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Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Grain Free, Gluten Free)

by Deliciously Organic on September 18, 2012

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #grainfree
I’ve read many on the web talking about their frustration with people making treats out of unprocessed ingredients. I sort of see their point. If you’re going to eat unprocessed, then it’s always the best option to eliminate sweets out of your diet, but how many of us really want to foods only as they were originally grown? These conversations I’ve read mainly focus on the Paleo diet, but I think the topic extends to other eating ideals. I personally don’t see a problem with taking whole foods and combining them in such a way as to make a cake, muffins, or cookies for the occasional treat. I like to provide these kinds of recipes, because I think many know how to grill a piece of chicken or put together a salad, but many times when we want a treat, we either revert back to our old ways, or try a “healthy” treat that doesn’t taste quite like we are used to. What do you think? Does this bother you, or do you like to kick your heels back and have a cookie sometimes?

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies via DeliciouslyOrganic.net #grainfree

So, while we’re on the topic of adapting recipes to grain free, there are many recipes in my repertoire that have needed a grain free adaptation. For the first three years of this blog, the baking recipes I featured utilized grains, so I’m slowly going through many fall favorites and adapting them to grain free. This way you can choose which version you’d like to try.

We are only a few days until the official start of fall, so I’m going to open the doors and start talking pumpkin. Pumpkin bread, pumpkin whoopie pies, and pumpkin spice coffee creamer are a few of my favorites. These whoopie pies make for a great spongy cookie on their own – the cookies almost taste a bit like muffin tops. Two spiced cookies are paired together with whipped butter, cream cheese and maple syrup to sweeten. They are quite the treat.

As time has gone on, and I’ve slowly removed sugars from my diet, I’ve found I am very sensitive to anything sweet on the palate. I only used 1/4 cup honey and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in the entire recipe, but if you find it’s not sweet enough, you can add a bit more to your taste. For the batter, you can add a bit more honey, mix it in and taste again to see if it’s to your liking. Same goes for the whipped filling.

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Primal)

Serving Size: Makes 9 pies

Pumpkin Whoopie Pies (Grain Free, Gluten Free, Primal)

If you're looking for a diary free/Paleo filling for these pies, check out Elana’s Pantry or Paleo Spirit. To keep with the flavors of the pies, I would still use maple syrup as the sweetener.


    For the Cookies:

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (or 6 tablespoons coconut oil)

  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup (I prefer a light honey such as clover)

  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

  • 3/4 cup pure pumpkin puree

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice blend

  • 1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
  • For the Filling:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350°F and adjust rack to middle position. Whisk together melted butter, honey, eggs, pumpkin puree, and vanilla. In a separate bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, and sea salt. Pour flour mixture into wet mixture and whisk until just mixed.

Using a 2-inch ice cream scoop, drop 18 mounds this will only make 9 pies, since you need 2 mounds per pie batter onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake 12 minutes, until springy to the touch. Cool completely. Repeat with remaining batter.

Whisk together the butter, cream cheese, maple syrup and vanilla until fluffy (if it’s not sweet enough for your taste, simply add a bit more maple syrup). Spread the flat side of 8 cakes with the cream cheese frosting and top with another cake.

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{ 71 comments… read them below or add one }

JP September 18, 2012 at 11:11 am

I love the idea of having treats (OK, I NEED treats) as well as going grain free. My issue is an allergy one – no tree nuts and no coconut. This lack of treats/desserts/comfy food (whatever you want to call it) is probably the main reason I have not gone grain free. I’d love to see a grain free dessert that is also nut free.


Deliciously Organic September 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

If you’re allergic to nuts and coconut, then I can see how going grain free can be challenging. Puddings, custards and homemade ice creams are a fun alternative. Are you familiar with the book “Perfect Scoop” by David Lebovitz? He has some of the most amazing ice cream recipes! I always substitute either honey or maple syrup when he calls for sugar and they’ve all turned out perfectly


Melissa B. September 18, 2012 at 11:24 am

I am good to sit back and have a cookie. Honestly, my personal opinion (for us – I don’t care much what other people do!) is that God gave us the materials and intelligence to mix things up and create new foods…so as long as the cookies, cakes, etc. are made from whole foods, I don’t have a problem with them. It’s when foods are processed beyond recognition (or artificially created) that I generally start taking issue.

ANYWAY. These look delicious. I love a good whoopie pie! :) And you’ve set a challenge before me. I honestly do not believe that I can ever stop having sugar cravings. Although I don’t eat a lot of sweets, when I DO, they need to be super sweet for me. It’s frustrating because I know it’s not healthy to keep adding extra honey or maple syrup to things if they’re not sweet enough. :) Of course, 15 years ago, I was addicted to Coke (as in Coca-Cola) and the summer after my senior year in highschool, I decided to see if I could go for a month without drinking it. It was HARD, but what I found is that my cravings went away and so I went for another month. At the end of that month, I decided to have a coke and was surprised to find that it was disgusting to me – I couldn’t even stand the smell and haven’t had even ONE coke since then.

Interesting. So do you think that the same thing could happen to my “regular” sweet cravings? I’m *mostly* grain-free (back on track for a week now, after a loooong binge) and am trying to decide if I would need to quit sweets cold turkey or if I could just teach myself to get used to less sweet things.

So sorry that I hijacked your post! :)


Deliciously Organic September 18, 2012 at 2:26 pm

Thank you for your comments! That’s fantastic that you were able to give up Coke. I’ve heard that’s a very hard habit to break. Years ago I had a terrible sweet tooth and continued to cut back very slowly. As long as I was getting the proper amount of fat in my diet, the cravings weren’t too bad, but they never went away until I cut out grains. As soon as I gave them up the sweet cravings went away (almost completely). I used to “need” something sweet after every meal and now it doesn’t even cross my mind. I saw the transition happen with my kids too. They have also been grain free (it’s helped them clear up a few minor health issues such as occasional indigestion, etc.) and recently there have been times when they told me I put too much sweetener in something when I barely used any at all! I’m always an advocate for small, slow changes.


Suzanne Gest September 18, 2012 at 12:12 pm

YAY can’t wait to try!!!!


Amber September 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Woah Nellie! These look amazing! I like the idea of a grain-free whoopie pie. A cookie made with almond flour?! Yes, please!


Deliciously Organic September 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks Amber.


Jolene September 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm

This looks delicious! I love the idea of grain free versions of cookies/treats. Like you said, we all know how to grill a piece of chicken, but it’s the little treats and extras that keep this way of eating interesting and sustainable.


Rhonda P September 18, 2012 at 1:23 pm

Treats? Why, yes, I’ll have one! For me, the occasional treat most certainly has its place in my life especially when it is one of your recipes. So, please keep sharing recipes just like this one!


Deliciously Organic September 18, 2012 at 2:30 pm

I’ll keep them coming! :)


chandler September 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Just made these. Amazing!!! I was soo happy when I saw this recipe I immediately had to make them;)


Deliciously Organic September 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I’m so glad you enjoyed them!


Tonya September 18, 2012 at 2:25 pm

I feel you should do what works for you. For me and the people around me, it is best if I have treats. I try my best to make them healthy treats. These look great!!


Katherine September 18, 2012 at 2:45 pm

There are a lot of Paleo Purists out there. I take what they have to say with a grain of salt. I’m glad it is working for them and their lifestyle, but there are times I want a bit of a treat either for a birthday, anniversary or social celebration. In order to do that I have to figure out what I can take that I can eat. And these Pumpkin Whoopie Pies look perfect! It’s all about balance.


Deliciously Organic September 19, 2012 at 8:44 am

I’m with you. It’s all about balance!


Diane September 18, 2012 at 6:30 pm

Do you have the proportions for a homemade pumpkin pie spice blend? Also, can you use all almond flour in this or will it be too heavy? Coconut flour is so expensive.


Deliciously Organic September 19, 2012 at 8:42 am

I used a bit of coconut flour to bind the cookies together, otherwise they will be too soft and won’t hold together very well. I usually buy my coconut flour via Amazon or AzureStandard.com where the prices are much lower than the local health food store. Fortunately, you only need a little at a time, so a bag of coconut flour will last quite a long time. Here is a link for a great homemade pumpkin spice blend: http://www.mybakingaddiction.com/pumpkin-pie-spice-recipe/


Sara September 19, 2012 at 7:24 am

I’ve recently started following your blog and love it! This recipe looks great, perfect for the holidays. Thank you for sharing! Can you tell me what’s in the Pumpkin Spice Blend? The link seems to be broken. Also, for the pumpkin puree, do you use a fresh whole pumpkin and roast it or canned pumpkin? Thanks so much!


Deliciously Organic September 19, 2012 at 8:39 am

Thank you for the kind words. :) You can use either fresh whole pumpkin that has been roasted and pureed or canned pureed pumpkin. The pumpkin spice blend is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice. I used the pumpkin spice blend from Mountain Rose Herbs: http://www.mountainroseherbs.com/epicurean/seasoning.php


marla September 19, 2012 at 9:53 am

Tis the season for as much pumpkin as I can get my hands on. Love it Carrie!


i should be full September 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I am of two minds on this. The first is that for my kids, I want to make sure that they get the chance to feel “normal” about food and denying them sweets, especially my son who has to be gluten free because of an allergy, isn’t fair. For them I bake with as much unprocessed ingredients as possible and your blog is a go-to source for me.

But, for me, I have an eating disorder and a cookie is a cookie is a cookie and I just can’t eat them, no matter what they are made from. I used to try to convince myself that if I ate the whole food unprocessed version that it would be ok becuase it was “healthier”. But I’ve come to realize recently that for me it must be binary: I can’t handle the sweets without it causing me emotional harm. Therefore, no sweets for me at all.


Deliciously Organic September 20, 2012 at 9:48 am

I appreciate your reply. I applaud you for knowing your boundaries and not eating a cookie if you know it wouldn’t be the right choice.


Kristina September 19, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Hi! I just found your site while searching for homemade coffee creamer recipes. :)

On a whim yesterday while at Trader Joe’s I grabbed a bag of almond meal with no idea what I would do with it. This recipe is perfectly timed! On the back of the bag it says I can substitute it for half of the flour in a recipe, so I’m guessing almond meal and almond flour are the same thing (or close enough)?

Can I use regular or whole wheat flour in place of coconut flour?


Deliciously Organic September 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

Almond flour is generally made from almonds without the skins. Almond meal is simply ground almonds. They can be used interchangeably, but sometimes the almond meal will lend a heartier texture. I haven’t tested this recipe with ww flour or white flour, so I can’t say how it would work in this recipe.


Sarah September 20, 2012 at 9:46 am

I LOVE your recipes!!! I seriously don’t know why so many people feel the need to tell other people how they should be eating. I just recently had a conversation with someone who tried to tell me that by using alternative sweeteners and grain substitutes, I was trying to “get away with” something and I would be better off either eating actual sugar and grain or else going Paleo (like him). He was actually wrong on all counts. I just really enjoy challenging myself to learn how to put recipes together in unconventional ways. Challenging myself to try to make grain-free sweets or use different foods for sweeteners is just a fun and interesting challenge that forces me to learn about new foods and their properties and place in a recipe. It doesn’t have anything to do with anything else. I’m not trying to loose weight or be healthier or save the planet or achive some ideal, pristine dietary regimine. It’s a HOBBY that I just happen to ENJOY. So, please, keep up with the awesome, creative recipes. :-)


Amy G. September 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

I actually have a healthy, unprocessed sweet treat each night, so please keep your wonderful recipes coming our way!


Kentucky Lady 717 September 20, 2012 at 3:17 pm

These look so yummy……can you purchase the almond flour and the coconut flour in smaller bags, like a 2 lb , and what is the best way to store it ? Haven’t been able to give up my white flour yet…..but working on it…..did switch to coconut oil and I love it…..


Deliciously Organic September 20, 2012 at 5:47 pm

You can buy smaller bags of almond and coconut flours at most local health food stores, but it will probably be more expensive than buying in a larger quantity. Tropical Traditions has great prices and sales on their coconut flour, and Honeyville or Trader Joes are good options for almond flour. I’m glad to hear you switched to coconut oil! It’s all about making small changes!


Mindy September 20, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Looks great! What is the sub for coconut flour? Never heard of it and don’t have any on hand. Thanks!


Deliciously Organic September 20, 2012 at 5:44 pm

I don’t have a substitution for the coconut flour, but if grains aren’t an issue you can try this version: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/pumpkin-whoopie-pies-with-maple-cream-cheese-frosting/#s.abyvmbinibaaa


Wendy Hoff September 20, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Hi, Can I just use regular white whole wheat flour instead of the almond and coconut flour since we aren’t grain free? Thanks!


Deliciously Organic September 21, 2012 at 8:46 am

I haven’t tested that combination, so I don’t know how it would turn out. But, you can try this whole wheat variation that I posted last year: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/pumpkin-whoopie-pies-with-maple-cream-cheese-frosting/#s.abzciqryybiaa


the urban baker September 21, 2012 at 8:28 am

those are so gorgeous, Carrie. I originally saw them on your facebook page and so wanted to eat them right off of my computer.


Deliciously Organic September 21, 2012 at 8:44 am

Thanks, Susan. :)


Ana September 22, 2012 at 11:36 am

Hi! I was wondering where you find pure pumpkin purée? Or is that something that’s made at home?


Deliciously Organic September 23, 2012 at 8:23 am

You can either buy pure pureed pumpkin in the can at the grocery store, or buy a pumpkin, roast it and puree.


Sylvie @ Gourmande in the Kitchen September 22, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I’m with you Carrie, I see nothing wrong with kicking up my heels and enjoying a few treats that are made with ingredients that won’t make me feel afterwards. A little variety keeps things interesting.


MikeVFMK September 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

Ooh. Give me some of that whoopie pie goodness. Love these little special treats and the fact that autumn is upon us means this will end up on my table. The more pumpkin the better. And grain free? Better still.


Sandra September 24, 2012 at 11:38 am

I”m so excited about this recipe! I have made your original version for awhile now and love them (me and everyone that has ever eaten one). I think I’m going to make both this year and see what people have to say. I wonder if they will know the difference or have a preference? Thanks for the great recipes!


Becky September 24, 2012 at 12:40 pm

They look so yummy! I have to avoid eggs, almonds, corn, all sugar {stevia ok}, rice {and flour}, so can I sub flax for the eggs and maple syrup, and what would you suggest for the flour? Im pretty limited here. :(
Thanks for any helpful suggestions you may have :)


Deliciously Organic September 25, 2012 at 10:04 am

Here’s my best guess: I would use this recipe: http://deliciouslyorganic.net/pumpkin-whoopie-pies-with-maple-cream-cheese-frosting/ and use the flax for the eggs, omit the sweetener and use 1/4 cup maple syrup, omit the butter and use coconut oil, omit the flours and use this combination: 1 cup sorghum flour, 1/2 cup arrowroot flour, and 1/2 cup oat flour (make sure it’s gf), and then add 1 teaspoon of unflavored gelatin (a good, unprocessed kind such as Bernard Jensen). The gelatin will hold the cookie together w/o it, the batter will most likely spread all over the pan. For the filling I’d use some coconut butter mixed with a little maple syrup. I hope that helps! :)


Becky September 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm

Please forgive me, and dairy! UGH!


Jaime {sophistimom} September 28, 2012 at 7:57 am

I totally agree with you, Carrie. Grilling a piece of chicken is self explanatory, but it’s nice to have someone like you who makes healthy recipes. I have to confess, I have often gone to the checkout aisle of a natural foods store with all “junk food” because even though it’s processed, I know all the ingredients are natural, and I would prefer giving those things to my kids than things like Fruit-by-the-Foot.

And yes, I like a cookie every now and then. Probably more often than that, actually.


Jennifer October 5, 2012 at 1:07 pm

How far ahead can you make these? Just wondering if I could make them in the morning and eat them in the evening. Do they keep?


Deliciously Organic October 5, 2012 at 1:49 pm

Yes, you can make them in the morning and then serve them later in the day. Also, you can make the cookies a day a head of time and then assemble them with the filling before serving.


Cara October 8, 2012 at 5:08 pm

These sound absolutely delicious. And I’m willing to bet even better than the “original” with thanks to almond flour.


Laurie October 9, 2012 at 10:01 am

I made these this past weekend! When you made them, did you taste the salt? For some reason, mine tasted more salty than sweet to me. The only thing I did differently was I doubled the recipe and used almond meal flour instead of almond flour. I wanted to check to see if yours tasted salty. Maybe my taste buds are really sensitive right now! I was thinking the next time I make them, I’d like to add more honey and less salt. Everyone else that ate them loves them!


Deliciously Organic October 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I didn’t taste the salt, but it also depends on what kind of salt you are using. I always use Celtic sea salt – an unprocessed salt that tastes less “salty” than other processed brands. If you’re using a different salt, I’d cut back on it a bit the next time you make them. I’m glad you enjoyed them!


Kate October 10, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I’ve been wheat free since July and grain-free since August. I’m not a Paleo purist by any stretch, I still eat beans and legumes, but I find I feel better when I don’t eat grains. These pies look great! I love anything pumpkin and especially liked that pumpkin shake recipe you posted today. Thanks for a great blog.


amyh2o October 10, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hi Carrie! I made this recipe the other day and it is DE-LISH! The only issue I had was that the next day my cookie turned pretty moist/dense, enough to where they fall apart pretty easily. I cooked them for the suggested time though, perhaps my oven is different and I just need to bake longer next time? Thanks for any feedback!


Deliciously Organic October 12, 2012 at 9:07 am

I’m glad you enjoyed them! Was there a lot of humidity in your area when you made them? That’s the only reason I can think that they would be so soft on the second day. You could add 1 tablespoon extra coconut flour next time to help them be more firm.


Amy October 13, 2012 at 5:42 am

I live in the Midwest where it’s been quite dry all year. However, I did some research and it seems others that have used Bob’s Red Mill almond flour have experience the same outcome with their baked goods as well. I’ll be eager to try a different brand to see the difference. Thanks for the follow up!


Deliciously Organic October 14, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Very interesting. Thanks for the info!


Alethea Rollins October 19, 2012 at 9:23 pm

Loved these. But I’m not grain free so I used sprouted wheat. Very tasty and kid approved, with and w/o the filling. I did add more maple syrup to the filling. These were great with a tall glass of raw milk 😉


Robert Chesshir November 1, 2012 at 6:41 am

These were an awesome treat. I track everything that I eat down to the nutrient level (I have lost 30 pounds recently). Do you by chance have the nutritional breakdown of these (calories, carbs, protein, fat, etc). I can probalby calculate it but I thought I would see if you by chance have done it already.
Thanks for the recipe!!


Deliciously Organic November 1, 2012 at 8:15 am

Congrats on your weight loss! I don’t have nutritional information for the recipes.


Yule November 2, 2012 at 6:31 am

These look amazing! Do you think one could make it into a double-layered cake? Is the texture cakey at all?


Deliciously Organic November 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

I haven’t tried, it but the texture is cakey enough that I think it would make a great cake.


Yule November 4, 2012 at 1:55 am

Cake made :) It was a bit fragile, but it’s lovely and moist. I whipped some coconut cream with pumpkin spice and a dash of whisky to avoid the butter cream (dairy intolerant coming for lunch) for frosting and between the layers. I think it’ll be yum :)


Lisa January 31, 2013 at 7:50 am

Can not find pumpkin spice ?!??


Deliciously Organic January 31, 2013 at 11:22 am
Christy May 9, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Thank you so much! We’ve enjoyed these a few times now! And when it wasn’t fall anymore & I wanted to change it up, I used banana for the pumpkin & cocoa instead of the spices . . . okay, maybe a little more cocoa than that :) Still yummy! Oh, and I added some peanut butter to some of the filling for the chocolate banana version. YUM!


Deliciously Organic May 12, 2013 at 7:16 am

I love the idea for banana instead of pumpkin! I’ll have to give that a try!


Chipper September 12, 2013 at 3:55 am

My family and I need to have treats and I appreciate that you have come up with healthier options for us!


Mindy October 27, 2014 at 10:52 pm

I made these for the first time tonight. They turned out good and were easy. That is not usually my experience with new gluten free recipes so I was pleasantly surprised. The pumpkin was a bit strong, just slightly, for me – would it be a big deal if I didn’t put quite as much pumpkin in?


Deliciously Organic October 28, 2014 at 9:49 am

It would change the texture of the cookies, so I don’t recommend it. Maybe you could reduce the amount of spices a bit?


theresa November 10, 2014 at 3:04 pm

I just got done making a wheat flour/ sugar batch of whoopie pies for some other families and de aided to look for a paleo way to make these for my family, and I stumbled across your recipe. These were absolutely delicious, and I don’t feel like my family was missing out on the ‘yearly whoopie pies’. One comment though; I had them in the oven for about 15 minutes and they never really did get ‘springy’, but were definitely done. What a great recipe!


Christina November 22, 2014 at 6:21 am

Can you clarify an ingredient for me please? In between almond flour and coconut flour it says “3 tablespoons plus”. Does that mean 3 extra tablespoons of almond flour? Thanks for the help!


Deliciously Organic November 23, 2014 at 12:21 pm

It should read, “3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut flour”. I made the edit. Thanks for pointing that out!


Christina November 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm

No problem, thanks for clarifying!


The Organic March 6, 2015 at 3:14 pm

The recipe looks great. Do you have a recipe to replace for the cream cheese frosting?


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