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Granny Kat’s Pumpkin Roll

This spiced Pumpkin Roll is easier to make than you think! It is a soft, moist pumpkin cake is rolled around an easy cream cheese frosting! UPDATED 2020 with new photos & a video tutorial!

This spiced Pumpkin Roll is easier to make than you think! It is a soft, moist pumpkin cake is rolled around an easy cream cheese frosting!
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Now I have no idea who Granny Kat is, but I wish I did because she deserves a personal thank you for this Pumpkin Roll. The pumpkin cake is moist and flavorful and the cream cheese filling is sensational!

The first time I made these back in 2013 I was terrified of failure! It seemed so difficult, but it turns out that it was a whole lotta worry for nothing! Pumpkin rolls are actually quite easy! A few simple tricks will make your roulade perfect every single time!

This spiced Pumpkin Roll is easier to make than you think! It is a soft, moist pumpkin cake is rolled around an easy cream cheese frosting!

Tricks to a perfect Pumpkin Roll!

  • Bake your cake right, mmkay?
    • An overbaked cake will be dry and have a tendency to crack. Fix it by making a quick spiced simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water with a cinnamon stick brought to a boil) and brushing the cake with the syrup prior to rolling.
    • An underbaked cake is possibly worse because it will be sticky and gooey and it will stick to the towel and to you and to basically everything you don’t want it to stick to. Just like plastic wrap (grrr)
  • Cooling the cake in the towel really does make a world of difference! It also keeps your cake moist. Bonus.
  • Chill your cake well before slicing and slice with a sharp knife or a serrated knife!

I don’t want confuse an otherwise simple dessert, but I’ve included two recipes here because I wanted a slightly thinner cake and more roll! The first recipe will make a slightly smaller pumpkin roll with a fatter cake, and the second one will make a slightly thinner cake with more roulade for your buck! 😉

This spiced Pumpkin Roll is easier to make than you think! It is a soft, moist pumpkin cake is rolled around an easy cream cheese frosting!

Pumpkin Pie Roll

Ingredients

Cake:

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour 93 g
  • 1 cup white sugar 230 g
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree 230 g
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice 7 g
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar 28 g

Filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ¼ cup butter 57 g
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 g
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar 110 g

Topping:

  • 2 tablespoons confectioner’s sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

Make the Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 375 and grease and flour a 9×13 inch jelly roll pan. Do use the right sized pan so that your cake is an even thickness. I realized my pan was too large too late. Next time I won’t make such rookie Pumpkin Cake Roll mistakes.
  • In a large bowl mix together flour, sugar, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Stir in pumpkin puree, eggs and lemon juice. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread the mixture evenly.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly.
  • While the cake bakes, lay a clean, unscented, lint free towel on the counter and sprinkle with ¼ cup of confectioners sugar. Turn the cake onto the towel leaving only ½ inch of towel exposed at one short end. Start rolling the cake and towel together lengthwise at the end with the smallest overhang. Place the cake rolled in the towel on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Make the icing: cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 cup confectioners sugar together with an electric mixer.
  • When cake has cooled, gently unroll cake and spread the icing with a small offset spatula within a ¼ inch of each side. Carefully re-roll the cake, making sure to tuck filling into the starting curl so that there is filling at the very center of the roll. Dust with Topping.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated and slice right before serving.

Notes

This makes a shorter roll with a fatter cake. This is the recipe from the original post and the cake that does not have frosting on the top! 

Pumpkin Pie Roll Larger

Ingredients

Cake:

  • 1 cup + 2 T all-purpose flour 140 g
  • 1 ½ cup white sugar 345 g
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 4 eggs 225 g (technically this is 4 ½ eggs)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon lemon juice 10 g
  • ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar 28 g

Filling:

  • 16 ounces cream cheese softened
  • ½ cup butter 113 g
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 8 g
  • 2 cups confectioners sugar 220 g

Topping:

  • Extra frosting!
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Make the Cake:
  • Preheat oven to 375 and grease and line a 12×17 inch baking pan with parchment paper (this is the standard size cookie sheet fyi). Or grease and flour.
  • In a medium bowl mix together flour, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice. Set aside
  • In another bowl whisk together eggs and sugar. Whisk in pumpkin puree followed by lemon juice. Pour mixture into prepared pan and spread the mixture evenly.
  • Bake in preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes or until cake springs back when touched lightly.
  • While the cake bakes, lay a clean, unscented, lint free towel on the counter and sprinkle with ¼ cup of confectioners sugar.
  • Allow the cake to cool about 5 minutes in the pan and then turn the cake onto the towel leaving only ½ inch of towel exposed at one short end. Start rolling the cake and towel together lengthwise at the end with the smallest overhang. Place the cake rolled in the towel on a cooling rack and let cool completely.
  • Make the icing: cream the cream cheese, butter, vanilla and 1 cup confectioners sugar together with an electric mixer.
  • When cake has cooled, gently unroll cake and spread the icing with a small offset spatula about ¼ inch thick leaving about a ¼ inch without frosting at one short end. You are going to roll towards this end!
  • Carefully re-roll the cake, making sure to tuck filling into the starting curl so that there is filling at the very center of the roll. Spread extra frosting on top in decorative swirls and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  • Keep the cake refrigerated and slice right before serving.

Notes

If you only want to put frosting inside the cake, make half this recipe (or the first one above!)
This is the recipe for the size roll that is on the blue plate with frosting on the top. 

Did you make this recipe? I want to hear all about it! 🥳 Tag me on Instagram @cheflindseyfarr and use the hashtag #cheflindseyfarr

This spiced Pumpkin Roll is easier to make than you think! It is a soft, moist pumpkin cake is rolled around an easy cream cheese frosting!
Pumpkin Roll

Recipe adapted from AllRecipes

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This recipe is linked to: Inspiration Monday, Two Cup Tuesday, Tasty Tuesday, Party Time, Moonlight & Mason Jars, Gluten Free Friday, Foodie Friday, Flashback Friday, Saturday Night Fever

39 Comments

  • Phillip
    October 5, 2013 at 8:34 am

    I make this every year at Thanksgiving (or recipe similar to it). Everyone loves it! Great photos! What type of lighting do you use?

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 5, 2013 at 11:41 am

      I’d love to try your recipe too! You aren’t afraid of complicated recipes – that’s one of the reasons I love your site!

      I use natural light coming in from the left side with a silver bounce on the right. I haven’t mastered artificial light yet so I am a slave to weather.com!!

      Reply
      • ando
        October 16, 2013 at 11:26 pm

        wish i could use natural light but i do all my cooking mostly at night so i have to adjust for artificial lighting.

        Reply
        • AmericanCooking22
          October 17, 2013 at 12:22 am

          I run into that problem a lot too, but I’m still trying to perfect my artificial light photography! Any tips?

          Reply
  • Julia | JuliasAlbum.com
    October 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Nice photos! What a good looking pumpkin roll! It looks so soft. Pinning!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 6, 2013 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Julia! It was definitely the moistest pumpkin roll I’ve ever had.

      Reply
  • Christin@SpicySouthernKitchen
    October 6, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    I’ve wanted to make a pumpkin roll for the longest time! Yours looks wonderful!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 7, 2013 at 10:25 pm

      You should totally try it! I don’t know why I was so terrified before! They are sooo much better than store-bought.

      Reply
  • Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl
    October 7, 2013 at 11:36 pm

    Pumpkin rolls are my weakness, yours looks amazing! I am dreaming of a few pieces right now! 😉

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 9, 2013 at 12:25 am

      Thanks, Pamela! Everything pumpkin is my weakness! For serious. Can. Not. Resist.

      Reply
  • Miss Kim @ behgopa
    October 8, 2013 at 4:02 am

    Ohh..more pumpkin recipes. Yummy! Reminds me…I should go buy some pumpkins too before pumpkin season rolls right by me. Pumpkins for cooking/baking and also for facials lol. So good for your skin!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 9, 2013 at 12:24 am

      They are good for your skin!? Now you tell me!

      Ps- I’ve never baked from a “real” pumpkin. I use the ones that are ready with the quick twist of a can opener! 😉

      Reply
  • Kristina
    October 8, 2013 at 11:01 am

    Gorgeous cake!! I’ve never made a roll before but they always look SO so yummy 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 9, 2013 at 12:21 am

      Thank you! It was fun once I got over the fear that I would break it or that mine would turn out hideous!

      Reply
  • Dina
    October 16, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    it looks yummy!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 16, 2013 at 10:31 pm

      Thanks! They definitely are!

      Reply
  • Kristi @ Inspiration Kitchen
    November 16, 2013 at 4:37 pm

    This pumpkin roll looks amazing! I absolutely love pumpkin, so I’d love to make (and eat!) this!

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 16, 2013 at 5:49 pm

      Pumpkin makes me happy. There is no other way to say it. 🙂 Let me know if you try it!

      Reply
  • jennifer polk
    November 25, 2013 at 11:18 pm

    I goofed on my first attempt (used a recipe with boxed cake mix……forgot to only use half the batter for 1 roll….The recipe will normally yield 2 rolls….
    now I have a huge fat roll :'(

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      November 26, 2013 at 9:08 am

      LOL! It happens to the best of us! I didn’t have the right sized pan when I made this one, because I failed to check my pans prior to mixing up the batter! So I ended up with some crispy, ugly edges 🙂
      Hopefully your chubby roll still tastes amazing!

      Reply
  • […] Traditional Pumpkin Roll […]

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  • Mira
    October 12, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    This pumpkin roll looks great! Perfect idea for Fall! Pinning and will try to make it soon !

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 13, 2014 at 8:49 am

      Thanks, Mira! It is delicious. I need to remake it soon!

      Reply
  • Kelly
    October 19, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    A jelly roll pan is bigger than 9 x 13 but is only an inch deep. That’s what you typically use for a cake roll, not a 9 x 13 cake pan. Either way, can’t wait to try it, but I will use my jelly roll pan. 🙂

    Reply
    • AmericanCooking22
      October 19, 2014 at 11:41 pm

      A 9×13 jelly roll is what the original recipe called for. I didn’t have one, so I used a rimmed cookie sheet and just didn’t spread the batter to the edges. It worked but it wasn’t as even as if I had had the correct sized pan.

      Reply
      • Glenda
        November 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm

        Did you have two pumpkin rolls?? One post said there is enough for 2 rolls? I don’t have the 9×13 jelly roll pan either. I will wait and buy one, this looks so good I want it to be right.

        Reply
        • AmericanCooking22
          November 24, 2014 at 7:56 am

          Hi Glenda, The recipe as written makes 1 pumpkin roll. I actually made the one you see in the pictures in a rimmed baking sheet and just didn’t spread the batter all the way to the edges. That commenter substituted a box of cake mix for the flour and baking soda and sugar, and I think she was saying that she should have only used half the box. I’ve never tried using box cake mix, but I know that my recipe makes one roll! I’m sure your roll will be spectacular!

          Reply
  • Jacqui
    October 23, 2014 at 10:15 am

    I love pumpkin rolls!! Thank you for linking up to Party Time and we hope to see you again next week!

    Reply
  • […] up, a large number were pumpkin recipes and pumpkin decorating ideas.  The most visited link was Granny Kat’s Pumpkin Roll.  It’s a moist pumpkin cake with a creamy cheese […]

    Reply
  • Pumpkin Spice French Toast for Two
    November 7, 2014 at 8:09 am

    […] Traditional Pumpkin Roll […]

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  • Sarah
    October 24, 2018 at 10:58 am

    I’m going to try it in my pampered chef 14×10 bar pan.. should I line with parchment paper?

    Looks amazing!

    Reply
    • Lindsey
      November 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      Definitely! Better to be safe than sorry! Plus the parchment helps with the rolling process

      Reply

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