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?)
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.
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.)
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!
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. (No electric mixer needed!)
- 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. I use two spoons for this, but a piping bag or a resealable zipper-lock bag with the corner cut, would work well!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 non-dessert recipe, try Pumpkin Dinner Rolls.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Recipe
- 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.