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Closeup view of pumpkin swiss roll with cream cheese filling. 4 slices of the roll are cut and arranged.

Pumpkin Swiss Roll


Pumpkin Swiss Roll is a classic and elegant Thanksgiving dessert that is moist, creamy, and surprisingly easy to make.



For the cake:

  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, more for dusting the top of the roll


Make the cake.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Line a 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper.  Spray the paper and the sides of the pan with cooking spray and set the pan aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, add the egg yolks and beat them on high speed until they become frothy – about 5 minutes.

Add both sugars and mix until creamy.  Beat in the pumpkin puree.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt until well combined.

Gently fold the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture.

Use an offset spatula to spread the batter into the prepared pan.

Bake in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched.  Don’t over bake!  If you over bake the cake, it will crack when you roll it.

Lie a clean tea towel on the counter and lightly dust it with powdered sugar.

Run a spatula around the edges to loosen the sides of the cake.  Turn the hot cake onto the towel and gently peel off the parchment paper.

Roll the cake in the towel jelly-roll style, starting with the short end.  The towel will be rolled up with, and inside, the cake.

Cool completely, wrapped in the towel, on a wire rack.  I allow it to cool for about 2 hours.

Meanwhile, make the filling.

In a medium bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter,  and vanilla together until smooth.

Add the powdered sugar and beat until the mixture is smooth.  Set aside.

To assemble the Swiss roll:

Unroll the cake.

Use an offset spatula to spread the filling evenly over the cake, leaving a ¼-inch around all of the edges so that the filling doesn’t leak out when rolling it back up.

Roll the cake up again, without the towel.

Cover the roll with plastic wrap and chill, seam side down until firm.

To serve, allow the Swiss roll to thaw for 15 minutes.  Dust the top with powdered sugar.

Slice and serve.


Notes:  The swiss roll will keep frozen for up to 3 months.  It will keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, tightly wrapped and placed in an airtight container.

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cooling Time: 4 hours
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Category: Desserty
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: pumpkin Swiss roll, pumpkin spice, Thanksgiving desserts, pumpkin roll, classic desserts