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Perfect Pumpkin Roll Cake

Soft, moist and stuffed with real pumpkin flavor, a perfect pumpkin roll cake is well within your reach with the right tools and technique.  In todays video, I demonstrate just how to achieve it.

Perfect Pumpkin Roll Cake

Ideally, you want your pumpkin roll without any unsightly cracks or tears and the right ratio of cake to filling.  The cake should have a soft and tender crumb and when you cut into the log with a sharp serrated knife, {wiping between each swipe} it should be compactly coiled without the filling oozing out everywhere.  Pinterest also tells me that you can easily cut into a cake with floss.  Thanks Pinterest.

Today, I show you precisely how this is possible to achieve in my video, going through each step with you because I’ll be honest, my first attempt at a jelly-roll style cake was a cake-tastrophe.  #Caketastrophe hashtag nouglypieces because I gobbled it all up before anyone could see.  It tasted just fine but the aesthetic was horrendous and I wasn’t about to serve shredded bits of cake piled high on a platter to anyone.  Lesson learned.  Part of what I learned is that cakes are a lot like pets, if that makes any sense. They all have different but very specific needs.  Without the proper attention, they refuse to cooperate but with specialized training {and in this case, I quite literally mean you have to train this cake} they will finally yield the most desirable results.

Without further ado, I bring you two of my favorite things.  Pumpkin and cake because ’tis the season for pumpkin!  If I had any reservations at all for trading sunny days for cooler weather, the bounty of spice, warmth, and pumpkin-y goodness completely eradicates those.  I like to usher in autumn with pumpkin spice ice cream or pumpkin spice frappuccino in one hand and a plate piled high with these pumpkin rolls in another.  I invite you to celebrate the occasion with me by whipping up a batch of this soft and delicious cake, stuffed with spiced cream cheese frosting.

5.0 from 4 reviews
Pumpkin Roll Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 15 x 10 pan - 4-6 Servings
Ingredients
  • ¾ c unbleached flour
  • ½ ts baking powder
  • ½ ts baking soda
  • 1½ ts pumpkin spice
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 3 room temperature eggs
  • ½ c brown sugar
  • ¼ c granulated sugar
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • ⅔ c pumpkin puree
Filling:
  • 8 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • 4 oz room temperature unsalted butter
  • 1 tb heavy cream
  • 1 ts pure vanilla extract
  • 1 ts pumpkin spice
  • ¼ ts salt
  • Powdered sugar (to taste)
Instructions
  1. In the first bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt.
  2. In the second bowl, crack in the eggs and blend them together with both sugars.
  3. Splash in the vanilla and blend in the pumpkin.
  4. Combine the first and second bowl slowly. Stir until just combined and don't over mix.
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment and evenly spread the batter.
  6. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes.
  7. While the cake is baking, create the filling by blending the cream cheese, butter, cream, pumpkin spice, salt, and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. {I only added in about ½ c sugar but how much is up to you}
  8. When the cake is baked, lift out of the pan and roll to "train" the cake to stay in the rolled shape. Allow to cool.
  9. When the cake is completely cooled, peel off the parchment and spread the filling all over, leaving about an inch of a border all around. Re-roll (as tightly as you can without tearing) and slice to serve.

The first day of autumn also marks my daddy’s birthday so there’s even more to celebrate so cheers to all things wonderful to come!

Love,

Your Squishy Monster ^.~

76 thoughts on “Perfect Pumpkin Roll Cake

  • Candace says:

    annyeonghaseyo!!!!
    My mother is a very picky lady when it comes to pumpkin rolls and this Christmas I will try to make my very first one. Your video was the best one on YouTube and exactly what I was looking for! I can’t wait to try it!

  • Trisha says:

    I made this pumpkin roll and so delicious! I had a few cracks, made sure not to overwork the batter, but may have baked 2 min too long as I thought it was still wet looking after 12 min. On the filling, approx. how much powdered sugar does everyone use, I looked up other recipes and found anywhere from 1-4 cups! I used 2, but less may have been better, just wondering what everyone else uses. Thanks

  • Mary says:

    I just made this today, and the cake part came out MUCH thinner than yours. I used the exact same size pan 15 x 10. I even made sure not to over mix as you suggested. Would more baking powder make it rise more or do I just need more batter than your recipe calls for? Any suggestions are appreciated! 🙂

    • Hi, Mary! I recently had to toss my baking powder out as I didn’t realize how old it was {straight from the shop}. I made this a few weekends ago and it performed well for me. It is definitely a bit thinner than most roll cakes I’ve tested but the fluffy filling compensated it for me. You can certainly double the recipe to suit your needs. Happy baking and Happy Thanksgiving!

  • Cindy says:

    Just made this today. Rolled it the long way and a large crack occurred. I’m guessing I overbaked. Made the filling and it came out to be wwaayyy too much filling. Should I cut the filling recipe in half if I roll it long way. Didn’t think it would make a difference.

    • Hi, Cindy! The length of the cake long ways is not as stable as the wider short ways {if that makes sense}. That paired with any possibility of overworking the batter when it was mixed and a definite yes to the over baking will create cracks. It also helps to cool your cake completely. As for the filling, it depends on how thickly you applied it but I do typically call for a bit extra of most anything as it’s always better to have too much vs too less =)

  • Brian says:

    Awesome website & very well-done Pumpkin Roll vid. Compared to the majority of how-to vids on YouTube, yours can easily be classified as professional…made carefully with culinary love…a joy to watch. I plan to explore your recipes further when I have time.

    You hinted in the video that you weighed your flour, like any good baker worth his/her salt. Yet, your recipe states 3/4 cup. Can you give us the weight you used?

    Thanks!

  • Liza says:

    What can I substitute the heavy cream with? Well the filling not taste right if i choose to not add that ingredient?
    First time making a pumpkin roll cake!!! So excited to get started 🙂

  • Kareem says:

    Hi, awesome recipe. I can’t seem to get the filling to come out all fluffy like yours. Mine keeps coming out more liquid with clumps. Any tips? Thanks a bunch

    • Hi, Kareem! Everything should ideally be at room temperature. If you’re using heavy cream or whipping cream, it should become fluffier as you whip. If anything, too much whipping stiffens it too much to the point of butter, lol. Let me know and we’ll go from there =)

  • Emma says:

    Love this recipe but when I made it it was really thin and cracked acrossed it in many places. Do you have and suggestions?

    • Hi, Emma! Was it baked in a pan with the same/similar dimensions? I find that the initial “training” of the cake is very important as well as making sure the cake is never over baked to prevent cracks. With all my cakes, I tend to slightly under bake {as it will continue to set with residual carry over heat along with it resting in a hot pan if not utilizing a baking rack}. Let me know and we’ll trouble shoot from there =)

  • Kellee says:

    If I made this today and we are eating it tomorrow, should I leave it out (covered) or put it in the fridge?

    • Since it’s just tomorrow, I’d leave it out, covered {as long as your room temperature doesn’t get too warm}. I like to triple wrap the log and dust with powdered sugar just before serving. If you do choose to chill, I’d make sure to take it out 1-2 hours before serving so it softens to room temp. Happy holidays, Kellee!!

  • Adri says:

    My only pan I have is a 15×12 approximately…. Can I still use your measurement of ingredients… Or maybe add an extra amount to fill for the 2 inches difference in pan size?

    Thank you!

  • Esther says:

    Hi Angela, can you please tell me the size of your pan. thanks

  • Elvia says:

    One more question, what kind of butter salted or unsalted?

  • Elvia says:

    Hi Angela can I add pecans?

  • Elvia says:

    Hi can I add pecans?

  • […] Swiss rolls are pretty good, and while trying to figure out how to not waste a pumpkin, I stumbled upon SquishyMonster’s recipe of a pumpkin roll cake. […]

  • […] If you’d like to follow along with a written recipe, you can find one here. […]

  • Shellie says:

    Hi. I was looking for recipes for this online and I came across yours. I am making this for my mom for Christmas eve. I was wondering when I need to make it and how to transport it. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!

    • The Squishy Monster says:

      I actually traveled with this cake last month and it seems to transport well. I made mine a day before and rolled it up in 2 layers of cling then snugly tucked it into a form fitting box/carrier. I left mine at room temperature and would highly recommend doing that or keeping it frozen until the day you need it, bringing it to room temperature several hours before. One of my readers has even suggested using a slice of table bread to keep the cake moist overnight.

  • Dara says:

    I was thinking of making this for Thanksgiving (because PUMPKIN!), and ideally make it ahead of time… like, this weekend. Do you have any suggestions as to storage of the roll to keep it as fresh as possible until Turkey Day? I use a different, buttercream frosting recipe.
    I do plan on wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap. Fridge or freezer?

    • The Squishy Monster says:

      I love your reason–because pumpkin!! This cake doesn’t have much fat in it so it won’t keep as tender as long as say, a cake with oil. Though, if you whipped it up this weekend, I’d freeze it just to be extra sure and give yourself an adequate amount of time to thaw it out so it reaches room temperature and has that soft fluffy texture you’re after. I’d cool it completely {or it will sweat profusely} and assemble and double or triple wrap in plastic then an outer layer of foil. Love and good luck, Dara!

  • THAO says:

    An absolute amazing recipe alongs with great and clear also cute 🙂 direction. Just make it today, turn out delicious. I did my pumpkin puree fresh and nothing can taste better. Thank you so much.

  • Roxann says:

    Hi Angie,

    Do you grease the cookie sheet before you put the parchment paper on or not?

    Your pumpkin roll looks delicious. Thank you for the recipe and video.

    • The Squishy Monster says:

      I personally didn’t because my pan was brand new. Just the parchment worked for me but if you’re concerned, an extra bit of insurance wouldn’t hurt. You can definitely spray both the underside and topside with spray to ensure nothing sticks =)

  • luzviminda says:

    Hi I will try this it’s looks yummy…

  • zane says:

    Love your videos but some things are not clear to me..(1) after baking, to train the cake, do you cool cake at room temp or do you put in fridge? (2) is it heavy cream or heavy WHIPPING cream? (I know it says ‘heavy cream’ but just want to be sure because I don’t yet know the difference..I’m anal 🙁 (3) ‘ts’ is teaspoon right? I made it once already but I was confused about those things and it didn’t come out right so I want to be right this time..I’m REALLY excited to make this again!!

    • The Squishy Monster says:

      Hello Zane, I like to cool at room temperate {to speed things up you can def. utilize the fridge method} and either heavy/whipping cream will work. TS is teaspoon. On my blog, tablespoon will be marked TB. I hope this helps and let me know if you have anymore questions =)

  • Norma says:

    Angie–I have been looking for a pumpkin roll recipe that is made on a cookie sheet–as all the others state jelly roll pans–my question is do you have a recipe for making a chocolate cake jelly roll?????Great video and directions–thanks for helping out>>>>>>>>

    • The Squishy Monster says:

      Thank you so much, Norma! Try omitting the puree/spice and subbing with melted chocolate and cinnamon instead =)

  • Christine cadena says:

    This looks amazing…and you make it look so easy! I made mine and it split down the middle in two places! 🙁 what am I doing wrong? Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • Christine cadena says:

      Sorry…that’s suppose to be a sad face not a mad-looking face!

    • The Squishy Monster says:

      Hey Christine, this is a great question and I hope I can help. Before it even bakes, you don’t want to over mix the batter. This makes for a tougher, denser cake. You want something light and easily malleable. When it’s baking, you want it in a flat vessel (I use something that hasn’t been too abused …a new-ish “traditional” cookie sheet works well here). I once did it in a casserole dish and it split on me and was a disaster. While it’s cooling, it’s important to “train” the cake in the jelly roll shape by rolling it up (with the parchment) and allowing it to cool all the way down. Allowing it to completely cool and come to room temperature allows it the time to get familiar with its shape and doesn’t disturb the cake too much when it’s filled later. Let me know if you have any other questions and keep baking! =)

  • Anne says:

    Hi Angie! I love pumpkin and I love this roll! I was wondering if you can do a post where they decorate the roll. I’ve seen something like that. I think its called a deco roll where they trace a design and then put the cake batter over? I’ve seen other videos but it looks too complicated. Love your stuff!

  • i just bookmark this recipe and save for next christmas….hehhe

  • I love roll cakes and a pumpkin one at this time of the year sounds and looks amazing!

  • So seasonal and delicious looking. I would love one with a cup of tea. Looking forward to the ice cream recipe.

  • That’s a perfect pumpkin roll, Angie.

  • Veronica says:

    So jelly of your cake roll. Making a cake roll is on my bucket list so now I can find at least two of my bucket list recipes on your blog – this one and kimchi. 🙂

  • DWei says:

    Oh man, I can’t wait for pumpkin pie to start appearing in store shelves again. So excited.

  • lavesta says:

    Pumpkin rolls are so festive this time of year, Angela. Happy Autumn! And, thanks for sharing…

  • I love the idea if pumpkin rolls. A great recipe to welcome autumn.

  • brian says:

    u are the autumn dessert queen! move over little debbie..we have the Squishy! hehe awesome looking recipe, i have been craving pumpkin pie.

  • I make a pumpkin roll every single year and it’s hands down one of my favorite treats ever! Thanks for the reminder, nom nom nom!

  • What a sweet pumpkin treat 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  • Lester. says:

    WONDERFUL!! I LOVE ANY THING pumplin!!

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