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Grandma’s Pumpkin Roll Recipe

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Grandma’s Pumpkin Roll recipe is one of my family’s favorites. Sweetened cream cheese filling rolled in a light, and moist pumpkin cake makes this dessert unforgettable.

Before my family and I moved to Florida, we lived near my grandmother. Each year, she made several pumpkin rolls and sent them home with various family members to enjoy over the holidays.

Everyone in the family absolutely loved them. John and I always ended up with at least two at our house. He usually ate them because I wasn’t a big fan of pumpkin. 

One year, he talked me into trying a bite. Grandma’s pumpkin roll recipe was so good that I wanted to be able to continue to make them long after she was gone.

The next time we visited Grandma, I asked for her pumpkin roll recipe. My grandmother was thrilled to share her recipe with me, and I’m so glad she did.

Four slices of pumpkin roll on a white plate with two forks.

Over the years, I’ve practiced making her pumpkin roll recipe but couldn’t get the technique quite right. The pumpkin cake usually ended up in a big heap of crumbs and was a huge mess.

If you’ve read my earlier posts, this year is the year I’m learning to make pumpkin related recipes like Pumpkin Spice Muffins, and Pumpkin Pie Spice.

How could I get by without baking Grandma’s pumpkin roll recipe? This time, I followed the directions better and used the right equipment. 

Plus, a little experience never hurts. The result was a moist, cream-filled, pumpkin roll almost as good as Grandma’s.

Pumpkin roll on a long rectangular dish.

How to Make a Pumpkin Roll:

Prep and Preheat:

Grease a jelly roll pan or baking sheet with butter. Cover the pan with waxed or parchment paper. 

Make sure the paper stays in place by pressing down, so it sticks to the butter. Apply more butter or cooking spray to the top of the paper. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Make the Cake Batter:

Add the sugar, pumpkin, baking soda, flour, pumpkin pie spice, and eggs to the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment, and mix on low until combined. 

Pour the batter onto the prepared baking sheet and use a silicone spatula to smooth it into one even layer.

Top down of photo of sliced pumpkin roll on a white plate.

Bake the Pumpkin Roll:

Place the pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. The cake will rise slightly and should spring back when touched. Do not overbake or the edges will harden.

Cool the Roll:

While the cake is baking, take a large kitchen towel and liberally sprinkle it with powdered sugar. After the cake bakes, remove it from the pan leaving the waxed or parchment paper attached.

Flip the cake upside down on the kitchen towel (paper side up, cake side down touching the towel and powdered sugar). 

Carefully peel off the paper taking care not to tear the cake, then discard the paper.

Roll the cake up with the kitchen towel inside. Allow the cake to cool completely while still rolled in the towel. In the meantime, make the cream cheese filling.

Grandma's Pumpkin Roll is one of my family’s favorite fall recipes.  Sweetened cream cheese filling rolled in a light, and moist pumpkin cake makes this dessert unforgettable.

Make the Filling:

Add the softened cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla the bowl of a stand mixer and use the whisk attachment to combine. 

If you want to add chopped pecans, remove the bowl from the mixer and gently fold them in. Store the filling in the refrigerator until you are ready to fill the cake.

Fill the Cake:

After the cake cools, carefully unroll it, but don’t force it to lay flat. Use a spatula to apply the cream cheese filling to the interior of the cake. 

Smooth it out so it’s one even layer and covers to all the edges.

Roll the cake back up with the filling on the inside. Cover the pumpkin roll with plastic wrap and place it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to set.

Once it has set, sprinkle the cake with powdered sugar and slice it to serve. It can be stored in your fridge for up to three days.

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Grandma's Pumpkin Roll is one of my family’s favorite fall recipes.  Sweetened cream cheese filling rolled in a light, and moist pumpkin cake makes this dessert unforgettable.

Grandma’s Pumpkin Roll

Yield: 10 Slices
Prep Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Grandma's Pumpkin Roll is one of my family’s favorite fall recipes. Sweetened cream cheese filling rolled in a light and moist pumpkin cake makes this dessert unforgettable.

Ingredients

Cake Batter

Filling

  • 2 Tablespoons softened butter
  • 8 ounces softened cream cheese
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Grease the bottoms and side of a jelly roll pan or baking sheet (mine was 10 x 15 inches).
  3. Place parchment paper in the pan then grease the paper.

Cake Batter

  1. Place all the cake batter ingredients sugar through eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Use the paddle attachment to mix on low speed until combined.
  2. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the cooked cake from the oven and place cake side down on a clean kitchen towel sprinkled with powdered sugar.
  4. Carefully remove the paper.
  5. Roll the towel and the cake together and allow the cake to cool.

Filling

  1. Use a whisk to combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla, and powdered sugar.
  2. Add pecans if using.
  3. Unroll the cooled cake.
  4. Use a spatula to spread the filling over the cake but don't try to make it lay flat. The cake will try to roll at the ends.
  5. After filling the cake, roll the cake back up and wrap it in plastic wrap.
  6. Store it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours to set.
  7. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving.
  8. Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

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As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 6gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 80mgSodium: 222mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 4g

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Mg

Monday 22nd of October 2018

Delicious!!!!

John

Monday 22nd of October 2018

Thank you for rating the recipe :)

Renee Gardner

Friday 8th of September 2017

I always end up with a mess when making rolled cakes like these. Maybe I just need more practice - which is a great excuse to make this cake.

John

Saturday 9th of September 2017

Thank you, Renee! Perfect, you can practice with this recipe. And hey, if it doesn't turn out perfectly, it will still be a delicious concoction of ingredients :)

Jessica Pinney

Saturday 2nd of September 2017

I am sooo excited for "pumpkin season" and this recipe looks like a great way to kick it off. Thanks for sharing!

John

Sunday 3rd of September 2017

Thank you, Jessica! I am glad you like the pumpkin roll and thank you for the 5-star rating. Have a lovely weekend :)

Analida Braeger

Friday 1st of September 2017

I love a nice pumpkin roll for Thanksgiving! It is so nice you carried on your family tradition.

John

Saturday 2nd of September 2017

Thank you, Analida! Recipes are a wonderful way to honor our loved ones. Have a lovely Saturday :)

Gloria @ Homemade & Yummy

Thursday 31st of August 2017

Gramma's always have the best recipes. I love summer, but will admit fall is the season of flavour...and this pumpkin roll is the perfect example!!

John

Friday 1st of September 2017

Thank you, Gloria! I agree, our grandparents definitely have the best recipes. Have a lovely Friday :)