Libby’s pumpkin roll is superbly delicious, packed with pumpkin flavors and cream cheese frosting. It’s easy to make and creates a beautiful presentation for any fall get-together.
Serves: 14 Time: 1 hour 50 minutes (mostly unattended) Cookbook: Libby's Online
Libby’s pumpkin roll recipe is the golden standard when it comes to Thanksgiving and fall holiday desserts. It looks like you slaved away in the kitchen and waved some magic chef wand to create, but it’s surprisingly simple and easy to do! You’ll dazzle family and friends twice when you make this. Once when you get all the oohs and ahs because of how it looks. And again when they taste it and go back for seconds.
This recipe comes from the gold standard of canned pumpkin companies: Libby. They’ve been around since 1869, and generations have loved passing along their delicious back-of-can recipes. This one is a classic, and we know you’ll love it.
- ❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- 🎃 Ingredients Needed to Make Libby’s Pumpkin Roll
- 🍴 Equipment You’ll Need in the Kitchen
- 🥄 How to Make Libby’s Pumpkin Roll
- ♾️ Variations on Libby’s Pumpkin Roll
- ❓ Libby’s Pumpkin Roll Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
- 🎃 More Pumpkin Recipes
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
Easy and Delicious: This easy pumpkin roll recipe takes everything you love about classic pumpkin bread and cream cheese frosting and marries them in a perfect union. Every bite is filled with pumpkin goodness and cream cheese heaven. And it’s easier to make than you think!
Party Dessert: This is a perfect dessert to take to a fall book club party, a Friendsgiving meal, and even a Thanksgiving meal. You might even be surprised to find that your pumpkin roll outshines the old standard: pumpkin pie.
Crowd Favorite: Pumpkin rolls are a definite favorite with young and old alike. They look stunning and taste even better.
Kid Friendly: If you have kids that like to help you in the kitchen, this is a pretty kid-friendly recipe. You’ll need to provide help and supervision (of course), but the steps aren’t complicated and it’s really fun to make!
Ingredients Needed to Make Libby’s Pumpkin Roll
- All Purpose Flour: Standard all-purpose flour gives great results with this recipe.
- Granulated Sugar: Standard white granulated sugar is what you’ll want. If trying to cut down on sugar, substitute 1:1 stevia powder such as Truvia.
- Powdered Sugar: Powdered sugar is also called icing sugar since it gets used in icing. You’ll use this in the cream cheese filling that goes in the roll.
- Baking Powder: This is used to make the cake light and less dense.
- Baking Soda: This works with baking powder to give you a better texture and rise.
- Ground Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon gives pumpkin rolls the classic taste you’re used to. You don’t want to leave this one out.
- Ground Clove or Nutmeg: Either one of these spices add a delicious layering of pumpkin spice flavor. We love nutmeg best in this recipe so that’s what we used.
- Salt: Kosher, sea salt, or table salt all work for this recipe.
- Eggs: The recipe calls for large eggs. If you have small or medium, you’ll need to add one extra egg. If you have extra large eggs, you can use one less.
- Pure Pumpkin Puree: You want 100% pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix.
- Cream Cheese: This will be used to make the filling. If you want to cut down on calories, swap low-fat for whole-fat cream cheese.
- Butter: Always use unsalted butter when baking. You’ll add just the right amount of salt directly into the mix. Salted butter would make it too salty.
- Vanilla Extract: Ideally, you want pure vanilla extract for this. If you have vanilla flavoring, that can also work in a pinch.
Equipment Needed In the Kitchen
- 15 x 10-inch Jelly-Roll Pan: This isn’t a regular baking sheet or sheet pan. A jelly roll pan has slightly higher sides and is smaller than a standard cookie sheet or even a half sheet. This size is perfect for baking these types of roll cakes.
- Mixing Bowls: You’ll need a large bowl and a medium mixing bowl for this recipe.
- Wire Rack: A wire rack is needed to help your rolled cake cool properly. By placing the roll on a rack, the air can circulate around the item so it gets fully cooled and not soggy.
- Parchment Paper or Wax Paper: You’ll line the jelly roll pan with this, and roll up the cake to cool with this, as well. Either option works great.
How to Make Libby’s Pumpkin Roll
This recipe makes for a stunning presentation. It looks difficult, but as long as you go step by step, it should turn out great!
Prep the oven and ingredients
First things first! Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now pull out the butter and cream cheese from the fridge so they are easier to mix later on.
Make the batter
Take out a medium bowl for your dry ingredients and combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves (or nutmeg), and cinnamon. In a separate large mixing bowl crack your eggs and add in the granulated sugar. Mix to combine.
Add in pumpkin puree and mix again. Finally, add the flour mixture a bit at a time to the wet ingredients and mix until all your ingredients are combined and you have a batter.
Bake the pumpkin roll
Take out a 15×10 jelly roll pan and grease it. Fit a piece of parchment paper into the jelly roll pan. Grease and flour paper.
Take out a second long strip of parchment paper and sprinkle ¼ cup of powdered sugar on top. This can be set aside until after the baking is complete.
Spread your batter into the pan as evenly as possible.
Bake for 13-15 minutes. If the top of cake springs back when it’s touched, it’s done.
Once the cake has baked, turn it out onto your prepared parchment paper so the bottom faces up. Roll the cake and parchment paper together starting at the narrow end. Cool your beautiful creation seam-side down on a wire cooling rack at room temperature.
If you’ve made jelly roll cakes before, you might be used to rolling it up on a powder-sugared cotton kitchen towel instead of parchment paper. Either method works but we prefer parchment paper and find it makes less of a mess in the long run.
Baking Note: If you have a dark-colored pan like us, start checking at 11 minutes. Our pumpkin roll cake was perfectly done in 13 minutes.
Make the cream cheese filling
While your cake roll cools, it’s time to make the cream cheese mixture.
In a large mixer bowl, combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, and vanilla. Mix on low, then medium to high until smooth and all ingredients are incorporated.
Finish the pumpkin roll
Once the pumpkin cake cools, unroll the cake. The cake should have creases from its rolled state, and this is a good thing. It will help it reform once you ice the inside.
Spread the cream cheese frosting over the entire inside surface.
Reroll cake. Now wrap the entire log in plastic wrap so it can’t unfurl and place it in the fridge to cool.
Cool the pumpkin roll in the fridge for at least an hour before serving so everything can set up.
Cut off end pieces, and serve in a log, or cut into 1-inch rounds.
Variations on Libby’s Pumpkin Roll
This classic pumpkin cream cheese roll is perfect as-is, but if you want to play around with the variations, try these!
Chocolate Cream Cheese: Instead of plain cream cheese, use chocolate cream cheese and follow the rest of the recipe.
Cinnamon Cream Cheese: Add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of cinnamon powder and continue with the rest of the recipe.
Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese: Add 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of pumpkin pie spice and follow the rest of the recipe.
Libby’s Pumpkin Roll Tips, Tricks, and FAQs
Always refrigerate it. Keep it wrapped up in plastic wrap if you haven’t cut it yet. Once cut, lay the rounds in an airtight container in a single layer. If more than one layer is needed, add parchment paper on top of the first layer of rolls and continue to layer.
As with many desserts that have egg and cream cheese in them, pumpkin rolls shouldn’t be kept out for any length of time. Keep it in the refrigerator until ready to serve to avoid any issues.
This pumpkin roll can be frozen and thawed with great results, so technically you can make it several months ahead, if need be. If you want to skip the need to freeze, make it two to three days ahead and store it in the fridge.
More Pumpkin Recipes
Looking for more delicious pumpkin ideas for the holiday season? Here are a few we’ve made and love!
- The Best Homemade Pumpkin Spice Syrup
- The Best Cream Cheese Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Libby’s Easy Pumpkin Bread Recipe
- Paula Deen’s Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting