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Pumpkin spice whoopie pies with brown butter cream cheese frosting

These super cute pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling are made with little pumpkin spice cakes and filled with a brown butter cream cheese frosting. These whoopie pies make a great pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving for people who don’t like pumpkin pie!
 
pumpkin spice whoopie pies

Whoopie pies. It’s about time! For months, I read about people’s love for whoopie pies, all the while wondering what could possibly be so special about them.

What is a whoopie pie?

It turns out that whoopie pies are nothing but frosting sandwiched between two little cakes. In fact, whoopie pies used to be made to use up leftover cake batter so it wouldn’t go to waste. The term whoopie pie comes from when kids would scream “whoopie!” whenever they were surprised with these little cake sandwiches in their lunches or after school. The most common whoopie pie is chocolate, but these pumpkin whoopie pies are gaining in popularity, especially around Thanksgiving and Halloween in North America.

pumpkin spice whoopie pies

What kind of filling is used for whoopie pies

Whoopie pies are really simple to make, and with the right filling, they are quite special and a lot of fun. The filling can be any thick frosting, like this cream cheese frosting, or in this case, a brown butter-flavoured cream cheese frosting, which adds pretty golden brown flecks to the filling. Around Christmas time, you can make a candy cane frosting and garnish with crushed mints. Really, any frosting made from butter and icing sugar will work. If you want a more sophisticated filling, you could even try an Italian meringue buttercream.

pumpkin whoopie pies with a brown butter cream cheese filling baked in the shape of pumpkins and leaves.

Since fall is here to stay, my first batch of whoopie pies was inspired by a Wilton “Harvest” whoopie pie pan (available on Amazon) and their easy recipe for pumpkin spice whoopie pies. I added some ground ginger to add a little more zip to the cake batter. If you want to make them with homemade pumpkin purée, make sure to strain out the excess water because homemade pumpkin tends to be more watery.

pumpkin spice whoopie pies
I changed the frosting recipe slightly, adding in a little extra powdered sugar and substituting some brown butter for some of the cream cheese. The nuttiness of the brown butter is great in a cream cheese frosting like this one and the nutty aroma and flavor really come through since the frosting is not too sweet. I am madly in love with this frosting.

For the frosting, be sure to use Philadelphia full-fat cream cheese because the no-name brands just don’t compare. In fact, I made two batches of this cream cheese frosting, one with Philly cream cheese and the other with my local grocery store’s brand of cream cheese. The Philadelphia cream cheese produced the tastiest filling, but what was most shocking was the texture: the grocery store brand had an almost powdery feel to it and gave the frosting an almost grainy (unpleasant!) texture. The frosting made with Philadelphia cream cheese was much, much creamier, and really quite dreamy! (NB: Kraft did not pay me to write that)=

pumpkin spice whoopie pies

If you’re on the fence about whoopie pies, you should give them a try. They are a welcome change in a cupcake-dominated world. But if you don’t have a whoopie pie pan, don’t let that stop you! Bake small scoop-fulls of the batter on a parchment-lined baking sheet or use a muffin pan (like this one on Amazon) for perfectly round little cakes.

pumpkin spice whoopie pies

Pumpkin spice whoopie pies with brown butter cream cheese frosting

These super cute pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling are made with little pumpkin spice cakes and filled with a brown butter cream cheese frosting. These whoopie pies make a great pumpkin dessert for Thanksgiving for people who don't like pumpkin pie!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword pumpkin spice whoopie pies
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 20 assembled whoopie pies
Author Janice

Ingredients

For the whoopie pies

  • 188 grams ( cups) all-purpose flour
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) baking soda
  • 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) baking powder
  • 2.5 mL (1/2 tsp) Diamond Crystal fine kosher salt
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) ground cinnamon
  • 1.25 mL (1/4 tsp) ground nutmeg
  • 1.25 mL (1/4 tsp) ground ginger
  • 0.625 mL (1/8 tsp) ground cloves
  • 58 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter 57 grams
  • 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 125 mL (½ cup) pumpkin purée
  • 125 mL (½ cup) buttermilk

For the brown butter cream cheese filling

  • 58 grams (¼ cup) unsalted butter
  • 90 grams (¾ cup) icing sugar sifted
  • 200 grams (7 oz) Philadelphia cream cheese (full fat, regular) 200 grams, almost an entire block, room temperature

Instructions

Make the whoopie pie cakes:

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray the whoopie pie pan with cooking spray. Set aside for later.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the sugar for about 5 minutes.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a spatula.
  • In another small bowl, combine the pumpkin and buttermilk.
  • To the mixer, add the flour mixture and the pumpkin mixture, alternately, beginning and ending with the flour.
  • Fill each whoopie pie mold no more than half full, spreading the mixture into all the nooks and crannies.
  • Bake for 7 to 10 minutes (I baked some longer than others so that the whoopie pies were all different golden browns, just like fall leaves and pumpkins).
  • Let the whoopie pies cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then tap them out onto a rack to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling:

  • Begin by browning the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until the milk solids turn a nutty brown. Set aside to cool.
  • Beat together the cream cheese and the cooled brown butter (be sure to add all those nutty brown bits!) in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
  • With the mixer on low, slowly add the icing sugar. Beat until the desired consistency and level of sweetness is achieved.

To assemble

  • Spread the filling on one cake and sandwich with another. Repeat to assemble remaining whoopie pies.

Notes

Please use full fat Philadelphia brand cream cheese. This brand has the best flavour and texture!
For the whoopie pies, I used the Wilton Harvest whoopie pie pan (available on Amazon) but of course, a regular whoopie pie pan (from Amazon) would also work, as would a muffin tin.
If you don't have buttermilk, a common baking substitution is to use regular milk with a splash of vinegar (7.5 mL (1/2 tablespoon) of vinegar per 125 mL (1/2 cup) of milk)
Tried this recipe?Mention @kitchenhealssoul or tag #kitchenhealssoul!

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21 Responses to Pumpkin spice whoopie pies with brown butter cream cheese frosting

  1. Kelly | Eat Yourself Skinny October 24, 2011 at 4:09 PM #

    These look so delicious, how cute!! 🙂

  2. Torviewtoronto October 24, 2011 at 4:49 PM #

    yummy looking delicious whoopie pies

  3. claire @ the realistic nutritionist October 24, 2011 at 8:43 PM #

    those are the CUTEST cookies, I love the fall leaves!!

  4. Erin October 25, 2011 at 2:08 AM #

    Yum, Yum, YUM!! I really need to get on board with this brown butter thing, sounds absolutely delicious!

  5. Elyse @The Cultural Dish October 25, 2011 at 11:13 AM #

    Oh I love your whoopie pies! The pumpkins and leaves are so cute! Your filling sounds so delicious too! Yum!

  6. Sweet Tooth October 25, 2011 at 4:10 PM #

    they look so cute!

  7. Chrissy @ [email protected] October 26, 2011 at 4:12 PM #

    Oh wow… great idea! They are so festive!

  8. Ella October 26, 2011 at 12:33 PM #

    I love this combo! Shaping them into fall treats makes this even more decadent!

  9. healthyfoodietravels October 26, 2011 at 12:53 PM #

    Believe it or not, I’ve never had a whoopie pie! (Well, I’m not American). Brown butter cream cheese frosting sounds too good to be true…

  10. Cake October 26, 2011 at 1:09 PM #

    Really delicious looking whoopie pies!

  11. Rosemary October 26, 2011 at 2:06 PM #

    Delightful whoopie pies. I love those fall shapes. Pumpkin and cream cheese are one happy combination!

  12. [email protected] October 26, 2011 at 8:33 PM #

    I’ve not yet made whoopie pies but it’s something I want to try. Looks amazing and festive.

  13. mayssam @ Will Travel for Food October 26, 2011 at 10:42 PM #

    Love whoopie pies! Not only is the name fun to say but they are delicious! One made of pumpkin can only be oh so good!

  14. Mercedes October 27, 2011 at 12:11 AM #

    These look adorable and delicious!

  15. Bobbi October 28, 2011 at 2:35 PM #

    I’ve been looking for a great pumpkin recipe that isn’t a cake, muffin, or cookie–between these beautiful pies and the pumpkin waffle recipe I found yesterday, my weekend is booked! Thank you for the inspiration. Whoopie pies have never looked so lovely.

  16. BigBearswife November 1, 2011 at 5:30 PM #

    pumpkin spice makes everything better~

  17. Maggie November 1, 2011 at 5:49 PM #

    I am madly in love with this frosting too and I haven’t even tried it yet. I am totally and utterly addicted to anything with brown butter in it. I haven’t delved into the world of whoopie pies yet, but this recipe has 100% inspired me. Thank you!

  18. Christine knapkins_com November 12, 2011 at 6:50 PM #

    Hey Foodies, Montreal Foodie’s Whoopie Pie recipe has been selected by Knapkins to be featured in a Recipe Guessing Game. Invite fans to play: http://knapkins.com/guess_games/585?source=blog

  19. Emily January 30, 2012 at 2:08 AM #

    I made your brown butter cream cheese frosting tonight and LOVED it! Thanks for the recipe!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. The Great Pumpkin Recipe Roundup – Part 2 | Food Bloggers of Canada - October 9, 2014

    […] another whoopie pie take with Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting from Janice at Kitchen Heals […]

  2. Mini pumpkin tarts - January 11, 2020

    […] Pumpkin spice whoopie pies with brown butter cream cheese frosting […]

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