgiving cake or other delicious dessert. Check out these unique recipes for pumpkin cake roll, apple butter spice cake, and cranberry-pear crisp.

Pumpkin cake rollPumpkin cake roll recipe

Serves 10

If you look around the Internet, you’ll find quite a few recipes for a pumpkin roll. One of the best we’ve found is from Libby’s. It’s moist, easy to make and delicious.


  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 8-ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)


For cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jellyroll pan; line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in a large mixing bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan. Sprinkle with nuts.
  3. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

For filling:

  1. Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Cooking tip: Put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.

Up next: Apple butter spice cake >>

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