Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Whoopie!!! That’s what I want to say when I bite into one of these.

Rich buttercream filling that’s sandwiched between two very soft and tender pumpkin cookies. It doesn’t get much better.

I loved how melt-in-my-mouth soft and moist these cookies were, which I attribute to three major ingredient choices. First, brown sugar is used exclusively, which renders cookies softer and moister than using granulated sugar.

Secondly, oil rather than butter is used, which keeps muffins and cakes extra moist. And finally, the pumpkin puree tenderizes and moistens the batter. Anything made with any or all of those ingredients usually turns out especially soft, moist, and tender and the cookies are no exception.

The batter for the cookies is like pumpkin cupcake batter. As I was pouring it onto baking sheets, I was thinking, am I really doing this? It was so soupy, and I was worried, but it turns out I had no reason to be.

I hate dealing with piping bags but if you think that would be easier, be my guest. I just don’t like that so much of the precious cargo gets stuck to the sides and is wasted.

I used a one-quarter cup measuring cup and scooped batter from the mixing bowl onto baking trays, not quite filling the cup full. Because there’s a decent amount of oil in the batter, it slid right out of the measuring cup. Like butter. And I placed six mounds of dough on each of the two baking trays.

I only yielded 6 completed whoopie pies. My whoopie pies were borderline extra-large but because the pumpkin cookies are soft and light, extra-large didn’t seem ridiculously huge.

Two huge cookies with nearly one inch-thick buttercream filling didn’t seem ridiculously huge to me. Okay moving on.

My first batch of whoopie pies disappeared far too quickly. I loved them so much, I made a second batch, and I increased the amount of spices. I nearly doubled the amounts of cinnamon, ginger, cloves and tossed in some pumpkin pie spice because I love robust, intense, and bold flavors when it comes to warming spices. Extra cinnamon, yes please. Plus, pumpkin stands up incredibly well to boldly spiced treats. A dash of molasses or maple would also be nice.

I just wanted to pick off these little morsels and squish them between my fingers. The cookies are soft and remind me of my days squishing Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies as a kid.

Some people make the filling with vegetable shortening, but I prefer butter in my buttercream, because the flavor can’t be beat. However, the advantage to using shortening is that is has much more structure than butter and so the filling is firmer, holds up better, and has more density and less squish than a butter-based buttercream.

Buttercream layered on thick and in plentiful abundance. The only way frosting and fillings should be.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 32 minutes

Yield: 6 very large whoopie pies

Soft and tender pumpkin cookies with a thick layer of sweet buttercream sandwiched between them will make you scream Whoopie for one of these fun pies. They're easy and fast to make, moist, and rich.


For the Cookies

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil

3/4 cup pumpkin puree

1 large egg

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt, optional and to taste

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

For the Buttercream Filling

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups powdered sugar, sifted and divided

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened


For the Cookies - Preheat oven to 325°F and line two baking sheets with Silpat liners or parchment paper; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine first 11 ingredients, up to the salt, and whisk until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients, and mix until just combined; don’t overmix. Batter will be soft and runny.

Using a one-quarter cup measure, scoop the batter onto prepared baking sheets, six round mounds of batter per sheet; this may also be done with a pastry bag if preferred.

Bake for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until tops have set. Cookies will be very soft and may look underdone, but firm up as they cool. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheets for at least 10 minutes before moving them to rack to finish cooling. Allow cookies to cool completely before filling and sandwiching them together. While they cool, make the filling.

For the Buttercream Filling - To the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, combine the milk, vanilla extract, and 1 cup of the powdered sugar, then mix on high speed until the mixture is creamy and light. Add butter and remaining cup of sugar, and whip on high speed until very light, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Apply a generous dollop of frosting to 6 of the cookies. Sandwich them together with the remaining unfrosted 6 cookies, creating 6 whoopie pies. Whoopie pies are best fresh, but extras may be stored airtight in the refrigerator (due to the buttercream) for about 3 days. If you prefer to keep them at room temperature, the frosting may be made with 1/4 cup vegetable shortening instead of butter.


Related Recipes:

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache – Takes five minutes to make the batter by hand and it’s one of the moistest cakes I’ve ever had and will be a favorite for years to come. The ganache can be made in the microwave and is a snap

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – This bread is a mixture of both pumpkin and banana flavors whereas the above cake is more robustly pumpkin-flavored. Depending on the flavor profile you want, they’re both moist, dense, pumpkiny, and you can’t go wrong with either

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies – A soft and tender pumpkin cookie meets a chewy and classic chocolate chip cookie, rolled into one

Pumpkin Spice Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chip Granola (vegan, GF) – I can’t get enough of the pumpkin + chocolate combo this fall. This granola is a snap to make so you’ll never have to buy overpriced storebought granola again

Pumpkin Spice Latte (vegan, GF) – A homemade and natural version using real pumpkin rather than artificial syrups

All Pumpkin Recipes here

Have you ever made whoopie pies?


192 Responses to “Pumpkin Whoopie Pies”

  1. Justeen @ Blissful Baking — October 10, 2012 at 7:42 am (#

    My favorite pumpkin recipe is Cook’s Illustrated Pumpkin Pie. It is amazing!


  2. Shaunna@mams13minutemile.com — October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am (#

    I am not a big pumpkin fan but I will eat it if it has cream cheese frosting on it! :)

  3. Shaunna@mams13minutemile.com — October 10, 2012 at 7:48 am (#

    I follow you by email

  4. Kristen — October 10, 2012 at 8:13 am (#

    I would love to read Jenna’s book! My favorite pumpkin recipe right now are vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies! I love all things pumpkin though :)

  5. Suzi — October 10, 2012 at 8:22 am (#

    I love pumpkin and have a great source of free sugar pumpkins. I want to try all of these. I’ve made the pumpkin chocolate chip and they are our new favorite! Bump today’s whoopie pies are next on my to-do list! Thank you so much!

  6. Emily — October 10, 2012 at 8:30 am (#

    My favorite pumpkin recipe is for pumpkin cookies. Pumpkin makes everything so moist!

  7. alli — October 10, 2012 at 9:43 am (#

    i am barely getting into pumpkin so i want to try so many things liiiiiike pumpkin whoopie pies!

  8. Lisa — October 10, 2012 at 9:58 am (#

    It’s so hard to pick one! My mom makes pumpkin cream cheese muffins that are amazing!

  9. CJ at Food Stories — October 10, 2012 at 10:07 am (#
  10. Carl — October 10, 2012 at 11:26 am (#

    I used to make a really good low-fat pumpkin muffin. We were both completely hooked on them for a while. Haven’t done them in a couple of years. I’ll have to look up that recipe again.

  11. Carl — October 10, 2012 at 11:28 am (#

    I was already following on Twitter: @carlrscott. I also tweeted about the giveaway: https://twitter.com/carlrscott/status/256098563094896641

  12. Ranelle — October 10, 2012 at 11:29 am (#

    I make your pumpkin spice latte all the time! Love it! Anything pumpkin is good with me! I wish I had a blog, then I would share a pumpkin recipe with you… but thanks for sharing yours, I’ll return the favor some day! ;)

  13. Carl — October 10, 2012 at 11:32 am (#

    I followed on Pinterest and repinnned your Miso Ice Cream: http://pinterest.com/pin/336573772121357269/

  14. Carl — October 10, 2012 at 11:33 am (#

    I like Averie Cooks on Facebook: Carl Scott

  15. Jan — October 10, 2012 at 11:34 am (#

    I love pumpkin anything! I’m going to make pumpkin fudge soon b/c I never had that yet and pumpkin pancakes. Ok now I’m getting real hungry!

  16. Carl — October 10, 2012 at 11:34 am (#

    I like Eat, Live, Run
    Eat, Live, Run on Facebook: Carl Scott

  17. Carl — October 10, 2012 at 11:35 am (#

    I follow Jenna Weber on Twitter: @carlrscott. Thanks!

  18. Jan — October 10, 2012 at 11:36 am (#

    I’m already subscribe to your email updates and Eat Live Run! Love both of them!

  19. Jennie @themessybakerblog — October 10, 2012 at 12:34 pm (#

    Wow! These whoopee pies look amazing, and with pumpkin, double yum! Can’t wait to try these.

  20. sally @ sallys baking addiction — October 10, 2012 at 12:42 pm (#

    Averie, I think they turned out WONDERFULLY. The pictures REALLY make them stand out. Such a gorgous orange color against the creamy white buttercream. Pumping up the spice amounts in your next batch was a smart idea. I would’ve done just the same – I’m a pure cinnamon FREAK and well, a pure pumpkin spiced anything freak. We have a similar addiction to spices. :)

    Pumpkin whoopie pies are definitely one of my favorites but I also LOVE these pumpkin chocolate chip oatmeal bars I made last month. I like that they are on the healthier side too. OH and I LOOOOVE my mama’s homemade pumpkin pie!! Nothing like a fresh baked pie from mom :)


    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — October 10, 2012 at 2:35 pm (#

      I remember those bars…they feel like a lifetime ago already! I had just gotten home from my trip and was knee deep in….returning to life and remember that post exactly.

      With my 2nd batch of whoopie pies I was going to really go to town with the spices on the filling too and add maple, cinnamon, etc but Skylar loved the filling so much on the first ones that I didn’t tweak with that other than to ditch the shortening and use butter b/c she was so happy with it as it was.

      These pics. Oh boy. Harder that I thought they were going to be. The white filling would catch the light and POP too much. So I’d try to underexpose them, and then the dark cookies would look…like burnt orange b/c the frame was just too dark. It was a mess of too light or too dark but I at least had a few that worked :)

  21. Eva — October 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm (#

    Every year, I make a pumpkin loaf with a cream cheese swirl on top! It’s divine!

  22. Eva — October 10, 2012 at 1:41 pm (#

    I follow you on instagram (azulskies)

  23. Melissa C. — October 10, 2012 at 4:03 pm (#

    Pumpkin Gooey Butter Cake!

  24. Melissa C. — October 10, 2012 at 4:04 pm (#

    I subscribe to your blog via email

  25. Trudi — October 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm (#

    My favorite pumpkin recipe would have to be the Pumpkin Roll my Grandma used to make. She added a touch of maple syrup into the mix. It was the best!!

  26. Ilene — October 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm (#

    I love pumpkin bread.

  27. Mercedes — October 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm (#

    You have so many amazing pumpkin recipes! One of my favorites is a pumpkin chocolate chip cake that I make every year!

  28. Mercedes — October 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm (#

    I subscribe via email

  29. Mercedes — October 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm (#

    I follow you on Tiwtter

  30. Mercedes — October 10, 2012 at 6:12 pm (#

    I follow you on Facebook

  31. Kristin — October 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm (#

    Pumpkin chocolate chip granola bars. Yum!

  32. Jena — October 10, 2012 at 8:27 pm (#

    Hmm…favorite pumpkin recipe is a pumpkin quickbread my Dad always makes! So, so good and reminds me of home and love :)

  33. Corisa — October 10, 2012 at 9:17 pm (#

    i have a recipe for pumpkin pie bars ! so delicious!

  34. Loretta E — October 11, 2012 at 12:06 pm (#

    I can always eat a good-quality, homemade pumpkin pie. Something about the simplicity…and it must have real whipping cream on it!

  35. Loretta E — October 11, 2012 at 1:38 pm (#

    I did the Pinterest requirement!

  36. Loretta E — October 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm (#

    I like you on Facebook.

  37. Loretta E — October 11, 2012 at 1:40 pm (#

    I get your posts via email.

  38. Loretta E — October 11, 2012 at 1:42 pm (#

    I like Eat Live Run on Facebook.

  39. Michelle — October 11, 2012 at 7:13 pm (#

    Pumpkin muffins with cream cheese filling and streusel crumble on top. :)

  40. Charity L. — October 11, 2012 at 7:36 pm (#

    I really like my recipe book from Mrs. Wilkes restaraunt in Savannah, GA.
    All of the dessert recipes are great and I like the glazed carrots recipe she has also.

  41. Angela — October 11, 2012 at 8:14 pm (#

    Right now my fav pumpkin recipe is your pumpkin chocolate chip cookie recipe – tried it this week and loved it – simple and delicious! I love baking bread too (I only wish I had more time to do it)…I love making a simple foccacia with grapes and rosemary that I used to make for a hotel in Del Mar…maybe you’ve had it in the past!

  42. Diana @ VeggieNextDoor — October 11, 2012 at 9:04 pm (#

    My favorite Pumpkin Recipe is Healthful Pursuit’s Pumpkin-Gingersnap Chia Puddings! So EASY and incredibly delicious!


  43. Carolsue — October 13, 2012 at 12:14 am (#

    I follow you on Instagram

  44. Suzi — October 13, 2012 at 6:51 pm (#

    I cooked up two fresh pumpkins today. They are all ready for me to start baking!!! Can’t wait! Thanks so much for the recipes! Now, where do I start?! :o)

  45. Leah @ Whitefoot Blog — November 14, 2012 at 1:29 pm (#

    I’d like to make these for my family’s Thanksgiving dinner (and in their neck of the woods, whoopie pies are called gobs ;) ). How prominent is the white pepper taste? I use white pepper in a lot of my savory cooking and was surprised to see it listed as an ingredient here.

    • Averie @ Averie Cooks — November 14, 2012 at 1:40 pm (#

      I omitted the white pepper (the recipe as written is from her book) because I didn’t want peppery cookies. However, I mad a half batch of her full recipe and her ratios of spices are very low-to-medium on the spice intensity level, for my tastes. I strongly recommend tasting your batter and upping the amounts of cinnamon, ginger, cloves, allspice – basically increase them all. Taste your batter though, but for me, when I remade them and seasoned to taste, I enjoyed the cookies so much more! LMK what you end up doing!

  46. Jamie — November 25, 2013 at 12:40 pm (#

    Are the current spice levels you indicate on the recipe from the first time you made it or the second one where you kicked up the spice level? I like more flavor too, but I didn’t want to double what’s now printed on the recipe and be overdoing it!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 25, 2013 at 12:44 pm (#

      The way the recipe is written is the way I love them. Make it just like that :)

  47. Angie — May 21, 2014 at 9:01 pm (#

    Hi Averie, I know these are pumpkin whoopie pies, but do you think I’d be able to use oil in normal whoopie pies like you do in this recipe?

    • Averie Sunshine — May 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm (#

      It would really depend on the recipe if you can use oil rather than I assume butter…it would just depend on the recipe you’re trying and the other ingredients involved. I mean probably you could, but you never know with baking – you sometimes just have to try and see if it works!

    • Angie — May 23, 2014 at 1:50 am (#


  48. Stacey — November 2, 2014 at 1:42 pm (#

    Going to try this recipe tomorrow with fresh pumpkin I cooked, but instead of the cream filling I’m going to flavor some vanilla frozen yogurt with cinnamon and other spices and attempt some ice cream sandwiches for my husband when he gets home from offshore! Crossing my fingers they come out great, but I’ve baked several of your creations and haven’t been disappointed even once, so I’m confident they will be a hit!

    • Averie Sunshine — November 2, 2014 at 2:53 pm (#

      Hope you enjoy these and thanks for trying my other recipes & glad you’re pleased!

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