It’s the final countdown for Halloween and whether you’re looking for a festive, holiday appropriate treat or just craving a delicious pumpkin and chocolate dessert situation, these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are the perfect sweet solution. It’s a sandwich of two fluffy cake-like cookies with a soft pumpkin spiked filling. It’s basically like biting into a glorious pillow of chocolate stuffed with pumpkin fluff, a combination that only cozy autumnal cravings could inspire. These are perfectly fall, perfectly delicious, and surprisingly made healthier.These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are basically two cakey chocolate cookies sandwiching a pumpkin filling. And they are incredibly easy to make! The chocolate cookie dough whips up in a breeze and bakes up in a flash! Traditionally, Whoopie Pies have a marshmallow fluff filling. For my healthified pumpkin version of Whoopie Pies, I created two different fillings, neither of which are too similar to marshmallow, but equally as delicious that you are sure to forget about the original stuff. I wanted to avoid using powdered sugar and create a recipe for the the filling that would be simple and wholesome, but still delicious. Both fillings are spiked with a heavy hand of pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. One is made with a base of coconut cream and the other cashew butter. We liked them both so much that I give both options in the recipe below.
The left whoopie pie is filled with the cashew butter based version and the right with the coconut cream. In both options, the base is whipped with pumpkin puree, a kiss of maple, and of course, pumpkin pie spice. The cashew butter is creamier and gives the cookie a chewier feel. I love the contrast in textures between the soft cookie and the denser layer of cashew butter. Feel free to substitute the cashew butter with another thick and creamy nut/seed butter, such as sunflower seed butter or almond butter. The coconut cream version is much more creamy while also being fluffy. Of the two, the coconut cream filling is more similar to the classic marshmallow filling. That being said, the coconut cream version does take a little more forethought to prepare in that you have to chill a can of coconut cream in the fridge overnight before you can make these. Additionally, while the cashew butter version would be safe to assemble and serve later, the coconut cream version needs to be served immediately. The higher water content in the coconut cream causes the cookies to fall apart overtime. Similarly, the cashew butter cookie sandwiches can be filled and stored in the freezer for later, but unfortunately the coconut cream cannot. So, I would choose the cashew butter version because it is a little more on the convenient side, while being equally as delicious. But go with the coconut cream version if you’re looking for that creamy fluffy goodness.
What’s In These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies?
These Pumpkin Whoopie Pies are better-for-you as they are made with no refined flours, sugars, or oils. The cookies are sweetened with coconut sugar and the filling with maple sugar. While I would definitely put these in the dessert category, they contain much less sugar than a traditional recipe. These fluffy cookie sandwich concoctions are paleo-friendly, meaning they have no gluten, grain, or dairy. And these are nut-free to boot!
Here’s a brief rundown of the ingredients.
Cassava Flour & Tapioca Flour – My go-to combination of unrefined flours for gluten/grain and nut free baking! I use and love Otto’s Cassava Flour, which I have found to be cheapest on Amazon. And use Bob’s Red Mill for the tapioca flour.
Coconut Sugar – My favorite granular sweetener for healthier baking and keeping treats refined sugar free. I use and love Nutiva’s organic coconut sugar and found this to be the best pricing for excellent quality coconut sugar. The coconut sugar gives these cookies a delicious depth of flavor from the inherent caramel notes and a wonderful texture.
Cashew Butter – I use cashew butter in both the cookie dough and the cashew butter filling. The cashew butter, in concert with the avocado oil, gives these cookies are wonderfully chewy and moist texture. Both are neutral in flavor so do not overpower the cocoa powder or the flavor of the filling. Feel free to use any thick and creamy nut/seed butter wherever the recipe calls for cashew butter if you prefer. Some good options are: sunflower seed butter or almond butter. Select a nut/seed butter that has only 1 ingredient with no added sugars or oils.
Cocoa Powder – The ingredient that gives the cookies a deeply chocolatey flavor! Be sure to use unsweetened cocoa powder, not cocoa mix or cacao powder – these are both completely different from cocoa powder and will affect the outcome of the recipe greatly. I recently used the Organic Cocoa Powder from Whole Food’s 365 brand and found it to be of excellent quality at a great price. Some other great brands of cocoa powder are Equal Exchange’s Baking Cocoa or Guittard’s Cocoa Powder (which is what I used in this recipe).
Pumpkin Puree & Pumpkin Pie Spice – Arguably just as important as the chocolate, is the pumpkin! This is a great time to use up that half used pumpkin puree you have hanging out in your fridge! Be sure to buy pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling, which has added sweeteners and spices. You can easily make your own puree if you can’t find canned pumpkin near you. Just bake a pumpkin until soft and blend in a food processor until creamy. Here’s a good tutorial.
Coconut Cream – If you decide on the coconut cream version of the pumpkin filling, you will need to chill a new can in the fridge overnight. This recipe calls for only 1/2 cup of coconut cream, try to use as much of the upper white cream as possible and as little of the milk as possible. Some brand options are: Nature’s Charm Coconut Whipping Cream, Thai Kitchen Unsweetened Coconut Cream, or Thrive Market’s Coconut Cream.
While these cookies are made healthier, they are a deeply satisfying dessert that is perfect as a themed treat for your Halloween festivities or a way to indulge in the two things that made October great, pumpkin and chocolate. And I’m sure they are bound to induce some dessert-inspired fall bliss.
paleo friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free), nut-free, refined sugar free
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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Soft and pillowy chocolate cookies sandwich and fluffy pumpkin spiced filling. These can be made with either cashew butter (or other nut/seed butter) based filling or a coconut cream based filling. Either way, they are pumpkin and chocolate cookie bliss.
paleo-friendly (gluten/grain/dairy free) nut free option, refined sugar free
- 3/4 cup cassava flour (103 grams)
- 1/2 cup tapioca flour (60 grams)
- 1/2 cup cocoa powder (46 grams)
- 1 tsp baking powder (5 grams)
- 1/4 tsp salt (1 gram)
- 3/4 cup coconut sugar (117 grams)
- 1/4 cup avocado or olive oil (61 grams) or sub coconut oil, melted and cooled
- 1/4 cup cashew butter (67 grams) or other thick and creamy nut/seed butter
- 2 eggs ideally room temp
- 1 tsp vanilla (4 grams)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy milk of choice (14 grams)
Cashew Butter Pumpkin Filling Option
- 1/2 cup cashew butter (120 grams) or other single ingredient nut/seed butter of choice
- 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (60 grams) not pumpkin pie filling
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (39 grams) or sub other liquid sweetener
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (3 grams)
Pumpkin Coconut Cream Filling Option
- 1/2 cup coconut cream (115 grams) new can chilled overnight in the fridge
- 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (180 grams)
- 2 tbsp maple syrup (36 grams)
- 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
In a medium bowl add all the dry ingredients and whisk until no lumps remain and all is well combined.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, mix all the wet ingredients (except the milk) together until thick and frothy.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until just fully incorporated and no white streaks remain.
Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the milk, and blend on low until just fully mixed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl again, if necessary, to thoroughly incorporate the milk into the batter. Ensure not to overmix the batter. Place the dough in the fridge to chill for 10 minutes.
While the cookie dough chills, heat oven to 360 degrees and prepare a baking sheet by lining with a silicon baking mat or parchment paper.
Using a large cookie scoop (or spoon) to make 16 even balls of cookie dough. On the baking sheet, gently press down the ball into a flat disc around 3 inches in diameter, leaving about 1/2 inch space between each cookie. If the dough is sticky, it's helpful to use a slightly damp palm or a lightly greased spatula to easily press down each ball.
Bake the cookies in the center of the oven for 7-8 minutes. Cookies will be slightly puffed and slightly darker around the edges when done.
Remove from oven and let cool on the baking sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to let cool completely.
While the cookies cool, make the filling by combining all the filling ingredients together and whipping everything together until thick and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
Spread a thick layer of filling on the flat bottom of the cookies and top with another cookie, then enjoy!
If using coconut cream based filling, serve immediately upon assembling.
Cookies made with cashew butter filling can be stored at room temperature, in an airtight container for a day or in the freezer for longer storage!
Cashew Butter: Substitute the cashew butter with any other thick and creamy single ingredient nut/seed butter of choice. Good options are almond or sunflower seed butter.
Maple Syrup: Replace the maple syrup with any liquid sweetener you like. Some good options are honey or coconut nectar.
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