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These apple spice whoopie pies combine apple cider, applesauce, and cinnamon with creamy spiced buttercream to make an irresistible cookie cake sandwich. Reducing the apple cider and using lots of cinnamon spice are both key to the incredible flavor.

apple spice whoopie pie

Apple cinnamon spice whoopie pies! What started as an attempt to make them taste apple cider-y turned into a cinnamon spice dream. We’ll definitely use apple cider in the recipe to add flavor, but these taste more like cinnamon spice than anything else.

And that’s a good thing. Snickerdoodles as whoopie pies!

apple cinnamon spice whoopie pies on a plate

Talk to Me About These Whoopie Pies

I will gladly do so!

Whoopie pies are little mounds of cake sandwiched together with a sweet filling. These apple spice whoopie pies are the fall version of traditional chocolate whoopie pies. Instead of a chocolate flavor and cream filling, we’ll use spiced cake with spiced buttercream filling. I actually have red velvet whoopie pies and chocolate caramel whoopie pies published on my blog, pumpkin whoopie pies in Sally’s Cookie Addiction, and traditional whoopie pies in the paperback version of Sally’s Baking Addiction.

Fun fact: Did you know that in western PA, where my MIL is from, whoopie pies are called gobs? I can’t decide which name I like better. They’re both fun!

stack of apple cinnamon spice whoopie pies

Reduce the Apple Cider… Trust Me

Today’s whoopie pies are flavored with apple cider, applesauce, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and brown sugar. All our favorite things, right? Don’t use regular apple cider, though. Instead, reduce the apple cider down on the stove. We’ll start with 2 cups of apple cider, then let it reduce down to 1/2 cup. In about 25-30 minutes, you’ll have 1/2 cup of super concentrated apple cider liquid. Without reducing, we won’t get as much flavor and you’d definitely notice a difference. While you wait, get the other ingredients ready.

To save time, you can reduce the apple cider down the day before!

2 images of reduced apple cider

apple cinnamon spice whoopie pie batter with a cookie scoop

I first saw this recipe on King Arthur Flour. I put my own spin on it by adding brown sugar, vanilla, and apple cider reduction, then played around with the leaveners as well as the dry to wet ingredients ratio until I was satisfied with the texture, flavor, and overall spread.

How to Make Apple Spice Whoopie Pies

  1. Reduce apple cider.
  2. Whisk dry ingredients.
  3. Cream butter & sugars together.
  4. Combine all ingredients.
  5. Portion the batter. Each cookie should be about 1.5 Tablespoons of batter, so I recommend using a medium cookie scoop. If desired, you can make smaller whoopie pies to yield more sandwiches. See recipe note. I love sprinkling the mounds with cinnamon sugar right before baking– lovely added flavor!
  6. Bake. The cookies take about 12-14 minutes. As the cookies cool, prepare the filling.
  7. Make the filling. I discuss that next!
  8. Assemble. Pair the cookies based on their size. Even if you use a cookie scoop, some cookies are bound to be smaller or larger than others. Sandwich cookies between the spiced buttercream.

Like banana bread and pumpkin bread, I find they’re even better on day 2 because all the flavors have settled together. The buttercream also slightly softens the apple spice cake/cookie, so it’s truly like eating an individual apple spice cake!

mounds of apple spice whoopie pie dough on baking sheet

apple spice whoopie pie cookies on baking sheet

Spiced Buttercream Filling

You need the following:

  • Butter
  • Confectioners’ Sugar
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, & Ginger
  • Apple Cider (no need to reduce)
  • Salt

Traditional whoopie pie filling includes shortening, but I wanted a buttercream filling here. Beat the ingredients together until creamy and combined. You can spread the filling onto the flat side of the cookie with a knife or you can use a piping tip. I used Wilton 1A.

2 images of spiced buttercream filling in a bowl and in a piping bag with whoopie pies

apple spice whoopie pies

These Apple Cinnamon Spice Whoopie Pies Are…

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apple cinnamon spice whoopie pies on a plate

Apple Cinnamon Spice Whoopie Pies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 13 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 18 sandwiches 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


These apple spice whoopie pies combine apple cider, applesauce, and cinnamon with creamy spiced buttercream to make an irresistible cookie cake sandwich. Reducing the apple cider and using lots of cinnamon spice are both key to the incredible flavor.


  • 2 cups (480ml) apple cider
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g; 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons (30ml) vegetable oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 3/4 cup (180g) unsweetened applesauce, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • optional: cinnamon sugar for topping (see note)

Spiced Buttercream Filling

  • 3/4 cup (170g; 1.5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 3 Tablespoons (45ml) apple cider (or milk)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt


  1. Reduce the apple cider: Stirring occasionally, boil the apple cider in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until you’re left with 1/2 cup. Start checking at 15 minutes, 20 minutes, 25 minutes, etc until you have 1/2 cup (120ml). Mine takes about 25 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before using in step 4. You can even reduce the apple cider the day ahead of time. Cover and refrigerate overnight, then bring to room temperature before using.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl. In another large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on medium-high speed until creamed, about 1 minute. Add the oil, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla extract and beat on high speed until combined, about 1-2 minutes. The mixture will look curdled as a result of the varying textures trying to combine. This is OK and it will come together when you add the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, pour in the 1/2 cup of reduced apple cider, then mix on low until completely combined. Batter will be thick and creamy.
  5. Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop mounds of batter, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart. If desired, sprinkle each with cinnamon sugar. See recipe note.
  6. Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned and the tops spring back when lightly touched. Mine usually take 13 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Make the filling as they cool.
  7. Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the confectioners’ sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, apple cider, and vanilla extract, then beat on medium speed until combined. Taste. Add a pinch of salt if desired (I always do). Add another Tablespoon of apple cider if needed to thin out or more spices if desired for extra flavor.
  8. Pair the cookies up based on their size. Spread or pipe (I used Wilton 1A piping tip) the frosting onto the flat side of one cookie and sandwich with the other. Repeat with remaining cookies. Serve.
  9. Cover leftover whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They are EXCELLENT on day 2 because the flavor intensifies overnight.


  1. Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Frosting can be made 2 days in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. The frosting will be quite thick after refrigerating, so beat it with a mixer and add another Tablespoon of apple cider or even milk if needed to thin out. You can prepare the whoopie pie cookie batter, cover it tightly, and refrigerate for up to 1 day. Let it come to room temperature, then bake as directed. You can freeze the baked and filled whoopie pies for up to 3 months. Wrap them individually with plastic wrap and place in a large freezer container. Thaw wrapped whoopie pies overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature.
  2. Apple Cider: Use apple cider, not apple juice. The apple cider is reduced down for the cookie batter in step 1. I just use regular apple cider (not reduced) for the filling, though you could reduce down extra for the filling if desired.
  3. Cinnamon Sugar Topping: I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on each mound of cookie dough before baking. This gave the whoopie pies an extra delicious punch of flavor. Mix 2 Tablespoons of granulated sugar with 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Sprinkle a little onto each mound of cookie dough before baking.
  4. Smaller Whoopie Pies: Measure 1 scant Tablespoon of batter for each cookie to yield about 28 smaller pies. Bake time is about 1 minute less.
  5. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

Keywords: apple pie, apple cider, cookies

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. Hi Sally I have a quick question for you. I’d rather use Italian meringue for these thoughts? Also, I’m thinking of adding candied ginger to
    these whoops what do you think ?
    The more recipes you post the more I bake, my hubby’s one lucky guy!

    1. Meringue would be a lovely filling for these, as would the addition of candied ginger. Let me know what you try!

  2. Hi, Sally. Medium cookie scoop – can you tell me the diameter? I have 6 different sizes of cookie scoops. Also, what diameter for the smaller cookies? I plan to make these for a social gathering in November, and I would want smaller cookies. Look really tasty on paper!

    1. Hi Janet, The scoop I link so says the medium size holds 1.5 tablespoons of dough and yields 2-3/4” diameter cookies. The small size holds 2 teaspoons of dough and yields 2” diameter cookies. I hope this helps!

      1. I saw that on the link, but I would like to know the diameter of the scoop. I will ask on Amazon. Thanks! : )

  3. Hey Sally. I’m wondering about the Apple cider – are we working with alcohol or the pulpy juice? And is there an acceptable substitute?

    1. Not hard cider– just regular apple cider (non alcoholic). You can use 1/2 cup of milk instead, if desired. Skip the reducing step.

  4. Hi Sally! I’m having a problem with my whoopie pies coming out like pancakes. I’m assuming it’s because my batter is too thin? Help! These look so delicious.


    1. Hi Lynn! If whoopie pie batter is too thin, the cookies will overspread. This batter is a nice thickness and you get a decent amount of spread, but they maintain a bit of a mound. Did you try this recipe yet?

      1. I am having the same problem. Is there a solution to making the batter thicker once mixed?

  5. Hi Sally – I am not fond of ginger. There is such a little amount in the cream filling, I can just leave it out. But in the cakes/cookies – would you suggest adding to the cinnamon at all, or leaving the cinnamon and nutmeg as is, and just omit the ginger? I can’t wait to try these next month for my social group. Fresh cider is available at all our local farm markets right now!

    1. Hi Janet! I recommend replacing the ginger with extra cinnamon. A little extra flavor doesn’t hurt, especially if you’re omitting the ground ginger.

  6. I have a new fall favorite cookie!! These are amazing to say the least. I was a little surprised we didn’t have to refrigerate these because the dough was so soft, but they turned out perfect. I had enough apple cider reduction to use in the buttercream filling and the filling was incredible. If day 2 the cookies taste even better I’m in trouble because they may not last that long. Thank you Sally for this delicious recipe!!¡

  7. I made half a batch, despite the extra effort having to make my own Apple cider and applesauce, glad I did – these tasted great, lovely flavour! I used homemade apple pie spice in place of the nutmeg. Thanks Sally for a great recipe 🙂

  8. Sally, these are AMAZING! I baked them perhaps a little too far in advance… I was wondering if you have thoughts on storing them. It’s technically Thursday right now, 1 a.m. I’m a working mom and have been up baking these for my daughter’s Fall Festival. Can they keep until Saturday, or do I need to individually freeze them per the instructions.
    I suppose if we have eat them and make another batch we won’t mind too much 🙂
    The LORD bless and keep you.

    1. Thanks so much, Deagan! Keep them refrigerated until serving on Saturday. They’ll be great because the flavor will have had a chance to settle!

  9. I made these this morning, followed the directions exactly, used all fresh ingredients, and when they came out of the oven…flat as pancakes! What could have happened?

  10. I have to say I was disappointed. They need more salt and more spice. And yes I did concentrate the cider. However I did use coconut oil instead of butter. Perhaps that was part of it, but they just turned out like a rough drop cookie instead of a smooth gob. I ended up just icing them and sprinkling them with pink salt and cinnamon. They look fine and taste okay, but they aren’t Whoopi pies.

  11. Sally, what are your thoughts – can I make these on Friday, fill them, refrigerate and serve on Sunday evening? Or is that too long of a storage time between baking and eating?

    1. Hi Janet! They’ll be just fine– for best taste, I recommend bringing to room temperature before serving.

  12. Thank you, Sally! I will be serving these on Tuesday, so I will let you know how good they were on Wednesday, LOL.

    1. Well, my meeting got cancelled because of impending bad weather. I wrapped them individually, put them in the freezer and hoping for the best when I serve them at the meeting on Friday, so they will have been frozen for about a week and a half. My hubby and I HAD to taste test them, and O.M.G. These are to DIE for. I use a very high quality Saigon, cinnamon, so there is a bit of a bite. I like it, but next time, if making these for a crowd, I will dial the cinnamon back just a bit. Thanks, Sally, for one outstanding recipe! Oh, I also used my preferred filling for whoopie pies (here in New Jersey, we call these Devil Dogs, Drake’s Cakes makes these commercially. They are long like a hotdog roll shape. Round or long, delicious. I’m sure you’ve heard of Mock Whipped Cream, where you make a roux out of milk and flour, then beat sugar, butter and crisco, add the cooled roux, and beat the heck out of it.

  13. Made these yesterday. I haven’t made whoopie pies for a long time – these were fun to make. The frosting can be a bit sweet – so I added more salt. The texture of the cakes are perfect.

  14. Currently Apple cider is not in season. Would the Apple cider packets work?? The kind found with the hot chocolate & tea aisle.

  15. Hi! I made these today and they came out delicious. My only question, how do you get the cookie cakes to come out smooth?

  16. I made these yesterday, making a few things ahead the day before. These are a bit if work but so worth it! The cake is plainer than the frosting which makes a nice combo. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Just finished and I’m already so in love with them! I’m so happy to bake a fall treat with some flavors other than pumpkin for a change. The spices come through beautifully. The cakes are light and fluffy and the buttercream might just be my new favorite. I’m so happy with how they turned out! Thank you, Sally

  18. What an amazing cookie! Loved the apple flavor of the cookie itself. Quite amazing. The fully assembled whoopie pie is delicious!

  19. Sally,
    The apple cider flavor was just overpowering for me. I expected there to be a strong apple flavor. I could only taste the apple cider VINEGAR. Way too much vinegar taste. I reduced the vinegar and the smell filled my house. Not in a good way, my husband opened windows.

    I’m really disappointed. I love your recipes. I love your black and white cookies. I make them maybe every two months or so. Delicious!!!
    This recipe just isn’t for me.

    1. Hi Robbie, You want to use the apple cider that you drink (like spiced apple juice) – do not use vinegar for this recipe.

  20. Hi sally I made the these before and my dad love them just what to do you have to use apple cider instead of apple juice because it is expensive where I am from so could I use apple juice or not

    1. Hi Casey, we wouldn’t use apple juice for this recipe, but you could use 1/2 cup of milk instead, if desired. Skip the reducing step. Here’s a recipe for homemade apple cider if you’re interested!

      1. Thank u sally I will give the homemade apple cider a try

  21. Hi
    I have boiled cider that I purchased from King Arthur, is that acceptable?
    Thanks Angel

    1. Hi Angel, I believe some readers have successfully used that in this recipe (or at least in the apple cider donuts recipe) with success. I haven’t tested it personally though.

  22. These are the first whoopie pies I have tried to make, and they came out perfect! The taste is wonderful, and I took them to a family dinner, and everyone loved them and wanted to take some home. I was originally worried about having made so many, but with everyone loving them so much, I only ended up with a couple left over. Guess I’ll have to make more. 🙂

  23. Love
    The flavor combination!!! It was a tiny bit more dry the. Expected, but I may need to oomph up how much frosting in each sandwich!

  24. Hi Sally, I would love to make these, but where I live, (Colombia, South America), I can’t find apple cider, can I use something instead or do I have to pass on these (I don’t want to pass !!!!)
    Thank you so much !!!

  25. I’ve never made whoopie pies before, this is a great recipe for fall and really fun to assemble! Thanks for another winning recipe. My house smells amazing by the way!

  26. I used an ice cream scoop instead of a cookie scoop to make larger pies, and they only needed an extra minute or so in the oven. So good, and still a perfect spread! I think my friends will be impressed when I serve them tomorrow. 🙂

  27. I need to make these as well as some of your other Whoopie pies for a bake sale and wanted to try to do it a week in advance and want to keep them as fresh as possible. Should I freeze them or just put them in the refrigerator? Will they still be moist and taste fresh if they are frozen then thawed?

    1. Hi Amanda, the whoopie pies will last in the refrigerator for up to a week, so if you are selling them at that point, we might recommend freezing them per the directions in the recipe notes so that they have more longevity after the bake sale. Hope this helps!

  28. Hi Sally, I’m looking to make these for a Friendsgiving next week. If I want to make a double batch, would you recommend just doubling the ingredients or should I make two separate batches? Thank you!

    1. Hi Lindsay, for best results, we suggest making 2 batches instead of doubling to ensure the batter is properly combined but not over-mixed. Enjoy!

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