Pumpkin Cake Roll

One of our favorite fall desserts – a light pumpkin cake spiced with cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, and rolled up with a cream cheese filling in the center.

Over the past few days, I’ve found myself thinking more about cooler weather.  Florida continues to be warm and humid, though we may get one day this week with temperatures in the 70s (which would still be considered warm in other parts of the world). 🙂  I haven’t minded the heat this year as much as I usually do, but I think I’m done with it now.  I’m ready to pull out some of my soft, comfortable sweaters and enjoy a cup of hot tea without sweating in the process.

Jump to Recipe!

The holidays are also approaching quickly and I’m very excited about that fact.  I like Thanksgiving ok, but Christmas is truly my favorite time of year.  The number one reason is the celebration of the birth of my Savior, Jesus Christ.  Everything else pales in comparison to that, but I also truly enjoy other aspects of the season.  Colored lights, bright red poinsettias, Christmas music, Christmas trees…  I’ve already looked around the living room and wondered if it’s too early to set up my tree, but have decided I will try to restrain myself and wait until November at least.  Putting up the Christmas tree is usually a 3-4 hour process at our house, because I am so particular about all of the ornaments being placed evenly over the tree.  (Don’t laugh.)  There must be the same amount of space in all directions between each ornament and all the other decorations.  It’s an arduous process that only myself could make so difficult.  Then, of course, I have to string Christmas lights around the living room, set up my snow village, and decorate the window boxes with poinsettia flowers.  *cue Silent Night playing in the background*

“Hey, who turned on the music?  Hello?”  *music screeches to a stop*

I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s rewind from Christmas back to October and talk about this Pumpkin Cake Roll.

Although, I think it’s the Pumpkin Cake Roll that got me to thinking about holidays in the first place, because my grandma made this delicious treat for Thanksgiving on occasion when I was growing up.  Casey loves Pumpkin Roll, so I promised him earlier this year that I would make one in the fall.  Last Friday I set out on said mission.  My first attempt had an unfortunate ending.  Explanation:  Up to this point, the baking sheets I have used are fairly lightweight and flimsy and tend to warp while they’re in the oven.  They work fine for cookies and rolls and such, so I don’t worry about it much.  I’m too cheap to spend more money when the baking sheets I have work just fine.  Well, on Friday I found a reason to get a new, sturdier baking sheet sometime in the future.  I poured the cake batter into my 15×10 inch baking sheet and placed it in the oven to bake without thinking about the warping problem.  Fifteen minutes later I removed it from the oven, only to find that the baking sheet was uneven and the cake had baked thicker in the middle and much thinner on the sides.  The result was that, when I tried to roll the cake (yes, I did try haha), it completely fell apart.  I cut it into two rectangle shapes and layered it with some frosting and we ate it like that.  It tasted delicious but didn’t look anything like a pumpkin roll.

Yesterday I decided to try again.  I borrowed a sturdier baking sheet, and it made all the difference.  My cake turned out perfectly.  I took the Pumpkin Roll to Bible study (we need help eating these things sometimes, right?), and received requests for the recipe.  So, here it is. 🙂


Note:  As is my norm, I used Sucanat instead of refined sugar in this recipe.  You can substitute it with regular sugar if you like.  Personally, I really like the slight molasses flavor of the Sucanat in this Pumpkin Roll.  It compliments the flavor of the other spices.


Enjoy!  Meanwhile, I’m going to back to thinking about Christmas.  🙂

Pumpkin Cake Roll

  • Servings: 12 slices
  • Print


Pumpkin Cake:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons Sucanat OR 1 cup regular refined sugar
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (canned or fresh is fine)
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup unbleached, all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese, softened to almost room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened to almost room temperature
  • 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Line a 15x10x1 inch baking pan with parchment paper OR grease well and set aside.

In a mixer bowl, beat eggs on medium speed for 5 minutes.  Add remaining ingredients – Sucanat, pumpkin puree, flours, cinnamon, baking powder, ginger, salt, nutmeg, and lemon juice.  Beat on medium speed until well blended.

Spread evenly in prepared baking pan.  Tap pan on counter a few times to be sure batter is even and there are no air bubbles.  Bake for 15-18 minutes or until center of cake springs back when lightly tapped.  Remove from oven and let cool in pan for 5 minutes.

Turn cake onto a clean kitchen towel lightly dusted with powdered sugar.  Gently remove parchment paper if it sticks to cake.  Roll up cake in towel, jelly-roll style, starting with one of the short ends.  Let cool completely, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, combine cream cheese, butter, 1 1/4 cups powdered sugar, and the vanilla in a mixing bowl and beat until smooth and creamy.

Once cake is cooled, unroll gently from towel.  Spread filling over cake and roll up cake around filling.  Store in refrigerator.  Cake is best when served chilled.


~K in the Kitchen


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