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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

November 3, 2020

I'm a self-taught baker, recipe developer, photographer and writer in Brooklyn, New York. 

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pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling stacked in a line on a marble surface

Pumpkin with cream cheese is a classic combination. With these pumpkin whoopie pies, where soft, cake-like pumpkin cookies sandwich tangy cream cheese filling, I’m also giving you the option to experiment with another excellent cheese.

How to choose the right cheese for your filling

Often found in tiramisu filling, mascarpone cheese is equally creamy, made with heavy cream — not whole milk like cream cheese. It’s richer, not as tangy, and almost carries a malty flavor. Use whichever you have, or whichever you can find, and your buttercream filling will turn out great. If you do opt for mascarpone, try to get a high-quality one as cheaper options tend to be runnier and prone to splitting in the buttercream. And if you do decide to use cream cheese, avoid using the cream cheese “spreads” as they won’t mix well into buttercream. It’s best to just get the 8-ounce cream cheese blocks.

pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling stacked on top of each other

What is the actual flavor of “pumpkin spice”?

One thing not enough people don’t know: Pumpkin doesn’t have much of a taste! And because of that, a lot of “pumpkin spice” flavored products out there don’t have any pumpkin in them — just spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. In my first few attempts, I wasn’t getting much flavor, and the cakes (cookies? muffin tops?) were coming out of the oven a brown-yellow, not orange like I wanted. So I upped the cinnamon to 1 tablespoon (It sounds like a lot but it has to be this way!) and mixed the spices into the liquid ingredients rather than the flour. This resulted in a deeper orange color and a more “pumpkin spice” flavor.

pumpkin whoopie pie sandwiches with cream cheese filling lined up on a marble surface

Why are the cakes pale when they come out of the oven?

By the way, the cookies (or are they cakes?) will look pale when they come out of the oven. Do not dismay! They are supposed to look like that, and within about an hour or two, they will develop a deeper brown-ish orange color you want.

Did you make these pumpkin whoopie pies? I want to see! Tag me @easygayoven on Instagram and TikTok.

(This recipe was updated on 11/03/2022)

pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling stacked on top of each other

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling

Print Recipe
Soft, cake-like pumpkin cookies sandwich tangy cream cheese filling (or mascarpone filling) in these pumpkin whoopie pies.
Course Dessert
Keyword cream cheese filling, cream cheese frosting, fall recipes, mascarpone, pumpkin, whoopie pies
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 9 whoopie pies
Author Eric King


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (170 grams)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (110 grams)
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed dark brown sugar (light brown sugar works, too) (154 grams)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (346 grams)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cup whole milk (120 milliliters)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil (60 milliliters)
  • 1 cup pumpkin purée (250 grams) (see note)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream cheese buttercream

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (226 grams)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese or mascarpone at room temperature (do not use cream cheese spread)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (120 grams)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch kosher salt


  • Preheat oven to 350° F
  • Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.
  • In a glass measuring cup, add the milk, oil, vanilla, and pumpkin. Combine thoroughly.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium until, until the mixture is lighter in color and fluffy.
  • Add one egg to the butter mixture and beat on medium-low speed until totally combined. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl and repeat with the second egg.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add one-third of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. After it fully incorporates, pour in half of the liquid mixture. After the liquid incorporates, repeat the process until everything has been combined, ensuring to end with the dry ingredients.
  • Do not over-mix. Turn the mixer off the moment the last bits of flour disappear. Then give it a stir, making sure to scrape the bottom and the sides for any unincorporated ingredients.
  • Using a 1/4-cup muffin or cookie scoop, portion out the batter, 6 per-sheet. Try to keep them as circular as possible, you can also use a spoon to help shape them.
  • Bake for 16 minutes, carefully switching and rotating the trays halfway through. You should see them slightly brown on the bottoms of the edges, and the tops spring back when gently touched. (They will look pale and not orange — don’t panic. They develop color as they sit.)
  • Let them cool on the sheets for 3 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Repeat with remaining batter.

For the buttercream

  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and powdered sugar until light in color and fluffy. 
  • Add the cream cheese or mascarpone, as well as the vanilla, and beat until combined. 
  • Scrape the bowl, then dump in the powdered sugar and a pinch of salt. 
  • Beat the mixture at medium speed until it has all come together.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then turn the mixer to low and let it run for about three minutes. This will help rid the buttercream of air bubbles. 
  • Using a piping bag with a circular tip, or a Ziploc bag with the corner cut out, top half of the whoopies, then sandwich them with the other halves. Enjoy!


(Note: For this recipe, I prefer the organic pumpkin puree brands from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods, but traditional brands like Libby’s will still work.)

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  1. Cynthia P says:

    5 stars
    This recipe is the perfect autumnal treat! I have never made anything like this before but it came out so perfect and was a crowd pleaser around Thanksgiving. All of EGO’s recipes are so flavorful and unique, this one is no exception!

  2. Josh says:

    5 stars
    These are DELICIOUS – I’ve been making them with fresh pumpkin (peel, seed, cube, microwave with a couple spoonfuls of water) and freshly ground spices. Do note, however, that doubling the recipe has yielded poor results.

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