Learn how to make a pumpkin roll from scratch with this recipe straight from Grandma's kitchen and made with fresh pumpkin puree. This is an easy pumpkin roll recipe with cream cheese filling that brings you the marriage of a cheese cake with pumpkin spice… aka, the best thing you've ever had. No joke!
My husband's grandmother is known for making these pumpkin rolls, in face, I think she could open a business and stay busy year round. She's actually had people place orders for them, it's that good.
The first time I decided to tackle this recipe myself, I packed up the kids and my pumpkin puree and went to Grandma's house for a lesson. Because let's be honest, the rolling part kind of intimidated me, and I wanted to learn how to roll a pumpkin roll without cracking straight from the get go.
Now, not everyone can hop on down to Grandma's house for a lesson, but that would be one fun party! Lucky for you, I get to share her tips and recipe with you.
Want more of Grandma's, my great-grandmother's, and old-fashioned baking tips and recipes? (the answer is yes, one can never have too many time tested delicious from scratch recipes) then go here to get all of them in Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living, including our bonus videos on how to make homemade doughnuts from scratch!
A jelly roll pan is a must, specifically a 15×10 jelly roll pan,and this one states its made from steel otherwise you'll have too thick of a cake, or too thin, and Goldilocks, we want just right. (Sorry, I couldn't resist the fairy tale pun)
While one doesn't need an Instant Pot to make this, it makes cooking up a whole pumpkin to puree super easy. Just pop it in whole with 1 cup of water for 16 minutes, manually release (careful of the steam), once the pumpkin is cooled, slice it open easier than hot butter, scoop out the seeds, and you've got cooked pumpkin ready to toss in the blender.
I use about 2 cups of cooked pumpkin with a 1/4 cup water and blend it up!
Learn how to make it from scratch with ease with your copy of Hand Made: the Modern Guide to Made-from-Scratch Living just like having Grandma in the kitchen to make sure it turns our right!
Grandma’s Pumpkin Roll (shared from Hand Made pg. 207)
You'll never use store-bought canned pumpkin once you see this method! The Easy Way to Make Pumpkin Puree FAST with Fresh Pumpkin
As soon as cake is out of the pan, place another clean flour sack towel on the short end of the cake and roll up like a sleeping bag. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
Prepare your filling by creaming together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and maple syrup. Unroll cooled cake and smear the filling evenly over the surface. Reroll the cake, cover, and allow to chill in fridge. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
Recipe adaptations and notes:
You can use fresh ground Spelt with this recipe, but you may need to increase the flour by 1/4 cup. For more info on grinding your own flour see our Fresh Ground Flour Guide
Feel free to play with the amount of sugar and cut it back, especially in the filling. I've been known to use half the sugar and wee bit of Stevia.
Other delicious Pumpkin Recipes:
- 8 Ways to Preserve Pumpkin
- No Bake Pumpkin Cream Pie
- Pumpkin Applesauce Cake
- Pumpkin Applesauce Muffins Recipe with Maple Glaze
- Old-Fashioned Pumpkin Sugar Cookies Recipe
Pumpkin Roll Recipe from Grandma with Fresh Pumpkin
- 3 eggs well beaten (Grandma’s notes-beat for 5 minutes until light and foamy)
- 1 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup cooked pumpkin
- ¾ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 cup powdered sugar + more for sprinkling the towel
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup optional
- Preheat oven to 375º Fahrenheit
- Grease and flour a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan with coconut oil and be generous with your grease.
- Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, and spices. Beat eggs for 5 minutes (yes, the whole 5 minutes) until light and foamy, cream in sugar and cooked pumpkin. Then stir in dry ingredients and stir until combined.
- Pour into prepared jelly roll pan and spread until even. Pick up the pan and tap it (the bottom of the pan) against the counter a few times, this makes the air bubbles rise up out of the batter. (I jumped when Grandma did this, it makes a bang)
- Bake for 13 to 15 minutes, until cake is done. Place a clean flour sack or tea towel on the counter and sprinkle with a bit of powdered sugar.
- As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, run a butter knife around the outside edge of the cake to separate it from the pan. Immediately, using hot pads, that cake is hot, turn the pan upside down over the prepared towel.
- As soon as cake is out of the pan, place another clean flour sack towel on the short end of the cake and roll up like a sleeping bag. Cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes.
- Prepare your filling by creaming together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, softened butter, vanilla, and maple syrup. Unroll cooled cake and smear the filling evenly over the surface. Reroll the cake, cover, and allow to chill in fridge. Before serving, sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
Extra tip, you can make this easy pumpkin roll recipe and freeze it ahead of time! Now that you know how to make a pumpkin roll from scratch and how to roll a pumpkin roll without cracking, when are you making it?!
This recipe was a bit tougher than it seemed in reading this post. I made it twice. The first time I was a bit too slow in rolling and it broke because of that. You have to roll it right away. Also, the cake was thicker in the middle than the ends so it really broke apart right in the center. Luckily, that was hidden once the filling went in. It still looked, cut, and turned out fine in the end. The second time I made it, I pushed more of the cake to the edges before baking and used my linen couche and wrapped it with the cake and used a LOT more powdered sugar. The second time it came together perfectly, except I didn’t let it cool it quite enough and the filling sort of melted when I put it on. A linen couche is pretty thick plus the cake was wrapped inside it so I guess I’ll have to allow it to cool longer. The pumpkin roll is really delicious and I look forward to trying the cake portion with fruit purées and adjusting the spices as a new variation. Big thanks to your grandma and you, Melissa, for the recipe!
Hi Marilee, so glad you got it to work, and yes, even if it cracks, it still eats good! The key is to roll it quick as you learned. I’ll have a video up shortly to help folks too. Glad you enjoyed it!
Instructions for cooking pumpkin? Are they different for canned and fresh?
‘- Could you line the pan with parchment paper and grease the paper with coconut oil?
– Can I use my Kitchen Aide “whip” to beat the eggs (or would that make them too foamy?)
You can definitely line it and flip. I haven’t used the whip so be careful you don’t whip it too much.
Yes you certainly can we prefer wax paper
Does the cake part work with raw sugar?
Yes, I only use evaporated cane juice and/or raw sugar
Hi, Have you ever made this recipe with gluten free flour? Have 2 daughters who are gluten free? Thanks
Hi, I really enjoyed your video, we have the same mixer and I love your style. Always gotta wear an apron. Clearly you’re a real food cook, me as well. I’ll think about making this soon. I’ll let you know and send a photos if I do.
I haven’t but I think it would work well because this is already moisture and egg heavy.
I made this today and it turned out perfect. I used parchment paper but did grease with coconut oil too just in case. Worked like a charm. Cake looks and tastes delicious. You made it easy !
Woo hoo! So glad you enjoyed it.
Made this recipe for the first time. Really pretty and delicious. I put up a plum cordial earlier this year and put some on the roll just before adding the filling and final roll. I also added a tempered white chocolate glaze.
I will probably make this again over the holidays.
Thank you for sharing.
Melissa, I have always wanted to make a pumpkin and jelly roll. However, we are a small family so this is just too big. If I were to cut the pumpkin roll in thirds and freeze the other two sections should I cut it right after I roll it or after it sets in the fridge? And, do you have a link as to where you get your towels? I can never find plain white or almost white towels like the ones you are using. Thanking you in advance.
Hi Linda, I would wait to cut until ti sets in the fridge and then you can absolutely freeze it. They freezer very well actually, just wrap it up in plastic wrap and then another layer of tinfoil for the freezer. I’ve had those towels forever I don’t even remember where I got them honestly.
Linda, you can get the potato sack towels at Sam’s Club. I’m not sure how many come in a pack, love them for drying dishes, making jelly, making cake rolls etc, most of your stores like Gordons, Bed, Bath and Beyond will have them!
Linda, you can get the plain white towels at Walmart. They are not with the bathroom towels or kitchen towels they are more where the kitchen supplies are or sometimes opposite the isle where the rugs are. If you do not see them anywhere ask an associate because they are there.
We made this using North Carolina Candy Squash, awesome !!!!
How can I adjust this to make in a larger 12 x 17 jelly roll pan? Made one yesterday in a 10 1/2 x 15! It was awesome but I would love to use my larger pan.
You’d need to find a different recipe for a larger pan, this one is for the 10 x 15. I think it would be too thin in a larger pan.
Mr jelly roll pan is 2 inches wider and 2 inches longer. I’m not good with math, I just thought you might know off the top of your head how to adjust the recipe. I’ll see if Google can help…she’s really smart, knows everything or knows someone who does!!! 😂😂😂 thanks Melissa!
Need some low cal recipes. Lots of veggies please.
The pumpkin roll turned-out terrible! I replaced the sugar with high fructose corn syrup and the flour with bisquick. My aunt doesn’t like cream cheese so I used non-fat tofu. I didn’t have a pumpkin so I used two potatoes instead. I will never make this again.
ps. Just kidding. I can’t wait to make it just like you wrote it!
lol you totally had me going for a minute!
Looks great! Is it 2 cups or 2/3 cup of pumpkin puree?
I was wondering could a person use fresh ground wheat in place of the regular flour? My husband grows wheat and we just bought a mockmill.
I haven’t tested fresh ground in this one (though I do use it often in other recipes) mainly because I don’t want it to be fragile for rolling and didn’t want to sacrifice any to testing. But I would start with a soft white wheat or Spelt and try 1/2 fresh ground and 1/2 all-purpose as the first go round. If you do let me know how it turns out!
I have not treid this but it looks easier then I thought.
I purchased one from a Grandma in our town who does orders starting Oct.15th. One tip she uses pecans in cream cheese filling or plain. She also wraps her rolls with parchment paper puts tape on ends then one side small piece.Then in heavy duty foil so they freeze well longer. I confess wrapped in fridge brought out flavor. I froze second roll. After watching I am ready to try this.
Made this last thanksgiving. Everyone loved it, even those that don’t care for pumpkin.
This turned out perfect and was so yummy! The only thing I did different was use pumpkin pie spice instead of the three different spices.
I wasn’t sure if the butter should be salted or not, but I used salted. Again, this was wonderful.
Hi Melissa, I just made your Pumpkin Roll recipe. It was easy to make and tasted delicious! 🙂
My filling always seems to squeeze out all over the place. Yours didn’t do that.
I tried your recipe for the first time. It cracked really bad, any suggestions?
Either you didn’t roll it fast enough (cooled to fast in pan) OR it overbaked (because it’s such a thin cake and every oven bakes differently it can be easy to do.
I JUST found this recipe and TRIED it 3 times… Once with cake flour…I threw it out. 2nd was my fault…I mixed the sugar in with the dry ingredients and it was AWFUL gummy. I threw it out. The 3rd. I followed the recipe to a T and I used King Arthur All Purpose and it was SoOoOo heavy !! I threw it out…PLEASE help me make this with success.. I LOoOOoVE pumkin rolls. I WANT TO WIN… 😉
Did you watch the video? If it’s heavy you likely didn’t whip the eggs and sugar together long enough (it’s a full 5 minutes) OR over mixed when combining the pumpkin puree and dry ingredients with the eggs and sugar mixture.
Thank You for sharing!