Classic Pumpkin Whoopie Pies

For me there is absolutely no dessert more iconic of childhood than a whoopie pie. This is originally a Pennsylvania Dutch treat that became lunchbox staples and genuinely cherished family recipes. Its said that men would yell “whoopie” when they saw them in their lunch and that’s how the name change came about. (originally they were called hucklebucks, it just doesn’t have the same ring to it does it?) Over the years it also became a hugely popular snack in New England, Maine especially. Spending a good part of my youth in Maine I remember these being more popular there than they are here in Pennsylvania. Although I know they’ve become hugely popularized nationwide, and world wide even they’ve been kind of fancied up. Its a treasured classic for me, its something that I’ve grown up with so I’m kind of sentimental of the “old way” of making them, a whoopie purist if you will. As long as I can remember  I’ve had whoopie pies, most often the chocolate with marshmallow fluff, but this pumpkin variety is probably my favorite. Actually it’s really pretty hard to choose, its like choosing your favorite kid, although your not SUPPOSED to have a favorite there are often times where you fall in favor of one or the other of course you love them both equally… but ones tipping the scales just ever so slightly at that moment.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies:
Traditionally made with oil only, I’ve modified this recipe slightly by using a bit more seasonings and part butter. Aside from that its purely old school.
wet ingredients-
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of pumpkin puree
dry ingredients-
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon (you can use pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or a silicone baking mat. I’ve made whoopie pies in the past without either and its always a bit of a sticky situation. Lined pans work the best since whoopie pies are classically meant to be moist.

In a large bowl combine dry ingredients. Using a whisk or fork fluff everything together to remove any lumps. (You could also sift it) In a separate bowl mix to combine the wet ingredients and stir to combine. Gently stir the wet into the dry. Do not over mix. Using a disher scoop (cookie scoop) or measuring cup portion out four equal dollops onto a tray. Bake for 12 minutes on the middle rack.

I do only four at a time to prevent them running together and bake them one batch at a time. Its a bit time consuming however it works absolutely best. If you have a whoopie pie pan, or “muffin top” pan feel free to use it. Allow to cool most of the way before removing. Gently peel the whoopie cake from the lining and place on a cooling rack. Once they are cooled dollop frosting in between and sandwich together.


-All ingredients at room temperature-
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 3-4 ounces cream cheese
  • 4-5 cups sifted powdered sugar
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer combine butter, cream cheese and 2 cups of sugar. Cream together until well combined. Slowly add additional powdered sugar until you have a smooth and fluffy mixture.