Pumpkin Cake Roll

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The classic Pumpkin Cake Roll is a mouthwatering and elegant fall dessert that everyone loves.

If you haven’t made one yet, you’ll be thrilled to learn that making one is actually much easier than you might think!

Classic Pumpkin Cake Roll

It seems like every fall I get bit with the baking bug that has been hibernating over the summer. As a result, I end up making some sort of pumpkin dessert just as school as it’s time to think about school shopping.

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This Salted Caramel Pumpkin Cheesecake is one that always brings a grin to my face. The same can probably be said for the Cheesecake Stuffed Pumpkin Bundt Cake.

When I don’t have much time to bake, but I still want to enjoy the baking season, Pumpkin Crunch Dump Cake, Glazed Pumpkin Cookies, and Pumpkin Puff Pastry Turnovers are all go-to favorites.

Pumpkin Cake Roll

A few years ago, I tackled this ever-popular Thanksgiving favorite, the Pumpkin Cake Roll.

Moist pumpkin cake rolled around a sweet cream cheese filling is something that most of us likely remember from childhood holiday dessert tables.

This dessert is one that always made me smile when I was a child.

Does anyone not love a pumpkin cake roll? It's a holiday favorite.

How To Make a Cake Roll

Cake rolls always looked so pretty, but I was intimidated nonetheless. While many of you have probably been doing it all your lives, to me it was a new concept.

As it turns out, you just bake the cake on a baking sheet (aka jelly roll pan) and then roll the warm cake into a towel so it cools in a perfect spiral. Definitely not rocket science, but very cool to see come together!

Pumpkin Cake with a Cream Cheese Filling is a Thanksgiving classic.

Pumpkin Cake Roll Recipe

I wasn’t about to reinvent the wheel on this recipe, and settled on trying the classic Libby’s Pumpkin Roll. I figured it couldn’t go too wrong and I’m happy to say that it didn’t disappoint.

My whole family loves this and has unanimously decided it needs to be a holiday tradition for our Thanksgiving desserts.

If you have been as intimidated by cake rolls as I was, I recommend starting with this one – it’s easy and super tasty too!

Our favorite Thanksgiving dessert - Pumpkin Cake Roll!

Pumpkin Desserts

Pumpkin Toffee Cookies are soft, moist pumpkin cookies with sweet toffee and brown butter glaze.

The Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie with Streusel elevates the classic Thanksgiving pie to new levels. With a traditional pumpkin pie baked on top of a cheesecake layer that is topped with pecan streusel, this pie is a fall dessert dream come true.

These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling are a pumpkin-lover’s twist on classic whoopie pies.

And for a kid and adult favorite, make a Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie and serve it warm with cold ice cream on top. Hand everyone a spoon and dig it!

Our favorite Thanksgiving dessert - Pumpkin Cake Roll!

Pumpkin Cake Roll

5 from 1 vote
Mouthwatering and elegant, Pumpkin Cake Roll is a classic fall dessert and it actually way easier than you think!
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10 servings


For the Cake

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • Powdered Sugar for sprinkling on the towel

For the Cream Cheese Filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Prepare a 15 x 10 in jelly roll pan by greasing and lining it with parchment paper. I lightly grease the paper after putting it in the bottom of the pan.
  • To make the cake whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt in a medium bowl. Beat together the eggs, sugar and pumpkin, separately in a large bowl. Gently fold in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. Stir until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This cake is thin and will bake quickly so keep an eye on it. While baking, prepare a light cotton kitchen dish towel by dusting it generously with powdered sugar.
  • When the cake is done, immediately loosen and flip out onto the cotton dish towel. Peel off the paper and roll the cake up in the towel, starting with the narrow end.
  • Let cool completely on wire rack. Meanwhile, prepare the cream cheese filling. Beat the softened cream cheese with the sugar and butter and vanilla, until light and fluffy.
  • When the cake is cool, unroll it from the towel and carefully spread the filling onto the cake. Re-roll the cake tightly. Dust with additional powdered sugar if desired. Chill for at least 2 hours before serving. Slice into 1 inch slices.


Serving: 1piece · Calories: 319kcal · Carbohydrates: 41g · Protein: 4g · Fat: 16g · Saturated Fat: 9g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g · Monounsaturated Fat: 4g · Trans Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 92mg · Sodium: 286mg · Potassium: 90mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 33g · Vitamin A: 1245IU · Vitamin C: 1mg · Calcium: 48mg · Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @chocolatewithgrace or tag #chocolatewithgrace!

{originally published 10/19/17 – recipe notes and photos updated 8/27/21}

recipe very lightly adapted from Libby’s Pumpkin Roll Recipe.

The Pumpkin Cake Roll is a Thanksgiving favorite.

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  1. Mim says

    I have never used ‘wax paper’ in the oven, it is NOT recommended for lining baking dishes… didn’t you mean parchment baking paper?

  2. Lillian Morris says

    5 stars
    I’ve made this recipe before and everyone absolutely loves it! But I do have a friend that is allergic to cinnamon will it change the flavor drastically if I don’t use the pumpkin pie spice?

    • Margaret Coleman says

      Make sure you measured your ingredients correctly and baked it at the right temp for the right amount of time. You will also want to make sure you have generously sprinkled your tea towel with powdered sugar. They can be a touch tricky, so good luck perfecting your process, Wendy.