How to make pumpkin roll cake with walnut cream cheese filling

Hey guys!

For week three, I asked my Instagram followers to vote on which type of Swiss roll cake I should make: pumpkin or raspberry. Pumpkin won, which I was happy about because I’m still feeling all the fall flavors and the walnut cream cheese filling sounded so good!

Mary Berry’s Baking Bible has 3-4 Swiss roll recipes, none of which are pumpkin. So I decided to find a recipe and adapt it/implement Mary Berry’s methodology for the perfect roll (there’s lots of dispute over whether it’s better to use a towel or parchment paper – more on that later).

Remember when I said I need to be ok with things not turning out perfect? Well, this week really tested that. Needless to say, my roll didn’t turn out how I wanted it to look. However, it was super delicious, so that counts for something – right?!

How I expected mine to look:


Photo from @i.luv.sweets

How mine looked:


Haters will say it’s photoshopped 😉

So yeah, tasty but not pretty. Scroll down past the recipe to see what I learned and how yours can turn out better than mine!


  • Active prep time: 20 minutes
  • Bake time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 8-10 servings
  • Difficulty: Moderate


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup self-rising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup canned solid pack pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons caster (superfine) sugar
  • 8 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • Powdered sugar, optional for topping


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line 13x9x5 jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Mix first 5 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in eggs and pumpkin. Pour batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake until tester inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes.

Lay parchment paper on work surface; dust with 2 tablespoons caster sugar. Cut around pan sides to loosen cake. Turn out cake onto sugared paper. Trim edges and cut a mark 1 inch in on the short ends of the cake to make rolling easier (careful not to cut through the cake). Roll up cake jelly roll style. Cool cake.

Combine cream cheese, 1 cup powdered sugar, butter and vanilla in medium bowl; beat to blend. Mix in walnuts.

Unroll cake and peel off paper. Spread cream cheese filling evenly over cake. Roll up cake and place seam side down on platter. Trim ends of cake. Dust cake with powdered sugar. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

Recipe adapted from Epicurious.

What I learned
Things were going well with my cake until it came time to unroll and fill it. Here’s what went wrong and how you can be sure not to make the same mistakes!
  • Per Mary’s method, I used caster (superfine) sugar to prevent the cake from sticking to the parchment paper and cracking. The Epicurious recipe suggested powdered sugar. I’m not sure if it’s the type of sugar or the fact that I just lightly covered it that affected my results, but either way, use the full 2 tablespoons of caster or powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
  • I also used parchment paper instead of a kitchen towel to roll my cake. I’m not sure if that made the difference or if it was the sugar issue above, but you could try both ways and see what works better.
  • Make sure to let your cake cool fully before you unroll it to spread the filling on. I think mine was still a bit too warm, which made it sticky.
  • I used my bare hands to roll up my cake after I filled it, but I realized after that I should have been using the paper (or towel) to roll it so the cake wouldn’t stick to my hands.

All said and done, I’ll definitely try a Swiss roll again with a few tweaks. Next time I’m thinking I’ll make a Yule log for Christmas 🙂

Let me know if you have any Swiss roll cake tips, and follow me on Instagram @beginnerbakes for more recipes and inspiration!


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