Our Family's Holiday Pumpkin Rolls

written by Nellie Lazar, CRS
Turlock, CA        
Nov 22, 2021

Pumpkin Rolls

These pumpkin rolls have been a longstanding family favorite at our holiday gatherings. A dear friend shared the recipe with me after I fell in love with this yummy treat at a Mom’s Club Christmas brunch almost 25 years ago. They’ve become expected at our family potlucks, and coveted by my kids every Christmas. I’ve played around with other recipes, but these pumpkin rolls have the perfect balance of sweetness and spice, and they are moist and yummy! They can also be made ahead and placed in the freezer to be enjoyed later. This is a versatile dessert that can be enjoyed anytime from brunch to dinner, and any occasion in between.


3 eggs at room temperature
2/3 cups pumpkin ( I use Libby’s pureed pumpkin)
3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice


1 8 oz. package Philadelphia cream cheese softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon best quality pure vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste (if you have paste, it’s a richer flavor)
1 cube unsalted butter at room temperature

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, beat the eggs on low 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Gradually fold in the sugar, mix until all blended and add each ingredient only after the previous ingredient has been well incorporated.

Prepare a jelly roll pan as follows (I use a nonstick pan): Cut a piece of wax paper a little longer than the jelly roll pan and place on top of pan, then grease the paper heavily. Pour the pumpkin mixture onto the greased pan.

Bake for 15 minutes. Just before taking the pan out of the oven, dampen a cotton dishtowel that’s the length of the pan.  Take the pan out of the oven and QUICKLY loosen the sides of the pan with a butter knife or spatula and turn out onto the damp towel. I do this by placing the damp towel on top of the pan and flipping it onto a cooling rack. Peel away the wax paper and using the towel start rolling the cake from the wide side onto itself. Allow the log to cool for about 30 minutes.

While the log cools make your filling.

Beat all of the ingredients for the filling together until creamy and spreadable. Unroll the coiled roll and spread the cream filling with an offset spatula all over the cake. Roll up tightly and wrap securely in plastic wrap, then wrap a second time with foil. You can refrigerate until ready to eat, but it will slice easier if frozen first. You can also place directly in the freezer if using at a later date or baking multiple quantities. To serve, allow to defrost slightly, dust with powdered sugar and slice with a serrated bread or cake knife. Arrange on a favorite platter and sprinkle additional powdered sugar over the slices if desired. Enjoy!