This easy pumpkin roll recipe with the best cream cheese filling is the perfect fall dessert and a favorite you’ll make year after year. It’s simple to freeze and serve with my tips for how to roll a pumpkin roll successfully every time.


This easy pumpkin roll recipe is one recipe that made me fall in love with pumpkin-flavored everything. The first of course being the classic pumpkin pie. Then there are my light as a pillow pumpkin chocolate chip cookies. Fall just wouldn’t be the same without them. My mom always made this pumpkin roll recipe to welcome in fall and it was a popular neighbor gift for the holidays. The warm, inviting trifecta of cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin wafting from the oven was always a sign the leaves would soon begin falling from the trees. Since I’m a firm believer you can’t have too much pumpkin this time of year, there’s always a pumpkin pie and a pumpkin roll on our Thanksgiving table.

Cake rolls can seem daunting at first, but I’m here to tell you they’re actually easy. Especially if you’re armed with some good tricks. I’m sharing an important tip for baking it in the pan, the easy way for how to roll a pumpkin roll, and the how to make this pumpkin roll with or without nuts.

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What’s in This Easy Pumpkin Roll Recipe

This cake roll is full of simple ingredients—many you likely already have on hand.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this easy pumpkin roll recipe:

  • Eggs
  • Granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin puree
  • Lemon juice
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Spices
  • Kosher salt
  • Chopped nuts
  • Powdered sugar
  • Cream cheese
  • Butter
  • Vanilla extract
  • Nuts (optional)—chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts work great


How to Make This Easy Pumpkin Roll

Assembling the pumpkin roll can be a bit finicky, but with a few tricks up your sleeve you should have no trouble creating this tubular stunner.

Here’s how to make it:

Prep your pan. First, prepare your baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper. Don’t skip the parchment paper! It will make transferring this thin sheet cake a whole lot easier to manage. I like parchment paper like this that’s pre-cut so I don’t have to leave anything to guess work.

Make your batter. Whisk together the pumpkin roll cake batter and spread it in a thin, even layer over the prepared baking sheet. If you like nuts, you’ll want to sprinkle them on top of the batter before baking and lay the nut side of the cooked cake onto the powder sugared towel as described below. Chopped, toasted pecans are my favorite but walnuts also work great.

Bake it up. Bake in a 375°F oven for 12-15 minutes. Use a paring knife around the edges of the cake to to loosen it from the pan.


Rolling and Frosting

Grab a towel. I like a light flour sack kitchen towel (one without any nap) for this. Generously sprinkle the towel with powdered sugar, then invert the still warm sheet cake to the towel. The powdered sugar helps prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.

Give it a roll. Working quickly but gently, roll the cake up tightly in the towel. Rolling at this stage, while the cake is still warm is crucial so the cake cools and sets in that tubular shape you want. Rolling it while warm will also keep your pumpkin roll from cracking.

Make your cream cheese frosting. Mix the powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla in a small bowl until smooth.

Unroll and ice. Once the cake has cooled, gently unroll it and spread with the best part of this dessert: the cream cheese frosting. I use an offset spatula to make it smooth. It’s one of my favorite kitchen tools.

Roll and chill. Roll the pumpkin roll back up again and chill until ready to serve.

Slice and serve. When ready to serve, dust with powdered sugar, slice, and serve.


Why Does My Pumpkin Roll Crack?

Fret not, if you read the instructions carefully, your pumpkin roll shouldn’t crack. Cracks tend to happen if you attempt to roll your cake after it’s cooled. The key is to always roll while your cake is still warm. The moisture and warmth from the cake will help it stay together.

2 Tips for Making This Easy Pumpkin Roll

There’s a trick to baking the pumpkin roll. My Mom uses really flat baking sheets with no sides to them (the kind you could find in pretty much any grocery store). I, however, use these high-side baking pans.

Another secret to a successful pumpkin roll is to leave a gap between the batter and the edge of the baking sheet when spreading the batter. That way as it bakes, the expanding cake doesn’t touch and glue to the sides of the pan. This will make it so much easier to lift from the pan.


How to Store a Pumpkin Roll

This pumpkin roll cake should be stored in the fridge in an airtight container. I recommend waiting to slice the cake until you’re ready to eat it, as the edges tend to dry out over time in the fridge.

Can I Freeze a Pumpkin Roll?

Yes, this pumpkin cream cheese roll freezes well. Once you’ve assembled and chilled your cake, slice it and wrap each slice in plastic wrap. Place on a baking sheet to freeze, then store the slices in a large freezer bag once they’ve hardened. When you’re ready to eat the frozen pumpkin roll cake slices, place them in your fridge to thaw for about 2-3 hours.


More Pumpkin Dessert Recipes to Try


More Easy Cake Recipes You’ll Love

GET THE THANKSGIVING PREP GUIDE: Get your FREE Thanksgiving plan, timeline, recipe and menu inspiration, plus all the tips & tricks you need to pull off the best Thanksgiving yet. AND! FREE printable. 

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