I have been wanting to share this pumpkin roll recipe with you again as an update. You may have seen it called a jelly roll cake, or something similar. Mark and I had been married about 10 years when a woman in the neighborhood made one of these for a church party.
Of course, I asked for the recipe, it was so yummy! And I wasn’t the only one that wanted it. What I love about this recipe is that I always have the ingredients in the pantry.
I have made this recipe for years now whenever fall comes around. It has pumpkin, spices, and cream cheese all wrapped up in one jelly roll! What’s not to love, right?
Are you like me when you go to a neighborhood function or church party and you love to see homemade treats? If I have a choice between something homemade or store-bought, I will usually always go for the homemade variety.
Homemade Pumpkin Roll Recipe
Ingredients – Pumpkin Cake
- Eggs: Great source of protein, helps to bind the pumpkin cake together which creates a moist and soft pumpkin roll. Increases browning during the cooking process. Adds a deliciously rich flavor and helps to extend the life of the pumpkin roll.
- Sugar: Used to maintain moisture, creating a softer pumpkin roll, and adding sweetness and flavor.
- 100% Pumpkin Puree (not pie filling): Acts as a sweetener; softens the dough, an additional fat that adds delicious flavor!
- Lemon Juice: Helps to lock in the moisture in the pumpkin roll; adds a little tartness.
- Flour: Used to stabilize, thicken and control the rise of the cake; helps to hold the pumpkin cake together.
- Cinnamon: Adds a little spice and warmth to the pumpkin roll.
- Ginger (ground): Adds a little spice; more concentrated than fresh ginger.
- Nutmeg: A warm spice adds a little sweet and nutty flavor to the recipe.
- Salt: Used to enhance the flavors of the other ingredients; helps to make the pumpkin roll chewy and strengthens the protein in the cake; offsets the flavor of the sugar.
- Baking Soda: Adds carbon dioxide to the dough which helps to create a delicious soft and chewy pumpkin roll.
Ingredients – Pumpkin Roll Cream Cheese Frosting (Filling)
- Powdered Sugar: Helps to create a smooth consistency; adds sweetness; preferred sugar in baked goods.
- Cream Cheese: Helps to thicken the frosting; adds a mild smooth flavor.
- Butter: Due to the fat content, butter helps to produce a softer cream cheese frosting and enriches the flavor.
- Vanilla Extract: Adds and enhances the flavors of the butter, powdered sugar, and cream cheese.
Kitchen Items You May Need:
- Jelly Roll Pan
- A lint-free towel
- Measuring Cups
- Measuring Spoons
Step 1: Beat the Eggs, Add the Sugar
Start by beating your eggs for 5 minutes with a hand mixer, set to high. Gradually add in sugar. Fold in pumpkin and lemon juice.
Step 2: Combine the Dry Ingredients
In a separate mixing bowl whisk together all of your dry ingredients, except your powdered sugar.
Step 3: Combine the Wet with the Dry Ingredients
Fold your pumpkin mixture into your flour mixture until well combined.
Step 4: Pour the Batter Onto the Prepared Pan
Line a large baking sheet (16 x11 x1 is best) with wax paper and grease the paper well. Pour batter onto the baking sheet and smooth out evenly. Bake in the oven at (375°F) = (190°C) degrees for 12 minutes until baked through. Jelly Roll Cookie Sheet
Step Five: Prepare Baked Cake
Layout a clean dry towel and cover it with powdered sugar to keep the cake from sticking to the towel. Lay baked cake out on the towel, parchment paper facing up. Roll the cake and towel up together and let cool completely. Waxed Paper
Step Six: Spread the Cream Cheese
Once the cake is cooled, roll it back out, and remove the parchment paper. Spread the cream cheese mixture (recipe below) evenly on the cake. Roll it back up tightly. Cut ends off evenly. Refrigerate for a half-hour (wrapped in plastic wrap.) Slice the pumpkin roll into desired slices, serve, and enjoy!
Pumpkin Roll Recipe
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup 100% pumpkin puree (not pie)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 8 -ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 4 tablespoons butter (softened)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Start by beating your eggs for 5 minutes with a hand mixer, set to high. Gradually add in sugar.
2. Fold in pumpkin puree and lemon juice. In a separate mixing bowl whisk together all of your dry ingredients, except your powdered sugar.
3. Fold your pumpkin mixture into your flour mixture until well combined.
4. Line a large baking sheet (15x10x1 is best) with parchment paper and grease the paper well. Pour the batter onto the baking sheet and smooth it out evenly.
5. Bake in the oven at (375°F) = (190°C) degrees for 12 minutes until baked through. Layout a clean dry kitchen towel and sprinkle/dust it with powdered sugar to keep the pumpkin cake from sticking to the towel. Lay the baked pumpkin cake out on the towel, parchment paper facing up. Roll the pumpkin cake and towel up together and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
6. In a mixing bowl, or bowl of a stand mixer, mix together your one cup of powdered sugar, cream cheese (softened), butter (softened), and vanilla extract. Beat them until completely smooth. Once the pumpkin cake is cooled, roll back out, and remove the parchment paper. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on the cake. Roll it back up tightly to create a pumpkin roll. Cut the ends off evenly. Refrigerate for a half-hour (wrapped in plastic wrap). Slice pumpkin roll into desired slices, serve and enjoy!
What Is A Pumpkin Roll?
If you have never heard of a pumpkin roll, I get it. It’s basically a sheet cake made on a cookie sheet. The size I used was the typical size: 18 inches by 13 inches by 1-inch.
It’s thinner than a cake made in a 9 by 13-inch pan. The thicker size pumpkin roll would be too hard to roll.
This classic pumpkin roll is filled with a cream cheese filling, or in some cases, just whipped cream. I prefer the cream cheese filling because I can keep it cold in the refrigerator and serve it the next day, or the day after that. The whipping cream-type cake would have to be served immediately or it would become a soggy mess.
Why does my pumpkin roll crack?
I always recommend you roll the warm cake in the towel immediately after it is baked. It is more likely to crack if you try to roll the cake when it is cooled without using the towel. The moisture and heat will keep the cake crack-free. Just giving you a heads-up here.
What is the difference between pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling?
Although pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie filling are both made with pumpkin puree, the pumpkin pie filling has had additional flavors added such as sugar, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The pumpkin puree that is best used in this recipe is 100% pure pumpkin without added sugar and spices.
Could I use allspice or pumpkin pie spice in this pumpkin roll recipe?
Yes, you can, just substitute the spices with your favorite ones. I prefer simple, or should I say subtle, flavors when it comes to pumpkin recipes.
Could I use a jelly roll pan for this pumpkin roll recipe?
A jelly roll pan is a smaller “cookie sheet”, approximately 15 by 10 inches. A half-sheet cookie sheet is approximately 17-18 inches by 12 inches. The small jelly roll pan will make the cake a bit thicker and easier to roll compared to a thinner larger cake.
What is the best way to store this pumpkin roll?
I highly recommend refrigerating the pumpkin roll for at least 1/2 hour before serving. This will cause the pumpkin roll to set a bit which will allow you to slice the roll easily. This pumpkin roll will last in the fridge for 5 days and freezes great in the freezer for up to 3 months.
Would this pumpkin roll taste good if I added a nut to the recipe?
I really love this pumpkin roll recipe made as is! If you’re interested in adding a nut to this recipe, I would recommend adding crushed pecans or walnuts. This recipe is very versatile, which I love!
What is the secret to rolling a pumpkin roll?
The cake must be warm so it will roll easier on the towel. It’s easier than you may think. The instructions in the recipe card will help you learn the secrets.
Interested in some additional delicious pumpkin recipes? Here are a few more to try:
- Easy-To-Make Pumpkin Dinner Rolls
- Pumpkin Muffin Recipe-Only Two Ingredients
- Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
- Pumpkin Cookies-A Family Favorite
- Pumpkin Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe
- 20 Pumpkin Desserts For Fall
- How To Make The Best Homemade Pumpkin Soup
- 10 Pumpkin Recipes That Are Easy To Make
Can you believe how easy this pumpkin roll is to make? Please let me know if you have ever made a jelly roll cake. I have seen them in different flavors and served at different parties.
Life is so good when you have a homemade dessert, right? Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world, Linda