The BEST Pumpkin Roll Recipe

This easy pumpkin roll recipe with the best cream cheese filling is the perfect fall dessert and a favorite you’ll make year after year. It’s simple to freeze and serve with my tips for how to roll a pumpkin roll successfully every time.

My Favorite Pumpkin Roll recipe with or without nuts | foodiecrush.com

This easy pumpkin roll recipe is one recipe that made me fall in love with pumpkin-flavored everything. The first of course being the classic pumpkin pie. Then there are my light as a pillow pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Fall just wouldn’t be the same without them. My mom always made this pumpkin roll recipe to welcome in fall and it was a popular neighbor gift for the holidays. The warm, inviting trifecta of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin wafting from the oven was always a sign the leaves would soon begin falling from the trees. Since I’m a firm believer you can’t have too much pumpkin this time of year, there’s always a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin roll on our Thanksgiving table.

Cake rolls can seem daunting at first, but I’m here to tell you they’re actually easy. Especially if you’re armed with some good tricks. I’m sharing an important tip for baking it in the pan, the easy way for how to roll a pumpkin roll, and the how to make this pumpkin roll with or without nuts.

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pumpkin roll ingredients on white counter

What’s in This Easy Pumpkin Roll Recipe

This cake roll is full of simple ingredients—many you likely already have on hand.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pumpkin roll recipe:

  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Lemon juice
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Spices
  • Kosher salt
  • Chopped nuts
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Nuts (optional)—chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts work great

rolled up pumpkin roll

How to Make This Easy Pumpkin Roll

Assembling the pumpkin roll can be a bit finicky, but with a few tricks up your sleeve you should have no trouble creating this tubular stunner.

Here’s how to make it:

Prep your pan. First, prepare your baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper. Don’t skip the parchment paper! It will make transferring this thin sheet cake a whole lot easier to manage. I like parchment paper like this that’s pre-cut so I don’t have to leave anything to guess work.

Make your batter. Whisk together the pumpkin roll cake batter and spread it in a thin, even layer over the prepared baking sheet. If you like nuts, you’ll want to sprinkle them on top of the batter before baking and lay the nut side of the cooked cake onto the powder sugared towel as described below. Chopped, toasted pecans are my favorite but walnuts also work great.

Bake it up. Bake in a 375°F oven for 12-15 minutes. Use a paring knife around the edges of the cake to to loosen it from the pan.

how to make a pumpkin roll

Rolling and Frosting

Grab a towel. I like a light flour sack kitchen towel (one without any nap) for this. Generously sprinkle the towel with powdered sugar, then invert the still warm sheet cake to the towel. The powdered sugar helps prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.

Give it a roll. Working quickly but gently, roll the cake up tightly in the towel. Rolling at this stage, while the cake is still warm is crucial so the cake cools and sets in that tubular shape you want. Rolling it while warm will also keep your pumpkin roll from cracking.

Make your cream cheese frosting. Mix the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.

Unroll and ice. Once the cake has cooled, gently unroll it and spread with the best part of this dessert: the cream cheese frosting. I use an offset spatula to make it smooth. It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Roll and chill. Roll the pumpkin roll back up again and chill until ready to serve.

Slice and serve. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.

rolling up a pumpkin roll cake

Why Does My Pumpkin Roll Crack?

Fret not, if you read the instructions carefully, your pumpkin roll shouldn’t crack. Cracks tend to happen if you attempt to roll your cake after it’s cooled. The key is to always roll while your cake is still warm. The moisture and warmth from the cake will help it stay together.

2 Tips for Making This Easy Pumpkin Roll

There’s a trick to baking the pumpkin roll. My Mom uses really flat baking sheets with no sides to them (the kind you could find in pretty much any grocery store). I, however, use these high-side baking pans.

Another secret to a successful pumpkin roll is to leave a gap between the batter and the edge of the baking sheet when spreading the batter. That way as it bakes, the expanding cake doesn’t touch and glue to the sides of the pan. This will make it so much easier to lift from the pan.

spreading frosting onto a pumpkin cream cheese roll

How to Store a Pumpkin Roll

This pumpkin roll cake should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. I recommend waiting to slice the cake until you’re ready to eat it, as the edges tend to dry out over time in the fridge.

Can I Freeze a Pumpkin Roll?

Yes, this pumpkin cream cheese roll freezes well. Once you’ve assembled and chilled your cake, slice it and wrap each slice in plastic wrap. Place on a baking sheet to freeze, then store the slices in a large freezer bag once they’ve hardened. When you’re ready to eat the frozen pumpkin roll cake slices, place them in your fridge to thaw for about 2-3 hours.

My Favorite Pumpkin Roll recipe with or without nuts | foodiecrush.com

More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Try

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.

My Favorite Pumpkin Roll recipe with or without nuts | foodiecrush.com

Print

Easy Pumpkin Roll Recipe

This easy pumpkin roll recipe is a favorite you’ll make year after year. It’s easy to freeze and serve, or perfect for holiday neighbor gifts.

Course Dessert

Cuisine American

Keyword pumpkin roll

Prep Time 30 minutes

Cook Time 15 minutes

Cooling Time 1 hour

Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Servings 10

Calories 336kcal

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cake

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 small lemon , juiced
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour , sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup nuts , chopped (optional)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1-8 ounce package cream cheese (brick-style) , softened
  • 4 tablespoons butter , softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs for 5 minutes, then gradually add sugar. Stir in the pumpkin and lemon juice until well blended.

  • In a medium size bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Fold into the pumpkin mixture until just blended. Take care not to over mix the batter so it stays light.

  • Spread the mixture onto a 10×15-inch baking sheet or jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper, leaving a 1/2 inch space from the sides of the pan. Top the pumpkin mixture with the chopped nuts if desired.

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes. Use a paring knife around the edges of the cake to to loosen it from the pan.
  • Generously sift powdered sugar on a clean, fine napped dish cloth or flour sack. After removing the pumpkin cake from the oven, immediately invert onto the powdered sugar covered dish cloth. Sprinkle with more powdered sugar and roll the cake up in the dish towel. Allow to cool completely.

  • While the cake is cooling, make the frosting. Mix the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth. Once the cake has cooled completely, unroll it. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cake. Roll up again and chill. Slice into pieces and serve or freeze.

Nutrition

Calories: 336kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 186mg | Potassium: 158mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 39g | Vitamin A: 2791IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 50mg | Iron: 1mg

sliced pumpkin cream cheese roll with nuts

More Easy Cake Recipes You’ll Love

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