Pumpkin Sponge Cake

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Fall means two things: school is in session and pumpkin is popping up on menus all over the place. This recipe from Chef Ryan Pike uses the well-known squash in an appealing way that also teaches two techniques every aspiring pastry chef should know: how to make the perfect meringue and how to roll a jelly roll cake. Make this cake next time you’re entertaining a crowd or freeze it by the slice to enjoy one of fall’s quintessential flavors throughout the year.


Servings: 5


For the cake
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2 cups sugar, split in half
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin purée
  • 2 tablespoons of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon of nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups cake flour
For the filling
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup sugar


For the cake
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Whip yolks and 1 cup of sugar until pale, light and fluffy. Add the pumpkin purée
  3. In a mixing bowl combine flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Fold into the pumpkin mixture.
  4. In another bowl, whisk egg whites until frothy. Add remaining cup of sugar to make a meringue that has stiff peaks.
  5. Fold egg yolk mixture with meringue.
  6. Spread batter evenly on a well-greased, 1 inch deep half sheet pan measuring 18in by 13in.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes until you can stick a knife in and it comes out clean.
  8. Let cake cool.
For the filling
  1.  Whip cream and sugar to make whipped cream filling.
To assemble
  1. Ensure that cake can easily be removed from sheet pan by flipping the pan over onto a clean kitchen towel. Spread the whipped cream evenly on top of the cake using a spatula.
  2. Starting at the narrow side of the cake, begin gently rolling the cake. Do not roll too fast or the filling will come out of the sides. Once rolled, place the log in the refrigerator until firm.
  3. Serve by cutting slices off of the log.

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