Welcome to In Season, our series celebrating the juiciest fruit and crispest veggies in Texas. This fall, we asked local chefs to share stories about their favorite items of seasonal produce—and to create original recipes that make the most of autumn’s bounty.

The first time Emporium Pies cofounder and former CEO Megan Wilkes made a pumpkin pie as a young adult, it didn’t go as planned.

“I decided to go full scratch,” she says. “But I didn’t realize that you had to buy pie pumpkins to do that. And so I tried making it with just a regular ’ol pumpkin, and it was disgusting. But everybody ate it anyway because my friends are nice.”

Wilkes has since perfected the art of piemaking—the Dallas shop celebrated its ten-year anniversary this past September. And while Emporium does offer a pumpkin pie with spicy pumpkin custard on a gingerbread crust, Wilkes is sharing a more personal selection: her family recipe for a pumpkin roll.

“When I was growing up, we’d eat the pumpkin roll every Thanksgiving,” Wilkes says. “It’s one of those things that everybody asks for because they know that my mom makes it.”

The recipe originated with one of Wilkes’s mom’s best friends, Melody Cudd, whom Wilkes considered an aunt.

“My Aunt Mel passed away from brain cancer when I was in high school, so this is a family recipe that started out as something that we all just shared together but then became even more special as a way to remember my aunt.”

Even though pie is the traditional vehicle for pumpkin during the holidays, this dessert is the perfect mix of conventional and unanticipated.  

Pumpkin Roll

Getting a little tired of pie? Switch it up with this classic dessert that still incorporates the holiday favorite filling of pumpkin and spices.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Servings 6

Equipment

  • 1 electric mixer

Ingredients  

For the roll:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • cup canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup buttermilk baking mix, such as Bisquick
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

For the filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • chopped nuts of choice (as desired)

Directions 

  • Preheat oven to 375 F.
  • Line the bottom of a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Beat eggs and sugar together with an electric mixer until combined, then add pumpkin and beat for an additional 1 to 2 minutes until smooth. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl and stir into egg, pumpkin, and sugar mixture. Spread batter evenly in the pan.
  • Bake for 13 to 15 minutes. Remove pastry from pan while it’s still warm (but cool enough to handle), and place onto a tea towel dusted with powdered sugar to keep it from sticking.
  • Roll gently into a spiral and let cool, seam side down. The roll can be placed in the refrigerator if desired.
  • For the filling, cream all ingredients together with an electric mixer until soft and smooth. Spread evenly on the cooled, unrolled pastry. Sprinkle with nuts, if desired. Reroll and cut into ½-inch slices.