If you are afraid to try something new with pumpkin for the sheer and utter fear that you will soon be addicted to yet one more pumpkin recipe, then run now while you still can. This recipe for these soft and fluffy pumpkin whoopie pies might totally take the cake (pun obviously intended), may be the big pumpkin Kahuna, and will in one bite convince you that perhaps pumpkin is the new chocolate!
WHAT THE HE!!???? I DID NOT JUST SAY THAT!! I am the biggest chocoholic in the universe, and I am seriously contemplating the fact that pumpkin in any baked good just might be on par with chocolate. Maybe I need to sit down for a moment and consider the ramifications.
But seriously, you have to make them. It is not more difficult than any cake recipe and the only difference is the frosting is in the middle instead of on top like the world’s best sandwich cookie–EVER. Can you imagine anything pairing with a soft and spicy pumpkin cake better than a beautiful creamy maple butter cream…only cream cheese frosting perhaps?
This post includes both frosting recipes so you can have two delicious pumpkin whoopie flavors. Really! My family went nuts for the maple butter cream, while I actually preferred the cream cheese frosting myself. Go crazy, make both and if I were you I’d double the cookie recipe because ours disappeared rather quickly. By the way, my plan is also to make a Devil’s food whoopie pie with a pumpkin butter cream frosting.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pie
Taken directly from Geni’s Own Imagination
1/2 c. unsalted butter, softened
1/2 c. Crisco
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. canned cooked pumpkin
1 t. vanilla
2 c. all purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
1 1/2 t. cinnamon
3/4 t. nutmeg
3/4 t. cloves
Maple Butter Cream
Taken directly from Whoopie Pies written by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell
1/2 c. unsalted butter at room temperature
2 c. powdered sugar
1 T. milk
2 T pure maple syrup
Cream Cheese Frosting
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
4 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla extract
To make the cookies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet with either parchment paper or a Silpat mat. If you are lucky enough to own whoopie pie pans like I do, then by all means use those. If you are using a whoopie pie pan, spray coat it with nonstick spray. You will thank me later. Having a whoopie pie pan is totally unnecessary though, but does help make them more uniform for photos! 🙂
Combine the butter, shortening and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Cream together and add the pumpkin, egg and vanilla. In a separate medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour through cloves. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture in 1/3 increments, creaming together on medium each time and scraping the sides of the bowl in between.
Using a medium sized ice cream scoop, scoop the batter and drop onto cookie sheet, separating each cookie by two inches. You will only get three across and three down but they spread out so leave enough room in between. Spray one of your palms with nonstick spray and lightly press each cookie down to help it flatten out a bit. These tend to be fluffy whoopies.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in a cookie comes out clean. The cookie should be soft to the touch but bounce back when gently pressed. Cool for 10 minutes on the pan and then remove and place on cooling racks for an hour until completely cooled.
To make the Maple Buttercream: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a balloon whisk, cream butter and then add powdered sugar, milk and syrup, beating until smooth. Add an extra 1/4 c. powdered sugar if the frosting is not setting up or is too runny. Place buttercream in a ziploc bag and push all the buttercream to one bottom corner so you can use it as a pastry bag later. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
To make the Cream Cheese Frosting: Cream together the cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar until smooth. Add vanilla and combine on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Place cream cheese frosting in ziploc bag like above. Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
To use the ziploc bag as a pastry bag, simply snip off about 1/8 inch of the corner of the bag (the one that has the frosting pushed towards it). Hold the ziploc in your hand and gently push the frosting out the snipped corner.