Roll cakes are so fun and impressive to look at, and they’re shockingly easy to make. I love the pretty swirls of bright white frosting next to the pumpkin cake, and when it tastes even better than it looks- you know you’ve found a great dessert. The cake can be whisked together by hand and is full of fall flavors from the pumpkin and spices. I took the cream cheese frosting up a notch and included browned butter which gives it a rich, nutty flavor that goes perfectly with the soft pumpkin cake.
Lining the baking sheet with parchment paper makes it easy to remove and roll the cake after it comes out of the oven. If you have trouble with your parchment paper not staying flat on the baking sheet, try sprinkling a few drips of water onto the baking sheet which will help the parchment stick to the bottom.
Spiced Pumpkin Roll Cake
This pumpkin roll cake is as delicious as it is pretty! Browned butter in the cream cheese frosting adds a nutty flavor that goes perfectly with the soft, spiced pumpkin cake.
Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 15 x 10 inch jelly roll pan (or small rimmed baking sheet) with parchment paper. Lightly butter the parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices in a medium bowl.
In a separate large bowl, combine the eggs and sugar. Whisk until smooth and thick, 1-2 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour mixture and stir until just combined.
Spread the batter evenly into a prepared pan. Bake for 12-15 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when lightly touched.
Carefully lift the cake by a corner of the parchment paper and slide it out of the pan onto a smooth, heat-safe surface. Starting on the short end roll the cake into a log, leaving the parchment stuck to the cake. Be careful as the cake will be very hot! Place the rolled cake, seam-side down, on a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooling, prepare the frosting. Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring regularly, until the butter is light golden brown and has a nutty aroma, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.
Once the butter is cool, add it and the cream cheese to a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high speed for several minutes until completely combined. Add the powdered sugar and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until the frosting is smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract.
Once cool, gently unroll the cake. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the cake, leaving about a 1/2" of space around the edges. Re-roll the cake, gently peeling off the parchment paper as you roll it. Place the cake, seam-side down, on a serving plate and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.
To serve, trim off a thin slice of cake from each end to ensure the edges are neat and clean and the frosting swirl can be seen. Dust the top of the cake with powdered sugar, then slice and serve.
For an added treat, serve with vanilla ice cream and warm caramel topping!
A former member of CROPP’s Sustainability Department, Annie has relocated to Indiana but remains a CROPPie at heart. Annie has a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana and continues to work in the field of environmental sustainability. When she and her yellow lab Boomer aren't outside exploring local hiking trails, Annie can usually be found in the kitchen. While she cooks for subsistence, Annie’s real passion lies in creating indulgent baked goods for friends and family.