Pumpkin Whoopie Pie with Elderberry Flavored Cream

There are some funny coincidences in life which are difficult to explain with a meaningful reason. For instance; it looks like whenever I am not in the mood for grocery shopping and I decide to make something with what I have in the fridge, this ”something” should be something with pumpkin. From now on I accept this as a ground rule for winter time cooking. So the rule worked like a Swiss clock and as in the previous year I found myself in front of vividly colored pumpkin slices again.

I had a cookie or a cake to bake in my mind but I had to use the pumpkin also. There was enough flour, eggs, some chocolate and butter for a rich cake or a toothsome cookie but what should I do with the pumpkin afterwards? Accepting the fact that I have no magical powers to turn the pumpkin into a brand new car, it should fit in somewhere in this baking process. Here are the keywords: cake, cookie, and pumpkin. After some time spent to look around food magazines and cookbooks suddenly the answer rushed into my mind. Whoopie! Yes, I was happy to find a way to utilize everything but this was not my reaction, it was the answer’s itself: whoopie pie.

Whoopie pie is neither a cake nor a cookie but lies somewhere in between, we may call it a soft cookie. Moreover, I found a recipe of pumpkin whoopie pie and it is from the favorite bakery of Brooklyn dwellers, ”Baked”. As one of my friends living there praised their desserts some years ago before they became that famous so I had a positive expectation about their recipe too.

You may wonder why whoopie pie is called whoopie pie as I do. In order to satisfy our curiosity, the story of whoopee pies originated in Pennsylvania as an amish tradition. In early days around 1920s, Amish women used to bake these soft cookie sandwiches with a creamy frosting in the middle and put them in their husbands’ lunch boxes who worked in agricultural labour. Imagine a farmer making his lunch break after hours of heavy work and finding one of these sweet sandwiches as a dessert in his lunch box. Any guesses on how he yells at this instance? Whoopie! This is where the name of whoopie pie comes from according to food historians.

As for the recipe I adapted from Matt Lewis, co-owner of Baked bakery turned out to be a real treat however I tried a different frosting rather than the one with cream cheese and butter he gave. The one I prepared has no cream cheese in it but it has a different flavor thanks to elderberry syrup I used. You may also use alternate fillings like vanilla flavored buttercream or simply your favorite jam or some melted chocolate whipped with heavy cream. If that first bite from your whoopie pies makes you say ”whoopie!” out loud then you’re done.

Ingredients (for 16 pieces)

    For Whoopie Pie Shells

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 2 cups firmly packed dark-brown sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 cups pumpkin puree, chilled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For Elderberry Flavored Filling

  • 2 egg whites
  • 100g (3.5 oz) sugar
  • 200g (7 oz) butter at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons elderberry syrup


1. Preheat oven to 175C (350F).
2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon,and ginger; set aside.
3. In another large bowl, whisk together brown sugar and oil until well combined. Add pumpkin puree, eggs and vanilla and whisk until well combined.
4. Sprinkle flour mixture over pumpkin mixture and whisk until fully incorporated.
5. Using a small ice cream scoop with a release mechanism, drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto parchment paper placed on baking sheets, about 2.5 cm (1 inch) apart. Transfer to oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cookie comes out clean, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely on pan.
6. Make the filling: Whisk egg whites by hand in a large metal or glass bowl until they are white and foamy then add sugar. Place the bowl in a saucepan with hot water inside and whip vigorously until all of the sugar is dissolved and take it out of the hot water. Keep on whisking until the bowl cools down. Add elderberry syrup and one tablespoon of butter each time while whisking until you end up with a thick creamy texture.
7. Pipe equal amount of filling on the flat side of half of the cookies. Sandwich with remaining cookie shells, pressing down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edge of the cookies.
8. Refrigerate cookies for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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  1. #1 by Nathalie - March 5th, 2011 at 14:42

    Looks delicious!!! I want to eat these.

  2. #2 by Ozhan - April 24th, 2011 at 20:33

    Thanks a lot Nathalie, wish I had a chance to make you taste them.

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