Apple Cinnamon Spice Whoopie Pies

Monday, November 4, 2019

In October, my mom was up for a visit and we went apple picking which was a blast.  Neither of us had ever done it before and we really had the best time.  We also stopped at a cider mill that has been operating since 1881 and had delicious frozen apple cider and apple cider donuts.

This past weekend I was looking back at photos from her visit and it made me want to make something using cider and fall spices.  I thought that whoopie pies would be perfect as they are very similar to an apple cider donut in texture, which is a New England fall staple but has the addition of yummy buttercream frosting.  I mean how could you go wrong with that!?

These apple cinnamon spice whoopie pies are soft and cake-like, spiced perfectly and are pretty simple to make.  Give this recipe a try and 1. your whole house will smell AMAZING during the baking process and 2. you will end up with a fantastic fall dessert that is great to share with friends and family!

Apple Cinnamon Spice Whoopie Pies
{Yield: 18 sandwiches}

Whoopie Pie Batter:
2 cups apple cider
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. Kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup packed light brown sugar
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
¾ cup unsweetened applesauce
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ tsp. ground cinnamon

Spiced Buttercream Filling:
¾ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 cups confectioners' sugar
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp. ground ginger
3 tbsp. apple cider
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of Kosher salt

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, boil the 2 cups of apple cider until you are left with a ½ cup.  This process will take about 25 minutes; mine took around 23 minutes.  Start checking on the cider about 15 minutes in and stir occasionally.  Once reduced, allow to cool for 10 minutes.  During this time, make the cinnamon sugar mixture in a small bowl for the top of the whoopie pies and set aside.

Preheat the over to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper or use silicone baking mats and set aside.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and salt together in a large bowl.  Use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment to 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.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine all ingredients.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, pour in the ½ cup of reduced apple cider, then mix on low until completely combined.  The batter will be thick and creamy.

Using a medium cookie scoop, scoop mounds of batter (about 1½ tablespoons each) onto the prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart.  Then sprinkle on the cinnamon sugar on top of the batter.  Bake the cookies for 11-13 minutes or until the edges are very lightly browned and the tops spring back when gently touched.  Mine took about 12 minutes.

Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the spiced filling, use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat the butter on high speed until 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 the filling and add a pinch of salt if desired or any more of the spices to your taste.

Pair the cookies up based on their size and pipe (I used a piping bag and a Wilton 1A tip) or spread the frosting onto the flat side of one cookie and sandwich it with the other.  Repeat with the remaining cookies.  Cover the leftover whoopie pies and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.  They are AWESOME on day 2 because the flavor really develops overnight.  Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction.
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