Get the recipe for a classic, delicious pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting + two absolutely key tips for a perfect pumpkin roll every time!
This dessert just speaks fall, doesn’t it? A good pumpkin roll is one of my very favorite pumpkin-flavored treats.
I love them. Love them. Looooove them. I don’t know if there is a more beautiful combination than soft, spiced pumpkin cake rolled with a filling of soft, sweet cream cheese.
This is my Aunt Marilyn’s go-to recipe; she sent it to me years ago, and it’s long since become my go-to recipe, too.
Chances are if you’ve been around here for a while, you may have made it as well. I’m bringing it back into the limelight with updated pictures and a few step-by-step pictures below the recipe.
Cake rolls in general can seem intimidating but they are actually super easy if you have a few key tips and tools to aid you.
I have tried over and over to make this recipe work in a 9X13-inch pan or even a larger, rimmed baking sheet. You know that I am the last one to advocate buying a special size of pan for certain recipes.
But, honestly, if you want cake rolls, specifically pumpkin rolls, in your life, I highly, highly recommend biting the bullet and buying a jelly roll pan.
Sometimes the term “jelly roll pan” is used interchangeably for several different pan sizes, but for me, jelly roll pan means the 15- by 10-inch pan.
I have this jelly roll pan and love it. It is nonstick, but it has a light coating so nothing EVER burns, either…sweet.
The other thing that’s key so a cake roll doesn’t give you grief is to use the right kind of towel. I know the whole rolling-up-a-hot-cake-in-a-towel-thing can cause serious anxiety, but it’s not hard.
I’ve included pictures below the recipe. Also, make sure you use the right kind of towel.
Avoid using cloth towels with texture and instead go for a thin tea towel or flour sack towel.
I use these flour sack towels. I actually use them every day in my kitchen; they are hands-down my favorite kitchen towels.
The towels work great for this pumpkin roll! They are large, so I fold them in half before using.
The dreamy thing about this fall treat is that it can easily be made ahead of time. It can be refrigerated for several days or even frozen, well wrapped, for a couple months.
And there’s no joy quite like opening your freezer to see a pumpkin roll staring at you in the deep, dark, cold depths of January.
I've found that using light cream cheese in the filling makes for a hard and messy to cut pumpkin roll, so I use full fat cream cheese. Also, this is a great make-ahead treat! It can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator or even frozen for several months.
I've found that using light cream cheese in the filling makes for a hard and messy to cut pumpkin roll, so I use full fat cream cheese.
Also, this is a great make-ahead treat! It can be made several days in advance and kept in the refrigerator or even frozen for several months.
This recipe was originally posted October 5, 2009; updated with new commentary, pictures and recipe notes.
Disclaimer: there are a few Amazon affiliate links for products I’ve bought there.