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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Baked Brooklyn

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Baked Brooklyn
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Cover Photo Courtesy of Tina Rupp from “Baked New Frontiers in Baking”

The Pumpkin Whoopie Pie tastes even better than the Chocolate Whoopie Pie.

Andrew’s Pumpkin Whoopee Pies

Don’t take my word for it. That’s the pronouncement of those two bakers from Brooklyn, Matt Lewis, and Renato Poliafito. In “Baked: New Frontiers in Baking (Stewart Tabori Chang 2008) they write they were never huge fans of the original—even though you’ll find their recipe for them below this recipe. “We love the concept of two cakey chocolate cookies with a fair amount of cream sandwiched between them but…” They complain that the cream filling has a shortening aftertaste and the cookie is too wet. Here, they created a version so good it was named one of the Top 100 tastes of 2007 by Time Out New York.  It’s a soft cakelike pumpkin cookie with a cream cheese filling.  You can make them full-sized as Andrew did. Or you can use a melon baller to scoop the dough for a bite-sized Whoopie Pie.

Renato Poliafito (L) and Matt Lewis (R) holding his Chocolate Whoopies

For lovers of Culinary History, the Whoopie Pie story is a doozie. 

True or not, the Amish origin has its charms

Two states claim the Whoopie Pie as their own.  Maine, where it was named the official State “Treat” amidst much controversy. You can read all about it in the Chocolate Whoopie pie post further down this page.  However, Pennsylvania’s claim to the Whoopie Pie seems ironclad. Or is it? There’s the charming version in which Amish mothers used leftover chocolate cake batter and then filled the result with icing.  These practical pies were easily transportable to farm fields and school lunch boxes. When the kids found them, they would yell “Whoopie!”.

“Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Cookbook”(Down East 2010) has another idea.

Its author, Nancy Griffin, couldn’t find documented evidence in Maine or Pennsylvania. She uncovered the work of one Barry Popik, a Texas researcher who devotes himself to the origins of words.  Popik traced the pies to a 1931 ad in a Syracuse, NY newspaper advertising a “Berwick Whoopee pie” made by a bakery in Roxbury, Massachusetts. It sold for 5 cents. Ms. Griffin believes that the name was not derived from the glee of Amish school children but rather from a 1928 show tune “Making Whoopie” by Gus Kahn.  Here’s today’s recipe and after it, one for Chocolate Whoopies and that incredible story about Maine’s State Treat. There are just a couple of things to remember. 1. Do not use Pumpkin Pie Filling, use Pumpkin Purée. 2. Do not ice the pies until they are cool or you will melt the cream cheese frosting. And finally, make a lot of them especially if you have kids to entertain on Halloween.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Baked Brooklyn

October 6, 2022
: 12 Large or 36 bite-sized Whoopies
: 30 min
: A Pretty basic cake and icing recipe

Soft cake-like pumpkin cookies with a delicious cream cheese filling. Perfect for pumpkin lovers and Halloween


  • For The Cream-Cheese Filling
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For The Pumpkin Whoopie Cookies
  • 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
  • Step 1 To Make the cookies:
  • Step 2 Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat. Set aside.
  • Step 3 In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
  • Step 4 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.
  • Step 5 Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets, about 1 inch apart.
  • Step 6 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 the pan.
  • Step 7 To Make the filling:
  • Step 8 Sift confectioner’s sugar into a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • Step 9 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 and 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.)
  • Step 10 To Assemble the whoopie pies:
  • Step 11 Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Transfer the filling to a disposable pastry bag and snip the end. When the 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 the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate cookies at least 30 minutes before serving and up to 3 days

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Peppermint Filling from One Girl Cookies



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