Create a fun baking tradition in your house for Thanksgiving with this Pumpkin Roll Recipe. Not only is it perfect for tasting that bold pumpkin flavor but it's also an amazing balance of warm spices, spongy cake and thick layers of creamy filling. This simple roll dessert with creamy filling is great for sharing with all your family and friends!
TASTE AND TEXTURE:
- Light, spongy, moist and fluffy cake
- Filled with sweet, tangy, cool and silky cream cheese frosting
- Made using 100% real pumpkin
If you love everything pumpkin during this season, you need to bake my Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies. If you are not into baking Pumpkin Pies from scratch, try this Pumpkin Tart instead.
- Salt - Be aware that if you're using salted butter, you may want to omit adding in extra salt.
- Eggs - Three eggs at room temperature are needed for this recipe.
- Pumpkin - Canned pumpkin is the best for this recipe. Make sure that you're getting 100% real canned pumpkin as some are actually made with squash. I love to use Libby's brand in my Pumpkin Desserts.
- Granulated Sugar: To sweeten the cake roll batter.
- Confectioners Sugar - You'll use this for helping to not stick as well as a light dusting for sweetness and presentation on top.
- Cream cheese - Be sure to have cream cheese at room temperature so that it mixes well and is creamy.
- Butter- Opt for unsalted butter, so you can control the amount of salt that goes in the batter.
HOW TO MAKE A PUMPKIN ROLL?
Here is a step by step tutorial on how to make the cake roll, how to roll, fill and re-roll it-
- Step 1: Preheat oven and prepare a Kitchen Towel/Parchment Paper. Start by preheating the oven to 375 degrees. As the oven is preheating, line a jelly roll pan with parchment/wax paper. (A good size pan to use is 15x10 inches) Grab a clean cotton kitchen towel and lay flat on the counter. Sprinkle the top with ¼ cup of powdered sugar.
- Step 2: Make Cake Roll Batter. In a bowl mix cinnamon, nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Using a mixer and a large bowl, beat eggs and granulated sugar until the mixture is thickened. Mix in the pumpkin and vanilla. Now fold in the flour mixture. Spread the mixture evenly into your jelly-roll pan.
- Step 3: Bake. Place pan in the oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. You'll know the Roll is done when its top springs back when gently pushed on. If you are baking this in a darker pan, you will want to start checking for doneness around 11 minutes to not overbake it.
- Step 4: Cool it down. Once the cake is done baking, loosen from pan. Now turn jelly-pan upside down, inverting cake onto the powered sugar-covered towel. Peel off parchment paper. Roll the towel and cake together from short end to short end. Allow to cool.
Alternatively, after loosening the cake (make use of oven mitts since the cake would be hot) gently roll it with parchment paper on. Transfer the rolled cake to a cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely.
- Step 5: Make the Cream Cheese Filling. While the cake is cooling, lets make the filling. Mix together room temperature cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, butter, and vanilla. Beat until smooth. Cover and keep the filling chilled until ready to be filled.
- Step 6: Assemble the Cake Roll: Unroll the cooled cake gently from parchment paper/towel. Using a spatula/spoon apply cream cheese filling on cake. Leave about ¾-1 inch gap on all sides, as the filling will spread by itself as you re-roll your cake. Once done, roll back up the cake again, this time without any towel or parchment paper.
- Step 7: Chill the Roll in Refrigerator. Wrap the finished cake in plastic wrap loosely and place it in fridge for 1 hour. During this time, frosting sets and the cake holds its shape so much better when cut.
- Step 8: Serve. If you want to add more confectioners' sugar on top, time to do so is right before serving. Cut chilled cake with a sharp serrated knife.
CAN YOU ADD OTHER TOPPINGS TO THIS ROLL CAKE RECIPE?
You can. Some people prefer to add a bit of creamy frosting on top, which is a great idea as well. If you want to do that, you can just save back a small portion so you don't have to make the entire filling recipe all over.
Or you can top it with freshly made whipped cream topping as well.
QUICK TIPS FOR RECIPE SUCCESS:
- Roll your cake as soon as it comes out of oven. We need to roll Jelly Roll Cakes twice. First when it comes out of the oven. Second when it is cooled down and you are ready to frost it.
Rolling the cake while it's hot sets in the memory of the cake to stay in rolled up position even after cooling. This ensures it doesn't crack when you re-roll it with the filling again..
- The biggest tip to remember is that you need to be sure that you're using enough confectioners' sugar on the clean cotton towel. About 1 cup does the trick. Otherwise cake is going to stick to towel and this might tear it apart in the process.
- Or you can roll your cake using the same parchment paper that you lined on the pan. That way you won't need any powdered sugar or kitchen towel at all! I always opt for this technique and my cake never sticks. 🙂
Did you notice that there is no fat in this cake roll in the form of butter/oil. Why is that so?
Because we want the crumb of our baked cake to be spongy and light. It will make the cake easier to be rolled. Worry not, pumpkin puree will still keep it nice and moist!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Roll your cake into the towel/parchment paper as soon as it comes out of oven. When you roll the cake warm, it will be crack free.
Over-mixing flour with eggs mixture can cause gluten formation in the batter resulting in a tough bake. Fold flour into wet ingredients only till flour disappears into the batter.
Due to cream cheese in this recipe, you have to keep it stored in the fridge until you're ready to eat it again. Just add it to a storage container with a lid to keep it nice and fresh.
More Pumpkin Recipes for you to try:
Pumpkin Roll Recipe
- 1 Hand beater/ Stand Mixer
- 1 Jelly Roll Pan
- ¾ cup all purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs (at room temperature)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar (this will be used to sprinkle onto the clean cotton towel)
Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature (not cream cheese spread)
- 6 Tablespoons softened butter
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- extra confectioners' sugar (optional) for sprinkling over roll
- Preheat the oven. Start by preheating oven to 375 degrees. As the oven is preheating, line a jelly roll pan with wax paper. (A good size pan to use is 15x10 inches). Grab a clean cotton kitchen towel and lay flat on the counter. Sprinkle the top with 1 cup of confectioners' sugar.
- Combine ingredients. In a bowl mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Grab a separate large bowl and beat the eggs and granulated sugar until the mixture is thickened and fluffy using a hand/stand mixer. Mix in canned pumpkin, vanilla and then stir in the flour mixture. Pour and spread mixture evenly into your jelly-roll pan.
- Bake. Place pan in oven and bake for 13-15 minutes. You'll know cake Roll is done when the top springs back when gently pushed on. If you are baking this in a darker pan, you will want to start checking for the doneness at around 11 minutes to not overcook it.
- Cool down. Once it's baked, loosen from pan and turn the jelly-pan upside down onto powered sugar-sprinkled towel. Peel off the wax paper, roll towel and cake together to let cool. Alternatively, roll the cake while it's warm with parchment paper on without using a cotton towel.
- Make the filling. Grab a clean bowl and mix together room temperature cream cheese, 1 cup of confectioners sugar, butter, salt and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
- Re-Roll the Cake: Unroll cake from towel. Use a spatula and apply cream cheese filling all over the cake. Leave ¾ - 1 inch space on all sides as the frosting will spread by itself when you'll re-roll the cake. Once done, roll back up the cake again. Now wrap the cake in plastic wrap/parchment paper and place it in the fridge to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Serve. If you want to add more confectioners' sugar on top, the time to do so is right before serving. Cut into slices using a sharp knife. Enjoy!
- Frosted roll stays good for up to 5 days in refrigerator, covered at all times.
- It freeze well too. Wrap it in foil and place in a freezer safe container. Store it frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost overnight in the refrigerator before enjoying.