Pumpkin Roll Cake

This easy Pumpkin Cake Roll is made with tender pumpkin cake and a heavenly cream cheese filling. Plus my mess-free method for making this roll is super simple!

Looking for more pumpkin recipes? For more great ways to enjoy pumpkin, check out my Best Pumpkin Bread Recipe, Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting or my Pumpkin Cheesecake.

Two slices of Pumpkin Roll Cake layered in front of the rest of the Pumpkin Roll Cake on a white platter

An Easy Pumpkin Roll Cake Recipe

Pumpkin Cake Rolls are such a classic at this time of year. The tender pumpkin cake with the cream cheese filling – what’s not to love? Not to mention that it’s a fairly simple dessert to put together, makes a great presentation and is perfect for sharing, which is what the holidays are all about.

The only problem with cake rolls is that cracking is scary and does happen. And ALL THE MESS. After testing lots of Pumpkin Cake Rolls and various methods, I’m excited to share my tips for making a cake roll without a towel and all the mess. Plus, my tips for a beautiful and crack-free cake roll.

Seven slices of Pumpkin Roll Cake overlapping each other on a white table top.

How to Make a Pumpkin Cake Roll

So to start, let’s talk about how to make a Pumpkin Cake Roll. The actual baking of it is actually super easy and quick and this recipe is particularly simple and tasty.

Ingredients for a Pumpkin Roll:

  • Flour
  • Baking powder and baking soda – I really prefer the texture you get from using both in this particular case. The baking powder helps things hold together well, while the baking soda adds to a tender texture.
  • Spices – Don’t skimp on what makes pumpkin flavored things so good – the spices! There’s plenty of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves in here to make sure your pumpkin roll doesn’t lack for flavor.
  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Pumpkin Puree – This is actual canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
  • Vanilla Extract
Side view of a Pumpkin Roll Cake in a white platter and powdered sugar being sprinkled on top
Overhead view of five slices of Pumpkin Roll Cake spread out on a white table with three pumpkin shaped candies

Making the Pumpkin Roll Cake

To get started, you’ll need a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan.

This next part is BIG – line your pan with parchment paper. Not just a little bit, but parchment that rises up above the sides of the pan. You’ll use the parchment paper later to roll your cake roll. NO TOWEL REQUIRED! Instead of flipping out a cake onto a towel, just lift the cake out of the pan and roll it into the paper it’s already sitting in. EASY PEASY!

Not only does that prevent all the crazy powdered sugar mess, it also keeps you from having to destroy a kitchen towel and wash it later. Big win!

Ok, so back to the baking part.

Once your pan is set up, you’ll combine your dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately. Next, add your dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir just until they’re combined. You don’t want to over mix here – you could end up with a tough cake.

Spread the batter evenly in your parchment-lined pan and that’s it! It’s ready to bake and only bakes for about 15 minutes. Once it’s baked, it’s time for the real fun to begin.

How to Roll Your Pumpkin Cake & Prevent Cracking

When your cake comes out of the oven, you’re going to go ahead and roll it while hot, starting at one of the shorter ends. Rolling it while it’s hot helps it to “form” to the shape you need it in. Rolling it while cool will lead to cracks. The moisture that sets in during the cooling process also adds to the texture of the cake and helps as you un-roll it so that it doesn’t crack.

You also want to be very careful and gentle while unrolling the cake roll. Work slowly and use an offset spatula or something to help keep the cake pressed down onto the counter as it unrolls. It if sticks to the paper and lifts up, that’s when cracks can happen.

After rolling your pumpkin roll, you’ll let it cool before filling it so that the filling doesn’t melt after it’s added.

The final step is to add the cream cheese filling and refrigerate it for an hour or so to firm up before serving. You can serve it with a little powdered sugar dusted on top, if you like, and you’re done! Such a super simple, yet delicious dessert!

A slice of Pumpkin Roll Cake with a bite removed on a white plate next to a fork

Does a Pumpkin Roll need to be refrigerated?

Because of the cream cheese filling in the cake roll, this should be refrigerated. I’d recommend refrigerating it for at least an hour after filling it so that the filling can set and firm up.

How Long does a Pumpkin Roll last?

A Pumpkin Cake Roll should be good if kept well wrapped in the fridge for 2-3 days. It can also be frozen (again, well wrapped) for 1-2 months. When you’re ready to use it, just thaw it in the fridge overnight.

More Great Pumpkin Recipes

Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Bread
Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Cupcakes
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake
Pumpkin Layer Cake
Classic Pumpkin Pie
Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer Cake

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Two slices of Pumpkin Roll Cake layered in front of the rest of the Pumpkin Roll Cake on a white platter

Pumpkin Cake Roll

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


This easy Pumpkin Cake Roll is made with tender pumpkin cake and a heavenly cream cheese filling. Plus my mess-free method for making this roll is super simple!


Pumpkin Cake Roll

  • 3/4 cup (98g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 2/3 cup (155g) pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 oz (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tbsp (28g) salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (173g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Make sure the parchment paper sticks up at least an inch above the sides of the pan on all sides. You’ll use the parchment paper later to lift the cake out of the pan and roll it up.
2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
3. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree and vanilla extract together until well combined.
4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold together just until combined. Do not over mix.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
6. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
7. Remove the cake from the oven and immediately lift the cake out of the pan using the parchment paper and place on the counter.
8. While the cake is hot, use the parchment paper the cake was baked in and start at the shorter end of the cake to slowly roll the cake up. Set the cake aside to cool completely.
9. When the cake has cooled and is ready to be filled, make the filling. Add the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract to a large mixer bowl and mix until well combined and smooth.
10. Unroll the cake roll very carefully, looking out for areas where it may be sticking to release it.
11. Spread the filling evenly onto the unrolled cake, then roll it back up without the parchment paper.
12. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour to firm up.
13. When ready to serve, dust the top of the cake roll with powdered sugar. Cut into slices.
14. Cake roll is best when served chilled and stored well covered in the fridge. Best if eaten with 3 days.


  • Serving Size: 1 slice
  • Calories: 394
  • Sugar: 49.3 g
  • Sodium: 293.3 mg
  • Fat: 14.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 61.3 g
  • Protein: 5.7 g
  • Cholesterol: 106 mg

Keywords: pumpkin cake roll, pumpkin roll, thanksgiving dessert, how to make a pumpkin roll cake, best pumpkin roll cake, easy pumpkin roll cake


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Recipe rating

  1. renata

    thanks a lot, lindsay, for the easy peasy tip. just tell me, does it work for the carrot or banana or any other roll also. it would be wonderful.
    kissess for mckenzy


    1. Lindsay

      Which tip are you referring to? Using the parchment paper? I imagine that would work well for most cake rolls.

  2. Jill Phillips

    Hoping to try this method soon.
    I always cook my own pumpkin, purée and freeze. It is a lot thinner than canned. Would that make a difference?

    1. Lindsay

      I would expect it to make a difference if it’s thinner. That probably means there’s extra moisture, which could weigh the cake down a bit.

  3. Kim

    I made this for my family for Thanksgiving. It was a huge hit and probably the best dessert I have ever made!! Thank you

      1. Kim

        Seriously, the best recipe EVER!!!! My family is asking me to make another one!!!

  4. Anna

    I’m making this right now. The cake is so easy. I don’t like pumpkin but I had to sample the batter and it is good. I made a minor adjustment to the spices. I used 1/4 tsp of cloves and a 1/4 tsp of ginger. If I remember I will take a picture when they are finished. 

    P. S… this is my first time making Pumpkin Rolls.

  5. LynnM

    I’m an experienced baker and no stranger to cake rolls. When I saw this recipe I got excited. The recipe I have been using calls for separating the egg whites and yolks. So seeing this recipe didn’t call for that, I was happy at eliminating some of the steps on making the cake. However, my experience with this recipe was disappointing.

    First issue I had when I made this was that the cake is way too dense. I prefer a lighter, spongier cake.

    I followed the recipe exactly. I wasn’t happy with how sticky the cake became after cooling. Plus I went very slowly unrolling it and it still cracked apart in a couple of spots. Thankfully it was concealed when I rolled it back up after spreading the filling on it.

    On the positive side, the cake has a terrific flavor. Perfect amount of spices. The filling is great too but I added an 1/8 tsp of salt to cut the sweetness.

    Overall it’s a good recipe, I just didn’t care for the cake’s dense texture and for how sticky it became after cooling.

  6. Vicki

    Our neighbor And good friend made this the other day and brought half of it over for my husband and me.  She and I both love baking and sharing with each other — to the benefit of our husbands!!!   This cake was soooooo delicious.  The spices were perfect.  And the cake was so light.  Usually spice cakes are a bit too heavy.  Both husbands loved it.  

About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29