pumpkin whoopie pies

5 Nov

A few weeks back, when we were invited to the farm party, I started thinking about what to bake. One of the purposes of the farm party is to celebrate my friend, Meghan’s, birthday and I try to bring a dessert I know she’ll love. I love bringing people food I know they will enjoy. I get all giddy inside when I succeed.  Since Meghan and I are practically twins, I usually can figure out what she’ll like.

I came across this recipe on the Martha Stewart web site and knew immediately it would be perfect. Essentially, it is cakey pumpkin sandwich cookie with cream cheese frosting in the middle. What is not to like about that? Plus, Martha knows a thing or two about baking. I trust her completely and in this case, that was a good call. The whoopie pies were fantastic. They were so fantastic, I needed to find another reason to make them so I could take some pictures and share with you fine folks. Thankfully, sista Joan was hosting a halloween party and I now had a reason.

I think these would be a really fun addition to a Thanksgiving buffet, holiday party, or just to make someone smile…even if that someone is you.

A few notes on the recipe.

1. Martha says it makes 12 whoopie pies. Her pies must be the size of her head, because althought I purposely made these a bit smaller (so I could have two with no quilt), I ended up with around 40 pies. They are great for a party and easy to make ahead of time. They keep great in the fridge.

2. I used real pumpkin. Meaning I bought a pie pumpkin, cut it in half, scooped out the seeds, baked at 400 degrees for close to an hour, scooped out the pulp and pureed it in a food processor. I needed two small pie pumpkins to get 3 cups for this recipe. I love using real pumpkin and they just happen to be in season. I have cooked up quite a few so far and after pureeing the pulp, I throw it in the freezer. This is a tip I got from my friend Cheryl, who is a baking genius. However, you can easily use canned pumpkin in this recipe without concern. No one will ever know.

3. Martha (because she’s Martha) says to pipe the frosting on with a pastry bag. I opted for a knife instead. I mean, it’s being squished between cookies – it doesn’t need to look perfect.

4. Be liberal with the frosting – you’ll have plenty.

Since I made these, I’ve seen various versions of them on different web sites and blogs. I’ll stick with this recipe because I think it’s perfect. If you are interested in a vegan (dairy-free) version, I thought this one on Oh She Glows looked really good.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

From Martha Stewart

For the original on the web site, see here.  This is the original recipe below, but I added a few comments.

  • 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 (fresh or canned)
  • 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 or spray with nonstick spray; 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  (or teaspoons for smaller cookies) 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. Jen says: I used a knife for the frosting, packed my whoopie pies into a tupperware container and stored in the fridge. If they last, I believe they’ll keep longer than three days.

Husband approved.


One year ago: I reviewed an awesome cookbook and shared one of my favorite soup recipes.


12 Responses to “pumpkin whoopie pies”

  1. Fav Sista November 5, 2010 at 8:44 am #

    These were awesome. Thank you for bringing them. There were only about 6-7 left that we brought home and 2 giggling girls devoured them. Now I am hoping to get invited to a nice gathering that I could take them to. Or, might just whip up a batch and share with the neighbors. I love to bake but we never eat it all so neighbors reap the rewards. :0)

  2. anne November 5, 2010 at 8:50 am #

    Here’s a challenge for you, Jen. Come up with a way to modify this recipe to create Chocolate Whoopie Pies. Because omg that sounds r-e-a-l-l-y good.

  3. Amy P November 5, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Thanks for such a great idea! I have several pie pumpkins and this is a nice alternative to, well, pumpkin pie.

  4. sweetwhimsyblog November 5, 2010 at 12:16 pm #

    I just recently made these too! They were a huge hit. Martha sure knows her stuff. Next time I will put more filling inside though.

  5. cheryl November 5, 2010 at 4:54 pm #

    OMG, I am so going to make these…they look so good. I have good recipes for pumpkin bread and cookies too. BTW, if you are starting to like curry….wohoo, I have a killer chicken pot pie with curried roasted vegetables and also a pork chop receipe that are killer. Both of the curried recipes are from Mary’n Hallock.

  6. Kristin Boldon November 8, 2010 at 12:22 pm #

    I made these last year, plus a gluten-free version for friends; I simply substituted gluten free flour plus a teaspoon of xantham gum and my g-f friends were thrilled. I found the cooking time for the cookies was too short and like you, found the recipe produced way more than it said.

    This is not Martha’s recipe, but one from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. It’s filled with recipes like this: classics with a twist, like Root Beer Bundt Cake or Sweet and Salty Cake. They just published a follow up: Baked: Explorations, which includes recipes for chocolate and red-velvet whoopie pies.

    • jen November 9, 2010 at 7:45 am #

      Kristin – thanks for pointing out the original origin. I might just have to get the book with the other whoopie pies! :)

  7. Michelle Sauer November 14, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    I am making these right now! I am giddy and can hardly wait to get them out of the oven! Thanks for sharing as I had 2 pie pumpkins I needed to do something with!

    • anne November 14, 2010 at 8:54 pm #

      Michelle, be sure and check back and let us know they turned out. Maybe you should blog about it:)

      • Michelle Sauer November 16, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

        They were awesome! I’m about to post all about it on my blog! We sure do think alike Anne!


  1. Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and Recipe Roundup | The Heavy Table - Minneapolis-St. Paul and Upper Midwest Food Magazine and Blog - November 8, 2010

    […] fruit compote, pumpkin whoopie pies, Andalusian chicken stew, squash enchiladas, moussaka polenta, banana chocolate chip bundt cake, […]

  2. friday randomness « She said. She said. - November 12, 2010

    […] made Jen’s whoopie pies the other night. And I’m happy to report that they are good. I made Pat take half of them to […]

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