Whoopie pies are a fun treat—a portable dessert that’s part cookie, part frosted cake. But whoopie pies are typically oversized; we wanted to make a smaller version we could enjoy more often, and we wanted to create a flavorful variation on the traditional chocolate cakes. We settled on pumpkin spice for our reimagined whoopies. For ease, we didn’t take measures to reduce the moisture in the pumpkin puree; instead we added the canned pumpkin as is and skipped adding another liquid ingredient to our cakes. Pairing the pumpkin with a marshmallow crème filling was fine, but our favorite spice cakes are slathered with cream cheese frosting, so we followed suit. The tangy frosting is a welcome contrast to the moist, warm-spiced cake. A pastry bag makes quick work of forming even cakes, but the batter can be dropped with a spoon instead if you like.
- Yield: 24 sandwich cookies
- 1 cup (5 ounces) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- ¾ cup (5¼ ounces) granulated sugar
- 1 cup canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled, plus 4 tablespoons softened
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar, plus extra for dusting (optional)
- 4 ounces cream cheese, cut into 4 pieces and softened
- Adjust oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking soda, and salt together in medium bowl. Using stand mixer fitted with whisk, whip eggs and granulated sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add pumpkin and melted butter, and mix until incorporated. Slowly add flour mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds.
- Using pastry bag, pipe 1-tablespoon mounds of batter onto prepared sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Bake until cakes are set, 10 to 12 minutes, switching and rotating sheets halfway through baking. Let cakes cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire rack. Let cakes cool completely.
- Using clean, dry bowl and whisk attachment, whip softened butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add cream cheese, 1 piece at a time, and mix until no lumps remain. Spread scant tablespoon filling over bottom of half of cakes, then top with remaining cakes, pressing lightly to adhere. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if using, before serving.