Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are not really pies. Whoopie pies are made by sandwiching together two cakes to form kind-of a cookie. Weird, but whether you think of them as cakes, cookies or pies, they’re a real American treat.
Since I live in the great state of Pennsylvania, I will endorse the theory that Whoopies pies were invented by Amish bakers. Supposedly, the name came from exclamations of “whoopie” whenever mom made the special treat. That totally makes sense to me.
Why these are THE BEST Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
The batter is made with a combination of butter and oil. Butter has great flavor and oil stays soft at room temperature. Using a combination makes a tasty, soft and moist cookie.
These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are filled with velvety cream cheese Ermine Frosting for a filling that is rich, not too sweet and a bit tangy.
- All purpose flour – Medium protein all purpose flour makes a cookie that has enough structure to rise high in the oven, but also has a tender crumb.
- Pumpkin Puree – Make sure you use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. Canned pumpkin puree is very consistent in flavor and water level. If you use homemade pureed pumpkin make sure it not too wet. Blot the pumpkin with paper towels to remove excess moisture if your puree is very moist.
- Brown Sugar – Brown sugar hold more moisture than granulated sugar. These whoopie pies stay nice and moist after baking thanks to the brown sugar.
- Spices – If you have a pre-mixed pumpkin spice blend you can use 2 teaspoons of the spice mix in place of the spices listed in the recipe.
How to make Pumpkin Whoopie pies with cream cheese filling
- Whip the whites to full peak. Whisk in the yolks and vanilla.
- Sift the over the batter and gently fold it in.
- Fold just until all the flour is incorporated. Do not overmix.
- Pipe the cookies onto the prepared baking sheet into 4″ long x 2″ wide “fingers”.
- Lightly sprinkle the tops of the cookies with powdered sugar.
- Bake until light brown and spongy about 10-12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Cook the custard over medium/low heat, stirring constantly, until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Pour the custard into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold.
- Sandwich the ladyfingers with the preserves.
- Cut a ladyfinger sandwich in half, lengthwise.
- Stand the ladyfingers on end, with the cut side to the outside of a glass trifle bowl. Continue cutting and arranging the ladyfingers until the entire perimeter of the bowl is lined with a “striped” pattern.
- Use half of the remaining uncut cookies to the line bottom of the bowl. You can break them up to fit pieces into any gaps between the cookies.
- Sprinkle a ½ cup of the sherry over the cookies on the bottom and sides of the bowl. Pour half of the custard into the bowl. Arrange the remaining cookies over the custard and sprinkle with the remaining sherry.
- Pour the other half the custard into the bowl.
- Top the trifle with whipped cream and refrigerate at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) before serving.
- Sift the dry ingredients onto a piece of parchment paper.
- The batter is fairly thick with a texture between a cake batter and cookie dough.
- Portion the batter with a cookie scoop or tablespoon. The batter doesn’t spread, so use a moistened hand to flatten the cookies slightly.
- Flip over half the cookies and pipe the cream cheese frosting onto the bottoms.
- Sandwich the cookies.
- To make jumbo whoopie pies, use a large ice cream scoop.
Because of the cream cheese in the filling, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies should be refrigerated after 2-3 hours at room temperature.
Can Pumpkin Whoopie Pies be frozen?
Yes, either before or after filling you can freeze Pumpkin Whoopie Pies. In fact, they are quite nice straight from the freezer.
If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- 17 ½ oz all purpose flour (3 ½ cups)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 4 oz unsalted butter (½ cup, room temperature)
- 16 oz light brown sugar (2 cups)
- 3 ½ oz vegetable oil (½ cup)
- ½ teaspoon lemon extract
- 2 large eggs (room temperature)
- 15 oz pumpkin puree (1 ¾ cups)
Make the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F. Line two half sheet pans with parchment paper.
- Sift together 17 ½ oz all purpose flour, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 ½ teaspoons ground ginger, ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg and ¼ teaspoon ground cloves. Set aside
- In a large mixing bowl, cream 4 oz unsalted butter with 16 oz light brown sugar until light and aerated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer running, slowly add 3 ½ oz vegetable oil½ teaspoon lemon extract. Scrape the bowl. Add 2 large eggs and mix to combine.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture and 15 oz pumpkin puree, starting and ending with the flour. Scrape the bowl between additions of flour.
- For small whoopie pies, use a cookie scoop or tablespoon to scoop the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Use a larger scoop or ¼ cup measure to make large whoopie pies. Moisten your hand with water and tap the tops of the cookies to flatten slightly.
- Bake until the cookies spring back when pressed in the center and are lightly browned around the edges, 10-12 minutes for small cookies or 12-15 minutes for larger cookies.
- Cool completely before filling. At this point the cookies can be wrapped and kept at room temperature for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
Make the cream cheese filling
- Combine 12 oz granulated sugar, 2 ½ oz all purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt in a saucepan, whisk to combine. Slowly whisk in 12 oz whole milk until smooth. Heat the mixture over medium low, whisking constantly, until it begins to boil.
- Continue to cook and stir for 2-3 minutes until it thickens to a pudding-like texture. Immediately remove from the heat. Transfer to a bowl. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla extract and ½ teaspoon lemon extract and cool to room temperature.
- In a mixing bowl, cream 8 oz unsalted butter until smooth. Scrape the bowl. With the mixer running, toss in 8 oz cream cheese and mix until smooth. Scrape down the bowl, switch to whisk and add the milk paste. Turn the speed to high and whip until light and fluffy.
- Flip half the cookies over. Pipe or spoon a generous dollop of filling on the flat side of the flipped cookies and sandwich with the remaining cookies.
- The cookies will keep for 3-4 days, refrigerated. Best eaten at room temperature.
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