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Pumpkin Roll

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close up shot of pumpkin roll with a slice removed on a serving tray
A pumpkin sheet cake rolled with a delicious cream cheese filling, this classic pumpkin roll recipe is an irresistible addition to any autumn menu.
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Table of Contents
  1. Pumpkin Roll Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Pumpkin Roll Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Impress your guests with this delicious homemade pumpkin roll recipe. An easy pumpkin sheet pan cake combines with a heavenly cream cheese filling for an irresistible dessert that will look like you spent hours making it.

close up shot of pumpkin roll with a slice removed on a wooden board

Pumpkin Roll Ingredients

Pumpkin Roll raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Cake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar (for dusting the rolling tea towel)

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 (8-ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

NUTS: You can add chopped nuts to the top of the cake roll just before you bake it.

CINNAMON: You can add ¼ teaspoon cinnamon to the cream cheese filling for a bit of fall spice.

How To Make This Pumpkin Roll Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spray very generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.

STEP TWO: In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set the dry ingredients aside.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of ingredients being whisked together in a bowl

STEP THREE: Stir together the pumpkin puree and the lemon juice.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of lemon juice being added to a bowl of pumpkin puree

STEP FOUR: Using either a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on high, beat the eggs and sugar for 3½ to 4 minutes until the egg mixture is light and frothy.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of ingredients being whisked together in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Add the pumpkin mixture and the vanilla. Continue mixing until well combined.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of ingredients in a bowl

STEP SIX: Fold in the flour mixture. 

Pumpkin Roll process shot of ingredients being folded together in a bowl

STEP SEVEN: Evenly spread the pumpkin cake batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time.

You do not want to overcook this cake, or it will be dry and won’t roll properly.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of batter poured into baking pan and then baked

STEP EIGHT: While the cake bakes, lay out a thin kitchen towel and dust with ¼ cup powdered sugar. You will also need a large cutting board for the dusted cake transfer.

PRO TIP:

Be sure to not use any fabric softener when you wash the tea towel. It will transfer to the warm cake and make the flavor “off”. Also make sure not to use a terry cloth tea towel. The terry cloth will leave lint that will transfer to the surface of the cake.

STEP NINE: When the cake has finished baking, remove it from the oven. Run the tip of a sharp knife around the edge of the baking sheet.

STEP TEN: Carefully flip the dusted tea towel on top of the baked cake, dusted side against the cake.

STEP ELEVEN: Place the large cutting board on top of the tea towel. Remember the cake pan will still be very hot, so protect your hands. Be certain to leave a small tail of the tea towel on the short edge of the cake for rolling the cake.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of a cutting board on top of a tea towel

STEP TWELVE: Quickly flip the baking pan over so that it is now laying on top of the tea towel/cutting board.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of parchment paper being peeled away from the cake

STEP THIRTEEN: Carefully and slowly peel away the parchment paper.

STEP FOURTEEN: Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of powdered sugar being dusted on the top of the cake

STEP FIFTEEN: Flip the small tail of the tea towel over the short edge of the cake. 

Pumpkin Roll process shot of tea towel over the edge of the cake

STEP SIXTEEN: Carefully begin rolling one end toward the other. Once rolled, transfer to a cooling rack to let the hot cake cool completely.

PRO TIP:

To prevent your pumpkin roll from cracking, you should wrap it in a towel while it’s still warm, right out of the oven. The combination of heat and moisture will help to keep your cake from cracking. If you try to roll it once it’s cooled, it’s much more likely to crack. 

Pumpkin Roll process shot of cake rolled into a tea towel

For the Filling

STEP ONE: Using a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on high, beat together the softened cream cheese, clear vanilla and the softened butter for 1 minute until smooth.

PRO TIP:

Make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you won’t have lumps in your cream cheese mixture.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of ingredients being whisked together in a bowl

STEP TWO: Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until completely smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to fill the roll. Remove the filling from the refrigerator 10 minutes before assembling the cake roll.

For the Cake Assembly

STEP ONE: Once the cake is completely cooled, slowly unroll the cake.

STEP TWO: Using a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, spread the filling over the surface of the cake in an even layer; try to avoid the very edges of the cake.

process shot of filling spread over the cake

STEP THREE: Once filled, slowly and with even pressure, begin to roll the cake back up. Wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap to ensure it holds its shape. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.

Pumpkin Roll process shot of the cake rolled into a plastic wrap

STEP FOUR: Just before serving, unwrap the pumpkin roll. 

Pumpkin Roll process shot of pumpkin roll on a wooden board

STEP FIVE: Using a sharp serrated knife, slice off the ends of the rolled cake. Slice ten ½ inch slices. 

PRO TIP:

You’ll want to be sure to clean off your knife after each slice to keep those gorgeous layers intact.

How To Serve

Serve this easy pumpkin cake roll for the perfect fall dessert. Add whipped cream and a scoop of our no-churn vanilla ice cream on the side for an extra special and indulgent treat.

Want even more classic pumpkin recipes to enjoy this fall? You’ll want to bake our pumpkin banana bread and pumpkin dump cake.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Store any leftovers of this perfect pumpkin roll cake tightly wrapped in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze the plastic-wrapped, uncut cake for up to 3 months. Be sure to wrap aluminum foil around the plastic-wrapped pumpkin roll before freezing.

close up shot of a slice of Pumpkin Roll on a plate with a fork

I hope you’ll enjoy this moist pumpkin cake with your family this fall. Not only does it taste amazing, but it will also look impressive on the dessert table at your holiday party this Thanksgiving.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I freeze this pumpkin roll?

This easy pumpkin roll recipe can be frozen, well-wrapped, for up to three months.

What is the best pan to use for a roll cake?

It’s important to use a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan for this cake as you want it to be nice and thin.

Why did my pumpkin roll crack?

Your cake needs to be rolled into the towel as soon as it comes out of the oven. When the cake is rolled while warm, the heat and moisture will help give you a crack-free cake. The cake is much more likely to crack if it is rolled when cooled.

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close up shot of pumpkin roll with a slice removed on a serving tray

Pumpkin Roll

5 from 6 votes
A pumpkin sheet cake rolled with a delicious cream cheese filling, this classic pumpkin roll recipe is an irresistible addition to any autumn menu.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 8 hours 22 minutes
Servings 10

Ingredients
  

Cake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cup powdered sugar, for dusting the rolling tea towel

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon clear vanilla flavoring
  • 2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 10x15x1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spray very generously with nonstick cooking spray. Set it aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set dry ingredients aside.
  • Stir together the pumpkin puree and the lemon juice.
  • Using either a stand mixer or a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on high, beat the eggs and sugar for 3½ to 4 minutes until the egg mixture is light and frothy.
  • Add the pumpkin mixture and the vanilla. Continue mixing until well combined.
  • Fold in the flour mixture. 
  • Evenly spread the pumpkin cake batter in the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes. 
  • While the cake bakes, lay out a thin kitchen towel and dust with ¼ cup powdered sugar. You will also need a large cutting board for the dusted cake transfer.
  • When the cake has finished baking, remove from the oven. Run the tip of a sharp knife around the edge of the baking sheet.  
  • Carefully flip the dusted tea towel on top of the baked cake, dusted side against the cake.
  • Place the large cutting board on top of the tea towel. Remember the cake pan will still be very hot, so protect your hands. Be certain to leave a small tail of the tea towel on the short edge of the cake for rolling the cake.
  • Quickly flip the baking pan over so that it is now laying on top of the tea towel/cutting board.
  • Carefully and slowly peel away the parchment paper.
  • Lightly dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar.
  • Flip the small tail of the tea towel over the short edge of the cake. 
  • Carefully begin rolling one end toward the other. Once rolled, transfer to a cooling rack to let the hot cake cool completely.

Filling

  • Using a medium-sized mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on high, beat together the softened cream cheese, clear vanilla and the softened butter for 1 minute until smooth.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and continue mixing until completely smooth. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until ready to fill the roll. Remove the filling from the refrigerator 10 minutes before assembling the cake roll.

Assembly

  • Once the cake is completely cooled, slowly unroll the cake.
  • Using a silicone spatula or an offset spatula, spread the filling over the surface of the cake in an even layer; try to avoid the very edges of the cake.
  • Once filled, slowly and with even pressure, begin to roll the cake back up. Wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap to ensure it holds its shape. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 hours to overnight.
  • Just before serving, unwrap the pumpkin roll. 
  • Using a sharp knife, slice off the ends of the rolled cake. Slice ten ½-inch slices. 

Video

Notes

  • Be sure to not use any fabric softener when you wash the tea towel. It will transfer to the warm cake and make the flavor “off”. Also, make sure not to use a terry cloth tea towel. The terry cloth will leave lint that will transfer to the surface of the cake.
  • Oven temperatures vary and may need to be recalibrated periodically to ensure they are accurate. Make sure to check your cake at the lower end of the recommended baking time. You do not want to overcook this cake, or it will be dry and won’t roll properly.
  • To prevent your pumpkin roll from cracking, you should wrap it in a towel while it’s still warm, right out of the oven. The combination of heat and moisture will help to keep your cake from cracking. If you try to roll it once it’s cooled, it’s much more likely to crack. 
  • Make sure that your cream cheese is at room temperature so that you won’t have lumps in your cream cheese mixture.
  • You’ll want to be sure to clean off your knife after each slice to keep those gorgeous layers intact.

Nutrition

Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 295mg | Potassium: 122mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 49g | Vitamin A: 3024IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Marie says

    My afternoon coffee break needs a slice of this! Yummy Thanks for sharing the recipe with us at the Talk Of The Town Party! Pinned 🙂

  2. Richard Wiley says

    5 stars
    I love the pumpkin roll recipe it looks yummy and tasty I’m going to make it and I’ll let you know how it comes out thank you very much have a wonderful day

  3. Kelly Dawson says

    5 stars
    I have made pumpkin roll twice before-with success the first time, and cracks all over the second time! Thank you for the pictures and pro-tips that helped me know why I had trouble the second time.

    I am wondering if instead of trying to quickly and carefully flip a tea towel full of powdered sugar onto the cake, it might work as well to sprinkle the cake itself with the powdered sugar and then immediately lay the tea towel on it, then the cutting board that it will be turned over onto and then flipping it. Thoughts?