I thought I’d have this post up before red cup season, but it snuck up on me. November 1? I won’t complain. It just means that peppermint mocha time is already here. It also means pumpkin-everything season. I’ve made pumpkin lattes, pumpkin gnocchi with browned butter and mushrooms, pumpkin brownies, and pumpkin muffins, but pumpkin whoopie pies are my favorite pumpkin treat. Whoopie pie, you say? Whoopie! 

They're kind of a cookie/cake hybrid, but more cake than cookie. Once you pair them with icing--in this case, a cream cheese and cinnamon buttercream spiked with maple syrup--it really doesn’t matter what they are, because all you'll remember is that they're amazing.

I took these to a party a few years ago, and someone described them as IEDs of flavor. That should tell you how delicious these are. It should also tell you that I run with a bit of a nerdy crowd sometimes.

Nerdy or not, if you like anything pumpkin-related, or if you run with a crowd who loves pumpkin, these may just usurp your current pumpkin king, knocking that red cup right off his head. Plus, this also gives you a chance to tell your friends, "I spent all afternoon making whoopie....pies." What more could you ask for?

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Rachael Ray

1 stick of butter, melted
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
1 cup canned pure pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp salt
1 2/3 cup flour

½ stick of butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted, if you're picky about lumpy icing)
2 pinches salt
½ tsp cinnamon
4 oz. cream cheese, chilled
½ tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and brown sugar until it’s smooth. Whisk in the eggs, pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice, vanilla, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Using a rubber spatula, gently fold in the flour.

Drop 12 mounds of batter from a tablespoon, spaced evenly, onto each cookie sheets. Bake until springy to the touch, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely, and begin making the icing.

Using an electric mixer, cream the softened butter with the cream cheese. Add the sugar, salt, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup, and mix on low speed until blended, then beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, about two minutes.

Top the flat sides of each cakes with the frosting, then top each with another cake. Store in an airtight container.


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