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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Masala Chai Buttercream

Yield: 16 whoopie pies
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 15 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
These pumpkin whoopie pies are one of my all-time favorite autumn desserts! They have soft, pillowy pumpkin cookies and spiced chai-inspired buttercream for a decadent fall treat. Serve them at parties, holidays, or just for a quick weekend bake!

Ingredients

Pumpkin Cookies

  • 2 c all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice*
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 c neutral oil
  • 1 c dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/4 c canned pumpkin (not pie filling!)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Masala Chai Buttercream

  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 c powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/4 c milk, plus more as-needed
  • 2 tsp loose-leaf Assam tea (or other strong black tea)
  • 1/2 tsp ginger, ground
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom, ground
  • 1/4 tsp cloves, ground
  • Pinch finely ground black pepper

Equipment

  • #40 cookie scoop (2 Tablespoons), optional

Instructions 

Pumpkin Cookies

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. Set aside. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the neutral oil, dark brown sugar, pumpkin, eggs, and vanilla. Add half of the flour, and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour.
  • Using a #40 scoop, spoon two-tablespoon mounds two inches apart on the prepared baking sheets. You should have about 32 cookies total. Bake, checking for doneness at ten minutes, or until the tops spring back when touched. Mine were consistently perfect at eleven minutes.
  • Let the cookies cool for a few minutes on the sheet pan and then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

Masala Chai Buttercream

  • While the cookies are baking, heat the milk and loose-leaf tea in a saucepan over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer. Allow it to gently simmer for about 1 minute and then remove the mixture from the heat. Steep for 5 minutes. Then, strain the tea leaves out of the milk, pressing the leaves with a wooden spoon to release all of the milk. Let it cool completely.
  • Meanwhile, beat the butter, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, and black pepper until the frosting comes together, about 3 minutes.** Add the milk tea to the frosting. Beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes.

Assembly

  • Place half of the cookies bottom-side up on a sheet pan or plate. Using a piping bag, pipe the Masala chai buttercream onto the bottoms of the cookies.*** Place the other half of the cookies on top of the frosted ones, gently sandwiching them together. Enjoy immediately or store the whoopie pies in a single layer in an parchment-lined airtight container for 2-3 days.****

Notes

*If you don't have pumpkin pie spice, you can use more cinnamon or a mix of other warm spices like ginger, cardamom, cloves, and/or nutmeg.
**If the buttercream is too runny, add more powdered sugar two tablespoons at a time, until it is your desired consistency. If the buttercream is too thin, add milk 1 Tablespoon at a time.
***If you don't have a piping bag and tip, you can just cut the corner off a zipper bag and use it as a piping bag. Or, spread the frosting on the cookies with a butter knife.
****I store these at room-temperature on the counter. Storing them in the fridge can dry out the cookies.
Cuisine: American
Course: Cookies
Serving: 1cookie, Calories: 248kcal, Carbohydrates: 33.8g, Protein: 2.4g, Fat: 11.9g, Saturated Fat: 4.7g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 186mg, Potassium: 102mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 21.7g, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 1mg
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