This Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Roll recipe gives you a rich chocolate cake that is layered with a pumpkin cream cheese filling, and a whipped topping, with the outside topped with a warm chocolate ganache! It's a twist on the classic swiss roll that your guests will LOVE!
Table of Contents
How to Make a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Roll from Scratch
There are three essential parts to this chocolate pumpkin cake roll recipe. The chocolate cake, the pumpkin cream cheese filling, and then the chocolate ganache that you'll pour over the top!
The whipped topping layer that is added after the pumpkin cream cheese filling is totally optional. It was store-bought, so I did not include it below.
This first part of the easy and delicious recipe is the chocolate cake and it mixes together and bakes quickly! For the chocolate cake, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Domino® Golden Sugar
- 4 Large Eggs
- Unsalted Butter
- Vanilla Extract
After mixing everything together until just combined, pour the chocolate cake batter into your prepared 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan. Make sure to spread it all out to each corner of the pan using an offset spatula. Then pop it in the oven to bake at 350ºF for 15-18 minutes or until the cake springs back when you touch it.
When the cake has finished baking, you will need to roll it up immediately. Then allow it to cool completely in this shape on a wire cooling rack. It will give the memory of being in this shape later when you add the pumpkin cream cheese filling. You can use a kitchen towel to help get the roll started, but be careful not to roll it up with the cake!
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Filling
The next part of this recipe is making the pumpkin cream cheese filling which you can make while the chocolate cake is baking (and then cooling). When finished, you can tightly cover the top with some plastic wrap, and place it in the fridge to chill for about an hour, but longer is fine as well. For the pumpkin cream cheese filling, you'll need the following ingredients:
- Full-Fat Cream Cheese
- Unsalted Butter
- Domino® Confectioners Sugar
- Canned Pureed Pumpkin
- Vanilla Extract
There really isn't too much to this part of the recipe, but it is worth noting to make sure that you're cream cheese and butter are at room temperature, and your Domino® Confectioners Sugar is sifted. And because you'll only need ⅛ cup of the canned pumpkin puree, you can store the leftovers in a tightly sealed storage container and place it in the fridge for up to a week.
You know, in case you want to make some more chocolate pumpkin cake rolls.☺️
The final part to this chocolate pumpkin cake roll recipe is the chocolate ganache! It comes together quickly and is easy to pour over the top of the chilled cake roll. Make sure the cake roll is sitting on top of a wire rack with a jelly roll pan underneath to catch the chocolate ganache that runs off. For this part of the recipe you'll need the following ingredients:
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate (bar or chocolate chips)
- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Vanilla Extract
- Light Corn Syrup
When it comes to pouring the ganache, you can do so straight down the center of the cake roll. Or you can do a small side-to-side pour. Just remember, it doesn't have to be perfect! You can always go back with an offset spatula to smooth out some of the ganache.
And I have to mention that, while I love adding this chocolate ganache to the top of the cake roll, it is totally not required. In fact, you can do a simple dusting a confectioner's sugar over top and be done. It's totally up to you!
But I must say, that ganache is reaaaaallly good!
How to Assemble the Chocolate Pumpkin Roll
Assembling the chocolate pumpkin roll is fairly easy to do. What can leave people frustrated (including myself) is the very first part—unrolling the cake leaving a sea of cracks. And while having some cracks in your cake isn't the end of the world, I've included some reasons below as to why they might appear.
- Make sure your cake batter is mixed until just combined. This means mixing ingredients together until you can no longer see them in the mixing bowl. Over mixing cakes can leave you with a denser texture which, for this recipe, can impact the rolling.
- Under baking and over baking. If your chocolate cake was under baked or even over baked, it can leave you with cracks as you unroll it. The recommended bake time, as I mentioned above and also in the quick tips section below, is 15-18 minutes. For my oven, the 18 minute mark worked really well leaving me with no cracks. Every oven is different, however, so make sure to begin checking your cake at the earlier time.
- Completely cooling the rolled up cake. Not allowing your rolled up chocolate cake to cool completely on a wire rack before you unroll it can also cause some cracks.
Chilling the Cake Roll
After you've assembled the chocolate pumpkin roll, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Allow it to chill in either the refrigerator for 3-5 days or the freezer for 1-2 months.
My preference is to freeze them because they're much easier to cut later.
When ready to serve, remove from either the refrigerator or freezer (allow it to sit at room temperature 30 minutes beforehand) and either cover with the warm chocolate ganache or Domino® Confectioners Sugar.
Necessary Baking Tools
Here are the 3 baking tools that were instrumental in making this chocolate pumpkin cake roll recipe:
- 15" x 10" x 1" Jelly Roll Pan - this is the perfect size pan for this recipe! Any bigger and your cake will be super thin!
- Parchment Paper Sheets - I like to use these because they're pre-cut and, for this recipe, they're slightly bigger than the jelly roll pan, allowing the paper to go up each side. I crease the paper so the sides stay upright.
- Flour-Based Baking Spray - helpful when removing the parchment paper later as you roll up the chocolate cake a 2nd time. I only spray the top part of the parchment paper, and I do so generously!
Helpful Tips for Making a Chocolate Pumpkin Cake Roll
- Lining your 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan with a pre-cut sheet of parchment paper, then spray it heavily with a flour-based baking spray. This is an important step when baking the chocolate cake. Do not miss this one!
- The recommended baking time for this chocolate pumpkin cake roll recipe is 15-18 minutes at 350ºF. The cake will be done when you press it and it springs back. If you don't want to touch the cake (because it will be hot), you can use the back of a spoon.
- Once the cake is done, pull back the parchment paper along the sides, then slide it out onto a clean, dry surface or a clean kitchen towel to roll it up. The kitchen towel is helpful when getting the roll started, but just make sure not to roll the towel up with the cake!
- There are other recipes that have you use the kitchen towel and confectioners sugar method to roll up the chocolate cake, but we won't be doing that with this recipe. I've tested this chocolate pumpkin cake roll more than 5 times, and using the parchment paper and flour-based baking spray was perfect!
- Because you'll only need a ⅛ cup of the pumpkin puree when making the pumpkin cream cheese filling, you can store the leftovers in a tightly sealed plastic or glass storage container and place it in the fridge for up to a week.
- The pumpkin cream cheese filling should be just a little on the thick side, but still spreadable. If your filling is on the thin side, add a little bit of confectioners sugar until it thickens.
- Once it's time to unroll the chocolate cake, do so on a clean dry surface and take your time. You can use an offset spatula to help release the parchment paper from the cake, if you need it.
- When adding the pumpkin cream cheese filling and (optional) whipped topping), leave about a ½" border of cake. As you roll it up, it will push out a little.
- For a nicer presentation and a cleaner look, you can cut off the ends of the cake roll before serving.
Chocolate Pumpkin Cake RollAuthor:
pumpkin cream cheese filling
- 8 oz Full-Fat Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 4 tablespoon Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- ⅛ cup Canned Pureed Pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- ½ teaspoon Cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon Nutmeg
- 1 ½ - 2 cups Domino Confectioners Sugar, sifted
chocolate ganache topping (optional)
- 4 oz Semi-Sweet Chocolate, bar or chocolate chips
- ½ cup Heavy Whipping Cream, cold
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Light Corn Syrup
- Adjust the oven rack to the 2nd level position and preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line a 15" x 10" x 1" jelly roll pan with a pre-cut sheet of parchment paper, then generously spray the top and sides of the paper with a flour-based baking spray. The parchment paper should be big enough that it comes up the sides of the pan. I creased the paper so it helped to stand upright.
- In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the Domino® Golden Sugar, eggs, melted unsalted butter, and vanilla extract together on medium-high speed until well combined.
- Switch the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the whisked dry mixture, mixing until the cake batter is just combined. Do not over mix.
- Pour the chocolate cake roll batter onto the prepared jelly roll pan. Using a small offset spatula, smooth and level out the batter. Give the jelly roll pan a few light taps to remove any air bubbles, then place in the oven and bake for 15-18 minutes at 350ºF, or until the top of the cake springs back when touched. If you'd like, you can use the back of a spoon to do this because the cake will be hot.
- Remove the chocolate cake from the oven and immediately loosen the parchment paper sides away from the cake. You more than likely will be able to do this with just your hands, but you can use a small knife if it helps.
- Then slide the chocolate cake (with the parchment paper still attached) from the jelly roll pan on to a clean, dry surface and roll it up while it is still hot. You can use a clean kitchen towel to help get the roll started. Just remember not to roll up the towel with the cake.
- Place the rolled up chocolate cake on a wire cooling rack (the end of the chocolate cake roll should be on the bottom). Allow the cake to cool completely in this shape.
pumpkin cream cheese filling
- Using your hand-held mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until smooth and well combined.
- Add in the pumpkin puree, vanilla extract, cinnamon, and nutmeg, mixing until combined.
- Switch the mixer speed to low and add in the Domino® Confectioners Sugar until it all comes together.
- Stop the mixer, then scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl. Turn the mixer speed to medium-high to beat for another minute.
- Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to chill while you wait for the cake to cool.
chocolate ganache topping (optional)
- Place the semi-sweet chocolate into a medium size bowl. Set aside.
- Using a microwave-safe bowl or glass measuring cup, heat the heavy whipping cream for 1 minute at full power. Pour it over the chocolate, then let it sit covered (with aluminum foil) for 1-2 minutes.
- Remove the cover, add in the vanilla extract and light corn syrup, then stir until completely melted and smooth. The ganache should be the consistency of a thinner glue and it should be easy to pour over top of the chilled chocolate pumpkin cake roll.
- If you find the ganache to be too thick, you can add a small amount of heated heavy cream to the mixture.
assembling the chocolate pumpkin roll
- Carefully unroll the chocolate cake onto a clean, dry surface or a baking sheet.
- Using a small offset spatula, spoon the chilled pumpkin cream cheese frosting to the center of the cake and spread all over leaving about a ½" border of cake.
- Again using the offset spatula, you can add a thin layer of store-bought whipped topping to the top leaving a ½ border.
- Slowly roll the cake roll up, removing the parchment paper as you go.
- Tightly wrap the chocolate pumpkin cake roll up in plastic wrap and aluminum foil, then place in either the refrigerator to chill for 3-5 days or in the freezer for 1-2 months.
- When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator or the freezer (let it sit out at room temperature for 30-45 minutes beforehand), then top with the warm chocolate ganache or Domino® Confectioners Sugar.
This recipe post was previously sponsored by Domino Sugar. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that help to make Beyond the Butter possible!