Pumpkin Roll

Learn how to make a classic pumpkin roll with this simple recipe and step-by-step photo tutorial.  Be sure to check out the video tutorial at the bottom of the post too!

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Hey friends!  I’m popping back in to edit this post — three years after it originally aired here on zee blog — because I have two Very Important Pumpkin Roll updates to share with you.

First, we now have a fancy new video tutorial to go along with this recipe now, which I’m very excited about.  Because, of all the recipes on this blog, I have received probably the most questions from you all about the “roll” part of this recipe.  It’s one of those that’s harder to explain with text and pictures, so I’m happy to say that you can now watch the whole process in about 1 minute in the video at the bottom of this post.  Yessss!

Second, I need to let you all know that I have actually completely changed my method for how to make a pumpkin roll since I originally posted this three years ago.  The recipe is still the same.  But the old use-a-powdered-sugar-covered-towel-to-roll-up-the-cake method always used to weird me out a bit.  (<– I mean, I always used clean towels, but still.  The potential for towel fuzzies or smell seeping into the take always used to weird me out, and trying to flip the cake was hard, and all of that sugar always made such a mess!)  So I did a little experimenting, and as it turns out, you can absolutely — and very easily — roll, unroll, and roll this cake up again using a single simple sheet of parchment paper.  Mind = blown.  It’s SO much easier and doesn’t make a mess, and the pumpkin roll is as delicious as always.

So if you love pumpkin rolls as much as I do, you’ve gotta try it!  ♥ 

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Now, with all of these healthier recipes on the site nowadays, I feel the need to disclaim — or maybe I shouldn’t feel the need — that this recipe is for a classic, granulated-sugary, AP-floury, buttery, cream-cheesy, traditional pumpkin roll.  That’s right, no healthy shortcuts here.  Because on on the one or two occasions a year that I get to eat a pumpkin roll, I want the real deal.  So this falls fully in the “indulgent” category of this blog, but I can assure you that I enjoy every single delicious bite.  Tradition, baby!  :)

But now, to break with tradition just a bit, here’s my more “modern” method for how to make a classic pumpkin roll.

Begin by mixing up a simple pumpkin cake batter.  You can either do this in a large mixing bowl by hand, or with a stand mixer.

Then lay a piece of parchment on a 15 x 10-inch baking sheet, leaving some extra room on the long (15-inch) sides so that you can easily lift the cake out after baking.  I like to sprinkle a little bit of water on my baking sheet to help the parchment stick and stay in place while I pour on the batter.  Then spread the batter evenly on top of the parchment.

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Then get ready.  Because as soon as the cake comes out of the oven, run a knife around the short (10-inch) sides of the pan to loosen the cake.  Then grab the sides of the parchment to lift the cake out of the pan (careful not to burn yourself), and place it on a flat heat-proof surface.  (You may need to use oven mitts since the cake will still be very hot!)

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Then very carefully roll the cake — I prefer rolling short end to short end — until it forms a complete roll.  Transfer that to a wire rack and let it cool completely to room temperature, seam-side-down so that they cake does not unroll.  Then while the cake is cooling, whip up your cream cheese filling.  You can either do this by hand or in a stand mixer.  Just be sure that your ingredients are room temp so that they’re easy to stir!

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Once the cake has cooled, place it back on a flat surface and gently unroll it until the cake is mostly flat again.  Then spread the cream cheese filling out evenly on top of the cake, leaving a 3/4-inch border around all sides of the cake so that the filling doesn’t spill out while the cake is being re-rolled.

Then go ahead and roll the cake back up again, carefully peeling off the parchment paper as you roll until it until it is released.  Then wrap the finished pumpkin roll tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least an hour.

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Once the cake has chilled a bit (especially that filling), remove and unwrap it when you’re ready to serve.  Then lightly dust the entire roll with powdered sugar, and slice it up!  I like to take a small slice off of both ends before serving, just in case the cream cheese didn’t completely fill those edges, to make it extra pretty.

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Then voila — your beautiful pumpkin roll will be ready to enjoy!

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

Time to rock and pumpkin roll!  ;)

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Pumpkin Roll

A classic pumpkin roll is always a crowd favorite!

Ingredients:

Pumpkin Cake Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • optional: powdered sugar (to sprinkle on at the end!)

Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 ounce) brick cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

To Make The Pumpkin Roll:

Preheat oven to 375° F.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves and salt in medium bowl until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and granulated sugar for 1 minute until thick. Add in the vanilla and pumpkin, and whisk until just combined. Fold in the flour mixture with a rubber spatula, and stir together until just combined.

Line a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with parchment paper, leaving an extra 1-inch of parchment sticking up on both 15-inch sides of the pan so that you can easily lift the cake out after baking.  (If you’d like the parchment to stick to the bottom of the pan more easily, sprinkle a little bit of water on the pan and then press the parchment paper on top of it.  You can also lightly mist the top of the parchment paper with cooking spray for easier cake release afterwards, although it’s not required.)

Spread the batter evenly into prepared pan.  Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until top of cake springs back when touched. Carefully lift the parchment paper and cake out onto a flat (and heat-safe) surface.  Then slowly, use your hands to roll the cake — rolling from the short end to the short end — until it is completely rolled up.  Transfer the cake roll to a wire rack, and cool until it reaches room temperature.

While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese filling (see below).

When the cake has reached room temperature, transfer the cake roll to a flat surface, and carefully it until it is flat again (or mostly flat, it’s ok if the ends curl up a bit). Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over cake, leaving a 3/4-inch border on all sides.  Then carefully re-roll the cake, gently peeling away the parchment paper as you roll until you can completely remove and discard it. Tightly wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Remove and unwrap the pumpkin roll and transfer it to your serving dish. Lightly dust the pumpkin roll on all sides with powdered sugar, if you would like.  Then slice* and serve.

If you have leftovers, just re-wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To Make The Cream Cheese Filling:

Whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract until smooth. If the filling is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it is too thick, add a half teaspoon or two of water.  (You want a medium consistency so that the filling is easy to spread, but not too warm or thin that it will ooze out of the cake when you’re rolling it up.)

*If you want the cake to be pretty on the very ends, I recommend slicing off about 1/2-inch of the cake on both ends before serving.  Then you’ll definitely see those pretty cream cheese swirls!

Recipe slighty adapted from Libby’s.  Edited September 2016.

All images and text ©

If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #gimmesomeoven. I'd love to see what you cook!

Learn how to make this classic pumpkin roll recipe with a step-by-step photo and video tutorial! It's easy to make ahead of time, it's filled with a heavenly cream cheese filling, and it's always a crowd favorite!! | gimmesomeoven.com

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317 comments on “Pumpkin Roll”

1 2 3 5
  1. Definitely trying this! Super tasty and fun to make!

  2. I have never made a pumpkin roll out of fear of messing it up. I have faced some of my cooking fears this year, so maybe the pumpkin roll will be next :)

  3. Not gonna lie, cake rolls of any kind totally scare me! I just cannot see myself getting it right, but you do make it sound so easy! You did any awesome job, Ali! It looks so pretty and perfect!

  4. I’ve never made a cake roll of any kind. I am so intimidated! Your Pumpkin Roll looks wonderful and you make it sound easy. I may have to give it a try! I hope mine is as beautiful as yours!

  5. Looks great, Ali! I really need to make this!

  6. All I want is a warm coat! :) And maybe a pumpkin roll. Looks delicious!

  7. This looks lovely!! I can’t believe you hadn’t made one yet, but what a good one to check off of your list : )

  8. LOVE this pumpkin roll!!! I’m going to try this recipe! and love Parenthood and New Girl- two of my FAVE shows!

  9. This looks just perfect! I need to make one, too!

  10. Good afternoon,
    I’ve never had this but my youngest daughter raves about one she had somewhere. I, too, thought it would be slightly difficult to make. Hopefully, I’ll be making this at Thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing:)

  11. Such a fall classic! I think this is the year for me to finally try a pumpkin roll. Love your easy recipe, Ali!

  12. We just started watching New Girl on Netflix! It’s funny, but you know what the best show ever is:) Your pumpkin roll is perfect!

  13. This is so fantastic!! I love this pumpkin roll recipe :)

  14. This settles it, Ali – I need to come to your house for photography lessons. I’m always in awe of your gorgeous shots, and this post is no exception :) Love a good pumpkin roll!

  15. Beautiful roll, such a classic!

  16. This looks moist and delicious! I’d love to eat this with a chai tea latte. :)

  17. Hi Ali! This looks delicious! Did you add the ginger and nutmeg when you added the cinnamon and cloves?

  18. I’ve seen cake rolls before and I never knew how they were done but after reading your recipe may have to try this for Thanksgiving.

  19. Wow your pumpkin roll looks amazing, I wanna eat my computer screen :)

  20. How gorgeous is this?! It’s absolutely perfect! And thanks for the dental floss tip!

  21. Pumpkin roll is impossible to resist! Love the idea of using dental floss to cut the pieces perfectly!

  22. First off, the pumpkin roll is beautiful! Just perfect and pristine, and your super clean photography adds this almost Japanese element to the image that I LOVE! Second, I never would have thought to chop using dental floss! And I thought I was pretty crafty.. tsk tsk. Awesome tip.

    Cheryl
    http://thestylistquo.com

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  24. This looks perfect Ali! For some reason I have been too afraid to try a roll cake, but I am dying to get over my fear!

  25. Congrats on mastering the pumpkin roll! I’m like you – I thought it would be a lengthy difficult process. Maybe I’ll try one this year too…maybe.

  26. Looks beautiful – but the ‘Method’ for making the Pumpkin Roll does not include three ingredients listed above: nutmeg, ginger & vanilla.

  27. I make these every year. I have a tip- make it easy on yourself. Put a lot of powdered sugar on the baked pumpkin roll itself, then, put your towel over that, place another cookie sheet on top of that, and turn over. You can then proceed to roll up pumpkin roll with the towel. Very easy. Keeps powdered sugar from flying everywhere.

  28. This looks great! Do you know if it can be made ahead of time and frozen?

  29. Looks great. Do you roll it the long way or the short way? ( is the resulting roll 15 or 10 inches long?)

  30. I make pumpkin roll bread and muffins every year for Thanksgiving. It is such a wonderful dessert for the season. One thing is that I do not like pumpkin at all so I use butternut squash instead and it comes out incredible.

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  32. I RECENTLY LOST MY BELOVED PUMPKIN ROLL RECIPE AND FOUND YOURS…ITS IDENTICAL EXCEPT FOR A COUPLE OF TWISTS..I SPINKLE CHOPPED NUTS ON RAW BATTER BEFORE BAKING, LOVELY CRUNCH…AND I USE PUMPKIN PIE SPICE MIX INSTEAD OF INDIVIDUAL SPICES,,,MMMMMGOOD. THANKS

  33. I’ve made these for years; made 18 this past weekend with help of a good friend. They’re in the freezer ready for holiday gift giving. We deliver some before Thanksgiving & some Thanksgiving morning. I didn’t see here, but I sprinkle 3/4 cup chopped pecans on my cake prior to baking. You’re right, looks much harder then it is.

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  35. I just made this yesterday, and my boyfriend pretty much ate the whole thing! (Maybe I shouldn’t be saying that haha…) but seriously! This was so good! I made another one tonight because I’m having friends over. Thank you so much for the post! Found this from google recipe search.

    -Susan

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  43. Unfortunately my first pumpkin roll was an epic failure. I think the error occurred because of mixing the eggs and sugar until thick…I think I over did it. Once I mixed in the flour mixture the batter was quite thick resulting in a tough cake. I swear I wasn’t aiming for a decorative paper weight! I seriously thought the issues would be rolling the cake but in my case it wasn’t. Well “fortunately” I refuse to throw in the towel and will be giving this another shot. I will master this!! Wish me luck!!!

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  45. I have never made a pumpkin roll, but it is one of my favorite desserts!

  46. Made the punkin roll and served it at a party, since then I have made 6 more for friends. I will be making some as gifts for Xmas.
    Ladies those of you who are afraid of this recipe don’t be sounds hard but not.Try it. It is well worth the time.

  47. I just made this! It is simple and delicious.

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  49. I am just getting ready to put the filling on, happy thanksgiving
    & GOD bless all of us