Recipe: pumpkin whoopie pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pie Recipe

Note to self; I must, must, must stock up on pumpkin puree whilst it’s in season.

It amazes me something in cans should be “in season” but pumpkin puree is non existent in most supermarkets for ten and a half months of the year and costs a fortune on Amazon.

Libby’s is the best brand; Paula’s is too watery for baking in my experience. I get mine in Waitrose, six cans at a time whenever I see it. Pumpkin recipes are of course fun at this time of year but my greatest use for it is curry.

This recipe originally came from Let’s Make Whoopies by Sophie Grey. There must be half a dozen whoopie pie books out this year; similar to my experience with Claire Ptak’s chocolate whoopie pie recipe, my whoopie shells came out lumpy and rock-cake-like.

Tweaking the recipe, I dropped some flour, reduced the oven temperature and coaxed my batter into the shape of the whoppie tin with my fingers. Second time around was way better yielding the russet-y buns you see above. Considering I used wetter canned puree rather than the DIY version advocated, I think the original recipe would have made an even drier batter than my first one. I’ve shown my adjusted version below.

Quoting Simon Cowell on the cover of a baking book seems an odd marketing strategy, beyond being a friend of the writer he doesn’t appear to have any secret insight to whoopie pies. His presence on the cover and “about the author” feels kind of incongruous. It’s a good job I don’t need a celebrity quote on the cover of my own book otherwise I’d be limited to tenous connections with two former That’s Life presenters and a Buzzcock.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Inspired by Sophie Grey recipe with a lot of fiddling to make them not look like rock cakes.

100g plain flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of ground cloves
100g soft light brown sugar
60ml sunflower oil
100g canned pumpkin puree

You can use a whoopie pie tin but they’re not crucial. Tins give an even shape, no tin gives a good crust. You decide what you prefer.

1. Preheat the oven to 180c/gas mark 4. Sieve the flour, bicarbonate of soda, spices and sugar into a bowl.

2. In a separate dish, stir the oil into the pumpkin puree. Fold into the dry ingredients until just combined.

3. Spoon dollops into a greased tin or onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. If using a tin, lightly push the batter into a flat circle with your finger leaving the tops with a smooth surface.

4. Bake for 8-9 minutes; the surface should spring back a bit when prodded.

5. Sandwich together with marshmallow fluff or frosting. Sophie used a cream cheese frosting although I used marshmallow fluff, available in jars from places like Selfridges. Frankly it’s as awkward to buy as the pumpkin but nevermind, there’s a recipe in the book, hence my making some different whoopie pies to use up the fluff left over from last week’s photo shoots!


  1. says

    Hi Sarah, LOL, as you know I had some fun recently with whoopie pies, I do think there must be some special secret to them and they do seem like rather a lot of hard work. A tasty treat nevertheless! These look very tasty. I get my pumkin puree on Ocado – Libby’s Pumbkin Puree £2.28. I’m pretty sure it’s there all year round. x

  2. says

    I didn’t realise you could get pumpkin puree in Waitrose. I’ve seen so many recipes around using it that I’m quite tempted to experiment!

    I always struggle with whoopie pies too. The last lot I made turned out more like scones than anything else which were nice but not really what I was aiming for!

  3. says

    Now I’ve never ever thought of adding pumpkin puree to a curry but now that you have mentioned it, it seems such a logical kind of thing to do! I too will be stocking up on the cans while I see them.

  4. says

    Damn, I was at Waitrose yesterday and had no idea about pumpkin puree. Only get to go there once every few months.

    Anyway, to the business in hand, your whoopie pies look great, especially with those orange tops – I bet they tasted good too, Made my first Whoopie pies recently, but never having had them before, don’t know how typical or not they proved to be.

  5. says

    Mmmmm….pumpkin. I’m still trying to get over my aversion for canned food and I’m afraid I up until now I haven’t opened pumpkin puree. *shudder* Would fresh pumpkin mush work in this recipe or would it yield a different result?

    • Sarah, Maison Cupcake says

      The original recipe said to prepare your own so it should be fine! It might affect the flour ratio though, I dropped an oz of flour in mine – having said that, canned pumpkin is actually wetter. The batter should spread when baked.

  6. says

    I always stock up on pumpkin puree too! I don’t buy six though, only two. 😉

    p.s. I didn’t realize you had a book coming up! Can’t wait to read the details. Well done you!!