Friday, November 22, 2013

Tangling With Cake Batter!

Did you ever think to tangle with cake batter?

A recipe published in the November 2013 edition of Ladies' Home Journal featured the idea of using a thickened cake batter to add scroll decorations to a jelly roll cake. Hmmm...this idea was so intriguing, I had to give it a try.

My daughter Sarah and I - after some trial and error - worked together to come up with a tangled version of this delicious pumpkin cake. 

I'll begin with a picture of the finished cake and follow it with pictures of the process and the recipe.  Despite the length of the directions, it is a simple enough cake to prepare - the results are spectacular, and the possibilities are endless!


First we lined a 10" x 15" baking sheet with
parchment paper.
We used cooking spray to lightly coat the parchment.

We mixed the cake batter and set it aside.

Next, we put a scant 1/4 cup of the batter into a smaller bowl and added flour and molasses to thicken it.
The thickened and darkened batter was placed into a pastry bag with a #3 tip.
I piped some tangles onto the parchment.
This was so much fun!
Because the surface was misted with oil, smaller patterns tended to run together - that was part of our 'trial and error'.
We found that working in larger motions, making bigger tangles worked very well.
Think of the possibilities!! 

You can tangle away - or even write words - just be mindful that it would be a mirror image on the finished cake.

Once the tangles were finished, the pan went into the freezer for 20 minutes.

We removed the pan from the freezer and poured the batter over the tangled parchment.
We carefully poured the batter and leveled it off  with the spatula.

This is what the baked cake looked like after we turned it onto a rack and removed the parchment.

How fun is that?!

And it smells luscious - cinnamon, molasses, pumpkin...yum!

We rolled the cake up in a tea towel and cooled it completely.

After the filling was made, we unrolled the cake, frosted it, rolled it back up, and refrigerated it.

Here is a picture of our sliced masterpiece and the recipe.

*Kudos and photo credits do to my daughter Isabella.

 Pumpkin Cake Roll with Toffee Cream Cheese Filling 
(Adapted from Ladies' Home Journal, November 2013)

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 ¼ cups sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 tsp lemon juice

Piping Mixture
 ¼ cup of cake batter
3 Tbs flour
2 Tbs molasses
6 oz cream cheese, softened
2tbs butter, softened
½ tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cups powdered sugar
¼ cup Heath Bits
¼ cup finely chopped pecans
2/3 cup heavy cream
Cut parchment to fit on the bottom of a 10 x 15” jelly roll pan and lightly grease the parchment and sides of pan.  Set aside. 
In a mixer beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until fluffy, 4 min.
Whisk together 1 cup flour with baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and salt.  Set aside.
Stir in the pumpkin and lemon juice, then the flour mixture, scraping the bowl to incorporate completely.

Place ¼ cup of the batter in a small bowl and stir in 2 tbs molasses and 3 tbs. of flour.  Transfer to a piping bag, #3 tip.
Pipe designs onto parchment.
Freeze until solid – 15 to 20 minutes.
Spread the remaining pumpkin batter over the frozen designs, smoothing the surface.  Work quickly so the swirls don’t get warm.
Bake @ 375 in the top third of the oven.  Approx. 16 to 17 minutes, until the cake springs back when touched.Run a knife around the edges and invert onto a paper towel lined rack. 
Gently remove parchment.
Turn cake onto a tea towel – decorated side down.  Dust the surface of the cake with flour to prevent sticking.
Roll the cake (from the short side) to form a log, wrapping the towel as you roll. 
Allow the cake to cool in the towel.

In a mixer beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
Add the vanilla and sugar and mix.
Gently stir in the toffee bits and pecans.
In a separate bowl whip the cream until firm peaks form. 

Fold two mixtures together until completely mixed.
Gently unroll the cooled cake, remove from the towel.
Spread with filling, stopping 1” shy of the edges.
Reroll cake and place seam-side down on a serving platter. 
Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour or until ready to serve.       
Can be made a day ahead.

Now you can tangle AND bake away!!

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Thank you!


  1. This looks fantastic! I am new to tangling but a seasoned chocolate maker and I did have a go at tangling chocolate...wonder if I'm the first to do that?? It could have been much better - I will certainly have a go again but I had to break it all up to put it in bags and was gutted! Axxx

    See it here if you're interested.

  2. Wow is about all I can say! You have taken this to a total other level Adele!

  3. Beautiful and yummy! My tangle art isn't good enough yet to try this, but maybe one day. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. Brilliant and stunning tangled cake! Mixing two loves ... food and tangling! Will definitely try this out during the holidays! Thanks for yet another inspiring post!