Pumpkin Roll Cake

3.82 from 11 votes

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Pumpkin roll cake with cream cheese filling is a favorite fall dessert among our kids.

In fact, they insist on making this pumpkin roll every Thanksgiving because making this pumpkin cake is as much fun as eating it.

This roll cake serves 12 people at a total cost of about $10 and has just 179 calories per serving. And so I ask you, what’s not to love about this easy pumpkin roll cake recipe?!

Sliced pumpkin roll with recipe information including calories count and cost.
This is one of our many pumpkin dessert recipes.

Pumpkin Roll Cake

There have always been pumpkins in my life, which I think made me a lucky boy growing up and a lucky middle-age man today.

I have so many fun memories of planting pumpkin seeds in my mom’s huge farm garden.

Nurturing them as they grew from the vine and then watching them magically transform into everything from Jack-O-Lanterns to my mom’s pumpkin pie and to eventually to unheard-of things like my pumpkin pizza.

Slice of pumpkin roll cake on a white plate

Now, I have a small boatload of kids myself.

I use the term kids lightly because the twins who are the youngest, are almost 14-years old.

Soon they won’t be kids anymore, but they all enjoy cooking, and baking, and this pumpkin roll is one of their favorites.

In fact, they ask to make this pumpkin cake every fall season, and we often serve it as a Thanksgiving dessert too.

How to Make a Roll Cake

Rolling a cake requires some practice and finesse, but it also adds an element of fun to the recipe, which is part of the reasons that kids enjoy making this pumpkin roll.

A plate of food and a cup of coffee, with Pumpkin cake roll
Rolling a pumpkin cake roll

Rolling a cake requires some practice and finesse, but it also adds an element of fun to the recipe, which is part of the reasons that kids enjoy making this pumpkin roll.

1. Spread the cake batter into a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

  • Bake for 12-15 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 375°.
    • The cake is done with it is light and springy to the touch.
    • It is better to err on the side of less time in the oven rather than more time in the oven.  I’ve tossed out more than one roll cake because I baked it too long and was unable to roll the cardboard-like cake.
  • Allow to the pumpkin cake to cool for five minutes.

2. Invert cake onto a kitchen towel that is dusted with powdered sugar.

  • Gently peel the parchment paper off the cake
  • If you have some crispy edges, simply trim them off with a paring knife.
    • The cake has to be soft and pliable to roll well.
  • Roll the pumpkin cake in the towel, jelly roll-style.

3. Place the towel-wrapped roll cake on a wire rack and allow it to cool completely.

  • It is critical that the cake is completely cooled before unrolling.

4. When the cake is completely cool, unroll it and spread the cream cheese filling on evenly on top of the pumpkin cake.

  • Leave a border of at least 1/2 an inch.
  • Reroll the cake, starting at one end.
A close up of a piece of cake on a plate, with Pumpkin and Platter

Admittedly, I’ve never used a pumpkin from the garden or market for anything other than carving it for Halloween.

In fairness, this is probably the second or third time I’ve ever made pumpkin-anything in the kitchen.

My previous experience with pumpkin recipes was pumpkin pie, probably my favorite pie in the world.

How to Store a Roll Cake

If you are making this pumpkin roll a day or two in advance, put it in an air-tight container and refrigerate until you are ready to serve it.

  • You can freeze a roll cake for up to three months in your freezer with good results.
  • Use kitchen wrap for an air-tight seal before freezing.
  • Allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight before serving it.

I suppose that using the real thing is a goal that I will consider for some future creation.

My mom always used pumpkins out of her big garden on our farm; to be sure there were always plenty to be picked.

I’m still a sucker for convenience in the kitchen, especially when trying something new and unfamiliar to me.

The work is a bit less, and the risk seems a bit lower as well.

This was a fun pumpkin cake to put together, similar to our Buche de Noel (Christmas log), another cake roll recipe of ours.

Pumkin roll cake sliced on a cutting board.


This pumpkin roll is fun, it’s great looking, and it was a hit among everyone who tried it.  Give this easy pumpkin roll a try; it’s a sure bet to please!

Dan from Platter Talk standing in the kitchen.


Pumpkin roll on a white seviong platter with four slices carved.


More Roll Cakes for You

If you’re looking for my favorite pumpkin cake recipe, take a look at our Slow Cooker Sticky Caramel Pumpkin Cake.

  • Make it in just two hours, using your crock-pot!

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Pumpkin Roll Cake

3.82 from 11 votes
This Pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling is a sweet and savory pumpkin cake that is a fun dessdert for the fall and holiday season, adapted from Taste of Home.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Total: 30 minutes
Yield: 12 People


for the cake

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

for the filling

  • 1 package, 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Additional confectioners’ sugar, optional


  • Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan with parchment paper; grease the paper and set aside. In a large bowl, beat egg yolks on high speed until thick and lemon-colored. Gradually add 1/2 cup sugar and pumpkin, beating on high until sugar is almost dissolved.
  • In a small bowl, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, beating until stiff peaks form. Fold into egg yolk mixture. Combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; gently fold into pumpkin mixture. Spread into prepared pan.
  • Bake at 375° for 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool for 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Gently peel off parchment paper. Roll up cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with a short side. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth. Unroll cake; spread filling evenly to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up again. Cover and freeze until firm. May be frozen for up to 3 months. Remove from the freezer 15 minutes before cutting. Dust with confectioners’ sugar if desired. Yield: 10 servings.


Calories: 179kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 46mg, Sodium: 149mg, Potassium: 57mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 2236IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 11mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American, Fall
Tried this recipe?Mention @plattertalk or tag #plattertalk!
Updated from our original pumpkin roll recipe of October 7, 2013

Meet the Platter Talk Guys

Dan & Scott split their time between Wisconsin and Southwest Florida and are dads to six boys. Good food runs through their veins, and they love showing others how to cook easy recipes.

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  1. 5 stars
    My first time rolling a cake and it came out perfectly. My husband who goes to the gym 5x a week and doesn’t eat a lot of sweets ate almost the whole roll in one sitting.

    1. Sam, both you and your husband are my newest heroes! Congrats on rolling your first cake and be sure and take a look at our Yule log and our red velvet roll cake; I think you’ll love them both!!

  2. This does look amazing and I am getting ready to try it now; however, correct me if I’m wrong, but since when has waxed paper been oven safe? To the best of my knowledge it is not and never has been as the heat melts the wax and it has potential to catch on fire this is why they make parchment paper which is made from silicone and is heat resistant. Please correct this so the people who aren’t aware of this fact don’t burn their house down. Thank you😊

    1. Good pick-up, Anne! We corrected the recipe card to say parchment paper, as described in the text of the post above. Thanks for pointing out this error. And, by all means, try this pumpkin cake roll; it’s a fall favorite with our family!

  3. Thanks for linking with us at Best of the Weekend – I’ll be featuring your recipe tomorrow night on my blog!