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Pumpkin Roll Ghost Cake with Mascarpone Whipped Cream

This light and airy spiced pumpkin sponge cake, is perfectly balanced with a lightly sweetened whipped cream and mascarpone cream cheese filling.
Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time12 mins
Chill Time2 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 12 mins
Course: Dessert
Keyword: cake, pumpkin
Servings: 10


For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup + 2.5 tbsp cake flour (divided)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • 3 large eggs (separated)
  • 6 + 2 tbsp granulated sugar (divided)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 tsp cocoa powder
  • Orange food colouring

For the Filling

  • 3/4 cup + 1-2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
  • 3/4 cup icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
  • Pinch of Salt


  • Cut a piece of paper to fit a 10 x 15 inch jelly roll pan. Draw your design on the paper with a a black sharpie. Place the paper on the jelly roll pan with a sheet of parchment paper over top. The parchment paper should be a bit wider than your pan so that it comes up the edges of the pan slightly.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together a 1/2 cup of cake flour with the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Set bowl aside.
  • In a medium sized bowl, whisk the egg yolks with 6 tablespoons of sugar until the yolks are lighter in colour, and the sugar has dissolved.
  • Add the vegetable oil and whisk until fully incorporated.
  • Add the pumpkin puree and vanilla. Whisk to combine.
  • Add the flour mixture to your pumpkin mixture. Whisk together until just combined. Set bowl aside while you prepare the egg whites.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment, whisk the egg whites on medium high speed until foamy.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and whisk on high speed until the egg whites hold medium peaks.

Prepare the plain batter for the whites of the ghosts

  • Grab your bowl of pumpkiny cake batter. Transfer 1/3 cup of the batter to a small bowl. This will be your plain batter for the whites of the ghost. Stir in 2 tablespoons of cake flour until combined, then add 2 heaping tablespoons of your egg whites. Fold in the egg whites until just combined. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Wilton #3).

Prepare the chocolate batter for the ghost outlines

  • Transfer another 1/8 cup of the main cake batter to a separate small bowl. This will be the chocolate batter for the black ghost outlines and stars. Stir in 1/2 tablespoon cake flour and 3/4 tsp of cocoa powder until combined, then add 1 heaping tablespoon of egg whites. Fold in the egg whites until just combined. Transfer the batter to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip (Wilton #1). ***See notes below about batter consistency.

Prepare the orange batter for the rest of the cake

  • Take your remaining bowl of batter, and stir in some orange food colouring until your desired colour is reached.
  • Add half of the remaining egg whites to the batter, and carefully fold them in until just incorporated.
  • Add the other half of the egg whites and fold them in as well.

Prepare the design

  • Using the black, chocolate flavoured batter, pipe your design onto the parchment paper, tracing the drawing that you've already prepared.
  • Fill in the shape of the ghost outlines with the plain batter from the other piping bag.
  • Transfer the whole pan to the freezer to firm up for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, start pre-heating your oven to 350°F.
  • Take the pan out of the freezer, and carefully remove your paper drawing out from under the parchment paper.
  • Pour the orange batter on top of your piped design. Spread the batter evenly across the pan, taking care not to disrupt the design below. The batter will not settle or flatten on its own, so try to get it as smooth and as even as possible.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes until the cake is springy, and is just barely starting to brown at the edges.
  • Lay a clean tea towel onto your counter top and generously dust it with icing sugar.
  • When the cake comes out the oven, lay a fresh sheet of parchment on top, and place a cooling rack, upside down, on top of the parchment. Flip the whole tray over so the cake is now resting on the cooling rack with the design face up.
  • Carefully peel the parchment paper off the top of the cake (the side with the design).
  • Flip the cake again, so the design is facing down, onto the sugar dusted tea towel.
  • Roll the cake and tea towel up together to form a log. Set aside and allow the cake to cool completely, still wrapped, for at least an hour. Once the cake has cooled, you can start on the filling.

Prepare the filling

  • Whip 3/4 of a cup of whipping cream until it thickens to soft folds.
  • Add 3/4 of a cup of icing sugar, and continue to whip until medium-stiff peeks form. 
  • In a large bowl, add a 1/2 cup of mascarpone cheese with a pinch of salt. Stir in 1-2 tablespoons of whipping cream to loosen up the cheese.
  • Add half of the whipped cream to the mascarpone, and fold in. Add the remaining half of the whipped cream and fold in until fully incorporated.
  • Unroll your cake onto a piece of plastic wrap (the design should still be face down).
  • Spread the filling evenly across the entire surface of the cake, except for about the last 1/2 inch or so at the far end (i.e. the edge of the roll that will be on the outside of the cake).
  • Gently roll the whole cake back up into a log.
  • Wrap the log tightly in the plastic wrap that you initially laid it down on. Transfer the log to the fridge to chill for at least two hours or overnight. Be sure to set the log down so that the end of the cake is on the bottom.
  • Slice the chilled cake with a sharp knife to get nice clean cuts. You may want to trim a thin slice off either end of the cake to clean them up and give the cake a nice sharp appearance before serving.


**Regarding the plain and black chocolate batter: Both should be slightly thick, but still pipeable. The chocolate batter should hold its shape when piped. If its too loose, add a little more cocoa powder until it stiffens up. If either batter looks too thick to pipe, stir in a splash of whole milk or cream to loosen it up.
**Original recipe from Love & Olive Oil. Modified ever so slightly to get different volumes of the different coloured batters.