Pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling: A heartwarming comfort food tradition

Pumpkin roll recipe (1984)

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Roll a pumpkin cake! A pumpkin roll is the perfect festive cake for fall (1970s)

What is a pumpkin roll? Aside from being an amazing and enduring tradition, it’s a lightly-spiced pumpkin cake, yule log or jelly roll-style — filled with a sweet and fluffy cream cheese mixture.

This dessert is perfect for Halloween, Thanksgiving — and even Christmas! (Is it even fall at all without it?)

Try this retro 1970s recipe from Libby’s! It’s still the familiar classic you know, but also frosted with chocolate and decorated with pumpkin candies to add an extra-special festive touch.

Not so much into the chocolate? As you can see below, a pumpkin roll is beautiful even without the frosting!

Pumpkin roll with cream cheese frosting
Photo by fahrwasser/Deposit Photos

Pumpkin cake roll recipe: An autumn-style yule log

Pumpkin roll recipe (1984)

Pumpkin spice cake roll with cream cheese filling

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes


For the cake

  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

For the filling-frosting

  • 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chocolate buttercream frosting


  1. FOR THE CAKE: Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small mixing bowl, beat egg yolks until thick, about 5 minutes.
  2. Gradually add sugar; beat well. Stir in pumpkin.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients; fold into egg mixture.
  4. Beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Fold into batter.
  5. Spread evenly into greased and floured waxed paper-lined 15-1/2 x 10-1/2 x 1-inch jelly roll pan.
  6. Bake 14 to 18 minutes.
  7. Immediately loosen sides of cake. Invert onto towel lightly dusted with powdered sugar. Remove waxed paper.
  8. Starting from narrow end, roll cake in towel. Cool on wire rack.
  9. Unroll cake; spread with cream cheese filling.
  10. FOR THE CAKE ROLL FILLING & FROSTING: Combine cream cheese and butter. Cream until fluffy.
  11. Gradually add sugar and vanilla; beat until well-blended.
  12. Spread over cool, unrolled cake.
  13. Roll; frost the outside with your favorite chocolate frosting.
  14. Decorate cake roll with large or small orange gumdrops, using green frosting for stems, if desired.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 423Total Fat: 20gSaturated Fat: 12gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 266mgCarbohydrates: 55gFiber: 2gSugar: 44gProtein: 6g

Click Americana offers approximate nutrition information as a general reference only, and we make no warranties regarding its accuracy. Please make any necessary calculations based on the actual ingredients used in your recipe, and consult with a qualified healthcare professional if you have dietary concerns.

Also see: 3 retro recipes for delicious pumpkin cheesecake pies that you will love

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