Let’s do a full disclosure right off the bat here, shall we? I’m obsessed with Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.
I first had one in Washington DC in early October at a really cute cafe that Josh and I stopped in to get me a coffee fix. That was a Saturday afternoon. I spent all of that Saturday evening and Sunday with “pumpkin whoopie pie. pumpkin whoopie pie. pumpkin whoopie pie.” running through the back of my mind. On Sunday, when Josh and I were trying to find a place to eat dinner, he called me out on the route I was suggesting… and he was right: I was trying to lead us back to the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. Eventually, out of hunger, he gave in, and let me google the location (we actually couldn’t remember the name of the place, so I had to google Border’s, which I remembered was across the street from it). Then we could locate the whoopie pie cafe. Locate, yes, but sadly, couldn’t partake. They had closed at 5 pm.
While I was still in DC, I googled a recipe to make them myself on my phone, and the first hit looked very promising – from the cookbook Baked: New Frontiers in Baking, and featured on MarthaStewart.com. I resolved to make them very soon after getting back home.
Well, I’ve made them twice so far, and they are amazing. I’m going to make them to bring to my family for Thanksgiving, and I’ll probably make them at least once more before then. They have a wonderful flavor, with just the right amount of spice. The bread/cookie part is dense and hearty, and the cream cheese frosting filling is sweet and heavenly.
Here’s the recipe and the photos I took while baking. (Note: the recipe says it makes 12 whoopie pies, but both times I’ve made it I’ve gotten over 30. I used a small ice cream scoop – about 1.5 or 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie.)
Makes 12 whoopie pies
- FOR THE PUMPKIN WHOOPIE COOKIES
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon ground cloves
- 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- FOR THE CREAM-CHEESE FILLING
- 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
- Make the filling: Sift confectioner’ sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
- Assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.
Notes from Emily:
-3 cups of pumpkin puree is one of the big (two pie) cans of pumpkin puree.
-In my oven, the baking time was closer to 10 minutes, so keep an eye on them, and check your first tray after about 10 minutes. Especially if you’re making them smaller like I did.
-I didn’t feel like getting a pastry bag dirty to pipe the frosting, so I just used an offset spatula to add the filling, and it works just fine.