Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Frosting

My fall baking moods seem to take on themes during certain months. Once September hits, I feel like I need to eat and bake with as many apples as possible. Even though they’re available throughout the fall and winter months, I feel a surge in September. It starts to wane towards the end of the month, and then October hits. For me, October is the month of the pumpkin. I know that Thanksgiving is typical pumpkin pie day, but by then I’m already full-on excited and planning for Christmas, so my pumpkin lust starts early. Plus, October gives us Halloween (pumpkin carving and pumpkin seed roasting!) and, more importantly, it gives us “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”. I’m a sucker for holiday programming and feel very strongly that I should be baking (or, at the very least, eating) something seasonal during every Charlie Brown special or any of the following: Rudolph (the old school one, with the Land of Misfit Toys), Christmas Vacation, Elf or A Christmas Story. Well, October is only a couple of days away so let’s get moving with these whoopie pies!

You may remember me talking about the whoopie pies vs. gobs nomenclature conundrum when I gabbed about s’mores whoopie pies over the summer, but I’ll lay it out there again. It’s weird for me to call these whoopie pies; I grew up calling all cookies of this type ‘gobs’. It’s regional. It’s Pittsburgh. But I also realize it’s a minority. So no matter what you call these, let’s be clear: you need to make and eat these! To celebrate October, of course. And the pumpkins. And Charlie Brown. The cookie-cakes themselves are soft and light and absolutely packed with spicy, seasonal flavors. Your house will smell like Thanksgiving while these are baking. And paired with a maple cream cheese filling? Heaven. An old colleague of mine shared this recipe with me years ago and I’ve been enjoying them ever since. They should become part of your fall baking rotation too!

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

Two years ago: Cream of Mushroom Soup
Three years ago: Cinnamon Rolls

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling

Yield: About 4 dozen assembled whoopie pies (will vary depending on how large you make them)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 12 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients:

For the Whoopie Pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 cups chilled pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Maple-Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces (½ cup) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger and nutmeg. Set aside.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk the granulated sugar, the dark brown sugar, and the oil together. Add the pumpkin puree and whisk to combine thoroughly. Add the eggs and vanilla and whisk until combined.

4. Gradually add the flour mixture to the pumpkin mixture and whisk until completely combined.

5. Use a small cookie scoop or a large spoon to drop a rounded, heaping tablespoon of the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.

6. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, making sure that the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. The cookies should be firm when touched. Remove from the oven and let the cookies cool completely on a cooling rack.

7. To make the filling, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with no visible lumps, about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese and beat until smooth and combined, about 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time, then add the maple syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth.

8. To assemble the whoopie pies: Turn half of the cooled cookies upside down. Pipe or spoon the filling (about a tablespoon) onto that half. Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling. Press down slightly so that the filling spread to the edges of the cookie. Repeat until all the cookies are used. Put the whoopie pies in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes to firm before serving.

(As stated above, this recipe came to me from a friend, but as pointed out from a commenter below, it may also be an adaptation from the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. I don't actually own the book, but will likely pick it up in the next few days!)

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233 Responses to “Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple-Cream Cheese Filling”

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  1. Lauren at KeepItSweet on September 29, 2010 at 5:52 am

    when you make whoopie pies, how do you store them? does the cake come out sticky?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 29th, 2010 at 2:53 pm

      Hi Lauren, since these have cream cheese frosting, if you won’t be eating them all at one time, I would store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Let them come to room temperature before serving. The cake is not sticky.

      Reply

      • Lorraine on October 13th, 2011 at 2:00 pm

        I made these and they were AMAZING…but they cake/cookie was very sticky. I was wondering if I cooked them longer if they would be less sticky. They were definately cooked through, but maybe I didnt keep them in the oven long enough?

        Reply

        • Gloria on October 31st, 2011 at 8:11 pm

          Mine also came out very sticky – every surface I put the Whoopie Pies on would rip pieces of the cookie off. Any way to trouble-shoot?
          I pureed my own pumpkins since I couldn’t find canned pumpkin in Denmark (and tried to address the moisture issue through straining), and also substituted fresh ginger, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly.

          Reply

          • Gloria on October 31st, 2011 at 8:12 pm

            P.S. Super delicious recipe – thanks for posting!

            Reply

          • Michelle on October 31st, 2011 at 8:23 pm

            Hi Gloria, There is definitely more moisture in fresh pumpkins than in canned, so that certainly could have been the issue.

            Reply

          • vicvan on November 17th, 2011 at 11:22 pm

            Gloria see my comment under vicvan, I think it might answer your question.

            Reply

            • Sharlene on October 1st, 2012 at 11:01 am

              I have been searching for your comment on how to rectify the stickiness that has been reported to be a problem…but I can’t find your comment..Please reply..thanks..

          • Kate on November 21st, 2012 at 11:07 pm

            I used fresh pumpkin as well but I made sure to drain thoroughly. Some people have suggested using a fine mesh strainer but that doesn’t get it dry enough for me. I put my cooked and pureed pumpkin in cheesecloth (specifically butter muslin, which is really fine cheese cloth) and squeezed until the pumpkin was very, very dry. For reference; from a 4.5lb pumpkin after straining I got exactly 1 1/2 cups, with about 2 cups of water draining out. For me the cake came out perfectly!

            Reply

      • Roman on July 9th, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        Hi.I’m a kid and I’m 12 and I have a passion for baking.i was just wondering
        1 stick of butter ?
        1 cup of butter ?
        Coz in asia,1 stick is 227 or 250 grams but I heard American butter is 113 per stick.Could you help me?And also,could you post carrot whoopie pies?Oh and how do you make frosting form peaks because my frosting always melts.

        Reply

        • Tilly on July 21st, 2012 at 9:18 pm

          I stick of butter is about 113 grams and 1 cup of butter is about 240 grams

          Reply

    • Lindsay on November 10th, 2010 at 1:24 pm

      I made these whoopie pies and they were AMAZING!!! Everyone raved about them. They are pretty big so I cut them in half when serving. In most cases my guests would ask for the other half.

      Reply

    • vicvan on November 17th, 2011 at 11:19 pm

      Lauren see my comments under vicvan below. I think I can answer your question. Sorry, I’m new at this…

      Reply

    • vicvan on November 17th, 2011 at 11:25 pm

      Lauren see my comments under vicvan, I think I may answer your question.

      Reply

  2. 101 Free Cooking Recipes on September 29, 2010 at 6:57 am

    This looks amazing, I am going to cook this on Friday, I’ll report back and let you know if they looked as good as yours do.

    Reply

  3. Katrina on September 29, 2010 at 7:24 am

    Yum! I am a big October pumpkin girls too, and like you, need to bake with it before Thanksgiving! Isn’t holiday programming just the best?!

    Reply

  4. Tabitha (From Single to Married) on September 29, 2010 at 7:46 am

    I so want one of these for breakfast. Is that wrong? :)

    Reply

  5. Jill Lu on September 29, 2010 at 8:21 am

    Its the big OU/Texas game this weekend…. these might have to part of the watch-party menu. Thanks for the recipe; I haven’t had a recipe of your’s fail me yet!

    Reply

  6. Mandie on September 29, 2010 at 8:45 am

    Whoa. I love you.

    Reply

  7. Heather @ The Single Dish on September 29, 2010 at 9:41 am

    I might just leave work and make these right now! I love anything pumpkin in a baked good, so delicious. So pretty too!

    Reply

  8. Tracy on September 29, 2010 at 9:58 am

    Um, wow. I’m all over these! Plus, I know I’ll get them all to myself because hubby doesn’t like anything maple (I suppose I could be nice, and make a regular cream cheese filling for some of them…I’ll think about it). ;-)

    Reply

  9. Lindsey on September 29, 2010 at 10:11 am

    Yum this is the best recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies. I made these ones last fall and I think I am gonna make them again this week. Just a reminder you might want to post the source from where you got the recipe. I believe the original source is from Peabody’s blog or the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 29th, 2010 at 10:20 am

      Hi Lindsey, This recipe was actually passed along to me years ago by a friend I worked with who thought I would like it, as she had received it from someone else (friend or mom, I can’t remember). Where the original person in the chain got the recipe, I am not certain. When I make or adapt a recipe that I got from another blog or cookbook I always attribute credit.

      Reply

      • vicvan on November 17th, 2011 at 11:30 pm

        My great aunt was Pennsylvania Dutch (German) and died in her 90’s. I was always told it was a family recipe. She used to make them and so did her mother. Who knows where it actually originated.

        Reply

  10. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle on September 29, 2010 at 10:27 am

    You had me at maple…no wait, maple and cream cheese! I have got to stop looking at blog posts before breakfast, now my bowl of Cheerios pale seriously in comparison…I want one of these please?

    I’m so with you on the seasonal; been big on the apple desserts lately too since I have a tree in my yard but the cooler it gets, the more I start gravitating towards the warmth of dishes with pumpkin. Seriously…mouth is watering!

    Reply

  11. Mary Lynn on September 29, 2010 at 10:33 am

    Can’t wait to try these. Only problem is I have a “Maple Hater” at home. I can get away with it — If he doesn’t know it is in there.

    Reply

    • Tamara on September 29th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

      Mary Lynn:
      I was thinking a plain cream cheese filling would be delish as well.

      Reply

  12. the blissful baker on September 29, 2010 at 10:35 am

    pumpkin, cream cheese, and maple…mmmm such a great flavor combo! these look absolutely delightful!

    Reply

  13. Paula on September 29, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Whoopie for these Whoopie pies. I’ve never had one but now I want to get my Whoopie on!

    Reply

  14. Erin on September 29, 2010 at 10:50 am

    These look HEAVENLY! I totally empathize with seasonal baking that coorelates to seasonal tv specials. It’s been a long-standing tradition in my house that we watch Christmas Vacation while baking Christmas cookies… even if we loop it all day and bake 500 cookies :D

    Reply

  15. Tina from PA on September 29, 2010 at 10:53 am

    Yum…..Pumpkin Gobs!!!!! I also get into the pumpkin thing come October. We are going to the Bloomsburg Fair Fri. and I hope to buy pure Maple syrup there ,then I can make these for the Steelers game Sun!! Thanks for another great recipe !

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 29th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

      Yay for gobs!! And Go Steelers! :)

      Reply

  16. Tania on September 29, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Would the filling be ok if I DON’T add the syrup? I’m not the biggest fan of that flavor.

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 29th, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Tania, Definitely! A plain cream cheese frosting will be just as good!

      Reply

  17. Liz @ LBBakes on September 29, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I definitely agree with you about starting in October with pumpkin – I’m usually phased to Christmas goodies by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, too!

    Reply

  18. Amanda on September 29, 2010 at 11:42 am

    Yum, yum, yum, I think that pretty much covers it! I could devour one right now!

    Reply

  19. Heather at Multiply Delicious on September 29, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Yum!! That’s all I can say. These look amazing and I wish I had one right now. They are everything I adore about fall baking…pumpkin and maple. Yum!

    P.S. I’m a huge lover of Charlie Brown’s Halloween special…the best!

    Reply

  20. maggy@threemanycooks on September 29, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Wow. I think this recipe was made for me ;) There is just one word. YUM! And Whoopie Pies are so in right now!

    Reply

  21. Susan on September 29, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    This recipe is almost word for word the recipe someone above mentioned. I personally believe that even if it was given to you by someone else, it is STILL someone else’s recipe. And the way you have placed it here makes it seem like you are claiming it as your own. As you have been blogging for quite some time, I am sure you know this, but it is copyright infringement when you do not place the source.

    Reply

    • Tina from PA on September 29th, 2010 at 1:46 pm

      Please people, there are sooo many recipes that have been around for years, that are so similar ,my Mom had a recipe for a Plum cake she made for 60 years I’ve been seeing it all over the blog world ,so is that my Moms recipe and should I tell everyone my Mom should get credit for it ?! Relax people!!!!

      Reply

    • Amber on September 29th, 2010 at 2:41 pm

      Susan, copyright infringement is very different when it comes to recipes. The recipe itself (i.e. ingredients) cannot be copyrighted. It can be patented, but the patent office almost never gives out a patent, and it costs a lot of money.

      So long as you change the wording of the directions, the recipe can be posted by you.

      Regardless of all that, if you’re a regular reader of Michelle’s blog, you would know that she DOES always credit the source if it is from somewhere trackable: be it blog, book, or person. This was passed down from a friend of a friend of a friend, so how on earth would she credit it?

      I’m pretty sure we all make chocolate chip cookies roughly the same way, with roughly the same ingredients. But I use my grandma’s recipe. For all I know, she got it from the chocolate chip bag. But if I post that recipe, I’m crediting my Nanny, not anyone else.

      Reply

  22. Michelle on September 29, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    What a fun snack! Stunning photos!

    Reply

  23. Katy on September 29, 2010 at 3:22 pm

    Yum! I don’t care what you call them, they look delicious! :) I think my son’s parents day out class may need to get sugared up by these for their Halloween party this year, lol.

    Reply

  24. RavieNomNoms on September 29, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    good heavens! Those look so outstanding!!

    Reply

  25. Joy on September 29, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I have yet to have awhoopie pie. Yours looks so good.

    Reply

  26. Amanda @ bakingwithoutabox on September 29, 2010 at 4:30 pm

    I love it. We need to eat these whoopie pies to preserve Halloween and fall. Sort of the Grease 2 “do it for your country” approach! Lol. I wouldn’t need any special sort of initiative to dive into these. They look great!

    Reply

  27. Amalia on September 29, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Yum Yum Yum! heaven indeed (: These look wonderful and so soft and comforting. I adore your site, thanks for everything!

    -Amalia

    Reply

  28. Belinda @zomppa on September 29, 2010 at 5:41 pm

    Hello, fall! Wonderful way to celebrate both whoopie pies and the fall!

    Reply

  29. Pip on September 29, 2010 at 6:06 pm

    These look fantastic. Just got a couple of questions – I’m living in New Zealand and we can’t get pumpkin puree in a can … can I just cook some pumpkin and stick it in my blender until it’s smooth, or are there spices etc added to the can too? Also, is it ok to substitute the dark brown sugar with light/golden brown sugar and Tbs of Molasses? I don’t think there’s anywhere standard over here where I can get dark brown sugar…it’s not available in supermarkets at least.

    Reply

  30. GreenGirl on September 29, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    No matter if they are called whoopie pies or gobs I want one right now, OMG my mouth is watering

    Reply

  31. Patty on September 29, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    I just hope I am strong enough after running 20 miles on Saturday that I can make these. I can’t wait to make these!

    Reply

  32. Becky on September 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    This is a wonderful fall recipe! I have a pumpkin spice cookie recipe, but it’s just cookies, no filling. I want to make these whoopie pies, even the name is fun!

    Reply

  33. Lori @ RecipeGirl on September 29, 2010 at 8:52 pm

    Um, yum!!! I absolutely love cream cheese frosting of any kind so I’d be scarfing these down w/ a big ‘ol glass of milk.

    Reply

  34. Jeanne on September 29, 2010 at 8:57 pm

    These are definitely the perfect start to autumn! I’ve had my eye on a similar recipe for a while now, and I’ve been waiting for pumpkin season just so I can make these. Your maple cream cheese frosting is such a brilliant idea! Yum!

    Reply

  35. christi on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 pm

    UM WOW these look like heaven on earth. you are simply a baking genius.

    Reply

  36. Betty @ scrambled hen fruit on September 29, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    These look so good! Just in time for the pumpkin harvest. :)

    Reply

  37. Skylar on September 29, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    Whoopie pies are already awesome, to to make them with pumpkin? Yum!

    Reply

  38. Kelsey on September 29, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I am DYING of delight. I can’t tell you how happy all the pumpkin recipes out there are making me. I will be making these for sure this season, so expect a review ;)

    Reply

  39. Jennifer @ Maple n Cornbread on September 30, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Hands down my favorite kind of whoopie pies! Love the maple in the filling too!

    Reply

  40. Maria on September 30, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I think I will bake these in my new ovens:) I can’t wait. They are perfect for fall!

    Reply

  41. foodies at home on September 30, 2010 at 10:47 am

    Pumpkin is most definitely my downfall during these months! I can’t get enough of it and even though it’s 100* still in California I am baking up cozy pumpkin flavored treats! Mmmmm I love fall!

    Reply

  42. Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes on September 30, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I just have too many things I bookmark from you! These may need to skip their way into the queue. They looks so puffy and scrumptious – love how fat they are!

    Reply

  43. madge @ vegetariancasserolequeen on September 30, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    A fabulous twist on the whoopie pie! I’m pretty sure the whoopie pie/gob line is drawn somewhere around Altoona. A coworker born & bred in Johnstown calls them gobs, but we in the State College area know them as whoopie pies!

    Reply

  44. Kelli @ The Corner Kitchen on September 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    YUM…these look delicious! I’ve been on a pumpkin kick for the past 2 weeks and I don’t see it fading anytime soon. Can’t wait to make these!

    Reply

  45. sneige on September 30, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    It looks absolutely amazing, I can feel its taste!
    Thanks for sharing!!! So good for the autumn! Must try it!

    Reply

  46. Shannon abdollmohammadi on September 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    Perfect! I am going to add little extra cardamom to them…i am a cardamom fan!

    Reply

  47. Nancy on September 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm

    I’m new here…so far, I love what I see! I think getting one’s “panties in a wad” over copyrighted recipes, etc. is ridiculous. I am always willing to share recipes and always flattered when someone asks. Several good points have already been made, so I won’t repeat the same ideas. If we were all paying you money to read this blog–my opinion may be a little bit different.
    My question–the important thing!–can this recipe be halved successfully?? Try as I might–there are only two of us this weekend–and I don’t think I could finish ‘em myself! Wonder if they would freeze if wrapped tightly in plastic wrap individually??
    Ideas? Thought?

    Reply

    • Michelle on September 30th, 2010 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Nancy, You can definitely halve this recipe. All of the quantities are easily cut in half, so you shouldn’t have any trouble. Alternately, you could also freeze them as you described (individually wrapped) – thaw in the refrigerator. Enjoy! :)

      Reply

  48. bridget {bake at 350} on October 1, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    I just want to add a little “amen” to what Amber said. Anyhoo…

    Michelle, these are GORGEOUS! And I’d pay about $25 dollars for ONE at this very second!

    Reply

  49. Megan on October 1, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I made these tonight…one word….AWESOME! Sharing with my running club after our 9 mile run. Lord knows I’m going to NEED that run to work these off! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 1st, 2010 at 10:57 pm

      Now I feel guilty about not running 9 miles after eating these. Run a couple for me? :)

      Reply

  50. Kate @ Our Best Bites on October 2, 2010 at 12:09 pm

    Holy night, I made this last night and they were so amazing. Like…perfection. Thank you! :)

    Reply

    • Michelle on October 3rd, 2010 at 10:42 am

      Woo! So glad you loved these Kate!

      Reply

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