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?


  1. Hi Averie,
    I just found your blog and am so happy I did! I’m totally pumpkin obsessed, and these little nuggets look too good to resist! Thanks for pumping up the cinnamon factor to–it’s a must!

    Here’s my current pumpkin addiction. Made these for friends and the hubby almost teared up when I sent them home with the scant few we had leftover. Hope you enjoy!

    Erin, your latest subscriber!

  2. the pumpkin bread recipe from the king arthur flour cook book

  3. Oh I bet these taste amaaaazing. My favorite pumpkin recipe so far (because you know things can always change) is a brand new muffin recipe I put together just last week. Eek.

  4. I made pumpkin butter from scratch (tho’ I think maybe the next time I do it I’ll just go ahead & use canned pumpkin, we’ll see — now that it’s fall I don’t mind running the oven so much) and have been using it every single morning in my oatmeal breakfast shake, and holy smokes is it good! Only downside is drinking something so cold on an already chilly morning!

  5. …and I repinned this recipe on Pinterest. Can’t wait to try this tomorrow.

  6. How do you pick just one favorite pumpkin recipe?! I do love some pumpkin muffins though. I just made some the other day, here is the recipe: http://aspoonfulofsunshine.com/2012/10/08/pumpkin-crumb-muffins/

  7. My favorite pumpkin recipe is my grandmother’s homemade pumpkin pie!

  8. I HAVE SO MANY FAVORITE PUMPKIN RECIPES. My very first pumpkin favorite was a mouthwatering pumpkin chocolate chip muffin recipe that was passed onto me from a friend in high school. And by friend, I mean, a guy who had a huge crush on me made me a batch of those muffins! The muffins were there to stay, but unfortunately I didn’t have feelings for the guy. My family still makes the muffins from that recipe, and so does his family. (He’s married now, and we’re still acquaintances.) :)

  9. These look great. I may try these for Thanksgiving.

  10. I can not wait to read her book. Thank you for sharing such an amazing recipe.

  11. Pingback: I just ate six cookies. « Traci Trumpet's Adventures: everywhere!

  12. Averie i just saw that you were named one of Huffington Post’s 10 best food blogs!!! You go girl—I am so proud to know you!!

  13. I mad a pumpkin banana bread, I didn’t follow a recipe just made it up!

  14. I have finally perfected basic pumpkin pie with home made crust-delicious:) A friend of my husband’s drives to the Pennsylvania Dutch country every fall to buy pumpkin whoopie pies and bring them back to us….maybe I should try making them instead?

  15. My stomach just started rumbling quite loudly at the sight of these whoopie pies. (Love the fact that you’re so generous with the filling!) :D

    P.S. I finally subscribed to your posts via email (something I though I’d already done), and my captcha was ‘baconsup.’ I’m taking bacon as a very good sign. ;)

  16. These look so fab! I love pumpkin glazed cookies.

  17. You want me to choose?? Ahhh!!! Pumpkin bread, pumpkin pancakes, and pumpkin whoopie pies are up there as is pumpkin ice cream. I like pumpkin. :)

  18. I really love pumpkin spice lattes, homemade with pumpkin puree! SO GOOD!

  19. I follow you on FB!

  20. Pumpkin whoopie pies are up there with my favorites!

    But these 3 ingredient fudge brownies are also the best!

  21. I agree with other commenters, I don’t think the cookies would make it to the filling stage with me, these look amazing!

  22. Despite the fact that my whoopie pie recipe from My Sweet Vegan is among my most popular, I must admit I haven’t ventured very far from the classic chocolate and vanilla combo… I did a Boston Creme version on the blog, but still, that’s chocolate and vanilla again! Pumpkin sounds heavenly, but your really can’t go wrong with pumpkin and spices when it comes to dessert. My favorite pumpkin treat has got to be pumpkin ice cream, of course. ;)

  23. mmm! there’s so much to love about those little pies:)

  24. My favorite pumpkin recipe is my mother-in-law’s pumpkin roll with cream cheese filling. I anticipate each October because the weather cools and she begins making these. I can almost taste it now.

  25. http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/dessert/cake/autumn-pumpkin-raspberry-bundt-cake.html

    This pumpkin raspberry cake is one of the best. I made it for work, and even some who don’t bake wanted the recipe!

  26. I have so many pumpkin recipes pinned on my pumpkin board, it’s hard to pick a favorite…yet. Tomorrow I’m making your Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bundt Cake with Chocolate Ganache for my birthday. Two of my favorites – chocolate and pumpkin! I’ll let you know my favorite after that

  27. I get your RSS feed. One of my favorite daily emails!

  28. I’m following you on Pinterest too!

  29. Caroline Brethaerthone’s illustrated step by step BAKING. I love this book specially the phylo spinach & feta cheese tarte.

  30. My favorite pumpkin recipe is the pumpkin pie receipe that my mother passed on to me. So good :)

  31. not even kidding, I loove pumpkin whoopie pies. I started making them a few years ago from a recipe i got from from the foodnetwork. instead of the buttrcream filling I use a big marshmallow. I flip half of the cookies over, put the marshmallow on top and back in the oven just until the mallows get soft, then put the other cookies on top and press together. I leave some alone for those watching their sugar intake…

  32. The fluffiness of these whoopies pies are amazing! I think these will have to make an appearance for Thanksgiving!

  33. I just made this and it’s delicious (Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread)
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  34. I follow you on Twitter as MsCarolsueA and I tweeted
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  35. I like you on Facebook (Carolsue Anderson)
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  36. I like Eat, Live, Run on Facebook (Carolsue Anderson)
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  37. I follow Eat, Live, Run on Twitter as MsCarolsueA
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  38. I follow you on Pinterest and I pinned a recipe here
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  39. I subscribe to your newsletter via e-mail.
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  40. My favorite pumpkin recipe is Betty Crocker pumpkin bread – easy and delicious!

  41. I am an email subscriber

  42. My favorite pumpkin recipe is PUMPKIN PIE, and I love to then roast the pumpkin seeds! Thanks!!!

  43. I subscribe to Averie Cooks!!!!

  44. These look unbelievable! I’m a traditionalist with pumpkin and have to say pumpkin pie is my favorite because I make sure I have a slice every year. But these might be in the running if I make them.

    • I would love to know what pumpkin pie you make and use and what’s your go-to recipe. I have read great things about the Cooks Illustrated pumpkin pie recipe but would love to know what you go with.

  45. YUM! I made pumpkin apple muffins last night, and they are delicious!

  46. I already like you on Facebook :)

  47. I subscribe to your blog through email, and one of my favorite parts of morning is going through all the posts from blogs I’m subscribed to – including, and especially, yours!

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