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This easy pumpkin roll recipe is perfect for the holidays! Impress everyone with the softest spiced pumpkin cake filled with rich cream cheese frosting.

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The holiday season is here, and what better way to get in a festive mood than making a pumpkin roll recipe?!

recipe for pumpkin roll

This beginner-friendly recipe yields a super-soft cake filled with the warm, sweet flavor of spiced pumpkin. Together with the rich and fluffy cream cheese frosting, every bite just melts in the mouth! ?

But the best thing about this pumpkin cake roll?

It’s not as complicated as it looks!

Learn how to make an absolutely gorgeous, crack-free pumpkin roll every time. You’ll only need something likely already in your kitchen!

Pumpkin Roll Video

What Is Pumpkin Roll?

Pumpkin roll is a spiced pumpkin cake baked like a sheet cake and then rolled with a creamy filling.

For this pumpkin roll recipe, we filled it generously with smooth and tangy cream cheese frosting.

Slice the soft, moist cake and reveal a mouthwatering swirl pattern. ?

Isn’t it fitting to be your holiday dessert table centerpiece? 

What Is Pumpkin Roll

However, my favorite thing about this pumpkin cake roll with cream cheese filling is it’s as fun to make as it is to eat!

Cake rolls can be frustrating to make because they sometimes crack or stick. If the cake is not pliable when you roll it, you’ll have a #cakefail. 

But don’t worry! Your first attempt at this spiced pumpkin roll won’t be a disaster. 

Just make the cake with parchment paper, and you’ll be on a roll with this pumpkin roll. (More on this parchment paper trick below!)

spiced pumpkin roll

Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Roll Recipe

  • Effortless Showstopper: This pumpkin roll recipe is so easy that you’ll also have fun making it! Just remember our tips on mixing the batter and rolling the freshly baked spiced pumpkin cake.
  • Something New For Fall: I love pumpkin pie as much as the next person, but sometimes, our Thanksgiving table deserves something new. This elegant-looking dessert puts a twist on tradition in the most delicious way possible. 
  • Never Boring: Spice up your pumpkin cake roll with other fall-inspired fillings or decorate it to be as festive as the holiday season! If you’re not a fan of cream cheese filling or want some eye-catching ideas for this cake roll’s decorations, just go to the Ingredient Addition section below. ?

What Does Pumpkin Cake Roll Taste Like?

This pumpkin roll recipe yields a wonderfully spiced and decadent cake roll.

The tangy cream cheese frosting pairs beautifully with the moist, spiced pumpkin cake, and the textures between the smooth, fluffy filling and light, soft cake make each bite absolutely dreamy. ?

What Does Pumpkin Cake Roll Taste Like

I also think this pumpkin cake roll is like a combination of the best pumpkin desserts!

It has pumpkin cheesecake’s richness, pumpkin cake’s lightness, and the cozy sweetness of pumpkin pie, all baked into a treat that’s as easy to make as pumpkin cookies. 

And for those who want an excuse to eat something as luscious as this pumpkin roll for breakfast, I have a pumpkin cream cheese bread recipe for you.

Ingredients For Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin roll:

  • Eggs – Don’t forget to take out your eggs from the fridge so they’ll be at room temperature for the pumpkin cake roll batter. This way, it’ll be easier to combine them with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pumpkin puree – This recipe for pumpkin roll uses canned pumpkin puree, making it easy to bake any time of the year! Pumpkin puree also makes this rolled cake perfectly moist so that it will roll beautifully.
  • Granulated sugar – To boost the sweetness of our spiced pumpkin roll.
  • Pure vanilla extract – Adds another layer of flavor that really completes this pumpkin roll recipe.
  • All-purpose flour – Make sure to measure your flour accurately using the scoop and level method. Otherwise, you risk using too much flour, which can lead to dry and crumbly pumpkin cake that won’t roll well. 
  • Baking powder – A crucial ingredient to make the lightest spiced pumpkin cake roll.
  • Pumpkin pie spice – You can also choose what warm spices to add to your cream cheese-filled pumpkin roll.
  • Salt – We’ll add salt to the batter to enhance the flavor of the sweet and rich pumpkin roll.

Cream cheese filling:

  • Cream cheese – Use softened, room-temperature cream cheese for easy whipping. 
  • Powdered sugar – Sweeten the cream cheese filling with powdered sugar, not granulated sugar! The latter won’t dissolve well, and you won’t get the best smooth texture for your cream cheese frosting. 
  • Salted butter – This makes our cream cheese filling richer, and its saltiness tastes amazing with the tangy, creamy cheese!
  • Vanilla extract – Completes the filling as much as it completes the spiced cake in this pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling recipe. 

Tools Needed To Prepare This Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Ingredient Additions & Substitutions For Spiced Pumpkin Roll

What can you replace pumpkin puree with?

You can replace canned pumpkin with homemade pumpkin puree made from fresh pumpkin!

But since it’ll be more watery than canned pumpkin, you need to blot out the excess moisture before using the fresh pumpkin puree in the cake batter.

Can you use pumpkin pie mix instead of puree?

I don’t recommend it since pumpkin pie filling will likely have a different consistency and flavor than pumpkin puree. 

What can I use instead of cream cheese filling?

You’re not limited to only making this spiced pumpkin cake roll with cream cheese filling!

Another delicious filling for this soft cake roll is maple buttercream. Simply combine maple syrup, unsalted butter, heavy cream, powdered sugar, and salt until smooth. 

Decorations for your holiday pumpkin roll

Who says you can only dress up yule log cakes for the holidays?

Make your pumpkin cheesecake roll more festive by topping it with gooseberries, cinnamon sticks, dollops of whipped cream, and some caramel drizzle! ?

How to Make Pumpkin Roll

Ingredients:

For the pumpkin roll:

For the cream cheese filling:

Tools you need:

Instructions:

STEP 1: Gather and measure the ingredients for your pumpkin roll. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.

pumpkin roll recipe ingredients

STEP 2: Whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.

step 2 pumpkin roll recipe

STEP 3: Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined or when you no longer see any streaks of flour.

step 3a pumpkin roll recipe
step 3b pumpkin roll recipe

STEP 4: Pour and spread the pumpkin batter evenly onto the lined jelly roll pan.

step 4 pumpkin roll recipe

STEP 5: Bake the pumpkin cake for 15 minutes. Once done, remove the cake from the oven and start rolling.

step 5 pumpkin roll recipe

STEP 6: Lift the parchment paper and hot cake out of the pan carefully. You can wear oven mitts.

STEP 7: Roll up the cake and paper tightly, starting at one of the short ends.

STEP 8: Let the pumpkin cake roll cool for an hour on the counter.

STEP 9: For the filling, mix cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth and fluffy.

step 9a pumpkin roll recipe
step 9b pumpkin roll recipe

STEP 10: Unravel the pumpkin cake roll.

STEP 11: Spread the cream cheese filling evenly inside the pumpkin cake.

step 11 pumpkin roll recipe

STEP 12: Remove the parchment paper carefully. Then, roll the cake again and cover it in plastic wrap.

STEP 13: Refrigerate your pumpkin roll for an hour.

STEP 14: Dust the top of the pumpkin cake roll with powdered sugar. Slice and serve!

step 14 pumpkin roll recipe

What To Serve With Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Cake Roll

Serve your pumpkin roll with cozy drinks like old-fashioned hot toddy or blue matcha latte for a gastronomic experience that’s like hug. 

You can also make this recipe for pumpkin roll with other fillings!

What To Serve With Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Cake Roll

Other than cream cheese or buttercream frosting, why not satisfy the pumpkin fan in you and fill the cake log with creamy pumpkin sweets?

Our pumpkin curd and pumpkin spice butter immediately come to mind as alternatives to classic frostings. 

Tips About Making This Pumpkin Roll Recipe

  • Don’t go overboard when mixing your spiced pumpkin cake batter, and stop once no streaks of flour remain. Overmixing often creates tough cakes, and for a pumpkin cake roll, you want the cake to be soft so it’ll be easier to roll. 
  • When you line the jelly roll pan with parchment paper, always leave some overhang on the long edges. You can use this to lift the cake from the pan more comfortably. 
  • You have to follow this pumpkin roll recipe for success, and that includes rolling the cake as soon as it’s done baking. This initial rolling is key to a pumpkin cheesecake roll without cracks!

How To Store Pumpkin Roll

  • Fridge: This pumpkin cake roll is best sliced and served after chilling it in the fridge. And for make-ahead or leftovers, you can store it for up to 3 days. 
  • Freezer: Can you freeze spiced pumpkin roll? Yup! Just cover it tightly in two layers of plastic wrap and store it in a freezer-safe bag for 2 months.
  • Serving: Thaw your frozen pumpkin roll in the fridge overnight before serving. 
How To Store Pumpkin Roll

Can You Use Self Rising Flour for Pumpkin Roll Recipe?

You can use self-rising flour for this pumpkin cream cheese roll recipe. Just omit the baking powder and reduce the salt in the cake batter. 

But for recipes with yeast, you can’t replace the flour in the recipe with self-rising flour because you may not get the expected results.

What Is the Secret to Rolling a Pumpkin Roll?

Parchment paper

That’s it! That’s the secret to rolling a pumpkin cake roll perfectly. 

But how exactly does parchment paper work for easy, mess-free pumpkin rolls? 

Unlike the traditional way of using a towel dusted with powdered sugar to roll the cake up, parchment paper makes the process easier and less messy since the batter won’t stick.

pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling

Another tip to get the perfect pumpkin roll is rolling the cake twice.

You’ll roll the spiced pumpkin cake while it’s still warm out of the oven so it’s still pliable, then leave it to cool.

And for the second rolling, just unravel the cake log, spread the filling inside, and roll it back up without the parchment paper. 

How Do You Keep Pumpkin Rolls from Getting Soggy?

Moist pumpkin roll is prone to getting soggy, so before you serve it, I suggest dusting it with powdered sugar on top.

Another way to keep the finished pumpkin roll from sweating is to place it on a wire rack after the first time you roll it so the area underneath can also cool down. 

What Type of Pan Is Best for Pumpkin Rolls?

The best pan for this spiced pumpkin roll is, of course, a jelly roll pan.

Is a jelly roll pan the same as a half-sheet pan?

You might be tempted to use a half-sheet pan for the cake, but because the half-sheet pan is likely bigger than a 10 X 15 jelly roll pan (the size needed for this recipe), it’s much easier just to get a jelly roll pan. 

Otherwise, you’ll experiment with ingredient quantities and make more batter for the delicious pumpkin cake for rolling. 

pumpkin cake roll

FAQ About Pumpkin Rolls

Who made the first pumpkin roll recipe?

It was said that the first recorded pumpkin roll was sold by Gifford’s Ice Cream and Candies from 1947 to 1961. In 1978, there was also a spiced pumpkin roll in the Sunset Cook Book of Desserts by David E. Clark.

What is pumpkin roll filling made of?

Want a guaranteed crowd-pleasing filling for your pumpkin roll? You can’t go wrong with cream cheese frosting! Just whip cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract. 

Does a pumpkin roll need to be refrigerated?

Yes, and it’s even better to refrigerate your beautiful pumpkin roll for at least an hour before serving it for the perfect texture and taste.

Why did my pumpkin roll crack?

Pumpkin roll cake can crack if you try to roll it after it has cooled. It’s best to roll the cake up in parchment paper immediately after baking. If the pumpkin cake is also dry, it’s more likely to crack when you roll it.

How do you keep pumpkin roll from sticking?

Using parchment paper will keep the pumpkin roll from sticking when you roll it up. But if you want to try the old-school approach with a large dish towel, dust it with powdered sugar to keep the batter from sticking. 

Best Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Yield: 1 pumpkin roll
Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

This easy pumpkin roll recipe is perfect for the holidays! Impress everyone with the softest spiced pumpkin cake filled with rich cream cheese frosting.

Instructions

  1. Gather and measure the ingredients for your pumpkin roll. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the eggs, pumpkin puree, granulated sugar, and vanilla extract. Mix until combined.
  3. Combine the dry ingredients in another bowl. Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir just until combined or when you no longer see any streaks of flour.
  4. Pour and spread the pumpkin batter evenly onto the lined jelly roll pan. 
  5. Bake the pumpkin cake for 15 minutes. Once done, remove the cake from the oven and start rolling. 
  6. Lift the parchment paper and hot cake out of the pan carefully. You can wear oven mitts.
  7. Roll up the cake and paper tightly, starting at one of the short ends.
  8. Let the pumpkin cake roll cool for an hour on the counter. 
  9. For the filling, mix cream cheese, sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth and fluffy. 
  10. Unravel the pumpkin cake roll.
  11. Spread the cream cheese filling evenly inside the pumpkin cake.
  12. Remove the parchment paper carefully. Then, roll the cake again and cover it in plastic wrap.
  13. Refrigerate your pumpkin roll for an hour. 
  14. Dust the top of the pumpkin cake roll with powdered sugar. Slice and serve!

Notes

  • Do not overmix the batter for this pumpkin roll recipe! Overmixing can lead to a tough pumpkin cake that'll be challenging to roll.
  • When you line the pan with parchment paper, leave a bit of overhang on the long edges. This way, it'll be easier to lift the pumpkin cake out of the pan. 
  • It's easier to roll the cake as soon as it's done baking! The cake will be hot but pliable, so you can roll it without cracking. 

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 40Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 21mgSodium: 23mgCarbohydrates: 3gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g

* Please note that all nutrition information are just estimates. Values will vary among brands, so we encourage you to calculate these on your own for the most accurate results.

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Conclusion

And that’s it! You just learned how to make a classic pumpkin roll recipe that’s guaranteed to become your yearly holiday favorite.

It’s a beautiful and delicious dessert that features a soft, spiced pumpkin cake filled with silky cream cheese frosting. Every slice is perfectly decadent, and no one would believe how easy it is to make it!

You can even make it in advance because it stores well.

So next time you can’t decide between your favorite pumpkin treats, just make this pumpkin cheesecake roll. ?

Easy Pumpkin Roll Recipe

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