Pumpkin Roll

Chocolate and Mixed Nut Tart in a Cookie Crust, Cranberry-Pecan Bread Pudding w/Bourbon-Caramel Sauce and Pumpkin Roll

Okay, I’ve told you before that I love pumpkin desserts (see Pumpkin Snickerdoodles), but what I REALLY love are pumpkin desserts when a little sweetened cream cheese frosting (or filling) is involved.  I recently made Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting from Smitten Kitchen for a cake decorating contest at work.  Okay, so I didn’t win the decorating contest (there were some very cleverly decorated cakes and cupcakes, much better than mine), but they weren’t judged on taste, so whatever.  They were really delicious.

I’ve been making a Pumpkin Roll for Thanksgiving for a few years now.  There was a woman, when my kids were in elementary school, who would make pumpkin rolls for the Halloween Carnival bake sale and everyone would flip out.  She then started taking orders,  making a bunch, freezing them and selling them to those who pre-ordered.  I think I may have even bought one from her once.

I remember thinking they’d be great for Thanksgiving, so I decided I’d have to try making one myself.  It actually sounds a lot more intimidating than it is.  And, you can make it a few days ahead OR even freeze them for a couple weeks before.

It’s really delicious and so impressive when you cut into it and serve a beautiful little slice swirled with cream cheese inside.  This recipe is from Libby’s (the canned pumpkin people) website.  They suggest adding walnuts as an option.  I like to use Heath Bits (little crushed up bits of Heath bar toffee…in the chocolate chip section of the supermarket).

Pumpkin Roll



1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

1 cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup LIBBY’S® 100% Pure Pumpkin


1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar, sifted

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup cup walnuts, chopped OR Heath Bits (optional)


Powdered sugar (optional for decoration)

Chopped walnuts or Heath Bits (optional for decoration)


For Cake:
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax paper (or parchment paper). Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. Beat eggs and granulated sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan.

Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched. (If using a dark-colored pan, begin checking for doneness at 11 minutes.) Immediately loosen and turn cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

For Filling:
Beat cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Stir in nuts or Heath Bits.  Carefully unroll cake. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.

Sprinkle with powdered sugar and additional chopped walnuts or Heath Bits before serving, if desired.

Cooking tip:
Be sure to put enough powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick.