I'm not sure why, but for some reason I thought I would be the only person to make pumpkin whoopie pies this fall. I turned my back for a second, likely to scour the supermarket shelves for pumpkin, and suddenly pumpkin whoopie pies were everywhere! I couldn't believe how many people had not only heard of them but gone ahead and made them too. Wasn't I a bit naive?
A little late in the game, here are mine. There are a few variations out there, and this recipe is a bit different from the others I've seen. Most have had a cream cheese-based filling, but these sandwich a light cinnamon whipped cream instead.
I also added chopped chocolate to half of the batter and filled those whoopie pies with whipped chocolate ganache. This is a great option if you're looking for something a bit more decadent. Chocolate and pumpkin actually work really well together, although I guess chocolate combines pretty well with just about anything, so this shouldn't be too much of a surprise.
Oh, and also, these are mini pumpkin whoopie pies, so they just ooze cuteness, right?
This pumpkin whoopie pie recipe comes from Fresh & Honest: Food From the Farms of New England and the Kitchen of Henrietta's Table. Henrietta's Table is one of my favorite restaurants in Cambridge, Mass. I actually haven't had the pumpkin whoopie pies there (too busy eating the granola I suppose), but when I do, I'll have to see how close mine came to the original.
On a side note, while I love that this cookbook contains recipes from one of my favorite restaurants, the recipes don't seem like they were tested or copyedited. For instance, the whoopie pie one says to preheat the oven, mix the dough, and then put the dough in the fridge for at least an hour to set. Is one supposed to leave the oven on doing nothing for an hour? There are also some issues with the yield, and I've encountered confusion and inconsistencies in some of the other recipes as well.
That said, I've rewritten the recipe here, along with some of my own additions (such as the chocolate and ganache), so that it's easier to follow.
Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
(adapted from Fresh & Honest)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup oil
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pumpkin puree
3 oz. of your favorite chocolate, chopped (or mini chips) (optional)
Whipped Cream Filling
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 tablespoon confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Whipped Ganache Filling (optional)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 oz. of your favorite chocolate, chopped
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt together in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
Mix sugar and oil in bowl of electric mixer until well combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition.
Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and beat on low until combined. Mix in the pumpkin.
Chocolate version: Divide batter between two medium bowls. Add the chopped chocolate to one bowl and mix until combined.
Place batter in fridge for at least 1 hour (I left mine overnight).
Prepare the whipped chocolate ganache. In a small pot over medium-high heat, bring heavy cream to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in the chopped chocolate. Place in refrigerator for a couple of hours.
When you are ready to bake your whoopie pies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line sheet pans with parchment paper, and remove batter from the fridge.
Using a round measuring spoon or ice cream scoop, scoop rounded spoonfuls of batter onto prepared sheet pans. (You can make the pies whatever size you want, but I used a round measuring teaspoon to scoop the batter so I could make minis.) Leave space between the scoops. Use your fingers to round out the batter a little.
Bake each tray for about 7 to 8 minutes for minis (10 to 12 minutes for larger pies), or until toothpick comes out clean.
Let cool on pan for about a minute, and then move pies off pans to cooling racks. (You'll have to keep reusing trays until you run out of batter. I had three trays, and I think I filled each twice.)
Once you're done baking off all of the batter and your pies are cooling, make the whipped cream filling.
In bowl (preferably a chilled bowl) of an electric mixer fitted with wire whip, whip cream until stiff peaks form, adding in confectioners sugar and cinnamon while mixer is running. Move the cream to another bowl, and clean the mixing bowl and whip attachment.
At this point, the chocolate ganache should be firm enough to whip. Place ganache in bowl of electric mixer fitted with wire whip, and whip until light and fluffy.
Try to match up the pies so you sandwich the ones that are closest in size and shape.
Fill your pies. I used the whipped cream filling for the plain pies and the whipped chocolate ganache filling for the chocolate speckled pies. (You may need to make more of the fillings, depending how thickly you fill the pies. I had plenty of chocolate ganache but cut it close on the whipped cream.) I just used a small offset spatula because I didn't have a ton of time and I'm not really bringing these anywhere, but I think piping the filling would look much more elegant.
Dust the pies with confectioners sugar if desired.
One of the things I liked best about making these is that you could pretty much smell when they were done. I'd start to catch a whiff of baked pumpkin and spices in the air and quickly run over to check them with a toothpick, and without fail they'd be ready. The whole kitchen smelled like fall.
These would be perfect for a light party dessert.
Have you jumped on the whoopie pie bandwagon, pumpkin or otherwise? Do tell!