Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecan Filling: The most perfect and easiest pumpkin roll recipe gets a facelift with a cinnamon cream cheese filling and a layer of candied pecans in the swirl. Fall is here! Now get your pumpkin on!

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

Happy FALL!! I can’t even begin to describe how incredibly excited I am that we’ve FINALLY made it to my favorite season!

BRING ON THE PUMPKIN SPICE LATTES! (and the pumpkin spice latte cake, too of course.)

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

To kickoff the very best season of the year, I’m sharing my first pumpkin roll ever with you today. And it’s a special one!

Not only was this the very first cake roll I’ve ever made, but I really ramped it up with some awesome add-ins.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

I’ve been all but glued to the Great British Baking Show for the past couple of years and I’m always in awe of the jelly roll cakes that are made each season. And every time I see the contestants baking these rolled cakes, I wonder to myself why I haven’t tried making one before. I mean, they look so easy to make, don’t they?

So this summer, I vowed to myself that the first one I’d make would be a pumpkin roll. And here it is!

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

How to Make a Pumpkin Roll

Making a pumpkin roll cake was actually much easier than I thought it would be. First, you’ll make the cake batter and pour it into a parchment-lined jelly roll pan. This is the same size pan I use for my apple slab pie!

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

A baking sheet bigger than the jelly roll size won’t work for this recipe. The cake will turn out absurdly thin so just buy the jelly roll pan if you don’t already have one.

Right when the cake comes out of the oven, you’ll flip it onto a powdered sugar-covered kitchen towel.

Then, you’ll roll it up into itself.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

Once the cake has cooled, you’ll unroll it.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

And then you’ll smother it with cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

And a layer a the candied pecans. You know, just for good measure.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

The last step is to roll the pumpkin cream cheese roll back up, wrap the cake in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 1 hour.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

How Do You Prevent a Pumpkin Roll from Cracking?

The reason why you roll the cake up while it’s still warm and let it cool that way is because you’re giving it some “memory.” Sounds funny, but let me explain.

If you try to roll a cake that is completely cool, it WILL crack and you won’t be able to achieve that pretty swirl effect. However, when you unroll the cake from the kitchen towel, it will “remember” the rolled shape when you need to roll it up again with the filling inside.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

As long as you do this one easy step for this pumpkin roll recipe (or for any cake or jelly roll recipe), you should never have a cracked pumpkin roll.

Not Your Ordinary Pumpkin Roll

Now, I know there are a TON of pumpkin roll recipes out there. And I’ve seen Libbys pumpkin roll around forfreakingever each fall but I knew I wanted to make this one is special. You know, to help it shine.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

My cousin was here a few weeks ago to help with some blog cooking and food styling and she had a couple of the brilliant ideas that would make this roll stand out. And coincidentally, her birthday just happens to be today (the 1st day of fall)! How lucky could she be?!

The first was to add some cinnamon to the cream cheese filling. WHOA baby did that make a huge difference in the filling flavor!

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

If it’s even possible, the cinnamon made this pumpkin roll taste just a little bit more like fall.

The second idea was to add a layer of candied pecans to the center of the roll. And HOLY MOLY! The crunch and extra sweetness from the candied pecans set this pumpkin roll recipe off like you wouldn’t believe.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

I’m totally serious when I say that this was one of the best desserts I’ve had in AGES. I don’t love nuts in my desserts at all but the candied pecans completely made this pumpkin roll.

Seriously, there are ZERO dessert recipes with nuts on this site with the exception of peanuts and peanut butter.

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

And the reason why I don’t love nuts in my desserts is because their texture gets soft and weird (really technical here, right?) when baked into desserts. Adding the candied pecans to the filling layer keeps the candied pecans crunchy, even after being in the fridge for a few days.

Anyway, whether or not nuts in your desserts is your thing, I know you will absolutely love this pumpkin roll recipe. It’s fall on a plate and it’s a giant crowd pleaser!

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

Could you ask for more out of a pumpkin recipe?

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

Pumpkin Roll with Candied Pecans

Yield: 8 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Pumpkin roll is the quintessenital fall dessert! This pumpkin roll cake has layers of cinnamon cream cheese filling and candied pecans in the swirl. If a facelift to your regular pumpkin roll recipe is needed, THIS is the recipe for you!


For the cake:

  • ¼ cup powdered sugar (for dusting)
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ tsp table salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup pure pumpkin puree

For the filling:

  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ⅓ cup candied pecans, roughly chopped

For serving:

  • Powdered sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 15 x 10-inch jelly-roll pan and line the bottom of parchment paper. Grease the paper. Dust a clean tea towel with powdered sugar. Set the pan and towel aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt together.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the eggs, vanilla and sugar until combined and thick. Stir in the pumpkin and mix to combine. Add the flour mixture and stir just until the flour disappears. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and immediately loosen and flip the cake onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up the cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool completely on a wire rack. This will take about 1 hour.
  6. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and cinnamon together until smooth.
  7. Carefully unroll cake and spread cream cheese mixture over cake, making sure to work some of the filling into the end of the cake that may still be rolled up slightly. Scatter the candied pecans evenly over the filling. Reroll cake without the towel this time. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  8. Dust the top of the roll with powdered sugar. Slice into 1-inch thick slices and serve.

Storage: The pumpkin roll can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 5 days. Do not store the roll at room temperature. You can also freeze the roll for up to 1 month. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and the in a layer of aluminum foil.


adapted from My Baking Addiction

Recommended Products

As a member of the Amazon Associate affiliate program, I earn a small percentage from your qualifying Amazon purchases when you click the Amazon links on this page. I'm not informed of who purchases what, just of what products are purchased.

How much do you love this recipe?

Follow Smells Like Home on Pinterest and click that little Pin button at the top of this recipe card to save this recipe and share with your Pinterest followers!

You Might Also Like:

Leave a Comment

    September 23, 2019 at 2:14 PM

    This is the perfect balance of savory, creamy with a mild sweet crunch from the pecans. I seriously could have eaten the entire roll! I was forced to share it with my family LOL. Perfect Fall treat with coffee or hot tea on a chilly day! I don’t like overly sweet desserts, so this one is perfect!

    • Tara
      September 24, 2019 at 11:20 AM

      I knew you’d love this one! Thanks for leaving a review!