When you're making pumpkin rolls, or any type of jelly roll, the thin sponge cake can easily crack when you roll it around the filling. The main trick in preventing cracking is to roll the cake while it is still warm and pliable. Taking your time and moving slowly and carefully can also go a long way to making sure the cake comes out perfectly. Rushing anything this delicate can lead to disaster.
Things You'll Need
Parchment paper or wax paper
Line the jelly roll pan with wax paper or parchment paper. Cut off and remove any excess paper not covered by cake batter. Bake the cake as directed.
Sprinkle a large dish towel -- at least the same size as the cake -- with powdered sugar to prevent the cake from sticking.
Run a knife along the edges of the jelly roll pan of the baked cake to loosen the edges.
Flip the pan upside down over the towel and remove the pan. Leave the parchment paper in place.
Roll the cake up around the towel while it is still warm. Let the cake cool in this pre-rolled position. Prepare the filling as the cake cools.
Open the cake, peel away the parchment paper or wax paper from the cake and discard. Leave the cake on the towel.
Spread the filling evenly over the surface of the cake.
Re-roll the cake lengthwise around the filling. Pull the towel away from the inside of the cake as you roll.
Roll the finished cake once over so it sits on the seam of the cake to hide it. Decorate the roll or dust it with powdered sugar, if you wish.
As a last resort, if you cake still cracks after pre-rolling it before cooling, cover the entire surface of the cake with extra filling or cake frosting to hide the crack.