Pecan pumpkin roll cake

A classic fall dessert, pecan pumpkin roll cake with smooth cream cheese filling is a must at our Thanksgiving table. One bite and you’ll understand why!
A classic fall dessert, pecan pumpkin roll cake with smooth cream cheese filling is a must at our Thanksgiving table.

My mom was an amazing cook! May it be a simple family dinner or a holiday she would add love to every meal. She loved trying out new dishes but her classics were our favorites. Especially at holidays. It was our family tradition. Roll cakes for holidays were mandatory!

Most of the time it was a simple vanilla roll cake, other times it was a chocolate roll cake. No matter what flavor or filling she would make, we’d devour the cake in no time! I grew up with roll cakes and wanted to keep the tradition with my family as well. Bring on the holidays and the tea towel to roll a cake! 

Pecan pumpkin roll cake

Although my mom never made us a pumpkin roll cake, I’ve been making one for my family for few years now at Thanksgiving. Every year it’s a slightly different version or I choose another flavor for the filling but I think, with this recipe found in the fall baking issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine I found the one!

It’s practically impossible to resist that spongy, moist pumpkin cake rolled up with a thick cream cheese filling. This mild flavored pumpkin roll cake is sprinkled with chopped pecans just before baking to give the cake a light nutty flavor but also to give it a crunchy bite as well.

Pecan pumpkin roll cake

If you’re intimidated by the roll cakes, you really should not be. It’s fairly easy to make them. All you have to do is follow the basic rules for the roll cakes. Beat the eggs with the sugar until enough air is incorporated and gently fold in the remaining ingredients. The baking time is around 10-15 minutes, depending on the cake. The cake it’s done when it a little puffed and springs back when touched.

The biggest fear people seem to have with a roll call is the cracking, but this can be prevented by rolling the cake  as soon as you take it out of the oven in a clean sugar-dusted towel. Doing this step gives the cake its shape so once it is cooled it can be easily unrolled, filled, and rolled up again without cracking or breaking into pieces.

Pecan pumpkin roll cake recipe

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

3 hours

Yield: 1 roll cake

Pecan pumpkin roll cake recipe

A classic fall dessert, pecan pumpkin roll cake with smooth cream cheese filling is a must at our Thanksgiving table. One bite and you’ll understand why!


  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1 cup (200 grams) sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling) (Libby's)
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spices
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans (Fisher)
  • 8 oz (Philadelphia) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar
  • few drops of heavy cream
  • more powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Heat the oven to 375F. Line a 15X10 inch pan with parchment paper, leaving about 1 inch of paper hanging on the sides. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl add the eggs and sugar. With the paddle attachment on, start beating the eggs on high speed for 5 minutes or until thickened and pale in color.
  3. Lower the speed to medium and beat in the pumpkin puree.
  4. Stir in the flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spices and salt on low speed until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
  6. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top and bake in preheated oven for 12 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.
  7. While the cake is baking, dust some powder sugar over a clean tea towel.
  8. As soon as you remove the cake from the oven, invert the cake over the clean towel, peel the parchment paper and roll the cake starting with the short side.
  9. Let the cake cool at cool temperature for al least 1 hour but no more than 5.
  10. In the meantime, in a clean mixing bowl add the cream cheese and butter.
  11. With the paddle attachment on, beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
  12. Lower the speed and gently fold in the power sugar. If needed add few drops of heavy cream to reach the desired consistency.
  13. Gently unfold the pumpkin roll cake and spread the cream cheese filling evenly.
  14. Roll the cake again and wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
  15. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  16. The cake can be made 2-3 days in advance, just keep in the refrigerator.
  17. When ready to serve, cut into slices and let at room temperature for few minutes.


recipe slightly adapted from Better Homes and Garden - Fall Baking magazine

Linking this pumpkin roll cake to these amazing parties!

If you liked this Pecan Pumpkin Roll Cake you may also like

Gingerbread roll cake

Gingerbread roll cake

Chocolate strawberry roll cake

chocolate strawberry roll cake

Sending love your way,


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    Hello! My name is Roxana and I'm a self-taught baker, wanna-be photographer and the writer behind Roxana's Home Baking, where I share original and adapted scratch recipes. 

Here you'll find no fuss, no hassle easy recipes with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.  Read more ....


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  1. says

    This cake looks wonderful, I do love pumpkin and cream cheese together all rolled up and looking pretty too. A great addition to the Thanksgiving desserts.

  2. says

    Oh my goodness, this looks so incredibly delicious!!!! I can’t wait to make a pumpkin roll for Thanksgiving, I’ll have to add pecans too! This looks so so so good!!!

  3. says

    Hi Roxana, ma apuca nostalgia vazand blogul tau. Si la noi acasa se faceau aceleasi bunatati. Felicitari pentru site si pentru frumoasele fotografii. Cand le vad imi lasa gura apa :)

    • says

      Buna Daniela,
      Cred ca mai toate familiile faceau aceleasi prjituri de sarbatori ani la rand. De fapt, si acum mama mea mai face rulada de sarbatori.
      Multumesc pentru complimente :)


  4. The Café Sucre Farine says

    Beautiful cake Roxana! You most definitely take after your mom! This cake looks and sounds like a winner!

  5. Jenn says

    I have a question about the pumpkin cake roll, after baking when you roll it up do you roll the tea towel in the roll or just the cake?

  6. Angela says

    Hello there! I LOVE a good pumpkin roll. I make one every year for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’ve already made two this fall, but, for some reason the cake is not light and moist, like in your photo (and my past cakes). They’ve come out flat and dense. Any suggestions (from anyone) as to what I may be doing wrong?

    • says

      Hi Angela,
      The lightness of the cake is given by the air incorporated while beating the eggs. That’s why it’s recommended to beat the eggs until they increase in volume and they urn pale in color.
      Also, you have to stir in the flour just until combine. The more you beat the batter, the chewier and dense your cake will turn out.

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