A sure sign that fall is near — or that it has arrived — is when all the pumpkin goodies start showing up at Aldi. I love loading my shopping cart up with whole pumpkins at Aldi, along with pumpkin spice ice cream, pumpkin pie gelato, pumpkin-shaped pizzas, pumpkin quick bread and muffin mix, pumpkin spice brioche, pumpkin spice donuts, pumpkin spice oatmeal, pumpkin spice granola, pumpkin spice cookies, pumpkin rolls, and even pumpkin spice whipped topping.
One of my family’s favorite pumpkin items at Aldi each year is the pumpkin cake roll. It features moist spiced cake with a creamy filling. In previous years, the pumpkin cake roll filling has always had a cream cheese base. It was perfection. I usually bought several rolls throughout the autumn season, and they paired well with apple cider or with a cup of harvest blend tea from Aldi’s cousin Trader Joe’s.
A few weeks ago, I bought one of the classic Aldi pumpkin cake rolls with the cream cheese filling. It was delicious, as always. Then, something changed.
I recently spotted Aldi fans on social media talking about how there is now a pumpkin cake roll with buttercream filling instead of cream cheese filling at Aldi. This sparked all kinds of discussion — and some confusion — on social media comment threads because people were asking whether they needed to refrigerate their pumpkin cake roll. (The answer: if your cake roll has a cream cheese filling, it needs to be refrigerated and the fine print on the back of the package will tell you so; if it has a buttercream filling, it can stay at room temperature.)
Most Aldi fans tend to think the cream cheese filling is superior, and I agree with them. My curiosity was piqued, though. So on during my latest Aldi shopping trip, I looked for the pumpkin cake rolls. I didn’t find any of the classic cream cheese cake rolls in the refrigerated aisle, but I did find plenty of the buttercream cake rolls on the room temperature shelves. I picked up one of the new buttercream versions to see how it compares to the cream cheese classic.
The Bake Shop Pumpkin Cake Roll cost $4.49 for an 18-oz. package at the time of publication. The package describes this as “rolled pumpkin cake with buttercream filling.”
This is a seasonal item at Aldi, which means it’s in stores for longer than an Aldi Find, but it’s not available all year. Aldi usually sells pumpkin cake rolls during the fall. Also keep in mind that Aldi does not offer online ordering for products that are not in stock at your local store.
If you’re looking out for allergens, this contains egg, milk, soy, and wheat. It is kosher.
One package contains about five servings, and one serving (85 grams) has 340 calories, 14 grams of total fat (18% DV), 5 grams of saturated fat (25% DV), 270 mg of sodium (12% DV), 49 grams of total carbohydrates (18% DV), 34 grams of total sugars, and 24 grams of added sugars (48% DV).
This pumpkin cake roll still has the traditional pumpkin-spiced cake my family is familiar with. The difference in the filling is impossible to miss. It’s a light, airy buttercream with notes of pumpkin spice. It tastes fine, but my family unanimously agrees the buttercream filling is inferior to the cream cheese filling in terms of taste and texture. Cream cheese and pumpkin just go well together. I even found I had to be more careful when slicing this cake roll because the buttercream filling has a softer texture that may want to squish out a bit.
We know that Aldi sometimes tweaks its products. Some people might ask why Aldi messed with a recipe that worked well. Why change a good thing?
There is a possible answer regarding the changes to the pumpkin cake roll. On the Facebook fan page that Aldi manages, some people speculated the formula change might have happened because of the cream cheese shortage that hit late in the fall of 2021 and ran well into the winter. It may have prompted the supplier for Aldi pumpkin cake rolls to change its recipe, or Aldi might have needed to use a different supplier. Either way, decisions about product sourcing are often made well in advance, and with cream cheese supplies uncertain at the time, Aldi or their supplier may have decided to avoid cream cheese all together in their cake formulation.
I don’t know for certain that the cream cheese shortage was the driving factor behind the Aldi pumpkin cake roll recipe change, but it seems like a possibility. My family will still enjoy the buttercream pumpkin cake rolls at Aldi this year, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed that the classic cream cheese version will return to shelves next year.
The Bake Shop Pumpkin Cake Roll features pumpkin cake and either a cream cheese or buttercream filling, although it appears sometime this fall Aldi began transitioning to all buttercream filling in these cakes. The cake is good with the buttercream, but we’re partial to the classic cream cheese filling that has always been in these cakes. We don’t know for sure, but it’s possible last winter’s cream cheese shortage may have prompted the supplier Aldi uses to change their recipe, or Aldi may have needed to go with a different supplier all together. We still like the reformulated pumpkin cake roll, but we definitely hope that the cream cheese version comes back at some point.
The refrigerated soft Pumpkin Sandwich Cookies (pumpkin spice cookies with cinnamon cream cheese filling) have (yes) a cream cheese filling and they are just excellent.
I tried them for the first time this year and I’m hoping there are more when I get back.
I hope if they did change all of them to buttercream it changes back next year. I tend to buy one (or 2) per season. I am the only one in my household that likes them. So I slice portions and freeze them. That way I can have one and not feel rushed to eat more than I instead before it gets stale or soggy. The cream cheese version did freeze quite well. My regional supermarket carries something similar I will have to check to see if it is cream cheese and maybe get it there if it is.
Pretty sure there is also a Trader Joe’s version.
I’m so glad in reading your article on the pumpkin roll filling that there definitely was a difference in taste. I love the cream cheese filling & will not buy again unless they change back to it.
I have been buying multiples of this cake for yrs!!!! Just tonite bought 4….. waited for this seasonal goodie…. Its horrible w/buttercreme😝😝😝bring back the creamcheese tradition!!!! Please!!!!
Here’s how to tell Aldi what you want: https://www.aldi.us/en/contact/
been looking, and not finding in the elyria store on oberlin/cleveland road. We used to buy one every shopping trip. when in stock.