Hunting for the perfect fall dessert that will taste delicious, make an impressive presentation, and celebrate the ingredients of the season? Always.When it comes to peak pumpkin recipe season, there are so many ways to enjoy beautifully baked treats, from cupcakes and cookies to pies and bars. And cakes. The truth is, whatever the season or celebration, Southerners always make room on the table for another seasonal surprise. And while it's hard to compete with the decadent, mile-high layer cakes, there is a type of cake that our Test Kitchen adores that often flies under the radar. It's call the roll cake. In the fall, it's called the pumpkin roll. This is an unexpected shaped dessert that can be easily made in a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan. The best part of this seasonal treat is what's hidden inside: a sweet, tightly packed in cream cheese frosting swirled within layers of pumpkin spiced cake. Soft and moist cake that's whipped together with canned unsweetened pumpkin and finely chopped and toasted pecans, which is then spiced with a combination of ground ginger, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, and sugar. A tasty, twirly homemade pumpkin roll cake that makes for an unforgettable presentation. This is one of those rare cakes that look really good when it's sliced and sitting beautifully on a serving platter. 

By Angela M. Kotowicz, St. Louis, Missouri


Credit: Southern Living

Recipe Summary test

25 mins
15 mins
3 hrs
3 hrs 40 mins
Makes 8 servings


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Coat bottom and sides of a 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan with cooking spray, and line with wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; set aside.

  • Beat eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer 5 minutes or until thick and lemon-colored; gradually add granulated sugar, beating until well combined. Combine flour and next 6 ingredients. Gradually add to egg mixture, beating well. Combine pumpkin, pecans, and 1 teaspoon lemon juice, and gradually add to mixture, beating well. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

  • Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

  • Sift 1/2 cup powdered sugar in a 15- x 10-inch rectangle on a clean, dry dish towel. Run a knife around edges of pan to loosen cake, and turn cake out onto prepared towel. Peel wax paper off cake. Starting at narrow end, roll up cake and towel together; place, seam side down, on a wire rack to cool completely.

  • Beat cream cheese and butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy; gradually add remaining 1 cup powdered sugar, beating until smooth. Stir in vanilla and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.

  • Unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture on cake, leaving a 1-inch border around edges. Re-roll cake without towel, and place, seam side down, on a serving platter. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Garnish, if desired.