A pumpkin roll recipe is a holiday dessert that looks fancy but it’s super easy to make!

To make the best pumpkin roll, simply bake a simple pumpkin cake in a jelly roll pan and spread it with a fluffy cream cheese filling. Then roll it up and slice it into the fanciest fall cake ever!

This cake is perfect for Thanksgiving or to enjoy any time of year.

pumpkin roll recipe sliced into three slices with the remaining roll on the board

A Perfect Pumpkin Roll Recipe!

Whenever fall hits, we turn to pumpkin recipes from pumpkin pie to bundt cakes, breads and more!

  • We love this recipe because it’s easy to make and fill, but looks impressive.
  • It tastes the best when it’s made ahead of time, so it’s the perfect dessert for busy holiday meals or an elegant dinner party.
  • The creamy cheese filling is drool-worthy. The cake is soft, moist, and full of cozy fall flavor.
ingredients assembled to make pumpkin rolls, including sugar, pumpkn puree, flour, powdered sugar, walnuts, cream cheese, and butter

Ingredients for Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Puree – This recipe is best made with pumpkin puree (such as Libby brand). Be sure you aren’t purchasing pumpkin pie filling.

Pumpkin Pie Spice – Pumpkin pie spice has ginger, nutmeg and other warm spices along with a base of cinnamon. Buy it at the store or make a DIY Pumpkin Spice.

Filling – Cream cheese and butter combined make the best fluffy and creamy filling. While the filling is similar to cream cheese frosting, it has a bit more cream cheese for a richer flavor.

Batter The remaining ingredients in the batter are typical ingredients you likely have on hand (like all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and eggs).

How to Make a Pumpkin Roll

This homemade pumpkin cake comes together so quickly, perfect for parties and holiday baking.

  1. Prepare the cake batter: Like most cake recipes, mix the wet and dry ingredients separately and then combine them.
  2. Bake: Spread the batter into a the prepared pan (as per recipe below).
  3. Roll: While the cake is still warm, wrap it in a towel dusted with powdered sugar or wax paper (this helps to shape it without cracking) and allow it to cool. 
  4. Fill: While the cake is cooling prepare the filling. Unroll the cake and spread the filling. Roll it back up and refrigerate.

pumpkin roll dough and filling being rolled in parchment paper

How to Roll a Pumpkin Roll:

While this part may seem daunting, it is actually quite easy to do!

  1. Roll the cake while it is warm.
  2. Gently unroll the pumpkin cake Spread the cream cheese filling over the cooled cake and roll back up. That’s it!
  3. Before serving, dust the outside of the pumpkin roll with powdered sugar, then slice and serve.

Tips for a Perfect Pumpkin Roll

  • Use the recommended size of pan to ensure the batter cooks properly.
  • Roll the cake while it’s still warm, this helps avoid tears and cracks.
  • Ensure the cake is fully cooled before adding the filling or the filling may melt.
  • Wrap the cake and place it in the fridge for a few hours before serving. This helps set the filling and hold its shape.

Storing Pumpkin Rolls

Pumpkin rolls can be made up to four days in advance. Once rolled tightly wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate. Before serving dust with powdered sugar then enjoy!

This is a great recipe to make several portions and freeze to share with family around the holidays. Freeze the whole pumpkin spice roll, or cut and wrap individual slices to enjoy one at a time!

  • To Freeze: Put in an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 2-3 months.
  • To Thaw: Leave overnight in the refrigerator, serve and enjoy.

More Fall Favorites

Did your family love this Pumpkin Roll Recipe? Leave us a rating and a comment below!

Pumpkin roll cut into slices with spoons on the side
5 from 16 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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Pumpkin Roll Recipe

This is an easy classic pumpkin roll recipe made from scratch with a rich cream cheese filling. This roll is great for fall baking and especially wonderful for the Holidays.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 12 minutes
Total Time 22 minutes
Servings 8 servings

Ingredients  

Pumpkin Roll Cake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour sifted
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 3 large eggs
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup walnuts chopped (optional)

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 ½ packages cream cheese 12 ounces, softened
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper and grease with baking spray or butter.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.
  • In another bowl, cream together the eggs and sugar. Add the vanilla, oil, and pumpkin puree and mix with a spatula.
  • Add in the flour mixture and gently mix with a spatula until just mixed. If adding walnuts mix in the chopped walnuts.
  • Pour batter into the prepared baking sheet.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the center.
  • Allow the roll to slightly cool and roll with parchment paper or use a kitchen towel. (Cool completely on a wire rack before adding the filling.)

Cream Cheese Filling

  • In a bowl, cream the cream cheese and butter. Once smooth, add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix until creamy.
  • Carefully unroll the cake. Spread the cream cheese filling over the cake. Reroll the cake.
  • Dust with powdered sugar and refrigerate the pumpkin roll until serving.

Video

Notes

  • Use the recommended size of pan to ensure the batter cooks properly.
  • Roll the cake while it’s still warm, this helps avoid tears and cracks.
  • Ensure the cake is fully cooled before adding the filling or the filling may melt.
  • Wrap the cake and refrigerate at least a few hours before serving. This helps set the filling and hold its shape.
5 from 16 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 319 | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 179mg | Potassium: 157mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 3444IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 45mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. Helloooo,
    Why roll the cake, before filling? To establish a roll shape to it, that will stay rolled up? I’ve never made this type of roll cake before. Trying it today!
    Also, could you place left over pumpkin, in the cream cheese filling? Your opinion please? Thanks you! Merry CHRISTmas!

    1. Rolling it while it’s warm keeps it from cracking. You want to allow it to cool so it doesn’t melt the filling. I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tried it with pumpkin, let us know how it works out for you!

  2. I have been making pumpkins rolls for years. I started with my Mom’s recipe, and have tried many other recipes. The same thing always happens, no matter what recipe or instructions I use. When I unroll the pumpkin cake, it sticks to the towel or parchment paper. Any suggestions? I have even sprayed the parchment paper with Pam.

    1. Hmmm, that is strange Cindy. Usually spraying the parchment paper is enough to keep it from sticking. Is the cake possibly undercooking making it tackier?

  3. I sometimes have cracks in my cake hen unrolling and it is tacky to the touch after it is rolled up with the filling inside – almost gooey. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Terry, rolling your cake while it is still warm is the best way to avoid cracks in it. As for the tacky texture was it cooked until a toothpick comes out clean when tested in the center? It may possibly be slightly undercooked still.