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!
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 spice: For 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. ;)
Parchment paper: I like to buy these pre-cut sheets, but you can also definitely cut your own.
How To Make A Pumpkin Roll:
Alright, let’s begin with the pumpkin cake. Simply:
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.
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.
Bake. This part goes quickly since the cake is so thin.
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.)
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:
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.)
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:
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.)
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.
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.
Wrap the cake. Wrap the finished pumpkin roll tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least an hour until chilled.
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…
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!
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.)
Love this pumpkin roll recipe? Be sure to try these other dessert rolls too:
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.
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:
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.)
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a large mixing 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.
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).
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.
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 5 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
To Make The Cream Cheese Filling:
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.)
Unless you want to throw away the ingredients and start over, I would just follow the Libby’s recipe. If you use parchment paper with no flour and grease, the paper will not peel off smoothly and you’ll wind up with a mess you have to throw away. Frustrating.
I never grease or flour my parchment paper and never have any issue with this or other recipes.
Thank you so much for this recipe! I was looking for a more flavorful pumpkin cake recipe and I found it!.
The only difference i did was separate the eggs and whip them up each one had half of the sugar. But when you do it this way the color turns into a softer orange.
Anyway, it was a hit with my friends!
I don’t have a jelly roll pan, but I do have a 13×11 pan. (I expect most home cooks are in the same position.) The difference is 7 square inches or about 5% of the batter. I’m gonna try this, leaving out some… I’ll let you know how it goes….
Can this be made in a 1/2 sheet pan?? (18×13) that’s all I have and I don’t want to have to buy a whole new pan.
It was absolutely delicious!!
Hello! I love this pumpkin roll, well actually everyone loves it! I have made it a couple times but now I am living abroad and can only find a pan that is 10.5 x 15.5 ”
Maybe I am being petty for asking, but I am a perfectionist and am wondering if you think it will be okay to use?
Thanks for all your wonderful recipes! You are my go-to!
My husband and I made this recipe tonight in advance for our Thanksgiving that we are spending with a couple family members (of which are in our TINY non covid-19 circle) And of course we had to make one to eat for ourselves…I…WE just want to say YUMMY! Very easy to make! Thank you ?Sincerely, Mr and Mrs Futrell
This recipe was easy to make. My only complaint was the filling. 6 Tbsp of butter left the filling with a too buttery taste. I made 2 rolls, so the second, I only used 4 Tbsp and it was better, but still not as cream cheese tasting to my liking. I will use a different filling recipe next time.
I didn’t have parchment paper, so I greased my pan, baked at 375 for 13 min. Took a knife around edges and under a bit and plopped it onto wax paper, rolled it in wax paper and let cool. No cracks or problems. I noticed the wax paper kept it very moist.
Havent tasted it yet. But i think it should be good I used a little applesauce in the batter so i could blend my leftover Halloween pumpkin in my vitamix mixer. i also substituted 1 egg with a flax egg and added a little more flax meal to make up for the extra liquid content from the applesauce
The cream cheese seemed a little too thin so I added more icing sugar and a little tapioca starch so it wouldn’t be too sweet It was still quite soft so after rolling it I put the whole thing in the freezer to firm it up Cant wait to have some with a cup of tea!
Mine stuck to the parchment paper. What could cause this? I made 4 the first one came out fine but 3 did not roll they were stuck
I used to work at a restaurant and we used to remove the baked cake from the sheet pan it was baked in by turning it out onto a clean piece of parchment paper that was covered with sifted powered sugar, and then roll it up in the new parchment piece. It never got stuck.
Thank you so much for this recipe; it is now my go-to that I recommend to everyone. I’ve never made a sponge cake roll of any kind before this, and I’m pleased with how simple this was. Fresh baked is always better, but I’m surprised at how well it turned out for my first attempt. For Thanksgiving, my parents have asked me to make one for them. ?
I have made pumpkin rolls for years. I have to say it took me a while to perfect the way I wanted to make them. I have done the rolling up in a tea towel with confectioners sugar and rolling it up. Way to messy. Have also transferred to another sheet of parchment paper with the sugar. Still messy and not ideal. I did this one and tweaked it slightly. The cake part is the same. I used one stick of butter and 2 blocks of cream cheese and 2 cups of 10x sugar, for making 2 rolls at once. After my cakes cool for about 45 minutes, I place in my freezer for 10 minutes. No cracks and easy to work with to roll up. Then I dust with sugar from my sifter.
I loved this and plan to use this recipe A LOT in the future in fact, since its so close to thanksgiving i’ll use this as a recipe for dessert!!! Thank you so much for providing a easy recipe i really couldn’t find this anywhere (at least the right recipe)
I’ve been using this recipe for several years now and it’s a family Thanksgiving favorite. My family doesn’t love Pumpkin Pie so this is a delicious alternative for Thanksgiving dinner! It comes out perfect every time and is always delicious
Really appreciate your step by step help. I have made these for years, but when you are 80, you
get forgetful at times. lol ITTURNED OUT SO PRETTY.
Followed recipe exactly, came out horribly due to roll sticking to parchment paper. Roll was too soft and not tight grained if that makes sense. Was so sticky, stuck to paper even when fully cooled. Its chilling in fridge now, we shall see if it congeals properly by tomorrow morning. I’ve made much better rolls from the pumpkin can recipe :-(
This is my go to pumpkin roll! So easy and so darn good! I made it this Wednesday morning for Thanksgiving dessert, chilled it and tonight sliced off the 2 ends for a sneak preview! My husband loved it as well! Thank you! FIVE stars!
The roll tastes really good but the dough cracked all over the place. I followed the recepie to the T! Please help!
Oh no! Was the pumpkin cake still really hot when you rolled it? If it sits out too long and cools, that can lead to cracking. Either way, it should still taste delicious…so hope that you enjoy it!
Cake quantity was not near enough. I had to make it again to add to first batch as it was not even near enough to fill a jelly roll pan to all the edges.
Also….. if there’s a video on this page, I sure couldn’t find it. Not there!!
Hmmm, was your pan possibly a larger size? The video is located right above the ingredients section in this post, or you can view it on YouTube too – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqqdRfQOuJQ&t=2s. Best wishes!
This was a nice pumpkin roll and I liked the filling, and it was a very nice treat for Thanksgiving! I am excited to make this again with my Mom. We (my Mom and I) really like your recipes. We look forward to more great recipes. Keep up the good work!
I felt a little intimidated; usually this kind of thing never turns out the way the recipe says—I’m sure because of the baker’s talent!
I set aside the whole afternoon to make this and it took just what the recipe said, turned out great! Thanks!
This roll turned out very tasty. The filling was a little sweet for me, the next time I will use 2/3 cups powdered sugar. Do not buy a jelly roll pan if you don’t have one. If you have a cookie sheet with at least 1/2 inch deep sides it will work just fine. This recipe was very easy to follow.
This was so good! I did add a little more powdered sugar in filling. I did spray a little Bakers Joy on my pan before putting down my parchment paper so it wouldn’t slide. Thanks so much for this recipe
Making my 3rd one from this recipe now. All have come out great. I even used the conventional 9×13 cake pan since it was all I had. I think it just made for a slightly thicker cake but still made a beautiful roll. I think rolling while still on hot side is a huge help to avoid cracking. I also ran out of vanilla extract so sub’d with mexican vanilla instead. Took for 2 Thanksgiving dinners and everyone was a fan. Very close to my mother’s recipe. Thanks for sharing and thorough instructions Ali!
I used this recipe to make my very first pumpkin roll and it was delicious! My daughter said it was the best she had ever tasted. I didn’t have pumpkin pie spice so I mixed the spices she suggested, but, I only used two tsp of that and it left a little which I should have used. I have looked at a lot of other recipes for rolls and they only use cinnamon! These spices made this one truly stand out. The only mistake I made was not having cooled the cake part COMPLETELY before putting in filling and trying to roll>>>>>> it pushed out the filling a little! Will definitely make again!
This is one of my favorite recipes!! Everyone loves it and always asks for more!!
My first time making a roll and it turned out great! I had two breaks in the cake but took it slow and it turned out just fine and was delish!
Wouldn’t change a thing. Soon as it cooled,it was devoured by my family.
I love how super simple and Delicious this pumpkin roll is! Thank you, again!
What if I’m using a larger jelly roll pan size 17 × 12, how do I alter the recipe?
How many people does it serve?
First time I ever tried to make a pumpkin roll and it was extremely easy and delicious. It didn’t look too pretty but everyone said it was DEFINITELY delicious
Delicious and very nice
I have made this several times in the past with excellent results. Made it today, exactly as written and exactly as before. Cake stuck to parchment paper had to throw it out. Any comments as to why this happened?
You seriously just changed my life with your recipe and method. I only started making pumpkin rolls a few years ago, and I always DREAD it because of the turning the cake out and rolling in a towel thing. It was messy, and there was powdered sugar everywhere. The cake invariably stuck to the towel and had an imprint on it. Plus, using a towel grossed me out. I LOVE the simplicity of your parchment-paper-only method. No flipping, no powdered sugar, no gumminess or sticking. The cake came out perfectly-no cracking or sticking, and it was delicious!!! I will make pumpkin rolls MUCH more frequently, thanks to you!!
Cake is stodgy and not light like a sponge should be. Filling was too sweet and loose. Found it to be almost inedible.
It does take practice making it, and you can add less sugar next time you make it, that how I learn
This recipe was easy to follow and was good to the point of the powdered sugar for the filling. With 6 tbsp of butter, you need more like 2 cups confectioners sugar to make it thick. Mine was still a little too soft but next time, I will make the filling thicker and add some chopped pecans. Overall, it was easy to follow. It is chilling in the fridge right now so it will get the taste test later!
Love it , I made it three time and it was delicious, you can add more all spice if u want more spice taste and cut down the butter in the butter cream instead of 6 tbs spoon I put 4 tbs spoon …..oh and it will crack a little if you don’t do it as soon it come out the oven. But it is a good recipe. It does take practice
I’m no baker but I have been making this exact recipe for years!!! Thank you for an amazing recipe…
DON’T use parchment paper! I have always used the wax paper method, greasing and flouring the wax paper. Always came out beautifully with no cracks. I tried the parchment paper today. The roll stuck to the paper towel. I tried ever so gently to pull it off the towel without it sticking, to no avail. I have cracks in my pumpkin roll. I patched it the best I could with the cream cheese. I am so disappointed. Never again. Next time: Back to the tried and true wax paper.
Could you use canned pumpkin pie puree with spices all in??
This is my only pumpkin roll recipe. Just made it and it’s chilling in the refrigerator. We absolutely love it. I did spray my parchment paper and there was no problems with rolling, unrolling and rolling back up. I wanted to practice before Thanksgiving comes lol! Always make this along with the traditional pumpkin pie. Cannot wait to enjoy this dessert! Thank you!
This is the first pumpkin roll recipe I’ve ever made, and I think it’s going to be the only one! During the fall I find myself making this so often because my friends and family LOVE it. It’s super moist, doesn’t break when rolling, and the frosting to cake ratio is perfect.
Ive never made a roll before. Im trying this for my sister in law. wish me luck. It looks pretty easy just a lot of steps.
I’ve made pumpkin rolls and my family loves them but I HATE to make them cause always so messy and always crack on me when unrolling them. Since I found your recipe and how you do it is just Out Of This World. So glad I found your recipe and thank you so very much. I have no problem with unrolling them. But I changed one thing, I use almond extract in filling instead of vanilla, the way my family likes it.
I normally like to make a recipe at least twice before I leave a comment. Today makes the second time in as many weeks that I’ve made this recipe. I followed the instructions word for word both times and both times the pumpkin roll came perfectly! :) My oldest daughter has been wanting me to learn how to make a pumpkin roll for years. I was always afraid I’d mess it up and have to throw everything out. So she’d be disappointed and I’d spent the money on all the ingredients just to waste it all. So I never worked up the nerve until lately. This was one of the first recipe that popped up on Goggle. I chose yours because of the name of the blog. “Gimme Some Oven” How stinking cute is that?! Anyways, thank you for helping me finally make both my daughters happy by learning how to make them a pumpkin roll anytime they want. :)
Made 2 in last 24 hours. All my kids and grandkids love this.
I cut butter to 5 T to make filling a little less soft. Doesn’t change flavor at all.
I give it a 5 star!
Excellent recipe! I read your complete article about making Pumpkin Roll so at 64, I decided to give it a try!
I used parchment paper and sprinkled water on the pan before putting the batter in. Plus I sprayed the paper with Pam! Came out great! My filling was a little bit too thin but tasted great! Next time I will put 2 cups of powdered sugar instead of 1 1/2. Thank you for the video too! It made following along super simple!!!