Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies

Oh. My. Goodness. I tried this recipe after my friend Noelle brought them to our last book club meeting. They were AMAZING. I love pumpkin flavored stuff. I am on the pumpkin bandwagon every fall (pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, pumpkin candles, you name it).
I'll be honest, this recipe was a day-long commitment. Next time I make them I think I can cut the time in half, but since it was my first time, I was trying to make sure I did them right. The recipe came from Dreamy Desserts. She piped the batter with a pastry bag to make them flat. Unfortunately when the batter is made of pumpkin puree, it is hard to shape because it is sticky. The piping worked beautifully but it was soooo time consuming (and messy as I started to get lazy). You can see in the first picture, top left corner, I tried to just plop batter down to see how it would work. I was afraid to take a chance with all of them so I did that as an experiment. It baked just fine. It wasn't as beautiful as the piped ones, but it would definitely shave off 1 hour + in the process in the future. The end result was an amazing dessert and was the teacher treat I brought in for my school Halloween party. I have truly never had a better reaction to a recipe- they were a crowd pleaser!

Pumpkin Spice Whoopie Pies

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1 can (15 oz. pumpkin)
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat together brown sugar, sugar, oil and pumpkin. Add eggs one at a time and then the vanilla. I noticed at this step that the oil was separating from the pumpkin and sugar quite a bit, so I had to keep mixing until it was completely blended.
In another bowl I mixed the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, salt and nutmeg. I did not have ground gloves on hand so I used a teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice instead.
Next, slowly add the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until it creates a thick batter.
When I started piping, I was very generous with each one. After about 10, I realized these Whoopie Pies would be far too big for people to eat, so I decreased the size to about 2 inches in diameter. They were perfect! Like I said, I piped them into circles but you could definitely just "plop" onto the parchment paper.
Bake each cookie sheet for 11-13 minutes, depending on the size of each pie. You don't want them to be too soft in the middle, but you don't want them to cook into pumpkin cookies, so watch them carefully.
After they cooled, I added a thick layer of cream cheese filling between each one.

Cream Cheese Filling

1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temperature
1 - 16. oz bag of powdered sugar
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of pumpkin pie spice (or just cinnamon). Add more to taste.

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