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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
Spread the batter onto the wax paper, spreading it out evenly and smoothly.
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 seasoning you would need, in this case, a teaspoon.
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.
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 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.
Then roll the cake back up into a scrumptious pumpkin roll (minus the towel).
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.
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.
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.
IF YOU LOVE PUMPKIN ROLL, YOU MAY LOVE THESE PUMPKIN RECIPES!
KITCHEN TOOLS YOU'LL NEED TO MAKE A PUMPKIN ROLL:
PUMPKIN ROLL RECIPE
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Best Pumpkin Roll Ever
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup cane sugar
- 2/3 cup pumpkin purée
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup unbleached cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
Cream Cheese Filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 4 tablespoons salted butter softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon caramel extract
- Pre-heat the oven to 375° F.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the eggs and sugar.
- Add the pumpkin and lemon juice to the egg mixture, mixing until blended. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, spices, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture, mixing well.
- Add a sheet of wax paper to a jelly roll pan. Then spray it with cooking spray.
- Spread the batter onto the wax paper, spreading it out evenly and smoothly.
- Bake at 375° F 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.
- Turn the cake onto a clean flour sack towel sprinkled with extra powdered sugar. Cool 10 minutes longer.
- Carefully peel off the wax paper; then roll the cake up in the towel and set it aside while you mix up the cream cheese filling.
- Beat together the softened cream cheese and butter.
- Mix in the powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and caramel extract, mixing until smooth.
- Unroll the cake and evenly spread the filling over it.
- Remove the towel and roll the cake back up into a pumpkin roll.
- Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Slice before serving and enjoy! Keep leftover slices refrigerated.