Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll

This may not be the prettiest pumpkin roll you’ve ever seen, but I can personally vouch for how good it tasted! This is one of Mike’s favorite desserts in college and I’ve been putting off making it for him out of fear. The whole idea of rolling cake into a log just seemed beyond my capabilities. But in my endless search for pumpkin recipes, I knew I couldn’t avoid this one forever.

Pumpkin Roll

Mike absolutely loved it. I was nervous as I made it, but as you can see, everything turned out pretty well. I learned a few things along the way, like don’t roll the cake up inside your dishtowel – that did not work well for me. I think there was more cake on the dishtowel than in the pumpkin roll. Next time I would use parchment paper. Also, any imperfections can be covered with powdered sugar and no one will be the wiser. This is an invaluable lesson. And finally, I learned that a less than perfect looking pumpkin roll can still taste incredible. I made this for Mike’s family when his uncle was visiting a few weeks ago and everyone seemed to really like it. Enough that I would even be willing to make another one sometime.

Pumpkin Roll

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Pumpkin Roll

Yield: Makes 10 servings.


3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs at room temperature, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup pumpkin puree
1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
6 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375. Grease a 15x10x1 jellyroll pan. Line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper.

Sift flour, baking powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg and salt together. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs and sugar until thick and fluffy. Beat pumpkin puree into egg mixture. Stir in flour mixture all at once. Pour into prepared pan. Spread evenly and sprinkle with nuts.

Bake 15 minutes or until center springs back. Loosen cake around edges with a knife if necessary. Invert onto a clean tea towel spirnkled with confectioner's sugar. (Can use parchment paper). Pull off the baking paper and trim 1/4 inch from all sides if too crisp. From short side, roll up cake and towel together while warm. Place seam side down and cool completely on a cooling rack. While the cake is cooling, beat the filling ingredients together until smooth. Unroll cake and spread with filling. Re-roll cake and refrigerate at least 2 hours or until ready to serve.

Tip: Make cake ahead and freeze until needed.

from Apples of Gold

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28 Responses to “Pumpkin Roll”

  1. 1

    Estela @ Weekly Bite — November 18, 2010 @ 3:18 am

    I have yet to make a pumpkin roll! Yours looks perfect :)

  2. 2

    Charley — November 18, 2010 @ 4:08 am

    Mm mm, looks good :) I think that the type of towel you use makes a difference, I use a really thin cotton blanket that used to be a receiving blanket and about a TON of powdered sugar and I haven't had one stick yet. But, the one time I made one with a bar towel, it was a disaster…lol

  3. 3

    Suzanne — November 18, 2010 @ 4:21 am

    congrats I just saw that you made it to the finals with your cookies for LA times, way to go!

  4. 4

    Lisa — November 18, 2010 @ 7:13 am

    Thanks for the tip about not using the dishtowel. I'll have to remember that someday. Your pumpkin cake still looks delicious though and the taste is what matters the most.

  5. 5

    Lauren at KeepItSweet — November 18, 2010 @ 12:13 pm

    i love pumpkin rolls, yum!

  6. 6

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — November 18, 2010 @ 2:07 pm

    Charley – I think you're right on using the correct type of towel. I definitely used the wrong type!

    Suzanne – Thanks! I was pretty excited to make it into the top 50 – hope the testers like my cookie recipe!

  7. 7

    Camille — November 18, 2010 @ 2:18 pm

    I am actually scared to make a pumpkin roll because I'm scared that it won't look that good! Yours looks gorgeous and tasty!

  8. 8

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — November 18, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    Camille – Seriously, it's all about the powdered sugar – it hides all the bad parts! Although if you look at the pictures, you can see a giant tear in the side. I didn't point it out when I served it, and nobody even noticed it! :)

  9. 9

    Evan Thomas — November 18, 2010 @ 2:37 pm

    Awesome job! Rolled cakes are definitely intimidating to everyone the first time around.

  10. 10

    happywhennothungry — November 18, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

    This looks delicious! I've never tried making a roll before. Loving all your pumpkin recipes too!

  11. 11

    Emily @ For Sweets Sake — November 18, 2010 @ 3:53 pm

    Yours came out a lot prettier than mine ever have so good job! :) And as long as it tastes good, who cares if its pretty!

  12. 12

    Jessica @ bake me away! — November 18, 2010 @ 4:14 pm

    I've always wanted to make one of these, but rolling cake has also seemed a bit daunting to me. I think yours looks great!

  13. 13

    Karen — November 18, 2010 @ 4:27 pm

    This looks delicious – one I will have to make. I use baking parchment when I make what we call in the UK a 'Swiss Roll' (why it's called that I have no idea), & then cover any cracks with icing (powdered) sugar. I think they look better with a few cracks & imperfections, more homemade.

  14. 14

    Lauren — November 18, 2010 @ 4:46 pm

    Yay for all of the pumpkin recipes! I've actually never had a pumpkin roll (I know, who am I?), but it looks great.

  15. 15

    Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — November 18, 2010 @ 8:09 pm

    Pumpkin roll is my hubby's favorite… I know he'd love this! I really should make it… I never do :)

  16. 16

    CaSaundraLeigh — November 18, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

    Yours turned out really well. I've made alot of cake rolls that turn out fabulous, but when I attempted the pumpkin one awhile back, I wasn't too happy with the results. I am sure I'll try again sometime using your tips!

  17. 17

    Deborah — November 18, 2010 @ 11:56 pm

    Pumpkin rolls are one of my all time favorite desserts! Now I'm wishing I had one here to eat!

  18. 18

    Crazy Sweet Life (Brianna) — November 19, 2010 @ 2:22 am

    Yum! This looks so good. I just love cream cheese icings.

  19. 19

    Emma — November 19, 2010 @ 2:48 am

    Cake rolls are pretty scary (I'll never forget the first one I made – epic fail) but yours looks very fluffy and pretty, nice work.

  20. 20

    Kay Heritage — November 19, 2010 @ 1:14 pm

    Wow, these look fabulous, Megan! Perfect with tea or coffee!

  21. 21

    Wilson — November 19, 2010 @ 6:36 pm

    Oh wow, I love these and hope to make them soon!

  22. 22

    Rachel @ The Avid Appetite — November 19, 2010 @ 7:00 pm

    I'm wary about making a roll cake too, but I just added this on my 'dishes I want to try list' along with a chiffon pie! Thanks for your great ideas!

  23. 23

    Torviewtoronto — November 21, 2010 @ 3:27 am

    delicious pumpkin roll yummy filling

  24. 24

    Ingrid — November 21, 2010 @ 4:36 pm

    I love pumpkin desserts. I made this for Thanksgiving last year and it was a hit.

    FYI, I don't know if you rolled your cake in a terry cloth towel but you should use the cotton ones with a tight weave. Also, make sure you have very generously powdered your towel and don't unroll until it is comepletely cooled. My mom loves jelly rolls so, I've gotten pretty good at them. :)

  25. 25

    Natalie — November 22, 2010 @ 3:04 am

    the pumpkin roll is one pumpkin dessert i haven't yet tackled. i'm so anxious to try but i'm afraid everyone is getting sick of pumpkin treats so i may have to hold off til next year! :)

  26. 26

    smalltownoven — November 22, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    I commend you on making this beautiful roll! I've always been too chicken to try one out!

  27. 27

    megan @ whatmegansmaking — November 22, 2010 @ 2:19 pm

    Ingrid – Thanks for the tips! I'm pretty sure I used the wrong towel. And not enough powdered sugar. I'll definitely keep that in mind for next time! Thanks :)

  28. 28

    Karen Gianni — November 16, 2015 @ 12:13 pm

    SO many yummy recipes and so few boards to post them. My biggest problem this morning. Lucky me that’s my biggest issue this AM.

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