This classic pumpkin roll is a fall dessert that is made to impress. It’s delicious and easy to make, with a light and moist pumpkin cake swirled up with cream cheese frosting. It’s so much easier to make than it seems with all our tips and tricks below!
**This pumpkin roll was originally made in partnership with Braun. All opinions are my own.
Reader Comment: Mary-Jo Said “I am so proud of myself for making this pumpkin cream cheese roll! I love them but have always been too intimidated to make it- until now! And I did it and it turned out! Thank you for Aimee for motivating me!
Pumpkin rolls are a classic fall dessert, along with pumpkin pie and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. But pumpkin and cream cheese are a combo that is meant to be together, and a match made in heaven in this delicious cake.
The cake is swirled up with the cream cheese frosting in the center to make it extra show stopping and stunning, and it is bound to impress your guest.
Cake rolls look and seem intimidating, but we’ve carefully written out the process for you, with thought out tips and tricks to get you the cake roll of your dreams. If you’ve seen, or tried any of the desserts we usually share, we like to stick with easy and this pumpkin roll is no different.
No cracking issues, no sticking, only a moist, fluffy, and soft cake rolled up into a delicious dessert!
Pumpkin Cake Roll
- Soft Texture – this pumpkin cake roll is soft, moist, and fluffy. Pair that with the smooth cream cheese frosting, it’s got a texture you’ll love.
- The best pumpkin flavor – this cake roll is full of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice to give it the perfect warm pumpkin flavor.
- Easy to make – We’ve perfected this recipe to give you all the tips to make sure this cake roll works out for you on the first try!
- Pretty. This pumpkin cake roll is such a pretty dessert. It looks very impressive, and is perfect for serving to guests.
Pumpkin Roll Ingredients:
This is a quick overview of the ingredients you’ll need for the best Pumpkin Roll Recipe. Specific measurements and full recipe instructions are in the printable recipe card below.
- eggs – to keep the cake fluffy and soft
- granulated sugar – to sweeten the cake
- pumpkin puree – the only ingredient should be pumpkin. Do not use pumpkin pie filling
- vanilla extract – for flavor
- all purpose flour – this holds the wet batter together to give the cake texture
- baking soda – to give the cake lift
- cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice – for the perfect warm spice taste
- salt – to balance out the flavors
- cream cheese – a block of full fat cream cheese will give you the best results
- unsalted butter
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
How to make a Pumpkin Roll?
- Make the batter. Mix the eggs, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla until they are smooth. In another bowl mix together the dry ingredients; flour, baking soda, spices, and salt. Then add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and slowly stir them together.
- Bake the cake. Pour the mixture on top of a parchment lined jelly roll pan and spread it evenly across the top. Bake the cake just until it springs back when you lightly touch it.
- Roll the cake. Let the cake cool for a couple of minutes, then roll it up in the parchment paper you baked it in, from the short end to the opposite short end. This is much cleaner than using a tea towel, and will get the cake to hold the roll shape without cracking. Let it cool completely while the cake is rolled, you can stick it in the fridge to chill faster.
- Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth, then mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Spread the frosting. Unroll the cake and spread the frosting over the top of the cake roll. Leave about 1/4 inch on the edges because the filling will squeeze out a little when you roll it back up.
- Finish it up. Roll it back up without the parchment this time. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill for 1 to 2 hours before serving. Unwrap and sprinkle with powdered sugar when you’re ready to serve.
Tips and Tricks:
- Roll the cake when warm. The cake needs to be first rolled up when its warm. This lets the cake cool in the rolled shape which will prevent it from cracking or tearing when you roll it up again with frosting inside.
- Slice with a serrated knife. Cut the pumpkin roll with a serrated knife, like you would cut a loaf of bread, to prevent smashing the cake when slicing into it.
- For a thinner cake: For a thinner cake that has more layers in each roll you can bake the cake in a half sheet pan (18×13 inches) instead of a jelly roll pan (15×10 inches). The baking time may be a couple minutes less, check starting at 12 mins.
Make Ahead and Storage Instructions:
This is a great make-ahead dessert because you want to allow it to chill in the fridge before slicing in to it to help the roll hold itself together with the frosting. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Leftovers can also be stored in the fridge, by wrapping individual slices in plastic wrap, or wrapping the whole cake roll in plastic wrap.
The prepared cake roll can also be frozen. Wrap it in a layer or plastic wrap, then a layer of aluminum foil. It can be frozen for 2 to 3 months. Thaw the cake in the fridge overnight, then slice if up and serve.
This pumpkin roll is a show stopper of a dessert with the beautiful orange cake that contrasts so nicely with the white cream cheese frosting in the middle. It’s full of warm spices, paired perfectly with the tangy cream cheese frosting and is going to be a fall dessert you will love!
More Ways to Use Canned Pumpkin:
This recipe only uses 2/3 of a cup of canned pumpkin puree. A 15oz can of pumpkin, like you’d typically buy from the store holds almost 2 cups of pumpkin puree.
You can of course double the recipe to make 2 pumpkin rolls and use up more of the pumpkin puree, I promise no one will regret having extra pumpkin roll to eat. But here are a few other favorite pumpkin recipes that also use a partial can of pumpkin.
Looking for more pumpkin and cream cheese recipes:
- Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
- Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting on The Recipe Critic
- Pumpkin Better than Sex Cupcakes
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- 3 eggs
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 tsp salt
For the Cream Cheese Frosting Filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/4 cup butter (softened)
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Large Mixing Bowl
For the pumpkin cake:
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10×15 in pan (jelly roll pan) with parchment paper that hangs about 1 inch over the sides. Spray with nonstick spray.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat your eggs, sugar, pumpkin and vanilla extract until smooth.
- In a separate bowl mix together your flour, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture slowly while stirring.
- Pour the mixture onto the parchment in the prepared pan. Spread evenly over the top.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes until the cake springs back when you touch it.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for just a couple minutes. Remove the cake from the pan with the parchment paper.
- Roll the cake roll up in the parchment paper, with the parchment paper still on the bottom. Roll it short end to short end. Allow to cool completely.
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
- Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and beat until totally smooth.
- Unroll the cake roll and spread the cream cheese frosting over the top of the cake roll. Leave about 1/4 inch on the edges so the filling doesn’t spill out when you roll it up.
- Roll the pumpkin roll back up, removing the parchment paper this time (it’s okay if a few crumbs stick to the parchment)
- Wrap the cake roll up in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1-2 hours before serving.
- Sprinkle the top with powdered sugar when you’re ready to serve.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Braun. The opinions and text are all mine.