Pumpkin Whoopie Pies – make ’em mini!

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You arrive home after work or play, and see tempting home-baked goodies in the kitchen. You can’t help but blurt out, “Is that for us, or is it going somewhere?”

If you live in a family with a home baker who willingly does their part for the community, you know what I mean. They bake for school functions, church, funerals, bake sales, or meetings, in addition to baking for the family.

In the home I grew up in questions were always voiced when we saw baked treats in the kitchen. “Where’s that goin’?” or “Is that for us?”

The following recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies features a cream cheese filling studded with diced ginger. My first attempt at making them just happened to be the same time I needed a dessert for a community potluck event. A-ha! Mini whoopie pies were the answer.

If you use a tablespoon cookie scoop (size 40), this recipe will make approximately 60 cookies – enough to yield 30 mini whoopie pies.  Let’s get started by making the mini cake/cookie part of the recipe.

Beat together the butter, oil, sugar, molasses, cake enhancer, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and spices.

When I first tried making these mini whoopie pies I didn’t have cake enhancer; it’s an optional ingredient.  If you don’t have it, you can leave it out, but I found it made a noticeable difference. Using the Cake Enhancer results in a cookie that holds its shape better and reduces the stickiness in the crust.

Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl before adding the eggs.

Beat in the eggs one at a time, until the mixture is fluffy.

Stir in the pumpkin purée or canned pumpkin. Don’t use pumpkin pie filling in this recipe! Canned pumpkin is what is says it is, only canned pumpkin purée. Pumpkin pie filling has additional spices and sugar added, so it won’t act the same in recipes that call for pumpkin purée.

The flour is added in two additions, mixing well after each addition. Here’s the first addition of flour.

Then, mix in the second addition of flour.

The finished batter will look like this. All the ingredients are incorporated and the mixture is fluffy.

The original recipe directions call for a muffin scoop to portion the cookies. Using it with this recipe will yield about one dozen 4” whoopie pies. I used the tablespoon cookie scoop shown above to make minis that yielded 2 1/2 dozen 2” treats. This scoop measures 4 teaspoons (also referred to as a generous tablespoon).

Bake the mini whoopies at the same temperature listed in the original recipe, for about 10 minutes – or until the cookies feel firm to the touch.

While you’re waiting for the cookies to cool, make the cream cheese filling.

Beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy.

Beat in the confectioners’ sugar in two additions.

Add vanilla and xanthan gum (another optional ingredient), and beat for 2 to 3 minutes, until very fluffy. Since the two batches of whoopie pies I made were eaten the same day, I didn’t add xanthan gum to the filling. Xanthan is used to help thicken and stabilize the filling.

Stir in the diced ginger, which will prompt the recipients of these minis to ask, “What is that?” If you’re a fan of ginger, it’s another optional ingredient that will make a marked difference in the flavor of the finished product.

Once the cookies are cooled, I like to pair them together in like-size duos. Even though a scoop was used for portion size, some cookies fit together better than others. By doing this you can use the best cookies for the tops of the whoopie pies.

Use slightly less than a tablespoon cookie scoop (or #40 disher) to portion filling for the cookie sandwiches. You might also use a heaped tablespoon measure.

Some bakers like to squish the top cookie on to complete the whoopie pies; others use a small offset spatula to push the filling to the edges before topping with the second cookie.

Small servings, big taste! Here are just some of the batch of minis, ready for giving or for a family treat. This recipe will yield approximately 30  pumpkin whoopie pie minis – two dozen for donation, and enough for at least six for the family. If you do the math differently, maybe one and a half dozen for donation, and a dozen for family?

There are nine other whoopie pie recipes in our King Arthur recipe archives that may lend themselves to the mini option by simply using the smaller scoop to portion. You’ll also find a range of fillings that use cream cheese, Marshmallow Fluff, or chocolate.

Happy baking to my generous baking friends!  Your donation of time, talent, and baked goods to your communities is an inspiration to us all.

Read, rate, and review (please) our recipe for Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

comments

  1. Wei-Wei

    I just made whoopie pies! I was considering making pumpkin ones but my friends wanted chocolate… this is actually my second time seeing a recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies. That’s probably a sign :D

    Whoopie Wei-Wei! Next time consider the mini version – the serving size is just right, choose the flavor you or your friends most enjoy! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  2. Lori

    Can you get pumpkin puree on the east coast? We can’t get it here in Colorado…otherwise I’d start baking these right away!

    Pumpkin Puree was scarce for a while, but it is back in stock in most grocery stores here in the eastern US. Thanks for asking and for keeping track of us! Remember you can make minis with any whoopie recipe! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  3. Polka Dot Lisa

    These look yummy..I too also saw another post regarding pumpkin wooopie pies today. Fall must be in the air!
    Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Spice loaves in the oven today…kitchen smells delicious! :D

    Tis’ the season to eat and cook with pumpkin. Fall-la-la-la-la! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  4. Aaron Frank

    Cool. I like this recipe. It uses butter instead of oil. I took your chocolate whoopie pie recipe and switched out the oil for butter. To get them to hold their shape I chilled the batter before scooping. I never thought of using cake enhancer. Very nice!

    Thanks

    You’re welcome, Aaron. Have a great baking weekend! PJH

    Reply
  5. gabbyw

    We just spent a beautiful fall weekend in Lancaster, PA – Amish country. There were whoopie pies everywhere I turned and in many flavors. I like that these are mini as the ones we saw were huge! I did indulge in a traditional chocolate with marshmallow filling and it was delicious. :)
    I’m looking forward to making these ones here at home. Thanks.

    Amish country and New England are the whoopie’s traditional home. I agree, some of them are SO big – thanks, Irene, for these minis! PJH

    Reply
  6. skeptic7

    If you are short of pumpkin puree, get a fresh pumpkin, cut it in half, roast at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until tender, puree in a foley mill. Use just like can pumpkin. Freeze any leftovers until next time.
    I use pumpkin puree for a sugarless pumpkin muffins for a diabetic friend as well as pumpkin pies. Do you find yourself doing custom baking for diabetics?

    Can’t say we do much customer baking for diabetics here, though we do alert our co-workers dealing with diabetes when we make something that they can safely enjoy- PJH

    Reply
  7. irish_marylou

    Love KA Flour and all the scrumptious recipes – especially love the new blog stype with pictures – I can tempt my daughter to try things easier. I can’t wait to make these, or anything with pumpkin. Have some sourdough freshening to make Sourdough-Mincemeat Pumpkin Bread soon. Canned pumpkin is plentiful here in OR, I wasn’t aware there might be a shortage elsewhere in the USA? So, for Lori in Colorado – I lived in Pueblo for over 2 years, (albeit some years ago) and regular canned pumpkin was readily available at King Soopers, Safeway and nearly every grocery I shopped at. Libby is a great brand as is the “house brands”. Do look for just “canned pumpkin” – don’t think “pureed pumpkin” as that may lead to confusion. In case of true need, just cook a pumpkin, sugar pumpkins make superb mashed/pureed pumpkin, drain well so it isn’t mushy and freeze it in portions for recipes. One caution, Jack o’Lantern pumpkins are so-so, because their pulp is more stringy – but it can work….I used them in Greece and Germany in a pinch. Happy Cooking.

    Yes, maybe it’s just the terminology here. Look in the baking aisle, in the canned pie filling section. You should find a can that simply says “pumpkin” on it… Marylou, thanks for sharing all your great info. PJH

    Reply
  8. Blakeley (Cupcake Princess)

    How cool! Before I saw this on your blog I was going to make these this week and now I can read the detailed step by step instructions on how to make these. They sure look delicious!!!

    Reply
  9. stanville

    Just may have to make some of these this weekend if Shop’N Save has xanthan gum (doubtful). Imagine I’ll need it since most of these will go in the freezer.

    Don’t worry about the xanthan gum – they should be fine without it… PJH

    Reply
  10. noenoe

    Can you help me with a liquid oil choice? I generally only use olive oil, which sounds like it would taste terrible, or else I melt coconut oil or butter for the liquid. What does the oil do for the cookie part that one of my usual choices might not? We are getting closer to autumn here in TX, and I am getting ready to bake, bake, bake til spring!!

    A very light olive oil should be fine, as should coconut oil or melted butter. The vegetable oil adds more fat than butter, and keeps the cakes a bit moister… PJH

    Reply
  11. stanville

    Found xanthan gum, but had to settle for a brand other than One Pie pumpkin, unfortunately.

    Being a New England girl, I like to stick with my regional brand also! As long as the brand you buy has just pumpkin and no spices/sugar the recipe should work fine. Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  12. KimberlyD

    The Tuscola County Pumpkin Festival is next weekend here in Michigan, and they have a baking contest, maybe I will make these for it, I bet no one else will think of this there. I will be surprised if there is anyone else making them, I have never seen any kind of whoopie pies around here, and we have Amish around here. My great Grandpa was Amish. So do you think it will be fine without the xanthan gum for a baking contest? I mean taste wise, is there any difference with it or with out it?

    The xanthan gum helps thicken the filling. If you find the filling too loose, you can thicken it by adding more confectioner’s sugar. If you use some candied ginger in the filling the judges won’t be able to resist this great fair entry. Wishing you well and crossing our fingers for the blue ribbon! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  13. kfreshwater

    I just read the recipe for these wonderful looking cookies and I’m getting stressed out. Does anyone have any family they could loan me so I have someone to bake for? There is only my grandson and I and he is always running from the calories because he is always watching his weight. Which is really a good thing but grandma can’t cook like she wants too. I can hardly even get a loaf of bread eaten without having to throw it out to the birds. grrrrr. There will be a Halloween party at his car club so I can take these. I can get the guys to do things for me by tempting them with a cheese cake but its not the same. Send me your left over family.

    There are two of us in our household, and we’re both gaining weight since I bake all the time at home now (in the name of research?!). My neighbors are now my extended family of test tasters as well as our postal and paper delivery person, gas attandants, hair stylists, plumber, handyman, town road crew….the list of your taste testers could go on and on! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  14. staci

    We have always called these Gobs and I didn’t hear the term “Whoopie Pie” until I moved south.

    I made some gobs with a less than Tbsp scoop a couple of years ago in order to fit the gobs in a small truffle box for thank you gifts. After putting the gobs together I dusted them with a little powdered sugar, laced a small candy box with piece of parchment paper and filled the box with mini gobs. I got rave reviews and orders for more gobs. You can see them here: http://babushkaskitchen.blogspot.com/2010/10/gob-licious-baby.html

    I’ve been craving gobs and these is the perfect time to try the pumpkin!

    Reply
  15. arl18

    Thank you! Thank you! My whole family, but especially my son, loved these when we lived in Cleveland. There they were called Pumpkin Gobs or Bobs (the name varied) and we bought them at our local supermarket which had a fabulous bakery. Whenever we go back to visit, we get some to bring back to CT if they’re in season. Now my son is off at college in DC and I’ll be able to treat him to some homemade pumpkin gobs, aka whoopie pies! They’re going in the next care package, at least most of them (my husband and I deserve a couple, too).

    Reply
  16. pleasespammenow

    Xanthan gum question –

    I make a chocolate whipped cream frosting with instant pudding mix (you add to the milk/cream in the frosting), but now don’t want to use the instant pudding because of all the chemicals/artificial ingredients in it.

    The only natural pudidng I can find is for a cooked pudding. Could I use that mix but add Xanthan gum to stabilize? If so, how much would I use?

    Xanthan gum acts as a stabilizer. If you use the original recipe, be sure to whip or mix for 2 to 3 minutes to activate the xanthan to work its magic. Have you considered other thick frostings like our Quick Buttercream or Marshmallow Icing? Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  17. pleasespammenow

    Thanks for the advice. What I’m looking for is a thick, stable, chocolate whipped cream frosting. Do you have a recipe for that?

    Just to clarify, if I use the original recipe, but substitute the cooked pudding mix for the instant, how much Xanthan gum would I need? How long would I have to wait before I know the Xanthan gum has worked it’s magic?

    Thanks for sharing your filling variation. We haven’t tested a filling that uses pudding mix as an ingredient. If the cooked pudding is thick enough, then fold in stabilized whipped cream. We suggest stabilizing the whipped cream with a product like Instant ClearJel. We’d love to hear about your successful results! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  18. robinwaban

    Oh, my goodness. I just love reading all of your comments. I use a whoopie pie recipe and use a sort of muffin tin, but the muffins are in the shapes of acorns. I split the “acorn” muffins in half and fill them with a cream cheese frosting, and dust with powdered sugar. It’s a wonderful treat for a crisp New England autumn day. Yum!

    Robin, what a cute idea – pumpkin is not only a great fall flavor, but such a nice color, too – so evocative of falling leaves, crisp, cool days… Thanks for sharing. PJH

    Reply
  19. Maria

    Hi Irene!
    These look so amazing! Using the ginger in the filling is such a great idea! I only think of ginger for cooking {Asian foods etc} … but not really for baking {unless it’s powdered}
    It must taste soooo good!
    Thanks for the recipe… They’re a fun addition to an autumn tea party!
    ~Maria

    Reply
  20. capucine22

    In a pinch, roasted and pureed butternut squash is an excellent substitute for pumpkin. In fact, my Thanksgiving “pumpkin” pie is usually made with butternut squash because I can never find pie pumpkins by then!

    Looking forward to making these, the cream cheese frosting sounds delish :)

    Reply
  21. KimberlyD

    I didn’t get to enter in the Pumpkin festival baken contest, a family emergency came up, there is always next year!
    Your Xanthan Gum – is a good price, this past week when I thought I was going to enter these cookies in the contest, I went to my local store to get Xanthan Gum and it cost twice the amount you are selling yours for! Since I don’t use it much I didn’t buy it for I was going to do what you suggested using extra confectionary sugar. Proving your prices are a good value!
    But on the good news, another store I sometimes go to carrys most of your different flours, and even a few of your gullton free mixes!

    Reply
  22. christina

    Made these for a potluck this evening, but with maple cream cheese frosting instead of the ginger. Everybody loved them. Printing and saving this recipe for sure.

    Reply
  23. Dana Courtney from Wisconsin

    What did I do wrong? Made these last night – followed the recipe exactly except for the crystallized ginger (even found xanthum gum locally). The cakes were light, the frosting fluffy…they were divine. My Boston area raised husband was in heaven. I wrapped each remaining whoopie in plastic wrap as suggested, and then wondered whether I could leave them on the counter or did they need refrigeration due to the cream cheese? I decided to go for safe and put them in the fridge. Big mistake – my beautiful light whoopies became soggy, heavy hockey pucks overnight. So the question is, is it ok to leave these out on the counter even though the filling is made with cream cheese, or do you have to eat them the day they’re made, because if my experience is typical, I’m definately not putting them in the refrigerator again!

    I am sorry the whoopie pies became soggy and puck like. You probably did nothing wrong in technique. My guess is the cakey whoopie pie drew in moisture from both the filling and the humidity from your frig. Yes, you can leave your whoopie pies out overnight usually with no problem. Be sure you cream cheese is nice and fresh! Elisabeth

    Reply
  24. judy villwock

    I just made the whoopie pies and then really spread out and came out almost flat. I checked my baking powder as one of your sales associates suggested and it did show it was fresh. Any other thoughts on how to keep them from flattening out?
    Judy V.

    Hello Judy- Did you use the cake enhancer? The cake enhancer will really tighten them up and prevent them from spreading too much. Also, I wonder if you are adding enough flour? This is the way we recommend measuring our flour: http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipe/measuring-flour.html
    One last suggestion- does your oven temperature run accurately? If the temperature is too low, the cookies will bake more slowly and spread more.

    Reply
  25. Brenda.Brooklyn

    Kfreshwater: I have the same problem in a family of 3, one of whom is a diet-conscious teen girl…I send many baked goods in to my husband’s office mates, which I suspect has made him impervious to layoffs…I bake big-batch stuff Saturday night so I can offload some to my church’s coffee hour Sunday morning…I repay neighbors for favors (like raking up our leaves or shoveling snow, which we always procrastinate)…and there is always the option of giving goodies to a local senior center or soup kitchen where the usual chow is bland and institutional. They will worship you as a goddess.
    As for this blog…AMAZING…the combo of the printable recipe click-thru and the step-by-step with photos…I may never do anything else but bake for the rest of my life. We’re hosting coffee hour this Sunday and the whoopie pies will be rolled out there–thanks to the person who shared their refrigeration experience, now I know to make them the night before and no sooner!

    It’s a movement! Shower the people in your world with baked goods! You’ll be the hero (or the goddess?) of the neighborhood! Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply

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