My Favorite Pumpkin Roll

If you’re looking for a no-frills, classic, and totally delicious pumpkin cake roll, then look no further. This is my favorite pumpkin roll recipe, made yearly for Thanksgiving.

My Favorite Pumpkin ROll

Have you heard about the Great Canned Pumpkin Shortage of 2009? If you are a baker, perhaps you have. I noticed this in October. I explained to loved ones “No pumpkin – it just wasn’t there!” and was met with a suspect “…maybe you were in the wrong aisle?” Indeed something was up. 1/3 of Nestle’s crops were ruined by heavy rains, causing an apology by the company for shortages in grocery stores nationwide.

Living in the Southern US, I could probably throw a rock and hit someone with a pumpkin patch. So, as long as I know how to roast a pumpkin, the natives in our Thanksgiving clan will not be restless.

Pumpkin Roasting Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut one small pumpkin into quarters and lay on a large foil-lined cookie sheet. (you may need 2 pans depending on the size of your pumpkin) Bake for 45 minutes. Pumpkin should be soft when pierced with a fork. If it is still a little firm, bake for 10 – 15 minutes longer. Allow to cool completely. Scrape pumpkin flesh from rind and mash in a bowl. If your pumpkin is especially stringy, then place it in a blender to puree it. You may need to add a little water as you blend. Scrape it into a bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Here’s my very favorite Thanksgiving dessert to make with pumpkin, My Favorite Pumpkin Roll. The goodness of pumpkin sponge cake paired with cream cheese filling is one of life’s best simple pleasures.

I’ve recently noticed store-brand pumpkin has been fully stocked on the grocer’s shelves where I shop. I would imagine the same is true for most grocery stores across the country. However, I would encourage you to explore the fresh option. Although not as convenient, the end result is much more rewarding.

I think we pumpkin-lovers just might survive this.

My Favorite Pumpkin Roll

Heather Baird
This is the best classic pumpkin roll recipe I've ever found. It's adapted from a recipe by Libbey, purveyor of high quality canned pumpkin puree.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 13 minutes
1 hour cooling time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 33 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 15×10 jelly roll pan


Cake ingredients

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar to sprinkle on towel
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin

Filling ingredients

  • 1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Cake portion

  • Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with parchment paper, or spray pan with flour-based baking spray.
  • Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.
  • Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

Filling portion

  • Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
Keyword cream cheese, powdered sugar, pumpkin puree
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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National Cookie Network
National Cookie Network
14 years ago

Wow. This looks amazing! I might have to rethink my Turkey Day dessert menu!

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
14 years ago

I love this especially because the baking time is 13-15 minutes!

12 years ago

My last cross country trip through Indiana I could not get enough of their pumpkin rolls, I even bought extra for the 'road' and visiting relatives along the way! This receipe looks great and I just happen to have a jelly roll pan or two to bake in!
Mary Anne D'Agata

Ninjago fire temple
Ninjago fire temple
12 years ago

I agree with you last sentence Heather. "I think we pumpkin-lovers just might survive this."

I will not survive with food with pumpkins but thanks for the info.

9 years ago

How far in advanced can this be made? I would love to make it the night before.

Heather Baird
Heather Baird
9 years ago

You can definitely make it a day ahead and refrigerate overnight.