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Pumpkin Roll

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This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made with a delicious pumpkin cake and heavenly cream cheese filling…and it’s surprisingly easy to make. See the video below for a visual on how to assemble your pumpkin roll!

Classic Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Happy fall, everyone! In honor of the calendar officially flipping over to the new season this week, I thought I would bump my favorite fall dessert recipe to the top of the blog again.

Yep, I’m talkin’ about a good, old-fashioned, deliciously-indulgent, classic pumpkin roll. ♡

I have had a tradition of making pumpkin rolls every fall for at least a decade now, and always look forward to the cozy, comforting, delicious fall vibes that they bring. But I have to say that this year, during our first September living abroad, this small tradition has been especially nostalgic and comforting.

Even though it now requires making a special trek across town to the one store in Barcelona that sells canned pumpkin puree, plus an extra trip to a different store to purchase a brick of “Philadelphia” (the name for cream cheese here in Spain, so cute), and some major tinkering with my tiny Spanish oven — the rhythms and feels and smells and flavors of this ritual feel just as familiar as ever. And the second I slice off a beautiful round of that perfectly-paired pumpkin cake swirled with cream cheese filling, it tastes just delicious as ever. And the world feels wonderfully, magically, comfortingly small for a moment. Feels like fall.

Anyway, if you also happen to have a nostalgic craving hit this season for a classic pumpkin roll, this recipe has been my go-to for years. It calls for all of the classic ingredients (thanks, Libby’s!), but it’s updated with my method for rolling up the cake in parchment paper, which I have found to be simpler and more reliable than the classic towel method. If this is your first time making a pumpkin roll, don’t fear — it’s much easier than it may seem. Plus, I’ve included a handy step-by-step video below to take any of the guesswork out the equation. And if your friends and family are anything like mine, they are going to love it.

Let’s make a pumpkin roll!

Classic Pumpkin Roll Recipe | 1-Minute Video

Pumpkin Roll Ingredients:

To make this classic pumpkin roll recipe, you will need the following ingredients:

  • Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, vanilla, granulated sugar: For the base of the pumpkin cake.
  • Pumpkin pie spiceFor seasoning the cake. (You can either use store-bought pumpkin pie spice, or I’ve included measurements for ingredient amounts for ground cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves.)
  • Pumpkin puree: I have always used store-bought canned pumpkin puree, which is super simple. But you are welcome to make pumpkin puree from scratch, if you prefer.
  • Cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla: For the cream cheese filling. I told you it was indulgent. ;)

You will also need:

  • 10 x 15-inch jelly roll panThe specific size of the pan is important here, so that the cake can be nice and thin.
  • Parchment paper: I like to buy these pre-cut sheets, but you can also definitely cut your own.

Pumpkin Roll Ingredients

How To Roll A Pumpkin Roll

Cream Cheese Filling for a Pumpkin Roll

Sprinkling Powdered Sugar On A Pumpkin Roll

How To Make A Pumpkin Roll:

Alright, let’s begin with the pumpkin cake. Simply:

  1. Make your pumpkin cake batter. You can either do this in a stand mixer, or by hand in a large mixing bowl. Whisk together the dry ingredients until combined, and set aside. Then in a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until thick. Stir in the vanilla and pumpkin puree until combined. Then fold in the dry ingredients until they are just combined, being careful not to overmix the batter.
  2. Transfer batter to the baking sheet. Cover your jelly roll pan completely with parchment paper, leaving some extra room on the long (15-inch) sides so that you can easily lift the cake out after baking. (If the parchment paper is sliding around, just sprinkle a few drops of water underneath it, which will help it to stick to the pan.)  Then spread the batter evenly on top of the parchment.
  3. Bake. This part goes quickly since the cake is so thin.
  4. Remove cake from pan. This part needs to move quickly, so be ready. As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, run a knife around the edges of the pan (if needed) to loosen the cake. Then carefully grab the edges of the parchment paper to lift the cake out of the pan and slide it over to a flat, heat-proof surface. (I recommend using oven mitts since the cake will still be very hot.)
  5. Roll the cake. Then holding onto the parchment, carefully roll up the cake — from short end to short end — until it forms a complete roll. (See video above for an example.)  Transfer the rolled cake to a wire cooling rack and let it cool completely to room temperature, seam-side-down so that they cake does not unroll.

While the cake is cooling, make your cream cheese filling. To do so, simply:

  1. Stir together your ingredients until smooth. It’s ok if there are a few tiny lumps of cream cheese. But in general, you want the filling to be pretty smooth. Also, it’s crucial that your ingredients are all room temperature so that the cream cheese filling can be nice and sturdy. Otherwise, the filling will be too thin and will ooze out of the pumpkin roll. (If it seems too thin, just add more powdered sugar.)
  2. Refrigerate until ready to use. To keep it nice and fresh.

Once the cake has cooled, it’s time for the fun part. To assemble your pumpkin roll:

  1. Gently unroll the cake. Place the cake back on a flat surface and gently unroll it until the cake is mostly flat again, going slowly so that the cake doesn’t break. (If it does a bit, don’t worry, it will still taste delicious.)
  2. Spread on the cream cheese filling. Using a spatula, 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.
  3. Re-roll the cake. Then go ahead and roll the cake back up again, carefully peeling off the parchment paper as you roll until it until it is completely released.
  4. Wrap the cake. Wrap the finished pumpkin roll tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least an hour until chilled.
  5. Dust with powdered sugar. When you’re ready to serve the cake, remove and unwrap it. Then lightly dust the entire roll with powdered sugar. Then…
  6. Slice and serve!  I like to take a small slice off of the ends just before serving, to reveal those beautiful swirls and make it a bit prettier. Then voila! Your homemade pumpkin roll will be ready to enjoy!

Classic Pumpkin Roll Recipe

How To Store + Freeze A Pumpkin Roll:

Great news! Pumpkin rolls keep well in the refrigerator and freezer, so they’re the perfect dessert to make ahead of time if you’d like. To store your pumpkin roll, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap. Then you can either refrigerate it for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. If you choose to freeze the pumpkin roll, be sure to let it thaw in the refrigerator for 1 day before serving. (If you try to warm it up in the microwave or oven, it can dry out.)

The Best Pumpkin Roll Recipe


Love this pumpkin roll recipe? Be sure to try these other dessert rolls too:

How To Make A Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Enjoy, everyone!

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Classic Pumpkin Roll Recipe

Pumpkin Roll

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 0 About 8-10 servings 1x


This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made with a delicious pumpkin cake and heavenly cream cheese filling…and it’s surprisingly easy to make.  See the video above for a step-by-step visual tutorial for how to assemble your roll.



Pumpkin Cake Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice (*or see below for substitution)
  • 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


To Make The Pumpkin Roll:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.  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.)
  2. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing bowl until combined.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. While the cake is cooling, make the cream cheese filling (see below).
  6. Once 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.
  7. 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.
  8. If you have leftovers, just re-wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.  Or freeze for up to 3 months.

To Make The Cream Cheese Filling:

  1. Whisk together cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl 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 do not already have a jar of pumpkin pie spice, you can use the following:

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

**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 is very slightly adapted from Libby’s.  Cooking time listed above does not account for cooling time.

Pumpkin Roll Recipe

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530 comments on “Pumpkin Roll”

  1. A reader asked if pumpkin roll can be frozen. It can and freezes beautifully. Just take it out an hour or so to thaw. Your recipe is a keeper. Very similar to mine.

  2. I was wondering if  a jelly roll pan is mandatory? I only have cookie sheets with small sides :( 

    • It’s totally not mandatory Laura, your cookie sheets will work fine. :) We hope you enjoy!

  3. Is there any option for creme cheese filling? My husband is lactose intolerant. 

    • Hi Alex! Vegan cream cheese would be your best bet. We hope you two enjoy!

  4. I hope you don’t mind, but I enjoyed your pumpkin recipe so much, that I put a link to it on my new blog. I can’t wait for Autumn :)

    • We’re so glad to hear that Jennifer — thanks for giving the recipe a try, and for your sweet shout out on your blog!

  5. Thank you so much for bringing this recipe back to the front! It looks delicious, and like the perfect fall treat for a family get-together. Can’t wait to try it!

  6. Beautiful! One of the prettiest pumpkin roll cakes I’ve ever seen! :) 

  7. Your photos are such goals, girl! This looks like I need to make it for the next church feast. Thanks!

  8. Interesting about the towels.  I always use a dish towel for things like that (so no fuzzies) and always wash my towels (actually all my laundry) with unscented detergent, and don’t use fabric softener for drying.  So your issue never occurred to me.  I remember many, many years ago making apple strudel with homemade dough, and lay the dough out on the sheet, manipulating the sheet to flip/roll the strudel.  I like your new method.  One day I’ll have to give in and bake this pumpkin roll…

  9. WOW! Your photos are amazing! I wish I had a slice of this right now :) I will be making this. Pinned!

  10. You’re hilarious – love it!!

  11. I’ll definitely try this one! Cross fingers this roll part is gonna work :)

  12. I love this idea of the parchment paper. Our church used to make about 200 pumpkin rolls for a fund raiser every Thanksgiving. We always used paper towels because the cloth towels didn’t seem sanitary. I’m definitely going to try the parchment paper. I think I’ll dust the cake with powdered sugar before rolling it up. Thank you. 

  13. I attempted this recipe but my cake came out too soggy and when i rolled it the cake kept breaking, also i used aluminum. Should i try adding more flour? and switch to wax paper?

    • Hi Annie! We have not tried this with aluminum or with wax paper (we use parchment), so we would start there — that should solve your problem!

  14. I have been using the parchment paper for this for years! So much easier. 

  15. Can you use 100% pure canned pumpkin?

  16. Hello, totally gorgeous pumpkin roll!!  Wow, I have always been a huge fan, but have to admit, mine look horribly sad in comparison to yours!!  I will have to follow your tutorial this year!!  

  17. This looks amazing and I will definitely make it for our upcoming family gathering. Can it be made ahead of time (about 1 week) and frozen? 

  18. Has anyone ever tried pumpkin pie spice instead of all of the spices?? 

  19. My 10 year old daughter made these yesterday and they came out perfect!! One questions… how do I keep
    from eating them all?????????

  20. I’m a mom of 5 young children and I’m always looking for short cuts lol can I use a boxed pumpkin bread mix and bake it the same way? Thank you :)

    • Hi Lisa! We can’t vouch for that because the texture will be a bit different, but we think that should probably work okay — we think it’s definitely worth trying! We hope you and your kiddos enjoy! :)

  21. I need to make one of these right now! And probably a few extra for later… 

  22. Thanks for the tip on using the parchment paper.  I had one towel that wasn’t fuzzy that I used.  I will definitely try the paper.  Thanks.

  23. i use a sprayed cookie sheet to cook cake on as soon as it comes out of oven i put a towel on it to steam rolls right up after i put on the filling very easy and a lot more simple than this recipe i give away about 20 every christmas make all in one day’

  24. I make at least a dozen pumpkin rolls every holiday season, and I am really anxious to try the parchment paper idea. Thanks!!

  25. My grandson loves pumpkin so I’m gonna try to make this for him. It looks delish ….thank you for sharing

  26. Hi I originally thought this roll might be filled with ice cream. Can this roll be done with ice cream and then frozen? I love all of your ideas and I cook everyday because I love it. I am a trained cook and come from a long line of cooks. Great to find your site via FaceBook today.

    • Hi Eugenia! Ooh, that’s a good question. We haven’t tried it with ice cream, so it’s hard to say for sure. The only thing we would be concerned about is the cake is a bit delicate and spreading cold ice cream on it might cause it to break (so if you try it, we would make sure it’s softened ice cream). Let us know if you give it a shot! :)

  27. Refrigerate is spelled wrong in your video. Just a pet peeve of mine. ?

  28. This is a great recipe…I like to make 2 or 3 at a one and freeze the others..comes out of the freezer tasting just as great as when eaten fresh….

    • Thanks for sharing with us, Barbara — we’re glad you enjoyed it (and yes, these freeze up so well)! :)

  29. Going to try this today. My mom has a co worker allergic to cinnamon so I am going to omit that part. She wants a pumpkin roll but thanks to allergies she doesn’t get to have it. Hopefully it will still come out great! :-) This will also be my first attempt at doing this lol

  30. Made this last night. It was awesome. I colored the cream filling orange for the fall. One question: does anyone have the nutritional values for this recipe?

    • We’re so glad you enjoyed it, Deedee (and how fun that you made the filling an orange color)! :) As for the nutritional value, we unfortunately aren’t sure. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!

  31. Any adjustments needed for elevation (above 5000 feet?)

    • Hi Fran — good question! Yes, we would probably make a couple of adjustments just to be on the safe side. We would decrease baking soda or baking powder (1/8 to 1/4 tsp), add an extra egg or egg yolk, and increase the flour (1 Tbsp to 1/2 cup). The cake may also need some extra time in the oven (just monitor it). We hope all of this helps! We love these two sites for references:

  32. with the parchment paper still on when hot – doesn’t the cake sweat and become moist

  33. I made this today and it turned out just like the picture. Someone suggested rolling it the long way to get more pieces.  I am going to do this for my church pot luck. Thanks for the great recipe

    • We’re glad to hear that, Sandie! And yes, you could definitely try rolling it longwise. :)

  34. Has anyone tried putting any crushed pecans in the filling? I think I’m gonna try it. These look so good but we do a lot of baking with pecans down here in GA so I thought I would give it a try.

  35. Can i substitute with pumpkin spice

  36. How much easier than the traditional method and what a simple solution. Great job experimenting with this recipe. There will definitely be one of these on my dessert table this Thanksgiving again!

  37. I just finished making 5 Pumpkin Roll the old fashion way, when I found your recipe on my Facebook. I found your recipe different than mine and I’m going to make your recipe and method of rolling to see how it work for me. Wish me luck.

  38. This looks so yummy. Do you know if this canbe made with a gluten free flour? (For health reasons) thank you.

  39. Question, can you just use pumpkin pie spice, and if so, what would the measurements be? I’m kinda new to baking, and not very good at math, so I follow recipes as precisely as I can.

  40. Love this recipe. It was so easy I have made my first pumpkin roll successfully. Thank you so much. I do hope someone can help me with something’ though. I made everything exactly like it says but my cake isn’t as light as others I’ve tried. I don’t know if it’s because I used a baking pan instead of a jelly roll pan or if it was something to do with my batter. 

  41. I loved this Pumpkin Roll so much, I passed it on to my children and they really enjoy it. Keep publishing your terrific recipes, and I will try them and pass them on. Thank you so much.

  42. I cannot wait to bake this pumpkin roll.  Perfect for Thanksgiving dessert. 

  43. Libby’s instructions tell you to not only use parchment,but to butter it-which in turn leaves the cake greasy.They also tell you to use a clean dish towel sprinkled with powdered sugar to roll up the cake-which turns messy,and always causes my cake to crack when I unroll it.
    I will give this method a try,because this seems so much less frustrating and my family loves eating pumpkin roll!

    • We definitely find this method to be a lot easier and less messy — we hope you and your family enjoy! :)

  44. Have never made a pumpkin roll, but love them. Usually buy already made! Will try this recipe!

  45. I just made this roll..looks very good. had no problem will rolling it..the only thing i find too much cream cheese for this recipe. next time i will either double the cake recipe and make two rolls. thank you can’t wait to taste it later.

  46. Followed your recipe to the letter and it came out SUPER delish. 

  47. This recipe keeps popping up all over my feeds and looks so yummy that it is now the winner for what we’re making for Thanksgiving dessert (I’m in Canada so it’s coming up this weekend). The video tutorial is great and makes it look so simple! 

    • Thank you, Sarah! We hope you can give this a try sometime soon, and that you enjoy it! :)

  48. Hello! Looks yummy! Has anyone tried Gluten free flour? Medical requirement for me……maybe add a bit a chia gel as a binder to GF flour?
    Thank you for the recipe!

  49. I just made 6 of these pumpkin rolls. I’m so glad I used your method of parchment paper instead of rolling it up in a powdered sugar kitchen towel. Wow! So much easier, a thousand percent less mess! Pumpkin Roll making just became a breeze from now on! Thank you! 

    • We’re so happy you enjoyed the recipe and this method, Elizabeth! And we’re very impressed that you made 6 of these — that’s an undertaking! :)

  50. This is looks so delicious, I will be making for our thanksgiving dessert for my family! Thank you for posting.