Recipes » Dessert Recipes » Classic Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

Classic Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

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A spiced pumpkin roll with sweet cream cheese filling. Perfect dessert for any fall dinner.
4.8 from 4 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Roll - A spiced pumpkin roll with sweet cream cheese filling. Perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert menu. https://www.lanascooking.com/cream-cheese-filled-pumpkin-roll/

My Classic Pumpkin Roll recipe is a delicious dessert that your whole family will enjoy for the fall holidays. It’s a rolled, spiced pumpkin cake filled with sweetened cream cheese. The recipe uses a packaged biscuit mix to make it easy as pie!

What’s your favorite thing about the Fall season? The beauty of changing leaves, bright orange pumpkins, boisterous hay rides, pots of yummy soup bubbling away on the stove?

Slices of pumpkin roll on a serving tray.

Fall is, I think, a season when we can all relax a little bit. It’s a time to slow down from the frenzied, fun activities of summer and get ready for days snuggled up in front of a warm, cozy fireplace

Fall also means it’s time to switch gears in the kitchen. The cool, refreshing recipes of spring and summer give way to pots of stew, hearty casseroles, and pumpkin!

This recipe for Classic Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling is one of our family’s favorites. BeeBop asks for it every year during the holidays. I made one last year to take to our neighborhood’s annual Oktoberfest party. It was a sensational hit!

Ingredient Notes

  • Canned Pumpkin (Look for 100% pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix.)
  • Biscuit Mix (This recipe uses a shortcut of biscuit mix instead of plain flour. I recommend Bisquick brand but there are others on the market that are good.)
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice (A mixture of the typical spices used in making pumpkin pie. You’ll find it in the spice aisle at your grocery store, or see my tip below for making your own.)
  • Pecans (My favorite nuts for almost any use, but you could most likely substitute walnuts if you wanted.)
  • Cream Cheese (I always use regular cream cheese – it’s the holidays! – but lower far versions will work for this recipe.)

You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the recipe at the bottom of this post.

How to Make Classic Pumpkin Roll

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

Prep the Pan

Preheat the oven to 375.

Photo collage showing pan greased and lined with waxed paper.

Grease or butter the bottom and sides of a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan. Line the greased pan with waxed paper and then grease the waxed paper. Set the pan aside.

Make the Cake Batter

Photo collage showing process of beating eggs and sugar together.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl with a mixer at high speed until they become thick and pale lemon-colored. Gradually add 1 cup of granulated sugar and beat until soft peaks form and the sugar completely dissolves (this takes 2 to 4 minutes).

Mixing bowl holding dry ingredients for cake batter.

In a separate small bowl, use a spoon, fork or whisk to stir together the biscuit mix and spices.

COOK’S TIP 
You can purchase pumpkin pie spice at the grocery store, or you can make your own. To make pumpkin pie spice, combine 3 tablespoons of ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground ginger, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, and 1 ½ teaspoons ground cloves. Mix well and store in an airtight container. Use 1 teaspoon of the mix where called for in this recipe.

Photo collage showing the mixing of the wet and dry ingredients and the additional of the pumpkin puree.

Using a spatula or wooden spoon, fold the pumpkin puree into the egg and sugar mixture. Then fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture making sure everything is well incorporated.

Cake batter spread into the prepared pan with pecans sprinkled over top.

Using a spoon or offset spatula, spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the batter evenly with chopped pecans. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.

Roll the Warm Cake in a Tea Towel

Photo collage illustrating how to roll the warm cake in a tea towel.

A few minutes before you’re ready to remove the cake from the oven, prepare the towel. Lay a clean cloth kitchen towel out on the countertop and sift 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar over one side of the towel.

COOK’S TIP 
You’ll need a woven towel, not a terry cloth towel, for this step.

Take the cake out of the oven and immediately turn it out onto the sugared towel. Carefully peel off the wax paper.

Starting at the narrow end, roll up the cake and towel together.

Cake rolled in a tea towel resting on a metal cooling rack.

Place the rolled cake and towel on a wire rack seam side down and allow it to cool completely (about 30-40 minutes).

Prepare the Cream Cheese Filling

Photo collage showing ingredients for the cream cheese filling being mixed in a bowl.

When the cake is completely cool, beat the softened cream cheese and softened butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla and beat that in until combined.

Photo collage showing the cooled cake being filled with sweetened cream cheese and re-rolled.

Carefully unroll the cake and spread it with cream cheese mixture. Re-roll the cake without the towel.

COOK’S TIP 
I have made this roll dozens of times and I’ve never made one that did not crack in several places (see the top left panel above?). When (not if) this happens to you, don’t panic. You’re going to go right ahead and fill it and re-roll it, dust it with powdered sugar and no one is going to know that the cake cracked, okay? Honestly, it works out perfectly in the end. Trust me.

Rolled cake with filling resting on a tea towel.

See? All rolled up and looking great!

Place the roll on a serving plate, seam side down, cover with plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours. When you’re ready to serve, dust the top generously with powdered sugar.

Oh, and don’t worry about all that goop that sticks to your towel. Just a quick rinse in the kitchen sink will take care of every bit of it!

How to Serve

Use a sharp knife to slice your pumpkin roll into about 1-inch slices and serve. If you really want to gild the lily you could add a dollop of freshly whipped cream and a shard of pumpkin seed brittle on top.

Recipe Tips

  • Make sure the cake is totally cooled before adding the cream cheese filling. If the cake is still warm, the filling can melt.
  • To keep the cake cracking to a minimum work fast when inverting and rolling it. Just go for it!
  • If you’re cooking the roll the same day you plan to serve it, you’ll need to make it early in the morning so that you’ll have plenty of time for cooling the cake and at least two hours of refrigeration time before serving.
  • To add even more flavor to the delicious cream cheese filling you could stir in about a third of a cup of either apple butter or apricot preserves.

FAQs

What is a “jelly roll pan”?

A jelly roll pan is a small baking pan. The standard measurements are 15″ x 10″ x 1″ deep. If you don’t have a jellyroll pan, unfortunately there really isn’t a good substitute. I have one that I’ve owned for almost 30 years and it probably cost less than $15. I’d consider it a good investment.

Can pumpkin rolls be frozen?

Absolutely. You can make this recipe up to two months in advance, wrap it very well and store in the freezer until needed. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then allow it to sit out at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving.

Should the pumpkin roll be refrigerated?

Yes. After serving, cover the pumpkin roll and store it in the refrigerator. It will last 3-4 days refrigerated.

Why does my pumpkin roll crack?

Rolled cakes of any kind tend to crack. They just do and you just have to roll with it. Most cracks are rolled up inside the cake and won’t show or can be disguised with powdered sugar. See my notes in the body of the post about cracking.

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Recipe

Cream Cheese Filled Pumpkin Roll - A spiced pumpkin roll with sweet cream cheese filling. Perfect for your Thanksgiving dessert menu. https://www.lanascooking.com/cream-cheese-filled-pumpkin-roll/

Classic Pumpkin Roll with Cream Cheese Filling

A spiced pumpkin roll with sweet cream cheese filling. Perfect dessert for any fall dinner.
4.75 from 4 votes
Print It Rate It Save
Course: Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 508kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • cup canned pumpkin
  • ¾ cup biscuit mix recommend: Bisquick
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • cup butter softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 375.
  • Grease the bottom and sides of a 15x10x1 inch jellyroll pan. Line the pan with wax paper and then grease the wax paper. Set aside.
  • Beat the eggs with a mixer at high speed until they become thick and pale. Gradually add 1 cup sugar and beat until soft peaks form and the sugar dissolves (this takes 2 to 4 minutes). Fold the pumpkin into the egg and sugar mixture.
  • In a separate small bowl, combine the biscuit mix and spices. Fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture making sure the dry and wet mixtures are well incorporated. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes.
  • Just before removing the cake from the oven, sift 2-3 tablespoons of powdered sugar in a rectangle on a cloth towel (do not use a terry cloth for this step). Remove the cake from the oven and immediately turn it out onto the sugared towel. Carefully peel off wax paper. Starting at the narrow end, roll up cake and towel together. Place the rolled cake and towel on a wire rack seam side down and allow to cool completely.
  • When the cake is completely cool, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Add 1 cup powdered sugar and vanilla, beating until combined. Carefully unroll the cake and spread with cream cheese mixture. Re-roll without the towel.
  • Place on a serving plate, seam side down and chill for at least 2 hours. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Notes

  • Be sure to use a woven towel, not a terry cloth towel for rolling the cake.
  • It’s just a fact that this cake will crack when rolled and unrolled. Don’t panic when that happens. Just fill and roll the cake, dust it with powdered sugar and serve it up. It’ll all work out in the end. To keep the cracking to a minimum, try to work fast when inverting and rolling.
  • To add even more flavor to the delicious cream cheese filling you could stir in about a third of a cup of either apple butter or apricot preserves.
  • Make sure the cake is totally cooled before adding the cream cheese filling. If the cake is still warm, the filling can melt.
  • If you’re cooking this the same day you plan to serve it, you’ll need to make it early in the morning so that you’ll have plenty of time for cooling the cake and at least two hours of refrigeration time before serving.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 508kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 113mg | Sodium: 327mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 46g | Vitamin A: 3891IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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41 Comments

  1. This was one of the very first recipes I ever blogged and it was the first roll I’d ever made. So delicious. I think I’m going to have to make one of these again soon! I forgot how delicious it was!

  2. A friend of mine use to make these. The are absolutely delicious. I’ve always wanted to make one but I’ve always been leary about the rolling part. I have visions of it breaking in half. You make it look so easy!

  3. Hi Lana,
    I’m so glad you became one of my Foodbuzz friends lately. I wanted to congratulate you on you beautiful creme cheese filled pumpkin roll, for making the Top 9. Love the easy recipe, and appreciate you sharing it!

  4. I’ve always wanted to make a pumpkin roll. Your directions and pictures make it look so easy. You’ve inspired me and I’m going to give it the old college try. I enjoy you blog very much.

    1. Thank you, Sharon. I hope you will give it a try. It’s nowhere near as difficult as you might think. Hope you’ll come back by the blog again.

  5. I recently made Pumpkin Gooey cake for my friends and it was a hit. They will love this even better. You make it sound so easy Nana.

  6. You make it look so easy! Someone told me that my pumpkin whoopie pies tasted like a pumpkin roll, which I didn’t know what it was at the time. I have been too nervous to try rolling my cake, but I think i’ll try it now, thanks!

  7. What a wonderful change of pace from regular layer cakes, and so perfect for fall. I’m sold on all things pumpkin, and just know I would love this!

  8. Just found your blog, and it makes me feel all cozy inside! Your recipes look fantastic, your design is charming, and it makes me feel like sitting on a front porch with a glass of iced tea! Loves it!

  9. what I like about the season? …all the goodness coming from kitchens like yours – looks wonderful – I too will trust a Southern Living recipe any day…

  10. I have a few straggle issues of Southern Living and have enjoyed them, but for some reason have never subscribed. Great step-by-step images and seasonably befitting this gorgeous pumpkin-roll. You’ve inspired me.

    Maybe, just maybe I can make this successfully too! :)

  11. This looks delicious – Thanksgiving in Canada was last weekend but I may have to make this anyways! mmmm

    ceecee

  12. This looks wonderful :)

    In our house we make pumpkin cookies. They have oatmeal in them and this is the only way I like oatmeal. We also throw in a cup of chocolate chips for that extra yum factor :). They are a cake like cookie so you feel like you are eating a slice of pumpkin cake instead of a cookie.

    We end up making a couple of batches a year because they go so fast.

    I think pumpkin stuff is one of may favorite parts of fall. Especially in Arizona where we don’t get the pretty fall colors.

  13. I used to have a co-worker whose wife made this. Hers was devine!

    The Amish foodstands around Central PA typically have them too; but they don’t taste anywhere near as wonderful as hers did.

    I might have to try your recipe this weekend :)