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A classic Fall favorite, this perfectly spiced Pumpkin Roll has a tangy and sweet cream cheese filling. The beautiful swirls make for a wonderful presentation for a fantastic Fall dessert perfect for any occasion!

We love Fall and all its delicious seasonal treats! Be sure to check out other reader favorites like German Apple Cake, Fresh Cranberry Shortbread Bars, and the popular Pumpkin Chiffon Pie!

four slices of pumpkin swiss cake roll on a white plate.

I think this simple pumpkin roll recipe was originally shared on the back of a can of Libby’s pumpkin puree and it has been a favorite in many households ever since. My version sticks pretty close to the original for the classic combination of warm spices, rich cream cheese filling, and wonderful pumpkin flavor that everybody loves!

Why this recipe works

  • Rather than rely on pumpkin spice, which is just another bottle that takes up space in our spice cupboard, I use the spices on hand for the perfect balance of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves. Feel free to adjust more or less to your preferences, or use pumpkin pie spice if you have a jar that needs using up.
  • The cake itself is simple and comes together in one bowl in under 5 minutes for easy cleanup and quick preparation.
  • Save yourself the grief of having your pumpkin roll break when turning it out onto a towel dusted with powdered sugar and instead roll it up in the parchment paper it was cooked on. It’s a simple solution to a common problem with swiss cake rolls.
a pumpkin roll dusted with powdered sugar on a serving plate.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Pumpkin puree: Be sure you are buying a can of pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which comes pre-spiced. Or if you have sugar pumpkins growing in your garden, roast them to make your own pumpkin puree this year instead!
  • Cream cheese: I recommend using full-fat cream cheese for the best results. It’s also important to pull the cream cheese out of the fridge and let it soften before mixing so you don’t end up with small clumps of cream cheese that don’t mix in to the filling properly.
  • Flour: Regular all-purpose flour works just fine in this recipe. In fact, a lighter flour like cake flour is riskier to use in a cake roll because the finished cake is more prone to cracking, in my experience.
ingredients in separate bowls for making a pumpkin roll

How to Make a Pumpkin Roll

Don’t be intimidated or overwhelmed by the thought of making a rolled cake like this. It’s much easier than it seems. The trick is to roll the cake while it is still hot from the oven and let it cool in a rolled up shape. That way, once it is filled the cake rolls right back up and holds together!

  1. Blend wet ingredients: Start by adding the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, and spices to a large bowl. Whisk or beat until smooth and combined.
  1. Add dry ingredients: Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined. This can be done either by hand with a whisk or using an electric mixer.
  1. Bake: Transfer the batter to a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan lined with a piece of parchment paper overhanging the edges. Spread into an even layer and bake for 17-20 minutes until done.
  1. Roll up: While the cake is still very warm but cool enough to touch, about 5-10 minutes after removing from the oven, roll it up into a tight log using the parchment paper. There is no need to peel the cake off the parchment paper before rolling it up. Cool completely, around 2 hours.
a pumpkin cake rolled up in parchment paper on a jelly roll pan.
  1. Fill: When the cake has cooled, beat the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Unroll the cake and spread the filling to within about 1/4-inch of the edges.
  2. Roll & chill: Re-roll the cake into a tight log, peeling off the parchment paper as you go. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the fridge to chill for 1 hour before dusting with powdered sugar and slicing to serve.

Recipe FAQ’s

Does this cake freeze well?

Yes! This cake actually freezes beautifully for up to about 2 months. You can assemble and freeze the entire thing whole, or freeze individual slices wrapped in plastic wrap. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for 1 hour before serving.

What is a jelly roll pan?

A jelly roll pan is a baking sheet with 1-inch sides and typically measures 10×15-inches. It’s slightly smaller than a normal baking sheet, which is 12×18-inches.

slices of pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling on a decorative plate.

Recipe Tips

  • A pumpkin roll will last for about 3 days in the fridge as long as it is kept wrapped up so it doesn’t dry out.
  • Follow my trick of chilling the finished pumpkin roll for an hour before slicing so you get clean slices for a better presentation every time.
  • For a less traditional but delicious variation, try adding 1-2 teaspoons of freshly grated orange zest to the cream cheese filling. Or use mascarpone cheese instead of the cream cheese and 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips for a cross between a classic pumpkin roll and cannoli.
individual slices of homemade pumpkin cake roll on plates

More Pumpkin Recipes

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Pumpkin Roll

A classic Fall favorite, this perfectly spiced Pumpkin Roll has a tangy and sweet cream cheese filling. The beautiful swirls make for a wonderful presentation for a fantastic Fall dessert perfect for any occasion!
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 3 hours 40 minutes
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 334kcal
Author: Amy Nash

Ingredients

Cake

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, plus more, for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Cake

  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper that hangs over the sides.
  • In a large bowl, beat the eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, pumpkin puree, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and cloves until smooth.
  • Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix until combined, then spread evenly over the parchment paper in the prepared pan.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs when testing the cake for doneness. Do not overbake.
  • Let the cake cool 5-10 minutes, just until you are able to handle it. While still hot, roll up the cake from the short side with the parchment paper still attached so that the cake doesn't stick to itself. Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool completely, at least 2 hours.

Filling

  • Once the cake has cooled, make the filling by beating the cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla together in a bowl with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Gently unroll the cake and spread the filling inside the cake leaving about 1/4-inch from the edge. Re-roll the cake, this time peeling and removing the parchment paper as you go. Cover in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for 1 hour for cleaner, easier cutting.
  • Dust with powdered sugar before slicing and serving.

Notes

  • Rolling up the cake: Instead of rolling up the cake in the parchment paper that it is baked in, you could dust a clean towel with powdered sugar and transfer the cake there. Then roll up the cake with the towel, which is more of the classic approach. I find it’s actually easier to just use the parchment paper I baked the cake in, but both methods work.
  • Pumpkin pie spice: If you have pumpkin pie spice on hand, simply use 1 teaspoon of it along with the cinnamon to replace the nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and allspice for this recipe.
  • Jelly roll pan: Be sure to use the correct size pan or the cake won’t bake the same. If using a larger pan, you will have a thinner layer of cake that will bake much more quickly.
  • Variation: For a nice addition to the filling, add 1-2 teaspoons of freshly grated orange zest. Or replace the cream cheese with an equal amount of mascarpone cheese and add 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips for a cannoli-type filling. 
  • Freezing: You can freeze the whole pumpkin roll or individual slices for up to 2 months. Thaw in the fridge overnight or on the counter for 1 hour before serving.
  • Storage: This will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 334kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 253mg | Potassium: 156mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 40g | Vitamin A: 3071IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
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