Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

October 19, 2011 • Alaska from Scratch, Autumn, Cookies & Bars, Desserts, Recipes, Seasons

Weather: 34 degrees, clear and gorgeous
What I’m listening to:
Owl City

 Two of my favorite things – chocolate and pumpkin – converging in one rich, Octobery (c’mon just look at those colors), hand-held dessert. As soon as I saw these in the latest issue of Food Network Magazine, I had to try them. I’ve tried a few whoopie pie recipes and these are, far and away, the best.

I’ve been having an internal debate over what a whoopie pie actually is. Is it a pie? Is it a cake? Is it a cookie? I did some research and discovered that the Whoopie Pie is the official “state treat” of Maine and that their origin is Amish. Both Pennsylvania and Maine claim that whoopie pies originated there and, apparently, there is a great controversy over this issue. Who knew? Probably my East Coast friends…

Anyhow, back to my internal debate. I’ve decided that whoopie pies are cupcakes disguised as sandwich cookies. They’re like two fluffy, moist cupcake tops with frosting inside. They resemble a cookie, but they’re really cake. I, personally, much prefer them to cupcakes – easier to eat, handheld, less mess, even distribution of frosting to cake with every bite, one hand free for holding a glass of milk. And I’ve officially declared them more Alaskan than cupcakes. Where cupcakes are a little froo froo, whoopie pies are an everyman’s dessert. Just ask the Amish, who traditionally put them in farmers’ lunch boxes. 

Chocolate Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

Adapted from Food Network Magazine, October 2011

  • For the cakes:
  • 1/2c butter, softened
  • 1 1/4c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1c buttermilk
  • 1t vanilla
  • 1 3/4c flour
  • 3/4 cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2t baking soda
  • 1/2t baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • For the filling:
  • 4oz cream cheese, softened
  • 4T butter, softened
  • 3/4c powdered sugar
  • 1/4c pumpkin puree
  • 1/4t ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 400. Grease 3 cookie sheets.

Using a stand mixer, beat butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in the egg and buttermilk and vanilla.

Gradually add the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop even amounts (so that the sandwiches will be symmetrical) of batter onto prepared cookie sheets.

Bake 8 minutes. Don not over bake. Allow to cool 2 minutes then remove to racks and cool completely.

!To make the filling:

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar until smooth. Add the pumpkin and cinnamon and beat until completely incorporated.

!To assemble whoopie pies:

Spread a tablespoon full of filling on the flat side of a cake then top with another cake, pressing down until the filling just reaches the edges but doesn't ooze out.Repeat with remaining cake and filling.