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Pumpkin roll with orange cream cheese

18 October 2018 | Last Updated: 6 August 2019

My favorite pumpkin roll is rich, perfectly spiced and moist. It may not look like it – but it’s also very simple to make from scratch! It’s filled with orange-flavored cream cheese filling, that is fluffy, creamy and not overly sweet.

pumpkin roll with orange cream cheese, pumpkin roll slices on a wooden board

MY FAVORITE PUMPKIN ROLL RECIPE:

The basic recipe for this very popular pumpkin roll cake is almost the same on many websites. I modified it just a little to our taste – I added orange zest and gingerbread spice to the dough. I also swapped half of the granulated sugar for light brown sugar, which makes the cake more moist, and also because I like its caramel taste.

As for the cream cheese frosting, I significantly reduced the amount of butter and sugar in it. I’ve made this cake from one recipe that called for 1 ¾ cups sugar in the frosting and we just couldn‘t eat it, it was too sweet. I don‘t know if that’s just our European palates.. ;). I also added orange zest, lemon juice, and a little salt, which made the frosting much lighter and more delicious. It balances perfectly the sweet pumpkin cake.

pumpkin roll with orange cream cheese cut in half, on a woodem board

PUMPKIN PUREE FOR PUMPKIN ROLL:

  • You can use canned pumpkin puree or made your homemade pumpkin puree, which is super easy to make.
  • How to make pumpkin puree: Cut the pumpkin into equal-sized pieces (peeling is not necessary). Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper, bake at 200°C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6 for about 30-60 minutes, until soft (the baking time will depend on the size of the chunks and pumpkin/squash type). Scoop out the flesh from the skin with a spoon, puree until smooth. Unused puree can be frozen. When using hokkaido pumpkin, puree the flesh with the skin, it‘s soft after baking!
  • What kind of pumpkin/squash to use for pumpkin puree: It‘s best to use a hokkaido pumpkin here, it‘s less moist and sweet than, for example, a butternut squash, but you can use any type of squash / pumpkin with this recipe or canned pumpkin puree.

Do you have any pumpkin puree left? Try these recipes:

a slice of pumpkin roll on a blue floral plate

WHAT KIND OF PAN TO USE FOR PUMPKIN ROLL:

It’s best to use a 10 x 15-inch jelly roll pan / 25 x 38 cm baking pan. You can use any pan, that has similar dimensions. Best would be a rectangular pan, in opposite to a square pan. The surface area needs to be similar, I used 30 x 33 cm / 12 x 13-inch baking pan, because I didn‘t found a jelly roll pan in any shop near me.

HOW TO MAKE PUMPKIN ROLL – step by step:

pumpkin roll recipe preparation steps
  • STEP 1: In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until combined (flour, baking powder, and soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt).
  • STEP 2: In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract, orange zest).
  • STEP 3: Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingredients, fold in, until just combined (be careful not to overmix the batter).
pumpkin roll recipe preparation steps
  • STEP 4: Prepare a 10 x 15 inch (jelly roll pan) / 25 x 38 cm baking pan. Grease the pan with butter (parchment paper will stick better to the pan), line with parchment paper. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and leave an inch overhang on each of the short ends of the pan (transferring the cake will be much easier). Generously grease the parchment paper with butter (this will make peeling off the paper super easy). Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread the batter evenly and give the pan a shake.
  • Bake the cake in an oven, preheated to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas Mark 4, for about 15-18 minutes. The surface of the baked cake shouldn‘t be sticky and it should spring back when you poke it with a finger.
  • STEP 5: Prepare a clean kitchen cloth, sprinkle it with a thick layer of powdered sugar. Invert the cake onto the towel, peel off the parchment paper.
  • STEP 6: Roll the cake up with the towel (each surface of the cloth that touches the cake should be well sprinkled with powdered sugar).
pumpkin roll recipe preparation steps
  • STEP 7: Leave the cake to cool completely while rolled up (for a minimum of half an hour, better for about an hour, thanks to that the roll won‘t crack or tear).
  • STEP 8: Prepare the cream cheese filling – whip all the ingredients until combined and fluffy. Once the cake is cooled, unroll but not flatten out the roll. Spread the cream cheese filling in an even layer over the cake, leaving about a 1 inch / 2.5 cm border.
  • STEP 9: Roll up the cake without the towel, wrap in plastic foil, place in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour (it will be easier to cut nice slices). Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into slices, serve and enjoy!

STORING AND FREEZING TIPS:

How to store pumpkin roll: Keep the cake wrapped in plastic foil in the fridge for up to 3 days. It tastes even better the next day, but it’s less fluffy and more moist (the cakes absorbs the cream cheese filling).

How to freeze pumpkin roll: Wrap the cake in plastic foil (either the whole cake or slices), freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge or on the counter, serve at room temperature.

FAQ:

Why does my pumpkin roll crack?

Your cake was probably not warm enough (it has cooled). How to prevent it: Roll the cake up into the towel as soon as it comes out of the oven (while still warm). The cake is more likely to crack if it’s rolled when cooled. Pumpkin roll can also crack when it’s overbaked and too dry.

How long does it take for a pumpkin roll to cool?

About 30-60 mins.

Why does my pumpkin roll stick to a towel?

It was either not cool enough or the towel hasn’t been well sprinkled with powdered sugar. Sprinkle the towel with a thick and even layer of powdered sugar. Pumpkin roll can also stick more to a towel if it’s not entirely baked (its surface shouldn’t be sticky).

PUMPKIN SPICE ROLL VARIATIONS:

– Here you’ll find 12 interesting Pumpkin roll variations from Southern Living Magazine

– Other filling flavors, that would go well with this recipe:

pumpkin roll
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5 from 1 vote

Pumpkin roll with orange cream cheese

Rich and moist pumpkin cake with creamy orange frosting
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 1 roll
Calories 2527kcal
Author Aleksandra

Ingredients

→ dry ingredients:

  • ¾ cup flour 100g / 3.5 oz
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • big pinch of salt

→ wet ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree 185g / 6.5 oz
  • ½ cup light brown sugar 100g / 3.5 oz
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 100g / 3.5 oz
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest

→ cream cheese filling:

  • 265 g / 9.3 oz cream cheese soft
  • 1 tablespoon butter soft
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • pinch of salt

→ additionally:

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar for rolling and for serving

Instructions

  • Prepare a 10 x 15 inch / 25 x 38 cm baking pan. Grease the pan with butter (parchment paper will stick better to the pan), line with parchment paper. Cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of the pan and leave an inch overhang on each of the short ends of the pan (transferring the cake will be much easier). Generously grease the parchment paper with butter (this will make peeling off the paper super easy).
  • Preheat the oven to 180 °C / 350 °F / Gas Mark 4, no fan (if you have a convection oven reduce the temperature by about 20° or follow the manufacturer's instructions).
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients until combined (flour, baking powder, and soda, pumpkin pie spice, salt).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients (eggs, pumpkin puree, sugar, vanilla extract, orange zest).
  • Add the wet ingredients into the bowl with dry ingedients, fold in, until just combined (be careful not to overmix the batter).
  • Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread the batter evenly and give the pan a shake.
  • Bake for about 15-18 minutes. The surface of the baked cake shouldn‘t be sticky and it should spring back when you poke it with a finger.
  • Prepare a clean kitchen cloth, sprinkle it with a thick layer of powdered sugar.
  • Invert the cake onto the towel, peel off the parchment paper.
  • Roll the cake up with the towel (each surface of the cloth that touches the cake should be well sprinkled with powdered sugar).
  • Leave the cake to cool completely while rolled up (for a minimum of half an hour, better for about an hour, thanks to that the roll won‘t crack or tear).
  • Prepare the cream cheese filling – whip all the ingredients until combined and fluffy.
  • Once the cake is cooled, unroll but not flatten out the roll. Spread the cream cheese filling in an even layer over the cake, leaving about 1 inch / 2.5 cm border.
  • Roll up the cake without the towel, wrap in plastic foil, place in the fridge for a minimum of half an hour (it will be easier to cut nice slices).
  • Sprinkle with powdered sugar, cut into slices, serve and enjoy!

Notes

* You can use any pan, that has similar dimensions. The surface area needs to be similar, I used 30 x 33 cm / 12 x 13 inch baking pan, because I didn‘t found a jelly roll pan in any shop near me.
* It‘s best to use a hokkaido pumpkin here, it‘s less moist and sweet than, for example, a butternut squash, but you can use any type of squash / pumpkin with this recipe or canned pumpkin puree.
* 1 cup = 240 ml-250ml
* How to make pumpkin puree: Cut the pumpkin into equal-sized pieces (peeling is not necessary). Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper, bake at 200°C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6 for about 30-60 minutes, until soft (the baking time will depend on the size of the chunks and pumpkin/squash type). Scoop out the flesh from the skin with a spoon, puree until smooth. Unused puree can be frozen. When using hokkaido pumpkin, puree the flesh with the skin, it‘s soft after baking!
* Make ahead: You can also make the roll ahead and refrigerate it until you’ll ready to serve.
* How to store pumpkin roll: Keep the cake wrapped in plastic foil in the fridge for up to 3 days. It tastes even better in the next day, but it’s less fluffy and more moist (the cakes absorbs the cream cheese filling).
* How to freeze pumpkin roll: Wrap the cake in plastic foil (either the whole cake or slices), freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the fridge, serve at room temperature.

Nutrition

Calories: 2527kcal
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword how to make pumpkin roll, orange cream cheese frosting, pumpkin roll, pumpkin roll recipe

Did you make this recipe? Let me know how you liked it and give it a star rating in the comments below! You can also add a photo of your creation!

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    joy
    18 October 2018 at 19:46

    5 stars
    It looks really yummy!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      19 October 2018 at 05:11

      thank you!

  • Reply
    Allison
    7 August 2019 at 15:50

    I’ve never tried making a pumpkin roll, but your step by step photos make it look so approachable. Totally trying it! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      Aleksandra
      7 August 2019 at 19:25

      Thank you! Let me know how you liked it 🙂

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