I was slightly fearful of trying these. I know that pumpkin is pleasantly sweet, and I know that vegetables make beautiful cakes, but still the idea of pumpkin sponge is fairly odd to me. How glad I am that I overcame my aversion, because these are things of great beauty. They are also the first whoopie pies I’ve ever made (or eaten), but certainly won’t be the last – I’m a lifelong fan of any kind of sandwiched biscuits or cakes, because you basically get to eat twice as much as normal without incurring any disapproving looks.
The use of pumpkin makes these a suitable final Halloween treat, and the witches will be in good company tomorrow as I, too, am taking to the skies. I will be travelling by plane rather than broomstick as I bid farewell to Hong Kong and make my way back to the UK for good. While I have mixed feelings at leaving the place I’ve called home for 2.5 years, my over-riding feelings are of joy not merely at seeing my family and friends again but because soon I will have a real oven! I cannot wait.
Pumpkin Whoopie Pies
Makes 12 pies, from Cake Days
120ml sunflower oil
200g light brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
100ml tinned pumpkin puree
250g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
For the filling:
80g cream cheese
225g icing sugar
62g butter, softened
1. Preheat the oven to 170C and line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.
2. Put the oil, sugar and vanilla into a bowl and whisk together until evenly combined.
3. Add the egg and pumpkin puree and mix again.
4. Sift in the remaining ingredients in two batches, mixing evenly.
5. Spoon the batter on the trays in 16-20 little mounds about 3-5cm in diameter, trying to keep them as round and even as possible. Leave a little space for spreading.
6. Bake for 10-13 minutes until golden and springy to touch.
7. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Make the filling: place all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and beat well with an electric whisk.
9. Take one little sponge and spread a tablespoon of filling onto the flat side.
10. Stick another sponge to it, flat side down.
11. Dust with icing sugar to serve, if you like.