Jimmy’s Pumpkin Roll

Sandra in Houston sent me this pumpkin roll recipe. It’s her husband Jimmy’s, and he says it’s the best.

The recipe did not have baking powder, and I made it as directed. It turned out delicious even without the leavening, but I looked through about 10,000 pumpkin roll recipes and saw that they all had either baking powder or soda, so I’m adding it in….or back. I’m waiting to hear from her to find out what the deal is with that. Maybe Jimmy used self-rising flour?

At any rate, his proportions of spices and his filling were outstanding. His recipe, incidentally, is very similar to one in The Ultimate Southern Living Cookbook, but I think pumpkin roll recipes get passed around so much that it’s hard to find an original source.  The SL version does have baking powder.

pumpkin roll cake

Jimmy's Pumpkin Roll
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pumpkin roll cake filled with cream cheese.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (Jimmy leaves it out)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (Jimmy leaves it out)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 6 T. soft butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan and line with wax paper. Butter the wax paper. (Anna’s Note: Flour-added Pam also works for this)
  2. Beat eggs and sugar until very light and fluffy. Mix in pumpkin. Stir together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and pumpkin pie spice, then stir into batter. Pour into lined pan and bake at 375 degrees 13-15 minutes. Spread a clean linen dish towel on counter. When pumpkin bread is removed from oven immediately spread powdered sugar all over it and flip the cookie sheet onto the towel quickly. Remove wax paper from bottom of bread. Roll the bread along with the towel into log shape and try not to break it as you curl it. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes (Anna’s Note: took over an hour).
  3. Now unroll the dish cloth and bread. After mixing all the ingredients for the filling, spread the filling onto the bread and roll the bread into the same direction. Now cover with wax paper and chill to set for a few hours. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before cutting into slices. It really tastes good after sitting in the refrigerator for a day or so.


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  1. says

    It certainly looks tasty!

    I think this is the same as Libby’s “famous” roll, except the spices are played around with – I see they have 1/2 teaspoon each of baking soda and powder though!

  2. says

    Hi Joe,

    All of the pumpkin rolls seem similar. The basic formular is 3 eggs, 2/3 cup pumpkin and 3/4 cup flour. From there, things change. Some people use baking powder, others (like Libby) use soda. Spices are different, fillings are different, etc.

    At any rate, making this helped get me over my weird fear of jelly roll cakes.

    Now I want to go make a chocolate one.

  3. Sandra says

    I checked his recipe…no baking powder, soda or salt in it. I hope your mom likes it and I hope Fuzz is feeling better.

  4. says

    *sigh* There are so many pumpkin recipes that I want to make! Roll cakes intimidate me though.. I’m not sure if that’s a reason to or not to try this recipe!

  5. says

    Wow Anna you are on a pumpkin roll lately… haha so sorry for the pun! : ) I think out of all of the pumpkin recipes you’ve posted so far, this one looks especially good!

  6. says

    Sandra, I went ahead and noted that. I made mine as Jimmy did — without the baking powder and salt. It would be interesting to do a side-by-side test and see what the difference is in texture.

    Alicia, roll cakes intimidate me too. It felt good to make one, though.

    Ah, Katie. If I were clever, I would have made the title of the post “On a Roll With Pumpkin!”. I’m going to need to take a break from pumpkin pretty soon.

  7. says

    I make a similar pumpkin roll, but lately, instead of filling it with cream cheese frosting, I use vanilla ice cream. It’s sooooo good. I just soften a pint of vanilla Haagen-Daaz (or other super premium vanilla), spread it on the cooled cake, and roll. I’ve even used vanilla frozen custard, which is super-decadent. I just store in the freezer, and put it on the counter to soften for about a half-hour to slice and serve. Deeee-lish!

  8. says

    I just “discovered” your blog from a link on Joe’s Culinary in the Country…I love it! I’ll be adding it to my own blog list, if you don’t mind. 🙂 This pumpkin roll recipe looks fabulous – I’ve never attempted a roll cake, but this one looks good enough to be worth taking the plunge! Thank you!

  9. Martha says

    I haven’t tried this yet.

    How do you think a filling made with a ricotta cheese base would do with this?

    Any ideas or suggestions? Thanks.

  10. says

    I found this recipe LAST thanksgiving.. and made it then, and then for christmas presents last year.. and here I am again! Just started my own blog… so I will be posting about this at some point!



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