Mini Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Icing and Salted Caramel
These pumpkin whoopie pies are a perfect pumpkin spice season treat. The cakes are moist, the icing is light, and there's a bonus salted caramel layer.
Course Dessert, Snack
Keyword Baking, Cake, Caramel, Pumpkin
1 tspbaking soda
1cup granulated white sugar
Cream Cheese Icing
8ozblock cream cheese (not whipped!)softened
Salted Caramel Sauce
1cupgranulated white sugar
1tbsplight corn syrup
6tbspunsalted buttercut into 6 pieces
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Prepare two baking sheets by lining with parchment paper or lightly greasing. I prefer to use parchment.
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars together until very light and fluffy. I usually let this go for 7-10 minutes at medium-high speed. Add the eggs one at a time until each is incorporated into the mixture. Add the pumpkin and vanilla. The pumpkin makes the mixture look curdled. It’s not. It’s fine. Really.
Mix in the flour mixture on low speed until most of the flour is incorporated. Then finish mixing by hand until all of the flour is incorporated (this is so that you don’t over work the flour.)
Using a tablespoon or small disher (my preference), drop batter onto prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. You should get 72 cakes (I had to bake in two batches.) Bake the cakes for 10-13 minutes — until the cakes are dry on the top and bounce back when you lightly touch them. When you pull them from the oven, let them sit for a few minutes and then move them to wire cooling racks. Let the cakes cool completely before filling.
Cream Cheese Icing
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar until thoroughly combined — will be a smooth, creamy consistency. Add the Fluff and mix until combined, glossy, and fluffy.
Salted Caramel Sauce
In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, water, and corn syrup. Heat over medium-high heat. When the mixture starts to boil, reduce the temperature to medium heat. Do not stir at this point. Watch the pot until the sugar starts to turn light brown.
At this point, the caramel should be very close to done and you should keep all eyes on your caramel sauce. Once the mixture reaches a dark, caramel color, turn the heat off. Add the cream and stir well with a silicone spatula — be careful as the cream will bubble up.
Once the cream is incorporated, add the butter, vanilla, and salt. Mix until the butter is melted and combined. Move to a jar to cool. The caramel sauce will thicken as it cools and you want it to get thick, but spreadable before putting together the whoopie pies.
Building the Whoopie Pies
Once the cakes are cooled and caramel is thick but spreadable, it’s time to make the whoopie pies. Use a small disher (my choice) or tablespoon to scoop icing on one cake. Use a small spoon to spread about a teaspoon of caramel on another cake. Sandwich the two together, and you have your first pie. Do this 35 more times!
Store these in the fridge until ready to serve (take them out half an hour before you serve so the cake can warm up — cold cake is the worst.)
This caramel recipe makes more than you really need for the whoopie pies, but there are worse things than having half of a jar of salted caramel sauce in your fridge. I won't tell if you eat it straight from the jar with a spoon!
Working with sugar like this for the caramel sauce can be scary, so no judgement if you use a jarred caramel sauce. But if you are brave (though haven't worked with caramel before), take a look at this video before you start.
Generally, I really like using a small disher to portion batter and icing. The disher makes it easy to get perfect portions and the spring element helps release ingredients easily.