The pumpkin roll is a favorite in our house, and I think it will be in yours too! With a delicious pumpkin cake and a smooth, creamy filling, your friends and family will be amazed! But nobody needs to know just how easy it is to make.
When the kids see that I have bought canned pumpkin, they always ask me to make a pumpkin roll – and I am happy to oblige! This pumpkin roll is my favorite pumpkin recipe…or maybe it’s my Haupia Pumpkin Pie…no the pumpkin roll. Okay, maybe we will call it a tie (can you tell I love pumpkin!). This is also a fun dessert to serve friends and family because not only does it taste amazing, it’s a beautiful dessert – look at that stunning spiral of creamy goodness! The combination of the cream cheese filling surrounded by pumpkin cake makes for an absolutely delicious dessert that I believe will become a favorite in your house too!
Honestly, making a pumpkin roll is easier than you might think. I’ll share my tips and tricks below. After you make this once, you’ll realize that it’s not too complicated and absolutely worth taking the time to make. One word of advice, do not rush the process! Allow the cake to cool completely before adding the filling, then chill completely before cutting into it.
How to Make the Perfect Pumpkin Roll:
- Begin by preheating the oven to 375F degrees. Then prepare the baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper, making sure that it goes up all the sides. Next, lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray. The parchment paper and cooking spray are important because you need the cake to come out cleanly. You do not want the cake to stick or tear.
- Combine all the wet ingredients in a medium bowl and the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Then mix everything, stirring only until combined. Do not overmix! Spread evenly in the prepared pan. Bake 13-15 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when touched.
Now the Important Steps:
- STEP 1: As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, you’ll want to flip it out of the pan. The easiest way I have discovered to do this is to take a large cutting board covered with parchment paper and place it on top of the cake in the pan (parchment paper down, so when you flip it, the cake is sitting on top of the parchment paper). Using oven mitts, flip the pan with the cake and the cutting board in one swift movement. If the parchment paper lining the baking sheet comes out with the cake, carefully peel it off the cake.
- STEP 2: Immediately, while the cake is hot, roll the cake and the parchment paper into a tight roll, starting at the short end. It is critical that you roll the parchment paper with the cake, otherwise as the cake cools, it will stick to itself, and you’ll never get it unrolled. Next, allow the rolled cake to cool completely on the counter. I usually allow for 2 hours for it to cool. If your cake hasn’t cooled completely, the filling will become runny and won’t hold its shape. So don’t rush the cooling step.
- STEP 3: Once the cake has completely cooled, mix the filling ingredients – cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla with a handheld mixer. Beat until smooth. Next, carefully unroll the cake and discard the parchment paper. Don’t worry about getting the cake completely flat, just flat enough to be able to spread the filling on the cake. Spread an even layer of the filling over the cake.
- STEP 4: Reroll the cake and wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
To serve, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar (optional) and cut it into one-inch-thick slices. Enjoy!
The baking sheet that I use for my pumpkin rolls.
- 17 inch baking sheet
For the Cake:
- ¾ cup flour + 6 tablespoons
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 ½ tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
For the Filling
- 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
For the Cake:
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 17-inch cookie sheet with parchment paper, and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
- Cover a large cutting board with parchment paper and set it aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat eggs, vanilla, and sugar until thick. Add in the pumpkin, and mix to combine.
- Stir flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched.
- When you take the cake out of the oven, immediately turn the cake onto the parchment paper-covered cutting board. It's easiest to put the parchment paper and cutting board on top of the cake and flip them together in one swift movement. Then gently loosen and peel off the parchment paper that was baked with the cake.
- Immediately, while the cake is still hot, roll up the cake and the parchment paper together, starting at the narrow end. Cool completely on a wire cooling rack (about 2 hours).
For the Filling:
- Once the cake is cool, prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
- Carefully unroll the cooled cake, removing and discarding the parchment paper.
- Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly over the cake. Reroll cake.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours.
- Dust with powdered sugar, cut into 1-inch thick slices, and serve.