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Pumpkin Cake Roll

A Pumpkin Cake Roll flavored with fall spices and filled with a cream cheese filling just may be the perfect fall pumpkin dessert. I’m no expert at making cake rolls. In fact, this was my first. But I was very pleased with how it turned out and will be making many more in my future.

Pumpkin Cake Roll on a plate with whipped cream.

Cake Roll recipes

I did tons of research before making this Pumpkin Cake Roll and found that the ingredients and quantities used in most recipes are virtually identical. There’s some variation in spices and the filling, but for the actual cake batter there’s not a whole lot of difference. Obviously there’s a lot of science that’s involved in producing a cake that has just the right texture and sponginess so that it doesn’t crack when it rolls.

Whole Pumpkin Roll on a plate.

How To Roll a Cake Roll

Cake Rolls may look intimidating to make, but they are actually pretty simple. Really the only step to look out for is rolling the cake up in a towel. For best results, do not use a terry cloth type towel. Use a smooth cotton towel like the ones made out of old flour sacks. Also, sprinkle the towel with plenty of powered sugar. An ample amount of sugar really helps keep the cake from sticking to the towel.

I added some finely chopped pecans to the batter, but you can leave them out if you want to go nutless. To the cream cheese filling, I added some whipped topping to lighten it up a bit. The texture, not the calories ๐Ÿ˜‰

Slice of Pumpkin Cake Roll on a plate.

Why Did My Pumpkin Cake Roll Crack

Because the cake is so thin, it can easily crack or tear when you roll it. To reduce the odds ogf it cracking, you want to roll it when it is still warm and pliable. It also helps to roll it very slowly. It also helps to roll it slowly. Thridly, be sure not to overbake the cake or it will be a little dry and more likely to tear.

Make Ahead or Freeze

Pumpkin Cake Roll is a wonderful dessert to make in advance for the busy holidays. You can even freeze it. Once it has been chilled, it’s super easy to cut into pretty slices for everyone to enjoy.

To freeze, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in aluminum foil and place in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you are ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator and it will taste just as delicious as when it was freshly made. It’s a perfect make-ahead dessert for the busy holiday season.

Slice of cake on small plate with whipped cream.

More Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Cake Roll

Pumpkin Cake Roll flavored with fall spices and filled with a cream cheese filling makes a wonderful holiday dessert. Much easier to make than you think.
PREP: 1 hour 30 minutes
COOK: 15 minutes
TOTAL: 1 hour 45 minutes


  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • powdered sugar


  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup prepared whipped topping
  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Garnish: whipped cream


  • Spray a 15X10X1-inch jellyroll pan with cooking spray. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper. Spray parchment with cooking spray with flour (or use butter to grease it and then flour).
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer beat eggs at high speed until thick and pale. Slowly add 1 cup sugar. Beat for 5 minutes.
  • Using a rubber spatula fold in pumpkin and lemon juice.
  • Fold in flour mixture and pecans and pour batter into prepared pan. As you pour, spread the batter to all corners of the pan. If you dump it all in the middle, it will be harder to spread it evenly.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Lay a clean cloth towel on the counter. Sprinkle a good amount of powdered sugar on the towel. (The sugar will help keep the cake from sticking to the towel.)
  • After you remove cake from oven, immediately loosen the edges from the pan and flip it over onto towel.
  • Starting at narrow end, roll the cake and towel up together. Place seam side down on a wire rack to cool for about 1 hour.
  • Beat cream cheese and butter at high speed until smooth. Gradually add powdered sugar. Beat in whipped topping, vanilla, and salt.
  • Carefully unroll cake, spread with cream cheese mixture, and reroll without towel. Place on a serving plate seam side down and chill until ready to serve.


Cake should be stored in the refrigerator and will last for 3 to 4 days.
Nutritional info is provided as an estimate only and will vary based on brands or products used.


Calories: 401kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 90mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 35g | Vitamin A: 3137IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 74mg | Iron: 1mg
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: fall, pumpkin, Thanksgiving

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Originally posted October 28, 2014.

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19 thoughts on “Pumpkin Cake Roll”

  1. Made this today for someone who was looking for a good pumpkin roll. Well, I’ve made cake rolls before, but not this type. So, here’s what I can tell you. It turned out awesome. The cream cheese filling turned beyond incredible. The cake had a great taste to it. I will give you one hint though, that will make rolling the cake, much easier. Bake it in parchment paper. Leave it on the paper, let it cool for about 20 minutes, then roll it, while still in the parchment paper. Let cool for a couple of hours. I did make the filling, then placed it in the fridge until I needed it. This also worked out great for the cake. When you’re ready to fill it, very gently unroll the cake, still leaving the parchment paper on it, put in the filling, and, as you re-roll it up, slowly remove the parchment paper. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and you’re done. Make sure to keep it in the fridge.

    One more thing, I was little confused by what they meant on using, “prepared whipped topping”. So, what I used was Dream Whip. It’s in the baking isle, in a box. A small box has 2 packets in it and a large box will have 4 packets in it. I used 1 packet with 1/2 cup of cold milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring/extract. Mixed until very creamy and stiff. Put that into a bowl, whip the cream cheese and butter as directed then added in the whipped topping as called for in the recipe. Using the Dream Whip worked perfect.

    I hope this helps anyone who decides to try this. It’ easy. It doesn’t take much time. It taste great. Have fun making it.

  2. Jessica @ A Kitchen Addiction

    Pumpkin cake rolls are a Thanksgiving tradition at our house! Yours look perfect!

  3. Ella-HomeCookingAdventure

    It looks really really good. I wish I could have a slice right now.. I love pumpkin desserts.

  4. Ashley | Spoonful of Flavor

    Pumpkin roll cake is actually the first recipe I ever tried with pumpkin. I’ve loved it from the beginning but have yet to make one myself. I definitely need to try this recipe!

  5. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    I always shy away from roll cakes because they do seem so intimidating, but perhaps I will brave it and try yours! I do love it as a gorgeous Thanksgiving dessert, and I’ll definitely go find a flour-sack-like towel ASAP. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very cool recipe, Christin!

  6. Sarah@wholeandheavenlyoven

    I’ve always been afraid to try cake rolls after a disastrous fail a few years ago. LOL. But I think you just convinced me to give it another go—this looks SO good, Christin! Plus PUMPKIN?! I’m in. ๐Ÿ˜€

  7. Kelley @ Chef Savvy

    Wow this pumpkin roll looks amazing! So pretty perfect for fall. Thanks for sharing!

  8. Shashi @ runninsrilankan

    Christin – your pumpkin cake roll looks spectacular! And that cream cheese filling – yum! I have tried and failed miserably at making a rolled cake -Last year I tried making a yule log and it looked like a folded blanket! No lie! – thanks so much for the tip on using a smooth towel instead of a terry cloth one – I need to try that this year.

  9. Gayle @ Pumpkin 'N Spice

    This cake roll looks gorgeous, Christin! I’ve never had a pumpkin version before, so I’m loving this one. Yours turned out perfectly!

  10. Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl

    Pumpkin roll is one of my favorite October and November treats. I always live dangerously when it’s nearby as I can’t control myself. Your recipe and roll looks amazing!

  11. Jessica @ Sweet Menu

    Perfection! I have always wanted to master the art of a cake roll – appreciate your handy tips!

  12. Krystle(Baking Beauty)

    I can’t believe this was your first cake roll, it looks gorgeous! Love the addition of the pecans too. Pinned!

  13. olivia - Primavera Kitchen

    Oh my gosh, those cake rolls are delicious!! This recipe is to die for!!!

  14. I can’t believe this is your first cake roll – it looks gorgeous and perfect! I’m intimidated to try making a cake roll too so I loved all the tips you gave here! I loved that you added pecans in the batter and that cream filling looks so irresistible!

  15. Jess @ whatjessicabakednext.com

    This pumpkin roll looks super delicious! Definitely the perfect seasonal treat!

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