Classic Pumpkin Roll

Delicious pumpkin roll that is made from a pumpkin cake filled and cream cheese filling all rolled and sliced as a perfect fall dessert. It’s great for holidays or any fall celebration.

We make it all fall long and especially for Thanksgiving, but this pumpkin roll is easier to make than you think! You’ll love this recipe as much as our pumpkin chocolate chip cookies and pumpkin pie!

Classic pumpkin roll sliced and sprinkled with powdered sugar

A Fall Classic

It’s hard not to love pumpkin cake!! So, if you love it (along with cream cheese frosting), then you’ll love a pumpkin roll because it’s basically a pumpkin spice cake rolled and filled with cream cheese goodness.

At first, we were intimidated to make this cake because it seemed difficult, but we learned that it’s not. It has more steps than some of our other pumpkin treats, but they’re all simple and result in a fall classic treat that knocks peoples socks off.

Like most pumpkin cakes, this dessert calls for cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, pumpkin puree and more. If you want to use store bought puree you can, but we also have a homemade version that makes the cake even more flavorful and delicious. 😉

Pumpkin cake batter for pumpkin roll recipe

How to Make a Pumpkin Roll

As I mentioned, there are a few steps, but they’re simple. Just follow along and you’ll be surprised just how easy it is to make this delicious pumpkin roll cake.

PARCHMENT PAPER. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 15×10-inch jelly roll with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of parchment on the ends of the pans for easy cake removal. Set aside.

DRY INGREDIENTS. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.

WET INGREDIENTS (+sugar). In a separate mixing bowl, whisk eggs and granulated sugar together until thick. Add in the vanilla extract and pumpkin, and whisk just until combined.

COMBINE. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stir just until combined (no flour streaks remain).

BAKE. Spread an even layer of batter into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched.

RECIPE NOTES:

  • Canned puree works best for this recipe. If you do want to use homemade, I’d suggest cooking down the puree for 20 minutes on low heat (on the stovetop) to remove excess moisture.
  • We suggest taking out the cream cheese several hours before making the frosting so it softens. If you didn’t have the time to do this or forgot, you can take the 8 oz. package of cream cheese out of the foil and microwave in a microwave-safe bowl on HIGH for 15-20 seconds until softened. 

How to make a pumpkin roll process picture

Let Me See that Pumpkin ROLL (+Frosting)

1. ROLL. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, carefully transfer the parchment/cake to a heat-safe surface. Use your hands to slowly roll the short end of the cake until it is completely rolled up (parchment paper will stay on). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
 
2. FROSTING. Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese filling, in a medium mixing bowl, using a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 30 seconds. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Carefully mix until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds. Refrigerate until ready to use.
 
3. FROST + RE-ROLL. Once cooled, transfer the cake roll to a flat surface. CAREFULLY unroll the cake slowly (leaving the parchment intact) into a flat cake again. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Gently re-roll the cake, peeling away the parchment paper as you roll.
 
4. PLASTIC WRAP. Wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and chill for at least on hour in the refrigerator.
 
5. SERVING. Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. NOTE: You may want to cut off the ends so you can see to see the beautiful swirls. 😉

How to roll pumpkin cake for pumpkin roll

Tips, Tricks + Variations

There are ways to change up this recipe based on preference. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you want to add nuts, we suggest adding chopped walnuts to the batter (but this will make the cake a little bumpy when rolling). You can also opt to add them to the frosting.
  • If you want more cinnamon add it to the frosting. Cinnamon cream cheese frosting is delicious!
  • Powdered sugar on top isn’t a MUST but we sure do love it on there.
  • If you want even more flavor, you can add pineapple to the frosting. Trust us – it’s so yummy!!

If STORING the pumpkin roll, it can keep in the fridge (if covered or wrapped tightly) for up to 3 days. That means it can also be MADE AHEAD OF TIME up to 1-2 days.

If FREEZING, wrap the roll tightly in plastic wrap (and we like to put it in a freezer-safe bag for added measure) and store for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge for a day before serving.

 Pumpkin roll cake slices

For more pumpkin classics, check out:

Print Recipe
5 from 10 votes

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Delicious pumpkin roll that is made from a pumpkin cake filled and cream cheese filling all rolled and sliced as a perfect fall dessert. It's great for holidays or any fall celebration.
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time2 hrs 45 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12
Calories: 207kcal

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree

For the cream cheese filling:

  • 1 (8 oz.) brick cream cheese (original) room temperature
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup powdered sugar more for dusting the top of the roll, if desired
  • 1 pinch salt

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Line a 15x10-inch jelly roll with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of parchment on the ends of the pans for easy cake removal. Set aside.  
  • In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt.
  • In a separate mixing bowl, whisk eggs and granulated sugar together until thick. Add in the vanilla extract and pumpkin, and whisk just until combined.
  • Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stir just until combined (no flour streaks remain).
  • Spread an even layer of batter into the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched.
  • As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, carefully transfer the parchment/cake to a heat-safe surface. Use your hands to slowly roll the short end of the cake until it is completely rolled up. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, to make the cream cheese filling, in a medium mixing bowl, using a hand held mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together for 30 seconds. Add vanilla, salt, and powdered sugar. Carefully mix until smooth and creamy, about 30 seconds.
  • Once cooled, transfer the cake roll to a flat surface. Carefully unroll the cake (leaving the parchment intact) into a flat cake again. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over cake, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides. Gently re-roll the cake, peeling away the parchment paper as you roll.
  • Wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and chill for at least on hour in the refrigerator.
  • Serve with a dusting of powdered sugar, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices.

Notes

Canned puree works best for this recipe. If you do want to use homemade, I'd suggest cooking down the puree for 20 minutes on low heat (on the stovetop) to remove excess moisture.

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 123mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 2355IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 24mg | Iron: 1mg