The Most Scrumptious Pumpkin Roll Ever

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Pumpkin Roll – How to make the best pumpkin roll with a delicious caramel cream cheese filling. Classic Thanksgiving dessert recipe that’s sure to be a family favorite!

scrumptious pumpkin roll with a cream cheese filling, sliced on an ivory plate

Pumpkin roll is one of our family’s favorite Thanksgiving desserts. While it may seem a bit complicated and difficult, a pumpkin roll really isn’t all that difficult to make.

I actually adapted this particular pumpkin roll recipe from a recipe we found a long time ago in a vintage recipe collection we used to have, called My Great Recipes. It was a collection given to us by a friend, and all the recipes were on cards in long, brown, plastic, see-through containers.

When we did a big purge and got rid of a few things, I held on to this particular recipe card because it makes such a scrumptious pumpkin roll. Honestly, I wish I’d kept the whole kit (sigh). Live and learn, I guess.

sliced pumpkin roll on a wooden cutting board with a holiday kitchen towel

Anyway, instead of a regular cream cheese filling, I like to add just a hint of caramel to the filling. It gives the pumpkin roll even more of an edge, and it’s so delicious!

WHERE CAN I FIND THE RECIPE? TAKE ME TO THE RECIPE FOR PUMPKIN ROLL!

If you’d rather skip all of my baking tips, important mixing/baking info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the scrumptious pumpkin roll recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

DOES IT MATTER WHETHER OR NOT I USE CANNED PUMPKIN OR HOMEMADE PUMPKIN PUREE?

Nope, they’re the same thing. You can use homemade pumpkin purée, or you can just buy canned pumpkin.

The only difference I notice when using either/both is that homemade pumpkin purée can have a bit more water and be a little more juicy than store bought canned pumpkin.

Homemade pumpkin purée is really easy to make, though. The recipe involves roasting the pumpkins, then just blending the pumpkin flesh into a smooth purée.

HOW TO MAKE A PUMPKIN ROLL

Your first step is to combine the eggs and sugar. Then add the pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended.

sifting dry ingredients for pumpkin roll recipe

Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt to a sifter; I like to sift the dry ingredients together because that’s how my mama trained me… Sift those dry ingredients!

Once sifted, add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture, mixing well.

Add a sheet of wax paper to a jelly roll pan (more on what this is in a minute). Then spray it down with cooking spray.

Spread the batter onto the wax paper, spreading it out evenly and smoothly.

Bake the pumpkin cake at 375° for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.

WHAT IF I DON’T HAVE PUMPKIN PIE SPICE?

That’s ok! What is in pumpkin pie spice is a mixture of spices, including ground cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; it may also include cloves and allspice.

You can use these spices, individually, if you have them. You’ll just need to use a smaller amount of each spice you choose to use, so they can work together to create the amount of pumpkin pie spice you would need, in this case, a teaspoon.

I would definitely try to use cinnamonnutmegginger, and even allspice if possible.

WHAT IS A JELLY ROLL PAN?

Basically, a jelly roll pan is just a cookie sheet with raised sides. It prevents the cake batter from going off the sides of your pan.

HOW TO ACTUALLY ASSEMBLE A PUMPKIN ROLL

You can sprinkle a little powdered sugar on a flour sack towel to give your pumpkin roll an even prettier, more festive, almost snowy look. Then place the pumpkin cake on the towel, peel off the wax paper, and let it cool for 10 minutes longer.

place the pumpkin roll cake onto a powdered sugar flour sack towel and peel off the wax paper

After allowing it to cool, roll the cake up in the towel, and set it aside while you mix up the cream cheese filling.

rolling pumpkin roll cake up in flour sack towel

Rolling up your pumpkin roll in a towel is supposed to help it not be too moist and also help it not crack. It may or may not crack while you’re doing the final rolling; just take your time and don’t rush.

Once your filling is mixed up and creamy smooth, unroll the cake and spread the filling on the cake.

spread cream cheese filling onto pumpkin roll cake before rolling

Then roll the cake back up into a scrumptious pumpkin roll (minus the towel).

pumpkin roll sprinkled with powdered sugar on a wooden cutting board

Wrap it in plastic wrap, and let it cool in the fridge for about an hour.

You can slice it up when you’re ready to serve it, but keep any leftovers in the fridge.

sliced pumpkin roll on an ivory plate for Thanksgiving and Christmas

Mmmm…. mmmm…. Such a yummy, moist, sponge-like cake roll! The caramel cream cheese filling is the BEST!

Pumpkin roll is definitely one of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes of all time.

bite of pumpkin roll on a fork with ivory plate

CAN I FREEZE A PUMPKIN ROLL?

Yes, you can. Freezing a pumpkin roll shouldn’t hurt the integrity of your roll or your filling one bit.

Just be sure to wrap it well in both plastic wrap and freezer paper or place it in a freezer bag for freezing. That way you can hopefully prevent freezer burn.

pumpkin roll on wooden cutting board

IF YOU LOVE PUMPKIN ROLL, YOU MAY LOVE THESE PUMPKIN RECIPES!

Deliciously Moist Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Soft and Fluffy Pumpkin Muffins

Pumpkin Spice Gooey Butter Cake

Creamy No Bake Pumpkin Dessert

Instant Pot Pumpkin Spice Cheesecake

Classic Pumpkin Pie from Scratch

Pumpkin Sugar Cookies

Pumpkin Pear Spice Cake

slices of pumpkin roll on white plate

KITCHEN TOOLS YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE A PUMPKIN ROLL:

Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer – You can definitely mix a pumpkin roll by hand, but a mixer enables you to get a really smooth cake batter.

Measuring Spoons and Measuring Cups

Sifter

Spatula

Cake Tester or Toothpicks

Jelly Roll Pan

Flour Sack Towel

PUMPKIN ROLL RECIPE

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The Most Scrumptious Pumpkin Roll Recipe Ever

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scrumptious pumpkin roll with a cream cheese filling, sliced on an ivory plate
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The Most Scrumptious Pumpkin Roll Ever

How to make the best pumpkin roll with a delicious caramel cream cheese filling. Classic Thanksgiving dessert recipe that’s sure to be a family favorite!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American, Dessert, Fall, Holiday, Thanksgiving
Keyword how to make a pumpkin roll, pumpkin desserts, pumpkin puree, pumpkin recipes, pumpkin roll, pumpkin roll recipe, thanksgiving dessert recipes, thanksgiving desserts
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cooling Time 25 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 12 servings
Calories 239 kcal
Author Mel Lockcuff

Ingredients

Pumpkin Roll

Cream Cheese Filling

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375°.

  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar.

  3. Add the pumpkin and lemon juice to the egg mixture, mixing until blended. Set aside.

  4. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.

  5. Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, mixing well.

  6. Add a sheet of wax paper to a jelly roll pan. Then spray it with cooking spray.

  7. Spread the batter onto the wax paper, spreading it out evenly and smoothly.
  8. Bake at 375° for about 15 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 

  9. Remove the cake from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
  10. Place the cake on a clean flour sack towel sprinkled with extra powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer.

  11. Then roll the cake up in the towel and set it aside while you mix up the cream cheese filling.

  12. Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter.

  13. Stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and caramel extract, blending until smooth.

  14. Unroll the cake and evenly spread the filling over it.
  15. Remove the towel and roll the cake back up into a pumpkin roll.

  16. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
  17. Slice before serving and enjoy! Keep leftover slices refrigerated.

Recipe Notes

*You can use either canned pumpkin or homemade pumpkin purée. They’re the same thing, so it doesn’t matter which one you use.

Nutrition Facts
The Most Scrumptious Pumpkin Roll Ever
Amount Per Serving (1 Pumpkin Roll)
Calories 239 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 77mg26%
Sodium 301mg13%
Potassium 117mg3%
Carbohydrates 30g10%
Sugar 23g26%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 2555IU51%
Vitamin C 0.9mg1%
Calcium 51mg5%
Iron 0.7mg4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
the most scrumptious pumpkin roll ever
how to make the most scrumptious pumpkin roll ever

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