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three slices of pumpkin roll laying on parchment paper
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Pumpkin Cake Roll

This festive, easy, and delicious pumpkin cake roll will make your house smell amazing. I love the aromatic spices and the pumpkin flavor along with the smooth cream cheese frosting. It's best when served cold, making it a great make-ahead recipe.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Cooling4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 roll
Author: Tania


Pumpkin Cake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • teaspoon ground cloves
  • cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups confectioner's sugar, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Confectioner's sugar (to taste)


Make the pumpkin cake

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Make sure you have a 10x15 inch sheet pan or jelly roll pan ready.
  • Combine the dry ingredients: In a large bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ground cinnamon, ground ginger, ground nutmeg, and ground cloves until evenly combined. Set aside.
  • Combine wet ingredients: In another bowl, whisk the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, granulated sugar, and eggs until evenly combined.
  • Combine the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients, and mix until just combined and no pockets of flour remain. Do not overmix. The batter should be relatively thin.
  • Line a 10x15 inch sheet pan or jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly onto the prepared pan. Bake for 15-16 minutes, or it until it springs back when gently poked.
  • Remove the cake from the oven. While still hot, carefully roll the cake starting from the short end. Transfer to a wire rack and let it cool completely. Note: pre-rolling the cake while still hot will allow it to “remember” this shape, making it easier to roll later once you add the filling. Tip: To expedite the cooling process, put it in the fridge once it has cooled down a bit (you don’t want to put something very hot in the fridge).

Make the frosting and assemble

  • After it has cooled down, make the cream cheese frosting: With a mixer on medium-high speed, beat cream cheese with the unsalted butter until creamy, about 2 minutes. Then on low speed, mix in the confectioners sugar. Once the sugar is incorporated, increase the speed to medium-high and continue beating for another 1-2 minutes or until combined and smooth. Set aside.
  • Unroll the cake and evenly spread the cream cheese frosting over it, leaving about a half inch border. Starting from the short end, roll the cake back as tightly as you can without squeezing out the cream cheese. Gently peel off the parchment paper as you roll it. After you're done rolling it, scrape off any excess frosting on the end or edges. Tip: the tighter you roll it, the rounder it will look.
  • Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for another 1.5 to 2 hours or overnight. This will allow the frosting to set.
  • Dust with some confectioner's sugar to taste before serving. Slice and serve. Enjoy!


  • Special equipment: can opener, 10x15 inch sheet pan or jelly roll pan, parchment paper sheets, cooling rack, mixer, plastic wrap.
  • Make ahead: The entire cake from start to finish can be made ahead. In fact, it's best when served cold, so feel free to refrigerate it overnight before serving.
  • Pre-roll the cake (without the frosting) while it is still hot. Do so carefully. This will help the cake "remember" this shape later on once you re-roll it with the frosting.
  • Wait for the cake to cool completely before adding any frosting. If it's still warm, the frosting will melt and absorb into the cake, making it soggy.
  • Dusting with confectioner's sugar: Top it with confectioner's sugar right before serving.