These gingerbread whoopie pies combine soft ginger molasses cookies with cool and creamy cream cheese filling. Chilling the cookie dough is an important step because the cookies will spread out and crisp up otherwise– don’t skip it.
- 2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 Tablespoons (90ml) unsulphured or dark molasses
- 1/4 cup (60ml) hot water
- 2/3 cup (130g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
Spiced Cream Cheese Filling
- 6 ounces (170g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- small pinch of each: ground ginger, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, ground cloves (see note)
- Whisk the flour, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together.
- Whisk the molasses and hot water together. Give it a minute to slightly cool down, then whisk in the sugar and oil. Finally, whisk in the egg. Pour these wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until combined– or use a mixer on medium speed. (It’s a bit too heavy for a whisk.) Dough/batter is heavy and looks a bit oily.
- Cover the dough and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Set aside.
- Spoon or scoop mounds of batter, a scant 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart.
- Bake the cookies for 13-14 minutes or until the edges appear set. 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.
- Make the filling: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the butter and beat until smooth and combined. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and spices, then beat on medium speed until combined. Taste. Add a pinch more of the spices if desired.
- 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.
- Cover leftover whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
- Make Ahead & Freezing Instructions: Filling can be made 2 days in advance, covered, and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can prepare the whoopie pie cookie batter, cover it tightly, and refrigerate for up to 2 days. No need to bring to room temperature before scooping and baking. 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.
- Doubling This Recipe: This recipe yields 24 cookies, which is 12 whoopie pies since there’s 2 cookies in 1 sandwich. If you’d like to double the recipe, double each ingredient except for the oil. Instead of 1 cup of oil, use 3/4 cup (180ml). The dough will be too greasy otherwise.
- Smaller Whoopie Pies: Measure 1 scant Tablespoon of batter for each cookie to yield about 18 smaller pies. Bake time is about 1 minute less
- Molasses: 6 Tablespoons is an easy measurement– measure 1/3 cup, then add 1 more Tablespoon. I found 1/3 cup wasn’t enough and 1/2 cup was too much. I use and recommend dark molasses. (I like Grandma’s brand. The kind I use is labeled “original” molasses.) Blackstrap molasses is extremely bitter and not ideal in this recipe.
- Spices in Filling: You only want a small pinch of each spice in the filling. I recommend half of 1/8 teaspoon, which is 1/16 teaspoon. Feel free to add only a little of each, taste after beating the filling ingredients together, then beat in more of any spice if desired. I usually go a little heavier on the cinnamon.
Keywords: gingerbread, whoopie pies, christmas cookies