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Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll | With a cream cheese filling, this classic fall treat always gets rave reviews!

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll

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This classic, Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll with a heavenly cream cheese filling is the perfect way to usher in pumpkin season! This pumpkin roulade is a perfect autumn or Thanksgiving dessert!

Impress your guests by baking up this autumnal pumpkin cake roll. Step by step instructions will guide you through the process.

Old fashioned pumpkin roll on a rectangular serving tray

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll

It was time again for a gathering of my dear college girlfriends. Two years ago, we met up at the Drake in Chicago and shopped, ate, and giggled till we dropped. I stayed up WAY past my 9 PM bedtime. Yes, I’m OLD. In the last two years, we’ve met back for Homecoming and relived our collegiate days, though again we actually went to bed versus staying up all night like back in the day.

Through Facebook, I got requests to bring goodies again to the football tailgate. Something pumpkin and something chocolate topped their list. I had not made this old fashioned pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling in years. In fact, I think my college freshman was in early elementary school, so I had to blow a bit of dust off the recipe to start the process.

Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll slice and a square ceramic dish


Tips for Making a Cake Roll

As in the past, I used the classic Libby’s pumpkin roll recipe with a delectable cream cheese filling as a guide. Only tweaking the recipe slightly, I added ginger and decreased the amount of cloves and also eliminated the nuts. It may not be perfect tailgate food as it requires a fork, but it certainly disappeared fast! If you’ve never made a cake roll, it can be kind of daunting. But with a few simple tips and some practice, you’ll be acing this recipe time and time again.

  • Make sure to line your jelly roll pan with  parchment paper. The top must be greased so you can peel it off easily.
  • PRO-Tip: Dust a non-terrycloth towel with powdered sugar. This will be used to help roll up the cake. The powdered sugar will help prevent the cake from sticking to the towel.
  • Immediately after the pumpkin roll comes out of the oven, run a knife or small metal spatula around the perimeter of the cake and flip it out of the pan and onto the prepared towel. Just do it carefully and use your spare hand to guide the cake so it doesn’t flop out of the pan too quickly.
  • Peel off the paper carefully.
  • While the cake is still warm, roll it up from one short side to the other. You will be rolling the towel up with the cake to cool.
  • Let the rolled cake cool on a wire rack.
  • After the cake is cool, unroll, remove the towel, and spread the filling over the surface and reroll sans the towel. Wrap in plastic and chill.
  • To serve, remove the plastic wrap and place the cake on a serving dish. Dust with powdered sugar and slice.
Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll slice reveals a swirl of cream cheese filling on a white ceramic plate

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Also Used in This Pumpkin Roll Recipe:

Pumpkin Roll

Pumpkin Roll

A classic Pumpkin Roll slightly adapted from Libby's

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Yield 10 servings



  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on towel)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)


  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Powdered sugar, to garnish


  1. Preheat oven to 375º. Grease 15 x10-inch jelly-roll pan; line with wax or parchment
  2. paper. Grease and flour paper. Sprinkle a thin kitchen towel with the ¼ cup of powdered sugar.
  3. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger 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.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the top of cake pops back when gently pressed with a finger. Immediately loosen and turn the cake out onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off the paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on a wire rack.
  5. Beat cream cheese, remaining powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla until smooth. Carefully unroll cake. Spread filling over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least one hour.
  6. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 318 Total Fat: 14g Saturated Fat: 8g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 4g Cholesterol: 81mg Sodium: 241mg Carbohydrates: 47g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 39g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 4g
At The Airliner, one of our old haunts…if those walls could talk!!!
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43 comments on “Old Fashioned Pumpkin Roll”

  1. This is one recipe that has escaped me over the years. Since I have some pumpkin and cream cheese it’s time to try it.

  2. Absolutely beautiful Lizzy !!
    I love pumpkin <3

  3. This reminds me that I haven’t baked a pumpkin roulade in years…yours looks perfect with cream cheese filling.

  4. So glad that pumpkin season is upon us! Your pumpkin roll looks quite impressive – I have been thinking about what ‘pumpkin’ treat I would be making this coming weekend and this looks like it would be perfect!

  5. Is it already pumpkin time? 🙂
    Love your roll!
    Have a great day

  6. these are so pretty especially to serve at thanksgiving!

  7. My dear Mom was a expert at making these rolled cakes (usually genoise) but I’ve never seen a little heart made with the filling! Nicely done. Not a huge fan of pumpkin (I know, blasphemy!) I’d still have a slice just because of the filling!

  8. I have already decided I am going to try my hand at making a pumpkin roll this season and I am PUMPED! 😉 I WONDER if it will look as good as yours LOL!

  9. Gorgeous! I’d love to try this.

  10. Dreamy! You can never go wrong with a pumpkin roll and yours is perfection!

  11. Oh wow Liz – that is a beautiful roll. You make it sound so easy. I have never tried making a “jelly” roll dessert. Pumpkin and cream cheese is such a fantastic combo – I might just have to give this a try. So awesome that you still get together with your college girlfriends – sounds like such a blast even if the nights are shorter now.

  12. Oh yesss child! This is a must-try this fall. Looks so perfect for breakfast or dessert!

  13. Looks like you had a great time!! And you’re not old, I go to bed at 9pm most nights too 😉 This looks so delish, that filling has me swooning!

  14. Oh my God, it’s pumpkin spice season again. So soon! This sounds like a good place to start.

  15. Liz this roll looks like coming from a pro! Fantastic!

  16. It’s fun revisiting recipes you haven’t made for awhile, isn’t it? And this one is SO worth making! Looks gorgeous, and I’ll bet the flavor is heavenly. This should become a yearly tradition! Good stuff — thanks.

  17. What a great post Liz – I’ve not made a pumpkin roll for a few years. Yours looks perfect. Sounds like a delightful gathering with your friends at the Drake. Cheers to fall!

  18. Sounds like you had a blast…staying up past 9 pm 🙂 Love this roll, got to but it on my fall dessert lists to make. Very retro but really hits the spot.

  19. I love that you go to bed at 9:00, Liz. If I went to bed at that time, I would be wide awake at 12:30 am. Then it would go downhill from there. This pumpkin roll looks gorgeous!! Your tailgating friends must have been happy that they put in the request. 🙂

  20. Sounds like you had a fun weekend. I am looking forward to pumpkin season but I am waiting for the weather to cool more. We had record heat in California this past weekend.

  21. What a great recipe Liz! It looks so good and you and your friends seems had a nice time!

  22. Love this post and grateful for the tips, Liz…Sounds too like your time in Chicago was wonderful! Do believe the Drake is one of the best in town, right?

  23. This is certainly a great way to usher in this years pumpkin season, I’d love a slice, it’s so pretty.

  24. My first cake roll was a bit of a disaster but I’m no quitter and I’ll try it again!

  25. Hello, love the recipe! Wanted to mention real quick,wax and parchment aren’t interchangeable. Wax is dangerous to cook with and parchment is oven safe.
    Happy and safe holiday baking! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe 🙂

  26. I was always intimidated by cake rolls, but this is easy! I also love to eat pumpkin year round! I love this recipe!

  27. I’ve never made a cake roll but I’m tempted to try. Yours looks both yummy and elegant.

  28. What a lovely recipe to take to tailgating. I’ve only ever been tailgating once, it was so interesting — so many people. And they go all out (it was at a Bears game in Chicago). Your yearly get-together looks fantastic, so nice to have a group of friends from college. I only see one friend from University but we have been best friends since (38 years).

  29. This roll would definitely impress! Bring on the pumpkin!!

  30. Respect for perfect rolling ! Keeping this one to practice 🙂

  31. Perfectly executed roll! I wish i had a bite right now!

  32. I made this today for my family and they devoured it!

  33. A Roll cake is always impressive looking Liz and this is no exception! Love that cream cheese filling.

  34. To be honest, I was intimidated at making this. It was much easier than I thought and boy was it delicious!

  35. Add a bit of orange zest and juice to the mix from a fresh orange it well.put this recipe over the top 😊

  36. Made this perfectly for the first time last night. It was easy and tasted just like I remember when my granny made it.
    The scent and the taste took me back!
    I very much enjoyed the whole experience, and even planning to have a girls family night to bake and eat out family’s recipes for the holidays. Thanks Skinny Chic! You may have started a new tradition in my family!

  37. i  always make one of these at Christmas, but I’ve never even considered making a fall version. this is such a good idea!

  38. This is truly one of my favorite Thanksgiving desserts, and this recipe gets is just right!

  39. This was really good! Everyone at my house enjoyed it!

  40. Yum! This recipe had our whole house ready for fall and cooler temps!

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