This classic pumpkin roll is a classic holiday treat full of great pumpkin and spice flavor and filled with a tart cream cheese filling. It’s the perfect Fall dessert for any holiday or party!
My friend Erica has made pumpkin rolls for as long as I’ve known her. My friend Mareile admitted to making three of them in a span of 2 weeks. I’ve seen these rolls on countless blogs, magazines and cookbooks. But, I’ve never made one!
So, today, I ventured into the kitchen to try my hand at what seemed to be a simple, yet beautiful dessert!
The batter seemed simple enough. Beat eggs and sugar together (no oil or butter though), add the rest of the wet then fold in the dry. Basic, classic. Can’t go wrong with the techniques.
The pan to bake the roll is in is a 15.5in x 10.5in jelly roll pan. Basically, a jelly roll pan is a cookie sheet with taller sides so you can bake thin layers of cake in them. You can use this pan for cookies too, so it doesn’t have to sit unused until you make this roll. It’s a good investment piece to have in your kitchen.
I’m not a huge cream cheese fan, so I wasn’t sure I’d like this pumpkin roll too much. However, I decided to add a bit of cinnamon and vanilla to the filling to offset the tartness of the cream cheese and add a bit more flavor. I think the final product was a success!
The hardest part of this process was getting the cake out of the pan and rolling it. Maybe hard isn’t the right word. Challenging… scary… uneasy… maybe those are better words. I’d never just popped a large cake out of pan onto a towel and rolled it up before. I wasn’t sure how easy or difficult it would be.
You can see that my roll broke in a few places, so when I spread the filling there were holes and that’s why the cake roll isn’t perfect. That’s okay though… I still think it’s super pretty!
Surprisingly enough, with the right tools and prep… it was quite simple. Two big things that I really think helped… 1) the pan was lined and greased well so the cake came out easily and 2) I used a very thin dish towel to roll the cake. With those two things… I was sure to be successful!
If you’ve never made a pumpkin roll before, I’d suggest trying it. It was a lot less scary & and more fun than I thought!
UPDATE: A Java Cupcake reader made this recipe but converted it to metric measurements! Thanks Silvia Happy Bakery!
- jelly roll pan (15.5in x 10.5in pan with tall sides)
- 3 eggs, large
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- powdered sugar – for rolling
- clean thin flat kitchen towel
- 8oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 6 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1⅓ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp pumpkin pie spice
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Grease a 15.5in x 10.5in jelly roll pan, line with parchment paper & grease then flour the pan.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the eggs and sugar on medium speed until thick.
- While the eggs & sugar are mixing, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and ginger together in a small bowl.
- Once the eggs and sugar are thick, add the vanilla and pumpkin and mix until combined and smooth.
- Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just combined and no more flour is visible.
- Pour into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Pound the pan on your counter 4-5 times to even out the batter and release any air bubbles.
- Bake for 12-14 minutes or until the top springs back to the touch and a toothpick comes out clean.
- While baking, lay a thin, flat towel on the counter and sprinkle an even layer of powdered sugar over it.
- Remove from the oven and run a butter knife along the edges. Flip the cake out onto the sugared towel. Sprinkle more powdered sugar over the top of the pumpkin roll
- Starting with the short end, roll the towel and cake together into a roll.
- Place the roll on a wire baking sheet and place in refrigerator to cool completely – about an hour.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
- Mix in the powdered sugar, spice and salt. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix on high for 30 seconds or until smooth.
- When ready to fill the roll, remove from the roll from the refrigerator and gently unroll on the counter.
- Spread an even layer of cream cheese filling on the inside of the roll.
- Gently roll the cake back up – this time, leave out the towel.
- Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Place roll on top and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
- Unwrap roll from plastic wrap and place on a serving tray.
- Dust powdered sugar over the top of the roll to garnish.
- Cut into ¾ inch slices to serve.