Looking for a pumpkin cookie recipe that uses an entire can of pumpkin? Look no further, this is the ultimate pumpkin whoopie pie recipe! Soft spiced pumpkin cookies sandwich the silkiest, and tastiest, bourbon cream cheese frosting. Between the spiced pillowy pumpkin cookies and sweet-tangy-spiked filling, these cookies hit every note.  

What are Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

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, this article details the storied 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?)

pumpkin whoopie pie cookie set on a wire rack

Ingredients for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies have a lot of pumpkin, a hefty amount of spice, and enough bourbon to warm your soul.

Pantry Ingredients

For this recipe you’ll need all-purpose flour, light brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, kosher salt and vanilla extract.


Many fall baking recipes don’t call for much pumpkin purée at all, resulting in a baked good that has barely much pumpkin flavor at all. Not to mention half a can of pumpkin to use somehow! Because of that, I developed this recipe to use an entire 15-ounce can of pumpkin purée.


We 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 us, the cookies are so good you could skip the filling altogether. (Though the filling is a must too.)

Unsalted 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.


It’s important to use eggs labeled and sold as “large.” One large egg, without the shell, should weight 50 grams.


You can use whatever whiskey you have on hand. If you like to drink it, then you know you’ll love to eat it!

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. 

pumpkin whoopie pies arranged in a bowl lined with parchment paper

How to Make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

  1. Whisk together the dry ingredients. 
  2. Whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients just until combined. (No electric mixer needed!)
  4. Cover and chill the dough until firmed up a bit.
  5. 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.
  6. Roll the cookie dough into 1-tablespoon balls then slightly flatten into disks.
  7. Bake the cookies until they spring back when lightly poked. 
  8. Let the cookies cool completely.
  9. To assemble, sandwich a dollop of frosting between two cookies. I use two spoons for this, but a piping bag or a resealable zipper-lock bag with the corner cut, would work well!
pumpkin whoopie pies arranged in a bowl lined with parchment paper

How to Store Whoopie Pies

Store whoopie pies in an airtight container at room temperature for up to one day, or in the fridge for up to 4 days. If you plan on transporting them, chill them in the fridge for at least an hour. This will firm them up and makes them less fragile. You can serve whoopie pies chilled—they’ll just be slightly firmer and fudgier.

orange-colored whoopie pies arranged in a bowl lined with parchment paper

Can You Freeze Whoopie Pies?

Getting ahead during the holidays is key. Which is one reason this recipe is so fabulous. You can freeze pumpkin whoopie pies! To freeze whoopie pies: place the pies on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and freeze until solid, about 2 hours. Then, simply transfer them to a resealable zipper-lock bag and store in the freezer for up to 1 month. Thaw for overnight in the fridge or at room temperature for a few hours before serving.


Why do whoopie pies get sticky?

Whoopie pies consist of soft cookies and a stick filling. As you eat a whoopie pie the filling gets squished and the cookie becomes sticky from your warm hands.

Why do my whoopie pies come out flat?

A couple things could be to blame. First, the baking soda and/or the baking powder could be expired and therefore not effective in lifting the batter and making pillowy cookies. Second, the ingredients weren’t accurately measured, especially the flour. It’s important to use a food scale (if you have one). If you do not have a food scale, use the spoon and level method for measuring flour. If the cookies come out flat, you likely didn’t have enough flour.

What is whoopie pie filling made of?

Traditional whoopie pie filling is a soft, fluffy white filling made from shortening and confectioners’ sugar. Some recipes use Marshmallow fluff, while others feature vanilla or chocolate buttercream. This recipe features a spiked cream cheese filling.

More Pumpkin Desserts to Try

Got more cans of pumpkin to use up? Make our Crisp Pumpkin Cookies! Or make Pumpkin Butter and then fill pie dough with it to create Pumpkin Pop Tarts. For a classic dessert, make our Pumpkin Pie. And for something savory, try Pumpkin Dinner Rolls.

On the hook for Thanksgiving pie? Try our Bourbon Pecan Pie!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Recipe

4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Yield 25 sandwich cookies
Category Dessert
Cuisine American
Author Lauren Grant


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.


Pumpkin Cookies:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 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 (149g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg (50s)
  • 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.
  • Dust whoopie pies with additional confectioners’ sugar before serving, if desired.



Whoopie pies can be made and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.
Cookies (without filling) can be made up to 3 days ahead of time. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for 1 day, or in the refrigerator for 3 days. 


Serving: 1sandwich cookieCalories: 138kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 2gFat: 6.5gSaturated Fat: 4.5gCholesterol: 25mgSodium: 70mgFiber: 1gSugar: 8g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
pumpkin whoopie pies arranged in a bowl lined with parchment paper

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This recipe was originally published on October 27, 2016.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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    1. Hi Bonnie, great question! I dusted them with some confectioners’ sugar right before serving. I will update the recipe to reflect that.

    1. It is correct. I developed these a long time ago and came back to the recipe this year to rephotograph it and update the article. I thought the same thing when I was making them again, but the amount of spice is important for giving it that true pumpkin spice flavor! Feel free to decrease the cloves if you want, but I find the amount to work well!

    1. Hey Morgan, great question! For the cookies you can either just leave it out altogether or substitute with apple cider. For the filling I would use apple cider. Let me know how it goes!

  1. 5 stars
    Baked these last night and assembled this morning. Outstanding recipe thats easy to make. Love the warm spices and kicked up cream cheese filling. I used pastry bag to spread the filling! Thanks Lauren and Happy Holidays.

    1. Hi David! I am so happy to hear you enjoy them! Great idea to use a pastry bag for the filling, I bet they are gorgeous. Thanks for dropping by! 🙂

  2. I have a great amount of pumpkin puree to use up so I’m really happy I came across your recipe (don’t you just hate when a recipe like a pumpkin roll only calls for a small amount of well, PUMPKIN?!?) I see that we’re making small whooie pies here. If I were to make them twice as big how long of a bake should I give them? Hope to hear back soon as I really need to use that puree up. Thanks!

    1. Hi Tammie, I couldn’t agree with you more about recipes that only use a bit of pumpkin!! If you use 2 tablespoons dough for each whoopie pie I would increase the bake time to about 16 minutes (though I haven’t tested this, so keep an eye on them). You can check the doneness by inserting a toothpick into the center of the cookies, if it comes out clean, and the cookie springs back a bit when lightly pressed, they’re ready! These cookies are very moist and are forgiving! Let me know how it goes!!

      1. Hi Lauren. Those recipes just about kill me. Most of the time you can’t even taste the pumpkin . Glad to know that won’t be the case with your recipe. This will be my first time making whoopie pies so I’m really excited. My plan is to make them tomorrow. Prior to leaving my comment I had just finished making a batch of Gingerbread dough. The recipe I used called for a tbsp of ginger as well. I’ve made that recipe several times so I know the tbsp called for in this recipe is going to be chef kiss perfection Thanks for replying so quickly and for the tips. I’ll be sure to come back to let you know how it went. Happy Holiday’s to you and yours…