Mega soft and chewy Whoopie Pies made festive with gingerbread!
This Whoopie Pie recipe takes two tender cake-like gingerbread cookies and sandwiches them with with luscious cream cheese frosting to create your new favorite way to devour gingerbread! And bonus, you get two Christmas cookies in one! Make ahead and freezer instructions included!
Can you guys believe Christmas is SO soon?! I had a gazillion holiday recipe ideas to share with you but there just isn’t enough time so I am only sharing the best of the best like these epic Gingerbread Whoopie Pies that are sure to fill your hearts and bellies with holiday cheer!
I don’t make a lot of cookies, so if I’m going to make them, they have to be worth my time. And these Gingerbread Whoopie Pies are SO worth my/your time! This whoopie pie recipe is adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Magazine Christmas Cookies Issue and as I was flipping through, these immediately caught my eye because a) gingerbread, b) cream cheese filling, c) whoopie pies!!!
I love whoopie pies. It’s like two reverse frosted cake-like cookies back to back so you get two cookies in one with just the right amount of filling oozing with each bite….but…….that would only be a good thing if you loved the cookies, so let me assure you – you will love these cookies.
WHY WHOOPIE PIES ARE THE BEST:
- Festive and delicious
- MEGA soft and chewy
- That cream cheese filling!
- Double the cookie!
- Perfect for a holiday party or family dinner
- Make ahead friendly
What are Whoopie Pies?
I took the concept for this whoopie pie recipe from traditional whoopie pies that are made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake (a cross between cake batter and cookie dough) with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them. Traditional filling used to always be a form of sweet marshmallow cream but it has evolved to include buttercream as well.
Whoopie Pies Recipe
This Gingerbread Whoopie Pie recipe also begins with two round mound shaped cake-like cookies but instead of chocolate, they are gingerbread, and instead of marshmallow filling, we have cream cheese butter cream.
The resulting Whoopie Pies are some of the softest cookies I have ever sunken my teeth into and the cinnamon, ground ginger, crystallized ginger, nutmeg, and cloves add a festive complexity of flavor that compliments the silky sweet cream cheese filling. They will make you merry – for days.
Why do they Call it a Whoopie Pie?
I love this story! Whoopie Pies originated in New England as a Pennsylvania Amish tradition. They were often made with leftover cake batter so they were considered a special treat. According to Amish legend, children would exclaim, “whoopie!” when they discovered the pies in their lunch bags.
What is Whoopie Pie Filling Made of?
This Whoopie Pie filling skips the marshmallow fluff and instead uses more of a frosting-like filling reminiscent of frosting gingerbread. The Cream Cheese filling is a buttery blend of sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla for a luscious, silky filling that will have you licking the beaters.
You can pipe the filling onto half the cookies or you can simply drop it by the tablespoon and then top with the remaining cookies for adorably petite, zesty Gingerbread Whoopie Pies bursting with molasses, cinnamon and spices. Bursting with holiday cheer!
HOW TO MAKE Whoopie Pie Recipe
Making the Batter
- Don’t skip the crystallized Ginger. This Whoopie Pie recipe calls for crystallized ginger. You do NOT want to skip this! I made two batches of Gingerbread Whoopie Pies – one without crystallized ginger and upping the ground ginger and one with the crystallized ginger. The batch with just ginger powder tasted flat and bland while the batch with crystallized ginger boasted a sweet bite that complimented the sweetness of the filling. In short, adding crystallized ginger is the only way for these cookies to live up to their name “Gingerbread!”
- DIY Buttermilk. Don’t have buttermilk? No problem, you can still make these Whoopie Pies! Simply add one teaspoon lemon juice or vinegar to a measuring cup then add enough milk to equal 1/4 cup and give it a stir. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes. When it curdles on top, you know it’s ready to use.
- Refrigerate dough. I know refrigerating dough can be a pain because we all want whoopie pies NOW, but you will need to refrigerator the dough for at least 1 hour up to 24 hours. This will not only develop the festive flavors but will prevent your dough from spreading out too much when it bakes, maintaining that “mound” shape we know and love.
Baking the Whoopie Pies
- Line baking sheets. You will need to line your baking pans with either parchment paper or nonstick mats. I don’t recommend foil with cooking spray because this will make your dough spread out too much.
- Don’t overbake pies. Bake pies just until puffed and just set, 11-13 minutes. The pies will continue to cook as they cool, so it is important not to over bake them for the SOFTEST whoopie pies around. Better to underbake than overbake in my opinion.
Making the Filling
- Use paddle attachment. If you have the paddle attachment for your mixer, this is optional for the the fluffiest frosting. Make sure you beat your butter and sugar for a full two minutes so the frosting will whip in tons of air and become super fluffy.
- Refrigerate frosting to thicken. If your filling is very soft, then refrigerate it for 15 minutes before filling cookies (I didn’t have to do this). This can often result when butter or cream cheese that is too soft to begin with. Take care to NEVER microwave your butter for frosting or it can easily become too soft.
Filling Whoopie Pies
- Assemble. Spoon or pipe 1 tablespoon frosting evenly onto bottoms (flat sides) of 24 cookies. Top with remaining 24 cookies, bottom sides down. Dust with powdered sugar.
Can I Make Whoopie Pies Ahead of Time?
Yes! You can prepare the batter, cover it tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to three days. You can also make the cookies a day ahead of filling and keep in an airtight container until ready to fill. Lastly, you can also freeze the whoopie pies (instructions below).
HOW DO I STORE WHOOPIE PIES?
Store Whoopie Pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving. I like to microwave mine for 10 seconds or so.
CAN WHOOPIE PIES BE FROZEN?
Yes! You can either freeze the whoopie pie battere the baked whoopie pies or the assembled whoopie pies. Here’s how to freeze all three options:
HOW TO FREEZE WHOOPIE PIE DOUGH:
- Roll balls per instructions and fit as many as you can on a parchment/nonstick lined baking sheet without touching.
- Place the baking sheet in the freezer and freeze the balls until outsides are hard (about 1-2 hours).
- Transfer to a freezer size plastic bag and freeze.
- Dough should freeze well for up to 3 months.
- To BAKE: Place frozen cookie dough balls on a lined baking sheet and bake according to instructions, adding a couple extra minutes to cook time.
HOW TO FREEZE BAKED WHOOPIE PIES WITHOUT FILLING
- Fit as many COOLED baked whoopie pies on a parchment/nonstick mat lined baking sheet without touching.
- Place the baking sheet(s) in the freezer and freeze until solid (about 1 hour).
- Transfer to a freezer size plastic bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
- When ready to use, let whoopie pies defrost on the counter before filling.
HOW TO FREEZE ASSEMBLED WHOOPIE PIES
- Fit as many whoopie pies on a parchment/nonstick mat lined baking sheet without touching.
- Place the baking sheet(s) in the freezer and freeze until solid (about 1 hour).
- You can now freeze individual whoopie pies by placing them each in individual sandwich bags, OR to freeze a batch of pies:
- Top frozen whoopie pies on baking sheet with a layer of parchment paper and layer with another layer of frozen pies (that you have frozen on a separate sheet). Continue to layer and stack as needed.
- Wrap entire baking sheet securely in layers of plastic wrap.
- To THAW TRAY: Take baking sheet out of refrigerator and unwrap so that the condensation doesn’t form and make the whoopie pies soggy. Let sit at room temperature for several hours.
- TO THAW INDIVIDUAL WHOOPIE PIES: Take whoopie pie out of the sandwich bag and let sit at room temperature overnight OR if you’re in a hurry, warm whoopie pie in the microwave at 10 second intervals until defrosted.
Looking for more Cookie Recipes?
- Nutella Cookies
- Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal Cookies
- S’more Cookies
- Turtle Cookies
- Carrot Cake Cake Cookies
- Caramel Brown Sugar Cookies
- Pumpkin Cookies
- Little Debbie’s Oatmeal Cookies
- Peanut Butter Cookies
Want to try this Whoopie Pie Recipe?
Pin it to your CHRISTMAS, HOLIDAY, COOKIE or DESSERT Board to SAVE for later!
Find me on Pinterest for more great recipes! I am always pinning :)!
©Carlsbad Cravings by CarlsbadCravings.com
©Recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Magazine: Christmas Cookies, Gingerbread Whoopie Pies, pg. 55
Never miss a Carlsbad Cravings Creation:
You might also like these dessert recipes: