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This easy Pumpkin 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!
Table of Contents
- An Easy Pumpkin Roll Recipe
- Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cake Roll
- Recipe Ingredients
- How to Make a Pumpkin Cake Roll
- How to Roll Your Pumpkin Cake and Prevent Cracking
- Tips for Success
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I Make This Pumpkin Roll Recipe Ahead?
- How to Store
- Can I Freeze This Pumpkin Roll?
- More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes
- Get the Recipe
An Easy Pumpkin Roll 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. I’ll also share my tricks for a beautiful and crack-free cake roll!
Before we get to that, though, if you’re looking to add some more pumpkin cake recipes to your recipe box, check out this easy pumpkin cake, this pumpkin pound cake, this pumpkin chocolate chip bundt cake, and this cinnamon streusel pumpkin coffee cake.
Why You’ll Love This Pumpkin Cake Roll
As you can see from the list above, there are so many ways to make a delectable pumpkin cake. Here’s why I think this pumpkin roll recipe is a winner:
- Ultra-moist. This pumpkin cake, made with eggs and pumpkin puree, is so moist and tender. Every bite is melt-in-your-mouth delicious!
- Super sweet. The rich pumpkin flavor in the cake blends PERFECTLY with the sweet cream cheese filling. Words cannot describe how good this pumpkin roll recipe tastes!
- Crowd-pleaser. Kids and adults alike will be obsessed with this pumpkin cake roll. Frankly, you don’t even really have to wait until fall to make it if you don’t want to!
Let’s go over these pumpkin roll ingredients. If you scroll down to the recipe card below, you’ll find the exact ingredients and the full set of directions.
For the Cake Roll
- Flour: All-purpose flour is all you need for this recipe.
- Baking Powder & 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 the 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.
- Salt: To balance out and enhance the sweetness of the other ingredients.
- Eggs: To bind the ingredients together and to add moisture.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar is my go-to for this recipe.
- Pumpkin Puree: This is actual canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling.
- Vanilla Extract: Pure vanilla extract is best!
For the Cream Cheese Filling
- Cream Cheese: Make sure that your cream cheese comes to room temperature before you begin.
- Salted Butter: This also needs to be at room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar: Sifting out the lumps beforehand will ensure that the filling comes out smooth.
- Vanilla Extract: Again, pure vanilla is the way to go.
How to Make a Pumpkin Cake Roll
Now it’s time to talk about how this pumpkin cake roll comes to be. The actual baking of the cake is super easy and quick!
- Preheat the 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.
- Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices and salt. Whisk to combine, then set aside.
- Stir together the wet ingredients. In another bowl, whisk the eggs, sugar, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract together until well combined.
- Combine the dry and wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and fold them together just until combined. Do not over-mix.
- Bake the pumpkin cake. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Roll the cake. Remove the cake from the oven, immediately lift it out of the pan using the parchment paper, and place it on the counter. 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 it aside to cool completely.
- Make the cream cheese filling. 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.
- Fill the cake roll. Unroll the cake roll very carefully, looking out for areas where it may be sticking to release it. Spread the filling evenly onto the unrolled cake, then roll it back up without the parchment paper. Wrap it up in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least an hour to firm up.
- Serve and enjoy. When ready to serve, dust the top of the cake roll with powdered sugar and cut it into slices.
How to Roll Your Pumpkin Cake and Prevent Cracking
There are a couple of notes on the rolling technique that I’d like to share so that the process is as straightforward as possible!
- Roll the cake while it’s still hot. 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 unroll it so that it doesn’t crack.
- Unroll the cake roll slowly and gently. You 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.
Tips for Success
Okay, you’re almost a complete pumpkin roll expert! There are just a few more general tips to go over:
- Line your pan with a large sheet of parchment paper. Not just a little bit, but parchment that rises up above the sides of the pan. Then, once the cake has finished baking, instead of flipping it out onto a towel, just lift it out of the pan and roll it into the paper it’s already sitting in. EASY PEASY! Also, not only does this prevent all the crazy powdered sugar mess, it also keeps you from having to destroy a kitchen towel and wash it later. Big win!
- Don’t over-mix the batter. This could result in pumpkin cake that is tough and dry instead of moist and tender.
- Let the cake cool before you add the filling. After rolling your pumpkin roll, let it cool before filling it so that the filling doesn’t melt after it’s added.
- Refrigerate the cake before you serve it. 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
As mentioned above, moisture sets in during the cooling process, which will help you unroll the cake roll without it cracking. But, it could also make your pumpkin roll a little sticky. If this happens, just dust it with a little powdered sugar and the problem should be solved.
This might happen if you put your cake roll in the fridge before it has completely finished cooling. If you wait until it has fully cooled to fill it with the cream cheese, though, you will be sure to avoid this problem!
Can I Make This Pumpkin Roll Recipe Ahead?
Yes! This pumpkin roll cake can be made a day or so in advance if you like. Follow the directions and then keep the roll refrigerated until you’re ready to serve it up.
How to Store
A pumpkin roll should last for 2-3 days if it is kept well-wrapped in the fridge. It’s best served chilled, so just take it right out of the fridge and enjoy when you’re ready to snack on it again!
Can I Freeze This Pumpkin Roll?
Yes. 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 Pumpkin Dessert Recipes
Want to try out some more easy pumpkin desserts? They’re perfect for fall!
- Cheesecake Swirl Pumpkin Bread
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Swirl Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes
- Pumpkin Layer Cake
- Classic Pumpkin Pie
- Pumpkin Cheesecake Layer Cake
This pumpkin roll is made with moist pumpkin cake and a rich cream cheese filling. It’s a classic fall dessert with easy-to-follow directions!
Pumpkin Cake Roll
- 3/4 cup (98g) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (207g) sugar
- 2/3 cup (155g) pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces (226g) cream cheese, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (28g) salted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups (173g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon 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.
- To store. A pumpkin roll should last for 2-3 days if it is kept well-wrapped in the fridge. It’s best served chilled, so just take it right out of the fridge and enjoy when you’re ready to snack on it again!
- To freeze. 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.
- 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, pumpkin roll recipe, libby’s pumpkin roll