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This is a pumpkin roll recipe that has been in my family for years! On my first Christmas with my husband’s family, my mother-in-law (the grandkids call her Mima) gave me a pumpkin roll as a gift. We’ve been making it every year since!
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Best Pumpkin Roll
Ever since I first tried this recipe, I’ve wanted to pass on the tradition and start making them myself. I was always impressed with how perfectly rolled and delicious they were! She gave me the recipe and now I make them the same way she used to. This is her recipe with an even easier twist when rolling the cake up using parchment paper!
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- Calls for less mess than the typical pumpkin roll recipe! No more stained towels, or powdered sugar all over the floor. Parchment paper is your new best friend.
- This recipe makes enough to share! Cut the log in threes to share with your friends or keep it all for yourself. A pumpkin roll is a great holiday gift item that is sure to put a smile on your friend’s faces.
Ingredients in Pumpkin Roll Cake
- Eggs- I like to use large eggs for exact measurements.
- Sugar- For this recipe, granulated sugar works best.
- Pumpkin puree- This is where the natural pumpkin flavor comes from.
- Lemon juice- Freshly squeezed lemon juice is better than bottled.
- Baking powder– Makes it nice and fluffy.
- Cinnamon- Gives the pumpkin cake a little spice; the combination of pumpkin and cinnamon is the fall flavor!
- Ginger- Powder works best.
- Nutmeg- Adds some complexity to the flavor.
- Salt- Just a pinch!
- All-purpose flour – be sure to measure it correctly!
- Powdered sugar for dusting– Makes the cake look snowy and aesthetically pleasing. It adds some pizzazz!
- Cream Cheese Frosting for the filling.
How to Make Pumpkin Rolls
- Prepare the pan: Line a 10×15 inch jelly roll pan with cling wrap. Spray with nonstick cooking spray so you don’t have to fight the cake to come out of the pan.
- Make the batter: Beat the eggs at high speed for 4 minutes, or until the eggs are thick and dark yellow color with a foamy texture. Mix in sugar until it’s completely combined then add pumpkin puree, lemon juice, baking powder, all spices, and salt. Mix all ingredients together until combined. Then, slowly mix in the flour. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed in order to mix all of the batter thoroughly.
- Baking the cake- Place the fully mixed batter in the prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. Bake it for 11-15 minutes, when it’s done it will bounce back when lightly pressed. If you can pull a clean toothpick out of the cake you will know it’s ready. When the cake is in the oven, lay out a piece of parchment paper. Carefully, take the hot cake from the oven and immediately flip it over; remove the pan and foil.
How to Roll Pumpkin Cake
- Rolling the cake- If you want to make three small cake rolls instead of a single larger one, slice the cake into three equal pieces. Roll up the cake using the parchment paper and let it sit for 2-3 hours before filling.
- Make the filling- Beat the room-temperature cream cheese and butter together until creamy. Then one cup at a time, mix in powdered sugar and add vanilla extract and heavy whipping cream until the frosting is smooth and easily spreadable.
- Assembling the cake- Unroll the cake from the parchment paper with care. Add equal amounts of frosting to each section of the cake, and roll up each cake roll in plastic wrap. Be gentle; it may crack, but that’s alright! Small cracks aren’t a big deal. Chill until you’re ready to serve.
- How to serve– For serving, dust the pumpkin roll with powdered sugar.
- Storage- You can store the pumpkin roll in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to one month. Just be sure to wrap it in plastic wrap.
- Don’t let the cake cool completely before you roll it, start to roll when it is still warm so the cake is malleable. This decreases the likelihood of cracking.
- Let the pumpkin roll chill for a decent amount of time before serving. It needs to set, so ideally you will want to chill it overnight. If you need to serve it the same day give it a couple of hours at the very least.
Yes, pumpkin rolls should stay refrigerated and wrapped in plastic wrap to keep their shape. Unrefrigerated, the frosting can melt and they can become misshapen and fall apart.
You can freeze pumpkin rolls, they will stay fresh for longer than just keeping them in the fridge. They will stay good in the freezer for up to one month.
You can make the pumpkin roll cake ahead of time, make sure you follow the same steps and roll while it’s still warm.
Your cake could be thin and spongy because you didn’t beat the eggs long enough. The eggs need to be rigorously beaten with a hand mixer for at least 4 minutes. If you are mixing it by hand with no mixer you need to mix it for approximately double that time.
Mima’s Pumpkin Roll
For the Cake:
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup (93g) all purpose flour
For the Filling:
- 4 ounces (113g) cream cheese room temperature
- 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter softened
- 2 cups (226g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) heavy whipping cream
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10×15-inch jelly roll pan with Reynold’s Wrap spray with nonstick cooking spray for easy removal.
- Beat eggs at high speed for 4 minutes, or until the eggs are thick and dark yellow and foamy. Mix in sugar until combined. Add pumpkin puree, lemon juice, baking powder, spices, and salt, mix until combined, then slowly mix in the flour, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Place cake batter in prepared pan and spread into an even layer. Bake for 11-15 minutes or until it somewhat bounces back when you lightly press it (and the top of the cake doesn’t stick to your fingers). A toothpick will come out clean.
- While the cake is in the oven, lay out a sheet of parchment paper. Remove the hot cake from the oven and immediately flip it over (careful not to burn yourself) and remove the pan and foil.
- If you want to make three small cake rolls: slice the cake into three equal pieces. Leave it on the parchment paper.
- Roll up the cake using the parchment paper. Let sit at room temperature to cool, about 2-3 hours.
- Make the filling: beat cream cheese and butter until creamy, then mix in powdered sugar one cup at a time. Add the vanilla and heavy whipping cream until smooth and frosting is spreadable.
- Assemble the cake: carefully unroll the cake from the parchment paper. It may crack, but that’s okay, just be gentle.
- Add equal amounts of frosting to each section of cake. Roll up each cake roll. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill until ready to serve. For serving, dust with powdered sugar.
- You can make this as one large roll or three small ones.
- Store in refrigerator for up to 3 days or wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to one month.
Other Cake Roll Recipes
The BEST Pumpkin Roll Recipe – this easy pumpkin cake roll is a family tradition. Make one big or 3 small pumpkin rolls with this homemade pumpkin cake recipe!
Last Updated on November 14, 2022
I noticed in a lot of your cake roll recipes that you use foil instead of parchment paper. Why not use parchment paper for all of them??
You can bake on either one, roll on parchment or a towel. I always use a towel for rolling because it’s what my MIL taught me – but either works.
I always make a cinnamon cream cheese frosting when I make spice cakes. I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the cream cheese filling, and everyone loved it.. just a try for bringing out the pumpkin flavor.. try it
Yes they can be frozen
Can these be frozen to be gifted later? Maybe without the filling?
I miss those; they were sooooo goooood!