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Pumpkin Roll

5 from 1 vote
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Soft, flavorful, and cute as can be – this Pumpkin Roll is the answer to your Fall-flavored prayers! Don’t let the picturesque swirl scare you off, either. This recipe is wonderfully easy to make and has the best easy to follow steps!

A swirled slice of pumpkin roll is presented on a powdered sugar coated surface.

Classic Pumpkin Roll

I love serving this pumpkin roll for two major reasons. The first being that it’s delicious and a total crowd-pleaser, the second being that it’s simply stunning!

I love baking desserts that inspire people to snap a picture of it to proudly show off their work. And while some pretty sweets are great in pictures and not so great to eat, this pumpkin roll is both scrumptious and picture perfect.

It’s also pretty cool to bake a perfect pumpkin roll like this one. I mean, you get total bragging rights for not having it crack or break!

With that being said, my simplified steps make the process of baking a pumpkin roll easy to follow and pretty foolproof. You’re going to feel like quite the baker once you’ve finished rolling this Fall favorite! Make sure to watch The Great British Bake-Off while you make it to help really set the mood.

The pumpkin flavor in this roll is just rich enough to satisfy that pumpkin craving, but not so strong that it’s overwhelming.

Two ingredients, pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice some together to create a flavor that’s undoubtedly delicious and autumnal. So if you want to really wow everyone at Thanksgiving this year with the best Fall-inspired treat, this is the recipe for you!

Several slices of pumpkin roll are placed next to the roll itself.

Ingredients for pumpkin roll

The cake calls for:

  • Flour – All-purpose is what you’ll need.
  • Sugar – Both white granulated sugar and light brown sugar are called for.
  • Cinnamon – You can add a little extra to make the flavor pop.
  • Pumpkin pie spice
  • Baking powder – This helps the batter to get nice and fluffy as it bakes.
  • Salt – Just a pinch.
  • Baking soda – This helps the baking powder make the batter rise as it bakes.
  • Pumpkin puree – NOT pumpkin pie filling!
  • Eggs – I like to use free-range organic eggs.
  • Vanilla extract – If you can, try to use pure vanilla extract, not imitation.

The creamy filling will need:

  • Cream cheese – It should be room temperature so it mixes smoothly.
  • Butter – It needs to be unsalted and also at room temperature.
  • Powdered sugar – For both the sweetness and consistency, don’t substitute this sugar with anything else.
  • Heavy cream – This helps to create the most amazing creamy consistency!
  • Vanilla extract

Ingredient substitutions

Unfortunately, a classic is a classic for a reason. The ingredients in here are pretty standard and there isn’t much you can swap out.

A pumpkin roll has been sliced into.

Pumpkin roll tips for success

Why is my cake dense? A dense, not fluffy, difficult to roll cake might mean that you over mixed the ingredients. Make sure to mix all of the ingredients until just combined, and no more than that! Otherwise you’ll end up with flat, dense cake that’s not easy to roll.

Make sure you used a rimmed baking sheet also known as a jelly roll pan. You want a rimmed baking sheet or a jelly roll pan so the batter doesn’t go everywhere! The rim or lip of the baking sheet will stop the batter from running over the edges.

How to roll the pumpkin roll to make sure there are no cracks? The key is to roll it almost immediately when it comes out of the oven. The heat and moisture from it coming right out of the oven will prevent it from cracking. It is much more likely to crack when it’s cooled so be prepared to get rolling once it comes out of the oven.

I’ve read that you should turn the pumpkin roll onto a tea towel. There are many different ways to do it and yes, you can turn it onto a tea towel if you prefer (a regular kitchen towel will not work as there is too much lint that will get on your warm cake. I prefer linen towels) and roll that way.

How tight do I roll my pumpkin roll? You’ll want to roll it pretty tight so it gets that nice classic swirl!

How long do I have to let it cool? You’ll want to let it cool completely. If it’s slightly warm, that’s still too warm and the filling will melt and gush out and also the roll won’t hold its shape if it’s still warm.

A bite of a pumpkin roll has been removed with a fork.

Storage suggestions

How long will this homemade pumpkin roll stay fresh? In an airtight container in the fridge, this pumpkin roll will stay fresh for up to three days.

Can you freeze this? Yes, you can freeze this for up to a month. I prefer pre-slicing and then individually wrapping them tightly in plastic wrap so then I can pull them individually out of the freezer for when that craving hits! You’ll want to remove it from the freezer about an hour before serving and let it sit at room temperature. At that point you can choose to eat it at room temp or warm it up slightly in the toaster oven.

A bite has been taken out of a pumpkin roll.

You can never have too many pumpkin recipes this time of year!

Air Fryer Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkin Chocolate Marbled Zebra Bread

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

Better than Sex Pumpkin Cake

Pumpkin Roll

A classic treat that, while looks intimidating, it's easy as can be and perfect for your holiday gatherings!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Author: Julie Chiou
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  • ¾ cup (94 g) all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (55 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ cup (184 g) pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces (227 g) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (120 g) powdered sugar
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

The default measuring system for this website is US Customary. Unit conversions are provided for convenience and as a courtesy only. While we strive to provide accurate unit conversions, please be aware that there may be some discrepancies.


  • Preheat the oven to 350 °F (177 °C) and line a large 12 by 16-inch rimmed baking pan with parchment paper.
  • Make the cake by whisking together the flour, granulated sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, salt and baking soda in a large bowl then set aside.
  • Whisk the pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla extract together in a separate medium size bowl then pour it into the dry ingredients and fold just until there are no more clumps.
  • Spread the mixture out into the prepared baking pan and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the center of the cake is set and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.
  • Place another sheet of parchment paper on top of the cake so that the cake doesn’t stick together.
  • Use oven mitts to protect your hands while you roll up the cake into a tight roll.
  • Let the cake cool completely for about one hour.
  • Once it has cooled, beat the cream cheese and butter together in a large bowl then add the powdered sugar, heavy cream and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy.
  • Unroll the cake and spread the cream cheese frosting on top of the cake in an even layer then roll the cake back up tightly and refrigerate once again for 30 minutes.
  • Serve with a dust of powdered sugar if desired.

Recipe Notes

This pumpkin roll can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days.


Serving: 1 slice | Calories: 256 kcal | Carbohydrates: 36 g | Protein: 4 g | Fat: 11 g | Saturated Fat: 6 g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1 g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 1 g | Cholesterol: 74 mg | Sodium: 250 mg | Potassium: 95 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 28 g

This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition information can vary for a variety of reasons. For the most precise nutritional data use your preferred nutrition calculator based on the actual ingredients you used in the recipe.

Course: Dessert, Rolls
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pumpkin cake, pumpkin recipe, thanksgiving desserts, thanksgiving recipes
Recipe Rating


Friday 26th of November 2021

This was my first time making a pumpkin roll & it came out delicious! This will be my go-to recipe from now on. I love how the recipe was organized and easy to read.