When your sweet tooth is yearning for a scrumptious fall-inspired dessert for the holidays, bake this pumpkin roll, inspired by That Skinny Chick Can Bake, and enjoy bite after bite of warmly spiced pumpkin cake spiraled with a dreamy cream cheese filling.
Impressive in presentation, this pumpkin roll is a perfect dessert for your Thanksgiving guests, but it’s easy enough to bake throughout the autumn season or as long as your pumpkin cravings are calling. Making a dramatic spiral cake that is deliciously laden with cream cheese filling may seem daunting, but we’ll show you just how easy this dessert can be!
ALSO TRY: The great pumpkin pie recipe
There’s nothing complicated about making a thin layer of pumpkin cake in a jelly roll pan or whipping up a cheesecake-like filling. As long as you work gently with the pumpkin cake layer and carefully roll it around the cream cheese filling, you’ll be guaranteed an Instagram-caliber dessert.
What is a jelly roll pan? This invaluable sheet pan, which is smaller than large baking sheets, is a rimmed baking sheet 15×10 inches. The size of a large baking sheet is typically 12×8 inches. The jelly roll pan is specifically designed for roll cakes, such as Swiss rolls, pumpkin rolls, yule logs, or its namesake jelly rolls. When a recipe calls for a jelly roll pan, it is because the cake ingredients are measured for that specific size of pan. Unless otherwise indicated, a standard-sized rimmed baking sheet cannot be substituted. However, jelly roll pans can be interchanged with other rimmed baking sheets to roast vegetables, cook meats, or even bake cookies. As a bonus, jelly roll pans are small enough to fit in most dishwashers.
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Prepare the baking sheet
The pumpkin cake is baked on a large baking sheet to achieve a thin layer of cake that can be easily rolled around the cream cheese filling. Spray a 15×10-inch baking sheet (also called a jelly roll pan) with baking spray. Line it with a large sheet of parchment paper and spray again with baking spray. Generously sprinkle the baking sheet with flour and tap out any excess.
Whisk the dry ingredients together
Cinnamon, cloves, and ginger give this dessert its flavorful autumn-inspired flair. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt. Set aside.
Beat the wet ingredients together
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and granulated sugar until a thick mixture forms. Add the pumpkin and beat until well-incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to make a batter
Pour the flour mixture into the pumpkin mixture and beat on low to moisten the dry ingredients. Increase the speed and beat just until combined.
Pour the pumpkin cake batter onto the prepared baking sheet
Use a spatula to evenly spread the cake batter on the baking sheet.
Bake the cake
This thin cake takes significantly less time to bake than traditionally shaped cakes. Bake at 375°F for 13 to 15 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed with a finger.
Make the cream cheese filling
While the cake is baking, make the filling. In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Using an electric handheld mixer beat the ingredients together they are until creamy and smooth. Set aside and let cool.
Cool the cake
Spread a thin kitchen towel on a flat surface and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Immediately loosen the cake from the baking pan and turn it out onto the towel. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the cake. Roll the cake up in the towel, starting at the narrow end. Set the cake on a wire rack to cool.
Assemble the cake
Carefully unroll the cake on a flat surface. Use a spatula to evenly spread the cream cheese filling on the cake all the way to the edges. Use your hands to gently reroll the cake, enveloping the filling inside. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow the filling to set up.
Slice and serve
Set the pumpkin roll on a serving plate or fancy cutting board. Cut the cake into slices crosswise and serve.
No dessert quite says fall like this pumpkin roll!
Moist pumpkin cake and savory cream cheese frosting, so decadent!
Enjoy for dessert or breakfast with a cup of coffee!
Yield 8-10 servings
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting the baking sheet
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground 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)
- 1/4 cup powdered sugar (to sprinkle on the towel)
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
- 6 tablespoons butter, softened at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Powdered sugar, to garnish
- Cake: Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Spray a 15x10-inch baking sheet, a jelly roll pan, with nonstick cooking spray. Line with a fitted piece of parchment paper and spray the pan and parchment. Generously dust the baking sheet with flour and tap out the excess.
- In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, and salt.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs and granulated sugar and beat on medium until thick. Pour in the pumpkin puree and blend on medium until combined.
- Add the flour mixture and continue to blend on low until well-combined.
- Using a spatula, spread the pumpkin mixture evenly onto the prepared jelly roll pan.
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until the top of the cake springs back when gently pressed with a finger.
- Filling: While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese filling. In a large mixing bowl combine the cream cheese, remaining powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Use an electric handheld mixer to beat the ingredients until they are creamy and smooth.
- Assembly: Spread a thin kitchen towel out flat on clean surface. Sprinkle the towel with powdered sugar.
- Immediately loosen the cake from the baking sheet and turn it out onto the prepared kitchen towel.
- Carefully peel the paper from the cake. Carefully roll up the cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool the cake on a wire rack.
- Carefully unroll cake, keeping the towel underneath the cake. Evenly spread the cream cheese filling over the cake all the way to the edges. Gently reroll the cake, taking care to not press the filling out of the ends. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Sprinkle the cake with additional powdered sugar before serving, if desired.
- Slice crosswise and serve.