SMiLes by Meg

Pumpkin Roll

“You haven’t made anything pretty in awhile. You should make something pretty.” That was my mom’s input this weekend when we were discussing what I should bake.  So while she was puzzling over kitchen appliances with different salesmen, I spent some time on Pinterest looking for a pretty fall dessert. There were all sorts of cool shaped cookies, but I’ve done sugar cookies before, and snickerdoodles don’t lend themselves to much more than a circle. Then I found a pumpkin roll, and I was intrigued.

I’ve never made a roll cake before, but I did know that jelly roll pans, which I generally just call cookie sheets, are actually made for this particular kind of cake. In the interest of using bakeware for its intended purpose, I went for it.

So after a pumpkin trifecta breakfast at my favorite bagel shop, Gunther Tooties (pumpkin bagel with pumpkin cream cheese and pumpkin coffee), we got to work.

First, beat the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment at high speed for 5 minutes, or until thick and yellow.

Pumpkin Roll - 1Pumpkin Roll - 2Put the mixer down to medium speed and beat in the pumpkin puree.  Side note: I had no idea there were companies other than Libby’s that made canned pumpkin.  There are. And Foodies (local grocery store) only stocks non-Libby’s, which was a shock.

Pumpkin Roll - 3Pumpkin Roll - 4Add the flour, baking powder, and pumpkin pie spice and beat at low speed until just combined.

Pumpkin Roll - 5Pumpkin Roll - 6Pour batter and spread evenly over a 15×10 inch jelly roll pan prepared with parchment paper.  Sprinkle evenly with chopped pecans.

Pumpkin Roll - 7Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched.  Turn out immediately onto a tea towel sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar and roll starting on the short side.

Pumpkin Roll - 8Pumpkin Roll - 9You want to roll the cake right away so that it is still pliable enough not to crack.  Allow it to cool in the towel for at least an hour, but no more than five.  Meanwhile, prepare the filling by first beating the cream cheese and butter in a stand mixer until fluffy.

Pumpkin Roll - 10Add the confectioner’s sugar and continue to beat until desired consistency.

Pumpkin Roll - 11When the cake is sufficiently cool, unroll the towel and spread the cream cheese filling over the entire cake.  Roll it right back up – this shouldn’t be hard since it cooled that way!

Pumpkin Roll - 12Pumpkin Roll - 13If you’ve done this right, the pecans will be on the outside and you’ll have a good roll when viewed from the end.

Pumpkin Roll - 14Pumpkin Roll - 15Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for another hour or more before serving.  You can make this ahead of time by a day or two – It will be fine in the fridge.

When you’re ready to serve, just slice it up! Easy AND pretty!

Pumpkin Roll - 16Also, huge shout out to my parents for hosting me this weekend – I know you always thought Pete was the messy one, but I can do some serious damage in a kitchen. Love you guys!


Pumpkin Roll - 17

Pumpkin Roll


  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped pecans
  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar


  1. Beat eggs and sugar together at high speed in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until fluffy and yellow.
  2. Reduce speed to medium and beat in pumpkin puree.
  3. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour, baking powder and pumpkin pie spice until just combined.
  4. Pour into 15×10 inch jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper and spread evenly. Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
  5. Bake at 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes or until cake springs back when touched.  Turn out immediately onto tea towel sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar.  Roll from short end and allow to cool 1 to 5 hours.
  6. Beat together the cream cheese and butter in the stand mixer with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy.  Add confectioner’s sugar and beat until desired consistency.
  7. Unroll cake and spread with icing.  Roll back up, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill until serving.


  1. Meg, This was TRULY delicious. Thank you so much for sharing it with us today at Cait’s shower. I hope your trip to Jersey was smooth, HURRY Thanksgiving, xo Chris

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