This Pumpkin Roll cake is an easy and beautiful dessert to make in the fall. It’s a pumpkin spice cake rolled with a cream cheese buttercream filling.

Roll cakes were often in the fridge during my childhood, so they have a special nostalgia for me.

Pumpkin Roll - On a Wooden Board with Partial Loaf and Slices

My mom would buy them from the store, and they always looked so elaborate and fancy, but they’re actually quite simple to make yourself.

This pumpkin cake is adapted from a recipe that’s fairly old and well-loved around the country, from the back of a Libby’s Pumpkin can. I’ve tweaked it ever so slightly over the years that I’ve made it, but it’s still easy to pull off.

Because the cake is a very thin layer of batter on a sheet pan, it bakes very quickly.

I like doing a classic cream cheese frosting in the center, since it goes so well with the spiced pumpkin flavor, but you could fill it with any sort of frosting or filling.

Slice of Pumpkin Roll Cake on a White Plate with Fork

The main trick to a perfect roll cake is rolling it up in a towel right after baking, to set its shape and prevent cracking.

(And psssst, if you’re looking for a chocolate cake roll, that one is my favorite. It’s not as easy to make as the pumpkin roll, but very doable).

How to Make a Pumpkin Roll:

To start, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground allspice, and ground cloves:

Flour, Spices, Leavening, and Salt in a Mixing Bowl

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, granulated sugar, and pumpkin.

Canned or fresh both work great, but I like the flavor of fresh more when I have it readily available.

Eggs, Sugar, and Pumpkin Puree in a Mixing Bowl

Whisk until smooth:

Whisked Pumpkin Puree Mixture in a Stainless Steel bowl

Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and stir until no flour streaks remain, and you have a smooth batter:

Pumpkin Cake Batter in a Mixing Bowl

Spread into a large rectangle on a silicone mat or parchment lined half sheet tray:

Pumpkin Roll Cake Batter Spread in a Rectangle on Silicone Mat Unbaked

Bake for about 13 minutes until springy when touched:

Libbys Pumpkin Roll Cake baked on Silicone Mat

While the cake is still warm, dust the top with confectioner’s sugar, then place a piece of parchment on top of the cake.

Flip it over, then peel the silicone mat off and roll the cake in the parchment paper:

Side View of Rolled Pumpkin Cake in Parchment

Just like with any roll cake, this gives the cake “muscle memory” and makes it more likely to hold the roll shape and less likely to crack later on.

While that cools, make the cream cheese filling.

It’s made with room temperature cream cheese and butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla:

Whipped Cream Cheese Filling in a Bowl with Beaters

Spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving room at the edges (because as you roll, the filling will spread a little bit):

Spreading the Cream Cheese Filling Over the Pumpkin Sheet

Roll the cake back up, tightly, and refrigerate for 30 minutes:

Side View of Filled Pumpkin Roll

Refrigerating is important for firming up the frosting, so you get clean slices.

Trim the ends off, then cut into thick slices:

Pumpkin Roll Cake - In Slices and Partial Loaf on Wooden Board

Pumpkin Muffins are another one of my favorite fall baked goods, as well as Homemade Pumpkin Butter and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies. Enjoy!

The full recipe is below, and there’s also a full video below the recipe card if you’d like more guidance.

Can the Pumpkin Roll be frozen? Yes, this cake freezes well. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 months.

Can the Pumpkin Roll sit out at room temperature? It’s fine for a few hours, but after that it should be refrigerated or frozen.

How long can it be refrigerated? It will last about one week.

Pumpkin Roll On a Wooden Board with Partial Loaf and Slices

Pumpkin Roll

This Pumpkin Roll cake is an easy and beautiful dessert to make in the fall! It’s a pumpkin spice cake rolled with a cream cheese buttercream filling.
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Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup fresh or canned pumpkin puree
  • confectioner's sugar for sprinkling

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 tbsp butter softened
  • 1 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a half sheet pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper.
  • In a small bowl, whisk to combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, allspice, and salt.
  • In another bowl, whisk to combine the eggs, sugar, and pumpkin.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until no flour streaks remain.
  • Spread into a rectangle about 15×10 inches on the sheet pan, then bake for 13 minutes, until the cake springs back to the touch.
  • While the cake is still warm, sprinkle the top with confectioner’s sugar flip it into a piece of parchment paper. Peel the silicone mat off the cake, then roll the cake up. While it cools, make the filling.
  • With a hand mixer, whip together the cream cheese, butter, confectioner’s sugar, and vanilla extract.
  • Unroll the cake, then spread the filling evenly, leaving a border at the edges.
  • Roll the cake up and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, trim the edges off, slice, and serve!

Notes

Recipe adapted from the classic Libby's Canned Pumpkin Roll recipe

Nutrition

Calories: 343kcal, Carbohydrates: 41g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 10g, Cholesterol: 98mg, Sodium: 264mg, Potassium: 118mg, Sugar: 33g, Vitamin A: 3200IU, Vitamin C: 0.7mg, Calcium: 50mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.