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Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling – soft and sweet and loaded with gingerbread flavor with the perfect lemon filling!
Back in the day, before blogging full time, I occasionally traveled on business from Tennessee to Portland, Maine. Whenever I planned a visit to the area, my co-workers requested that I bring back a bakery box full of authentic whoopie pies for them to share. This was life before 9-11 and flying was much easier. Those authentic whoopie pies were enormous chocolate cream filled delights and it made me very happy to deliver them fresh – door to door.
The one thing I’ve never understood about Whoopie Pies, is the name. They’re soft like cake, and sandwiched together like a cookie, and they are not at all like a pie. These treats have several names typical to different regions around the country, but I’ll always associate them with my visits to Portland, Maine, home of the world’s largest Whoopie Pie weighing in at 1,062 pounds. That’s a lot of Whoopie!
For your gingerbread craving
As much as I love chocolate, I’ve been craving gingerbread and well, it’s the holidays. I needed a bite of gingerbread and a sip of spiked egg nog so I was off to the kitchen to bake these super easy, soft, spicy and delightful Gingerbread Whoopie Pies with Lemon Cream Cheese Filling.
These are the perfect size, just about three good bites. A bit of tangy lemon zest in the filling really brightens the warm spices and molasses.
Uncomplicated to make and super easy to eat – they are the perfect holiday treat!
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Gingerbread Whoopie Pies
For the gingerbread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- ½ teaspoon ground all-spice
- ½ teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 8 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
- ¼ cup unsulphured molasses
- 3 tablespoons crystallized ginger, chopped fine
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup buttermilk
For the filling:
- 6 ounces cream cheese, cut into 6-8 pieces, room temperature
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted plus extra for garnish (measure, then sift)
- zest of 1 lemon
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate large bowl, combine the brown sugar, melted butter, molasses and crystallized ginger. Whisk until combined. Add the egg and buttermilk and continue to whisk until blended.
- Add the flour mixture and fold together using a rubber spatula. Do not over mix.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, roll the dough into a ball and place 2-inches apart on the cold baking sheet. Bake until the cookies are puffy, about 11-12 minutes. Let the cookies cool in the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
- Repeat with the remaining dough using a cold baking sheet each time.
- To prepare the filling, beat together the 6 tablespoons butter with 1 cup of powdered sugar. Once smooth and blended, add the remaining 1 cup of powdered sugar and mix until incorporated. With the mixer running on medium, add the cream cheese one piece at a time then add the vanilla and lemon zest. Pipe onto half the cookies and top with a matching size cookie, bottom side down.
- Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve.
- Refrigerate leftover cookies in an airtight container.
- Cookie recipe adapted from December/January 2016 Cook's Country Magazine
Here are a few more Gingerbread recipes you might enjoy:
- Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
- Gingerbread Cookies
- Copycat Starbucks Gingerbread
- Gingerbread Cake with Caramel Cream Cheese Buttercream