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This classic Pumpkin Roll is a simple spiced pumpkin cake rolled up with the BEST cream cheese frosting inside. Use parchment paper for easy rolling — no towel needed.
Trick for Making Cake Rolls
A pumpkin roll is one of my family’s favorite Thanksgiving desserts. It’s super easy to make, thanks to parchment paper. No flipping the cake out onto a powdered sugar covered towel. It’s too tricky and messy that way. With parchment paper you can roll it up right inside which significantly decreases the amount of mess and stress! Plus it peels right off!
How Do You Make a Pumpkin Roll?
A pumpkin roll is easier to make than you think.
- Prepare a simple pumpkin cake batter (recipe below) and spread it over a parchment lined half sheet pan.
- Bake the cake, then roll it up in the parchment paper while it’s still hot.
- Cool the cake completely. Unroll the cake and fill it with the BEST cream cheese frosting.
- Re-roll the pumpkin cake with the frosting inside. Cover and chill for an hour or two before cutting and serving.
Jelly Roll Pan or Half Sheet Pan?
I use a half sheet pan which is 18×13-inches. Using a 15×10-inch jelly roll pan will produce a slightly thicker cake. Either is fine. You can get roughly 12-14 slices per pumpkin roll, which makes it a great dessert for the holidays.
Can You Freeze a Pumpkin Roll?
Yes! This pumpkin roll is easy to freeze. After filling and rolling the cake, simply double wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap. Freezing makes cutting easy and precise too, but you can simply refrigerate and slice the cake up with similar results. (The pumpkin roll pictured was not frozen.)
TIP: Use a serrated knife and cut the pumpkin roll like you would bread, so you don’t smash the cake.
This pumpkin roll recipe is full of warm spices, but you can use as much or as little as you like. I make my own homemade pumpkin pie spice mix. I love the flavorful spices mixed with the cool and smooth cream cheese frosting. You are going to love this pumpkin roll too!
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice*
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2/3 cup pumpkin pureé (not pie filling)
The BEST Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 8 oz cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 18x13 half sheet pan or 15x10 jelly roll pan with parchment paper that is slightly longer than both ends for easy lifting and rolling.
- Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and pumpkin pie spice* in a bowl.
- Beat eggs and sugar in a large bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly across the parchment lined tray.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. Carefully roll up cake inside of parchment paper while still hot. (Short edge to short edge.) Cool on a wire rack.
- Prepare the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla all at once. Mix until incorporated.
- Once completely cooled, carefully unroll the cake. Evenly spread the cream cheese frosting over the cake. Re-roll the cake, loosening and removing the parchment paper as you go. Discard the parchment paper.
- Wrap cake in plastic wrap and REFRIGERATE at least 1 hour. Use a serrated knife and cut the pumpkin roll like you would bread, so you don’t smash the cake. Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator.
*For Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice: 1 & 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon, 1/2 tsp ground ginger, 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg, and 1/8 tsp EACH ground cloves and ground allspice.
*To Freeze: Double wrap the pumpkin roll in plastic wrap, or do one layer of plastic wrap and one layer of foil. Freeze up to 2-3 months.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g