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Pumpkin Roll, Lightened Up

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This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.

This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.

Pumpkin Roll

If your like me and love pumpkin, you’ll probably also love these pumpkin recipes for Pumpkin Pie, Pumpkin No-Bake Cheesecake, and Pumpkin Pecan Banana Bread.

This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.

One day I had some extra cream cheese frosting laying around my kitchen. I also had some fat free Greek yogurt in my refrigerator and my wheels started turning; what would happened if I mixed the two? Well, all I can say is it was fabulous! I let a few others taste it to see what they thought, and they all agreed. So when I had all these requests to make over a pumpkin roll, I knew this would be my filling! I added some crushed walnuts to the filling and it was delicious! You can, of course make it without the nuts if you wish.

Pumpkin Roll Ingredients:

To make this lighter pumpkin roll recipe, you will need these ingredients:

  • To make the base of the cake: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, eggs, vanilla, granulated sugar
  • Pumpkin pie spice: pumpkin pie spiced, all spice and ground cinnamon are used to season the cake
  • Canned pumpkin: To make this easy, using store-bought canned pumpkin puree is perfectly fine.  But you can also make your pumpkin puree from scratch, if you wish.
  • For the cream cheese filling: Light cream cheese, Greek yogurt, powdered sugar, walnuts (optional) and vanilla

Freezing Pumpkin Roll:

Pumpkin rolls are actually best when made a day ahead and keep refrigerated. This makes them the perfect dessert to make ahead for the holidays.  To refrigerate your pumpkin roll, wrap it up tight in plastic wrap without the powdered sugar.  Refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.  If freezing, let it thaw in the refrigerator 24 hours before serving.

Helpful Tips

Can you use egg whites? I’m not sure, this has no butter or oil so I think the fat in the yolks is essential. Can you use Splenda or sugar replacement? I’m sure you can, but I have not tested it, if anyone makes it with good results, please comment below.

How To Make a Pumpkin Roll

This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.

More Pumpkin Recipes

Pumpkin Roll, Lightened Up

4.70 from 20 votes
This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
This classic pumpkin roll recipe is made lighter than traditional recipes with a delicious pumpkin spiced sponge cake and a light cream cheese filling.
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Chill Time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 35 minutes
Yield: 13 servings
Serving Size: 3 /4" slice


For the cake:

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • non-stick spray, I used Smart Balance
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar, to sprinkle on towel

For the filling:

  • 6 oz light cream cheese, at room temperature (NOT fat free)
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 6 oz fat free Fage Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • powdered sugar, optional for topping


Pumpkin Roll:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F and place oven rack in the center of the oven.  Spray a 15 x 10 inch baking pan with non-stick spray, line it with parchment paper, then spray a little more non-stick spray and lightly flour the parchment paper.
  • Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice, allspice, and salt into a large bowl.
  • Beat the eggs and sugar together in your electric mixer or hand mixer. Beat on high speed for five minutes, or until thick, pale yellow, and fluffy. (When you slowly raise the beaters the batter will fall back into the bowl in slow ribbons.)
  • Beat in the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold in the sifted flour mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, evenly spreading the cake batter with a spatula or knife.
  • Bake about 13 - 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the cake, when lightly pressed, springs back.
  • Sprinkle a clean dish towel with confectioners' sugar.
  • Immediately upon removing the cake from the oven invert the pumpkin roll onto the clean dish towel. Carefully remove the parchment paper from the bottom of the cake and sprinkle lightly with confectioners sugar; roll the pumpkin roll up with the towel, while it is still hot and pliable. Place on a wire rack to cool.


  • Beat the cream cheese, yogurt, and vanilla extract until light and fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until smooth; fold in the walnuts.
  • Refrigerate at least one hour.

To Assemble:

  • Unroll the pumpkin roll, spread with the filling, and re-roll. Transfer to your serving platter; cover and chill in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight. (You can serve this cake immediately but chilling it overnight sets the filling and makes it easier to slice.)
  • Just before serving, lightly dust with powdered sugar.

Last Step:

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Adapted from Joy of Baking


Serving: 3 /4" slice, Calories: 198 kcal, Carbohydrates: 42.5 g, Protein: 5 g, Fat: 7 g, Saturated Fat: 0.5 g, Cholesterol: 42 mg, Sodium: 134 mg, Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 21 g


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117 comments on “Pumpkin Roll, Lightened Up”

  1. Great recipe and looks so pretty and festive. I used swerve granulated and powdered sugar version and it was fine. I cut back a bit on sugar as I find those to be sweeter to me then regular sugar. I baked it for the full 15 and really should have taken it out at 13 or even a bit sooner as it was slightly over done, but that is my not watching it. I used wheat pastry flour by the way as so many recipes I see lately call for pastry flour and I had a lot of that to use. It cracked for me in the middle but by time added the filling and rolled it all up and refridgerated it you would never know–so if it happens to you just carry on, it comes out fine.

  2. I dont eat sugar or white flour. So I made this with whole wheat flour and swerve. It turned out terrific and no guilt whatsoever! 😁

  3. I make this for Thanksgiving dessert or when we need a bit of a boost. It is tasty, easy and delicious. I highly recommend this recipe. Thanks Skinnytaste!

  4. I used Lakanto Monk Fruit Powdered Sugar as a Replacement in the filling and Coconut Sap Crystal’s as my Sugar Replacement in the Roll. I also used Sprouted Wheat Flour. Turned out Amazing and made it even Healthier.

  5. I admit that I had my doubts as I was spreading the batter into my 10×15 pan, but it produced the exactly right thickness of sponge. Due to walnut allergies, I went with sliced almonds, but also a touch of almond extract. I used all 8oz of the cream cheese. I now have to come up with a quick use for the leftover pumpkin!

  6. Avatar photo
    Elaine McCain

    This is a family favorite! I now make it with gluten-free baking flour (Bob’s Red Mill) and neuftchatel cheese instead of full-fat. Turns out a bit softer than the original but no one complains!

    1. I made the recipe as is, but since the underlying cake is a sponge cake, I don’t think you’d get the result you’re after honestly.

      Of course, you could put it in a smaller pan so that you get more of a sponge loaf to frost, but still not sure if it would make for a good “bar”.

  7. I just tried this the first time and the family and I love it! I am planning on making a few to freeze and bring to our Thanksgiving celebrations. Thank you for another amazing recipe!

  8. I just tried this the first time and the family and I love it! I am planning on making a few to freeze and bring to our Thanksgiving celebrations. Thank you for another amazing recipe!

  9. I don’t see this specified  in the directions so want to confirm. This is rolled from the short end, so the roll ends up being 10” long, correct? As opposed to the long end.

  10. This is fantastic! Pumpkin rolls are my favorite during the holiday season & this recipe is an amazing lighter version!  Loved it!!

  11. So the only thing I changed in this recipe was I used Truvia Cane Sugar blend in place of the granulated sugar and instead of regular sugar I used Swerve Confectioners sugar.

    I also used 12 oz of Kroger brand Greek Yogurt cream cheese blend blocks as opposed to the half regular cream cheese and half greek yogurt.

    I think it turned out really nice and, considering what it is, has very little sugar.

  12. This is really easy to make and excellent. I thought I was generous with servings but 6 of us only ate half of the cake!

  13. I love this!! I substituted the powdered sugar with Swerve confectioners sugar and the regular sugar with Laktano Monkfruit sweetener and it turned out great!!! I had no problem using sugar substitute.  I ate 2 pieces of it last night, it’s that good! 

  14. I have this all made and setting up in the fridge. I was going to bring to work tomorrow but now I’m just leaving it for my husband because the roll cracked and filling is spilling out one side. I can’t say it’s any fault of the recipe because I am NOT a baker and I’ve never made a cake roll in my life. Finding a 15×10 pan is very difficult. I ended up using a 15×11 foil throwaway pan cuz it’s the closest I could find. I’ll have to practice my cake roll skills before giving this to others but I’m sure it’s delicious as a home recipe.

  15. Do you think I could use the lightened up cream cheese filling as a cream cheese frosting? I’m trying to lighten up cream cheese frosting….Thanks, Linda

  16. Look for “Neufchâtel cheese” right next to the regular cream cheese – my small Brooklyn grocery has it and it is pretty easy to find in my experience. Sometimes it might say 1/3 less fat.

  17. Avatar photo
    Karen Nielson

    I am wondering if the batter and filling from this recipe would work for pumpkin cream cheese filled muffins?
    Anyone try this? Thanks! Karen

  18. This looks yummy! But I can NEVER find light cream cheese anywhere on Long Island. Any tips on stores to look for it at? I want to make this now! 🙂

  19. Avatar photo
    Brandi Newman

    Can I bake this as cupcakes and frost normally instead of making the roll? How long/temperature would you suggest for this method?

    1. I would do 350 for 20-25 minutes? Look at this recipe too….

  20. Gina:

    I don’t know if anyone else has mentioned this in comments on the site and I couldn’t figure out a way to search for it, but have you seen this?

    It’s another “Skinnytaste” diet/cookbook that was published 11 days ago. Unless Sam Smith is someone working with you, which he doesn’t mention AT ALL, I thought you’d like to know. There’s already at least one review from someone, mentioning “Gina” that obviously thinks that this is oen of your books. I sent you an email, but I understand that you may not see emails in a timely fashion. I figured that you’ve invested a lot of time in your brand, and you probably wanted to know.

    Hope that’s helpful.

  21. This recipe is SOOO good!! Made it for this year’s thanksgiving and I was definitely impressed and very happy that it was also a “lightened” recipe!

  22. Avatar photo
    Elaine Pittman

    I have made this recipe numerous times and it has always been received well aka delicious! This is after years of making Pumpkin Rolls the old fashion-higher calorie way.

  23. I always forget about pumpkin recipes and how good they are; I love rediscovering them around this time of year. Thanks for sharing!

  24. I am NOT a baker and I rolled this along the long side, but I think it should have been done using the short side? Oh well – it's a bit messy but tastes AMAZING! I also didn't let the filling sit long enough so it went everywhere but after it sets, some powdered sugar on top I think it'll be great! Thanks for this awesome recipe!

  25. Just the two of us and we can't eat the whole roll. Anyone have luck cutting the recipe in half or freezing?

  26. I like the idea, changed it a little and added chocolate syrup, and a little cocoa powder. then did a chocolate pudding filling. All my son said was awsome.

  27. Avatar photo
    Ashley Klinger

    great recipe. Looks so much fancier and complex than it really is and has so much more flavor than a pumpkin cookie.

  28. I tried making a roll cake via a different website and it turned out like cardboard. I was scared to try this and wanted to for so long. Tonight I tried it and it turned out sooooooooooo GOOD! The only thing is that I didn't have this size baking pan. I had to use a larger one which makes the pumpkin roll obviously very thin but still really delicious though! Thank you so much for this great recipe 🙂 Can this recipe be used with whole wheat flour? I would really love to find one with whole wheat. 🙂

  29. My whole family loved it! Loved the Pumpkin Cheesecake Shooters too. Oh my, both were awesome. So happy to have some lighter holiday dessert recipes. As a matter of fact, every recipe for our Thanksgiving dinner was from this site – except for the gravy. I know how much effort I spent preparing this meal, so Gina, thank you so much for all the effort YOU put into developing these recipes you share.

  30. I made the cake in a jelly roll pan (15 x 10) and it rolled well right out of the oven, but when I re-rolled with the filling the cake stuck to my powdered dish cloth and cracked… any ideas why? Solely the fault of my dish cloth? 😛 It's not the prettiest unfortunately, but tasted heavenly!

    1. I have made two so far – one with Paula Deen's recipe except I only had two eggs, it called for four and I used regular flour. I added a bit of milk to make up the difference. It came out beautifully and then cracked when I rolled it with the filling. My next attempt I had all the eggs and used cake flour. (PS both times I used wax paper, no cooking spray) It didn't crack but it was very soft. So, for my next attempt, I'm going to use 1/2 cake flour and 1/2 regular flour.

    2. Sorry, I forgot to mention in Paula's recipe, the eggs are separated, the stiff whites are folded last. I don't know it that will fix your problem, but it seems to work well to do it that way.

  31. Oh my goodness, I started changing my eating habits almost 2 years ago now (lost 75 lb!), and I cannot BELIEVE that I just happened on this site a month ago. I have made at least 10 of your recipes and all turned out wonderfully. Pumpkin roll is one of the things I crave during this time of year, and this recipe is delicious!

  32. Gina, I was wondering if you could suggest a different sweetener other than white processed sugar. I have a real sensitivity to white sugar. This is one of my favorite deserts. I would really appreciate your help.

  33. i see someone already asked this but i wasnt to sure on the answer. i only have a 12×17 and 9×13 baking pan. which should i use since theres no way i can go buy a new one??

    1. Avatar photo
      Gina @ Skinnytaste

      I don't think it will roll if you change the pan. You can of course make it into a cake with one of your other pans and just put the icing on top.

  34. Gina, you are a god-sent. Thank you so much for your recipes. I didn't lose during the holidays – but I didn't gain back any weight either. I'm starting to take my family recipes and seeing how they might be lightened up in a similar manner by incorporating some of your tricks.

  35. We made this with egg beaters and splenda in the batter, and truvia in the filling, it was FABULOUS!!!! EVERYONE LOVED IT. Am making again today!!!

  36. I made this for the first time for a friend Thanksgiving and one of my guests commented that this might be better than the pumpkin roll up his mom makes every year! 🙂

  37. This was absolutely delicious! We shared it with friends and it disappeared in no time. My friend kept commenting that he didn't believe it was diet. You should make a cookbook! Everything we try from your site is amazing. I would buy a copy if you make a book!

  38. Gina, this was a huge hit at Thanksgiving. Easy to make and delicious. I added a bit of pumpkin pie spice and some grated clementine peel to the filling (the bowl was sitting on the counter!). Everyone raved, and the leftovers are even better. Thank you for such delicious recipes!

  39. This Pumpkin Roll was a huge hit with everyone at our Thanksgiving lunch. I used 8 oz. of light cream cheese and 4 oz. of non-fat Greek yogurt so I would not have 2 oz. of cream cheese leftover. This was delicious and will be adding it to our annual fall/Thanksgiving recipes.

  40. Gina – I'm ignorant. Can you make this using regular "cake" (other than the pumpkin)? The boyfriend does not like pumpkin but is wild about this type of filling. Can you use a carrot cake or chocolate cake mix instead? Or do you have any other suggestions?

  41. Hi again! I just made the frosting and it tastes soooo good. I used 1/3 fat cream cheese and Fage fat free (THE best thing ever), plus I added 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice. We'll see how well it sets up, but I think it'll be great atop my pumpkin muffins! 🙂

  42. I made this last night & it was yummy & easy to make. I am a weight watcher and love your site & recipes; thank you!

  43. I whipped this up with help from my step dad for Thanksgiving tomorrow. After going to Weight Watchers and hearing about the 11 pt. pumpkin pie I'd be facing, I knew I needed to arm myself with something delicious that wouldn't completely put me over the edge. So far everything turned out perfectly and it's chilling in the fridge until tomorrow. I can't wait to try it!

  44. Thanks for putting up this recipe. I have been avoiding looking at the pumpkin rolls in the stores because they are so many points. I will have to make this next week to give it a try for Christmas. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm so thankful that I found your website, you have helped me so much.


  45. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Sherri, not yet!

    Tabitha, I think so! Make sure all liquid is drained from yogurt, or use Fage, it's thicker. Don't use fat free cream cheese, it will be runny.

    Selena, I don't use Splenda but good to know!! Same happens with fat free cream cheese, it becomes runny!

    1. Was wondering the same thing…..thinking we could use a mix of 3/4 almond flour and 1/4 coconut. leave out the nuts…going to give it a try

  46. A great tip for pumpkin rolls is to freeze them and then cut with an electric knife. The slices come out very clean and neat. Set the sliced pieces out at room temp to thaw for about 15 minutes before serving.

  47. I love your website and recipes…i visit daily! thank you for all your hard work to help me stay healthy!!
    Pumpkin Roll is my husband's favorite dessert so i make it several times a year. Recently i attempted to substitute the sugar with splenda. I found that it makes the pumpkin cake less firm. It also did something very weird with the cream cheese filling. It was runny but i do not understand why the filling was affected b/c there is no regular sugar in the filling recipe! I thought i had just done something wrong, so i did it again with splenda and got the same results, runny filling, less firm cake. by now, i'm frustrated. so I made a pumpkin roll again the next day using regular sugar and voila…perfect. the ONLY thing changed in the recipe was regular sugar to splenda. nothing else was different. it did not matter how long the splenda version was refrigerated either – it did not set right.
    if you try it and get different results, let me know!!
    Thank you again!! Selena S.

  48. Hi! I'm wondering if you think the cream cheese/Greek yogurt filling would work well as a frosting over a pumpkin muffin. Like, would it be solid enough and not just drip off the sides? It sounds really great! 🙂 FYI, I would be doing it without nuts, since I'm allergic.

  49. I was wondering if you have any other variations of this recipe. I'm very excited to try it. It looks amazing but my family is full of chocolate junkies.

  50. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    Yes the n.i. Includes the walnuts.

    Sorry I don't have the info for just the cream any longer.

    Jade, happy holidays!

  51. Hi! I was hoping you had the nutritional breakdown of just the filling. I want to use it for my carrot cupcakes. 😉

  52. Avatar photo
    Irina G (Fit Flexitarian)

    Wow! I think you just gave me the perfect idea of what to bring to my friend's house for a Thanksgiving dessert. This looks delicious and, since we're all on Weight Watchers, seems like the perfect treat. Thanks!

  53. OMG I have always wanted to make one of these and now I don't have to feel so guilty. Taking ingredients on the road with me to make at Mom's!!!

  54. I want to try this recipe. I also really like that you made it low calorie, not bad for a cake!!

  55. Avatar photo

    This really does look delicious! I adore pumpkin and will have to try making it with y friends.

  56. Just made and it's amazing!! I would highly recommend making it ahead of time, like a day or so, to allow for it to set-up. But awesome recipe!!

  57. Looks delicious. Your recipes are great and I don't even feel guilty eating my favorite foods from you site. Can't wait to try this one. Thanks Gina!

  58. Avatar photo
    Hi, I'm Susan!

    yes! this makes me so excited. pumpkin roll is my favorite and i was wondering how on earth i was going to enjoy it this year! thank you!

  59. oh, I made a similar thing.. a sponge chestnut cube with pumpkin and cream filling… delicious!

  60. Looks and sounds amazing as does everything on your site.
    I think Im really going to have to attempt this.
    I've never made one either but I've always wanted to. Here's to good eating!! Thanks!

  61. Thanks Gina! This looks delicious. Can I substitute whole wheat pastry flour, for all purpose flour?

  62. Avatar photo
    Gina @ Skinnytaste

    I don't think only using Greek yogurt would work, I don't think it's thick enough and it would come out.

    I don't think this would work out in a regular baking pan, the thickenss would change and it may break when you roll it.

    Maria, you can use 10 oz of light cream cheese and skip the yogurt if you wish, points will change.

  63. I LOVE your site. I know any receipe I make will be delicious!! Pumpkin Cake Roll showed up on the day my family asked if I would be making the traditional pumpkin roll, I hesitated until I saw your post! Thank you for all the time you put into keeping us healthy with delicious food!!

  64. Avatar photo
    Maria Chalmers

    I have a question, can we exchange the greek yogurt for something else? I am not a big yogurt fan and am severely lactose intolerant!

    1. Maria, you can use non-dairy cream cheese and yogurt. Personally I like Tofutti Cream Cheese and soy yogurt. You can try to strain the yogurt to make it thicker, like Greek yogurt. Give it a try, you may get a winner.

    2. I made one the other day and to cut out all the powedered sugar I found a recipe that uses low fat cream cheese and lite Cool Whip topping mixed in. worked great!

  65. Avatar photo

    I never made a pumpkin roll cake or any other cake for that matter, it seems intimidating but you make it seem easy. I want to try this recipe. I also really like that you made it low calorie, not bad for a cake!! Thank you! Love your blog!

  66. Avatar photo

    Woo! This classic pumpkin roll is seriously yummy looking. Love you you lightened this up 🙂

  67. I put the recipe into the WW recipe creator, and the point value did not change if you use splenda and/or egg beaters. Still 4 points without the nuts. Thanks for all of the great recipes! I love the website!

  68. I was at my Weight watchers meeting on yesterday and we were sharing tips on how we were going to survive the holiday. I told them about your site and how you'd been doing Thanksgiving recipes for the past couple of weeks. In a room of about 40 people none of them knew about you.. I'll go back on Friday and see if any of them checked you out and cooked anything. 🙂

  69. Thank you for this recipe! I love pumpkin rolls, but I know that a regular one is loaded with sugar and fat. I will be trying out your recipe for Thanksgiving.