October is here, and that means time for everything pumpkin! One of my favorite pumpkin-flavored desserts is this delicious pumpkin roll cake that’s filled and topped with cream cheese frosting.
It takes a couple of hours to make, but only about 30 minutes of that is actively doing something. The rest of the time is in the cake baking and cooling.
I got the original recipe for this pumpkin roll from one of my coworkers over 10 years ago. She used to make it every year in the fall and bring it to the office to share. Let me tell you, it didn’t last long!
Step by Step
Start by preheating the oven to 375F. Then butter and flour a 15×10 jellyroll pan. I didn’t know what this meant at first. Use either a stick of butter or a paper towel with butter on it to rub the butter all over the pan. Then pour a little bit of flour on the pan, and tilt the pan all around until it’s covered in flour. And a jellyroll pan just means a flat baking sheet that has sides to it.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and set the bowl aside. I usually try to sift the flour because it helps it mix up better without any lumps.
In a mixer bowl, or with an electric mixer, beat the sugar with eggs on high until it nearly triples in volume. This usually takes about 5 minutes or so, which is why I like to use my Kitchenaid Mixer so I don’t have to hold a hand mixer that long.
Once the eggs and sugar have tripled in size, turn the mixer to low and add in the flour mixture. After that has stirred in, add the pumpkin puree and stir until just combined, you don’t want to over mix.
Pour the batter into your prepared jellyroll pan and use a spatula to gently level it out. This is why you need a pan with sides to it, you want a large but thin cake when this is done cooking.
Bake the pumpkin cake for about 15 minutes, or until the cake is springy and the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Make sure you don’t overcook the cake because it will dry out quickly since it’s so thin.
Lay a clean dish towel out on the counter, and sprinkle it with a decent amount of powdered sugar.
Carefully pull the edges of the cake away from the pan and flip it over onto the dish towel, trying to get it about an inch away from one of the corners.
Starting from the small side of the towel, carefully roll the cake up in the dish towel while it is still warm. Rest the cake on a wire cooling rack with the seam side down so it doesn’t unroll and let it cool completely.
After the cake has cooled, use a mixer on high speed to combine the cream cheese and butter until it’s smooth. Then add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and stir again until it is combined completely.
Carefully unroll your cake from the dish towel. Don’t worry if it falls apart. I don’t call this my “perfect” pumpkin roll because it looks perfect, but because it’s a perfectly delicious recipe for the fall!
Spread the cream cheese mixture all the way across your cake(s), making sure to leave a little bit to add to the top once it is all rolled up.
Use the towel to help you re-roll the cake again, using the cream cheese mixture inside to help hold it all together. Then spread the rest of the mixture on the top and sides of the pumpkin roll.
Sprinkle with more powdered sugar as garnish. Store in the refrigerator.
Perfect Fall Pumpkin Roll
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup flour
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- 12 oz pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar
- 16 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375
- Butter and flour a 15×10 jellyroll pan
- In small bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and set aside
- In mixer bowl, beat on high sugar with eggs until eggs nearly triple in volume, about 5 minutes
- Reduce speed to low and mix in flour mixture
- Beat in pumpkin until just combined
- Pour batter into jellyroll pan and gently level with spatula
- Bake 15 minutes or until cake is springy and edges pull away from sides of pan
- Sprinkle clean dish towel with powdered sugar
- With small knife, loon cake edges and invert onto towel
- Starting with short side, roll up cake in towel
- Let cake cool completely, seam side down, in towel on wire rack
- Meanwhile, with mixer at high speed, combine cream cheese with butter until smooth
- Reduce speed to low
- Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla until combined
- Carefully unroll cake and spread cream cheese mixture to within 1/4 inches of edges
- Roll cake, using towel to help
- Sprinkle with additional powdered sugar
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