Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Whoopie Pies, Pumpkin Style!

I used to bake Maine-style Whoopie Pies when my kids were little. The little, soft pillow cakes of chocolate were filled with a thick vanilla cream, and created the most delicious dessert sandwich. These are not an elegant dessert by any means. Whoopie Pies are rustic food, meant to be considered along with other basics like banana cream pie or a hot fudge sundae. They do not occupy the same elevated dessert tier as Cherries Jubilee or Baked Alaska--nor should they--Whoopie Pies are preferable if considered as the pb and j of the dessert set. There are wonderful recipes all over the web for the basic Whoopie Pie. You can find one in two clicks of a mouse. Here you'll find an autumnal rendition, which Martha Stewart credits to Matt Lewis of the famed Baked bakery. I'm lucky enough to have the Baked cookbook, thanks to two lovely and thoughtful friends who appreciate great food (Thank you Sari and Holly!). I read it before I go to sleep!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies by Baked bakery (courtesy of Martha Stewart)


Makes 12 whoopie pies


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  1. Make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves; set aside. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree and whisk until combined. Add eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
  3. Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart. Transfer to oven and bake until cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
  4. Make the filling: Sift confectioner' sugar into a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add cream cheese and beat until well combined. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla, beat just until smooth. (Filling can be made up to a day in advance. Cover and refrigerate; let stand at room temperature to soften before using.)
  5. Assemble the whoopie pies: Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When cookies have cooled completely, pipe a large dollop of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookies, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days.

Photo credit from Martha Stewart's website: "Baked: New Frontiers in Baking" (Stewart, Tabori & Chang, coauthored with Renato Poliafito, October 2008)


  1. Just need a huge glass of ice cold moo juice! Lynnie

  2. The complete comfort food !! CKJ

  3. When am I going to find an occasion to bake all these wonderful recipes! For these I will!