These soft pumpkin whoopie pies are packed with flavor from warm spices, then filled with a silky-smooth bourbon cream cheese filling. Soft, creamy, and full of fall flavor!
Table of contents
About the Recipe
Depending on who you talk to or where you’re located, a whoopie pie can be categorized as pie, cookie, sandwich, or cake. And quite frankly, most are true. They’re a sandwich cookie, but the “cookie” part is generally cake-like and either chocolate or spiced. The tender rounds then sandwich a creamy, sweet filling.
Maine and Pennsylvania notoriously battle as the origin of the humble whoopie pie. But who cares when they taste this good? If you're looking for a history lesson, check out this article which goes much more in depth on the history of whoopie pies.
When it comes to Pumpkin Spice, I often side with it being overrated. Which is why we’re skipping the premade spice blend and going all in on three very bold, very fall flavors. The combination of cinnamon, ginger and cloves pairs perfectly with pumpkin and bourbon. (Yes, we’re using bourbon, did you expect anything less?)
Important Ingredients In Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
These pumpkin whoopie pies have a lot of pumpkin, a hefty amount of spice, and enough bourbon to warm your soul.
- Pumpkin: Many pumpkin recipes don’t call for much pumpkin at all, resulting in a baked good that barely tastes like pumpkin. Not to mention half a can of pumpkin to use. Because of that, I developed this recipe to use an entire 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée.
- Spices: I prefer to use a combination of cinnamon, ginger and cloves instead of a pumpkin spice blend. The amounts of each might seem like a lot, because they are! But trust me, the cookies are so good you could skip the filling altogether. (Though the filling is a must too.)
- Flour: I usually bake exclusively with whole-wheat flour. But some things just need all-purpose flour. This is one of those things.
- Light Brown Sugar: I usually opt for natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup, but this recipe really needs brown sugar. Pumpkin adds so much additional moisture that a liquid sweetener would negatively impact the final texture of the cookies.
- Butter: The cookies use melted butter and the filling uses softened butter. Set the butter out a few hours in advance, or even overnight, so you can hit the ground running.
- Vanilla Extract: Just a splash in the cookies to balance out the flavors!
- Bourbon: You can use whatever whiskey you have on hand.
- Cream Cheese: Whipped with softened butter for the creamy filling.
- Confectioners’ Sugar: aka powdered sugar. This is used in the creaming filling, but it also makes for a gorgeous presentation when dusted over the cookies.
How to Make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
- Whisk together the dry ingredients.
- Whisk together the wet ingredients.
- Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined.
- Cover and chill the dough until firmed up a bit.
- Meanwhile, make the filling by whipping together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, bourbon and salt and whip until smooth. Cover and chill.
- Roll the cookie dough into 1-tablespoon balls then slightly flatten into disks.
- Bake the cookies until tey spring back when lightly poked.
- Let the cookies cool completely.
- To assemble, sandwich a dollop of frosting between two cookies.
More Pumpkin Recipes to Love
Did you make this Pumpkin Whoopie Pies recipe? Let me know how it went—leave a comment and star-rating below. And if you snapped a pic, share it on IG and tag me @zestfulkitchen. I love seeing what you make!Print
These pumpkin whoopie pies are soft and fluffy and packed with flavor from warm spices. They then get filled with a dreamy bourbon cream cheese filling, making these a true fall treat.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (240g)
- 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cloves
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (15-ounce) can pure pumpkin purée
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
- ¾ cup packed light brown sugar (5 ¼ ounces)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon bourbon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Bourbon Cream Cheese Filling:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar + more as needed
- 2 tablespoons bourbon
- Pinch kosher salt
Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.
Whisk together pumpkin, melted butter, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon bourbon in a large bowl.
Add flour mixture to pumpkin mixture and stir, using a rubber spatula, until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to over night.
Heat oven to 350°F (176ºC) with rack set in middle position. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using a tablespoon measure and lightly moistened hands, roll dough into balls; place evenly on prepared baking sheets, about 20 per sheet. Gently flatten dough balls with slightly dampened fingers to about ½-inch thick.
Bake cookies, one sheet at a time, until set and tops spring back when gently pressed, 12–14 minutes. Let cookies cool on sheets 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Beat together cream cheese and butter using a hand-held mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment until smooth.
Add confectioners’ sugar, 2 tablespoons bourbon and a pinch of salt. Mix until smooth, adding more confectioners’ sugar as needed to create a stiff yet spreadable consistency. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Spread scant 1 tablespoon cream cheese filling onto bottom side of half of the cookies; sandwich with remaining cookies, bottom side down, pressing gently.
Whoopie pies can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
- Serving Size: 1 sandwich cookie
- Calories: 138
- Sugar: 8g
- Sodium: 70mg
- Fat: 6.5g
- Saturated Fat: 4.5g
- Carbohydrates: 17g
- Fiber: 1g
- Protein: 2g
- Cholesterol: 25mg
Keywords: pumpkin whoopie pies, pumpkin whoopie pie recipe
This recipe was originally published on October 27, 2016. It was recently updated on October 13, 2021.