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?)
These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies have a lot of pumpkin, a hefty amount of spice, and enough bourbon to warm your soul.
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.
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.)
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.
You can use whatever whiskey you have on hand. If you like to drink it, then you know you’ll love to eat it!
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 they 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
Crisp Pumpkin Spice Cookies
Spiced Maple Pumpkin Butter
Pumpkin Butter Pop Tarts
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Bourbon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 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.
This recipe was originally published on October 27, 2016.
Hi the recipe doesn’t say . What is on top of the whoopie pies? Is it pearl sugar put on before baking?
Hi Bonnie, great question! I dusted them with some confectioners’ sugar right before serving. I will update the recipe to reflect that.
Is the 2 teaspoons of cloves correct? Cloves are sooooo strong? Making now!
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!
If we don’t want to use alcohol, is there an alternative to the bourbon?
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!
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.
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! 🙂
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!
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!!
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…
Hi Lauren! These whoopie pies look amazing! I can’t wait to try your recipe! I’d love for you to come link up at my weekly link party for a chance to be featured! https://www.ourtinynest.com/2022/11/09/weekly-wednesday-link-party-321/
hey Nicolle, thanks for letting me know about your link up!
Good morning Lauren Happy Wednesday! I am happy to announce that we are featuring your recipe in this week’s link party! Thanks so much for sharing! https://www.ourtinynest.com/2022/11/10/how-to-make-the-best-goat-cheese-board/
Yay! Thanks Nicolle, we’ll check it out and share on Pinterest.