Pumpkin Roll

5 from 3 votes

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As the leaves start to paint the town and the air becomes crisp, there’s one delicious delight that makes its triumphant return to our tables – the Pumpkin Roll!

So, what exactly is this pumpkin roll, you ask? Well, imagine a tender, spiced pumpkin cake, smeared with a velvety layer of cream cheese frosting, and then carefully rolled up into a snug spiral of pure bliss. It’s like a cinnamon-scented hug from fall itself! But hey, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s dive into the rolly-polly goodness of this fall favorite.

pumpkin roll on a china plate
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Pumpkin Roll

Think of a pumpkin roll as the pastry version of a Swiss roll, but with a hearty autumn twist. The cake is essentially a delightful blend of pumpkin puree, eggs, sugar, flour, and a dash of cozy spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The comforting aroma that wafts through your kitchen as this cake bakes – it’s practically a scented candle’s dream come true!

Pumpkin rolls are often generously sized, making them perfect for sharing. It’s the dessert that brings people together – a sweet conversation starter at any fall gathering.

pumpkin cake roll whole on a long plate with sugar on top


  • Eggs
  • Sugar
  • Pumpkin puree not pumpkin pie filling
  • Lemon juice
  • Flour
  • Baking powder
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger
  • Ground nutmeg
  • Powdered sugar 

Recipe Instructions

  1. Prep & Bake: Preheat to 375°F line a 10×15 inch pan with parchment, and spray with non-stick spray. Bake for 15 mins until a toothpick comes out clean.
  2. Whip & Sweeten: Beat eggs on high speed for 5 mins, gradually adding granulated sugar.
  3. Pumpkin Mix: Mix in pumpkin puree and lemon juice.
  4. Dry Blend: Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
  5. Combine & Spread: Gently fold dry mix into pumpkin mixture. Evenly spread batter, bake for 15 mins.
  6. Roll & Cool: Sprinkle a clean tea towel generously with powdered sugar. Invert baked cake onto the sugared towel, roll cake, and let it cool in the rolled position.
  7. Cream & Serve: Beat powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth. Unroll cooled cake, spread cream cheese mixture evenly. Reroll cake without the towel, sprinkle with powdered sugar, then slice and serve.
fork biting a piece of a circular pumpkin cake roll

Frequently Asked Questions

What exactly is a pumpkin roll?

A pumpkin roll is a delightful dessert made by rolling a spiced pumpkin cake around a creamy filling. It’s a fall-themed treat that’s often enjoyed during the autumn season.

Is making a pumpkin roll difficult?

Not at all! While it might seem complex, making a pumpkin roll is quite manageable. Just follow the steps in our simplified recipe, and you’ll have a delicious pumpkin roll in no time. It’s a perfect recipe for both novice and experienced bakers to try.

Can I use canned pumpkin puree?

Yes, canned pumpkin puree works wonderfully for convenience. Just make sure it’s 100% pure pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling, which often has added sugar and spices.

How do I prevent cracks when rolling the cake?

Rolling the cake while it’s warm and using a tea towel dusted with powdered sugar can help prevent cracks. Rolling it gently but firmly is key. Even if you do end up with a few cracks, don’t worry – the cream cheese filling will cover them up. And if it’s cracked on top, just add more powdered sugar!

How long does a pumpkin roll last?

If stored in the refrigerator, a pumpkin roll can last for up to 3-4 days. To maintain freshness, cover it tightly with plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container.

pumpkin cake roll whole on a long plate with sugar on top

More Recipes

pumpkin roll on a china plate
5 from 3 votes

Pumpkin Roll

A pumpkin roll is a delightful dessert that wraps the comforting flavors of spiced pumpkin cake and creamy filling into a perfect spiral of autumn joy.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total: 55 minutes
Servings: 12


For the cake:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree, (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • powdered sugar, for dusting

For the filling:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, (1 package), at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • Additional powdered sugar, for sprinkling on top
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  • Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C). Prepare a jelly roll pan (or a 10×15 inch shallow pan) by lining it with parchment paper and spraying with non-stick baking spray.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs on high speed for about 5 minutes, until they’re light and frothy.
  • Gradually add the white granulated sugar to the beaten eggs, continuing to mix until fully incorporated.
  • Stir in the pumpkin puree and lemon juice until evenly mixed.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour, baking powder, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and salt. Sifting these ingredients ensures they’re well combined and free of lumps.
  • Gradually fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
  • Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for approximately 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • While the cake is baking, sprinkle a clean tea towel generously with powdered sugar.
  • Immediately after removing the cake from the oven, carefully invert it onto the powdered sugar-dusted tea towel.
  • Starting at one short end, roll the cake up with the towel. Let it cool completely in this rolled position.

For the filling:

  • In a large bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, room-temperature cream cheese, room-temperature butter, and vanilla extract until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
  • Once the cake has cooled completely, carefully unroll it.
  • Spread the cream cheese filling evenly over the cake, leaving a small border around the edges.
  • Re-roll the cake without the towel, using the towel as a guide. Be sure to roll the cake tightly to ensure a nice spiral of filling.
  • Sprinkle the top of the cake with additional powdered sugar before slicing and serving.


  • It’s important to use room temperature cream cheese and butter for the filling to ensure a smooth, lump-free texture.
  • Rolling the warm cake in a tea towel helps it take on its rolled shape without cracking.
  • The rolled cake needs to be completely cool before you add the filling, or the filling may melt.
  • If you prefer a different type of cream cheese filling, you could add a bit of lemon zest or substitute some or all of the vanilla extract with another extract, like almond or maple.
  • This cake can be made a day in advance and kept in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
  • Store leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
  • If your cake does crack on the top, don’t worry, just fill in the crack with powdered sugar. It’s my favorite trick and no one can tell.


Serving: 1 of 12 slices, Calories: 254kcal, Carbohydrates: 35g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 7g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 70mg, Sodium: 209mg, Potassium: 83mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 2549IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 54mg, Iron: 1mg
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Indulging in a pumpkin roll is like savoring the essence of fall in every bite, making it a must-have treat for anyone seeking a taste of cozy seasonal bliss.

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Recipe Rating

1 Comment

  1. Judy says:

    5 stars
    This roll is delicious! I had a recipe for one years ago. Lost it. I decided to try your recipe. It’s a keeper! Thanks Melissa!