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Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

Celebrate the holidays in style with these gingerbread whoopie pies. Two classic chewy ginger cookies are sandwiched together with fluffy cream cheese filling in these perfectly spiced treats.

ginger sandwich cookies on counter
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As much as I love pumpkin spice season, I’m always so excited when gingerbread season rolls around! The warm spices of gingerbread always put me in a festive mood.

I’ve been making a Christmas dessert board for a couple of years now and I usually include the traditional gingerbread man cookies. This year, I came up with this gingerbread whoopie pie recipe after trying something similar at Epcot last year.

These Christmas whoopie pies, also known as frosted ginger molasses cookies, take two soft and chewy ginger cookies and sandwich them together with luscious cream cheese frosting. I like to think that the two cookies only count as one as technically you’re eating just one whoopie pie! 

You can also make the dough ahead and keep it in the freezer for up to 3 months. This is great when you’re planning your holiday desserts ahead of time.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Soft and chewy: These festive cookies are soft gingerbread sandwich cookies with so much delicious flavor.
  • Double the cookie: Two cookies with frosting in between them, need I say more?
  • Sweet creamy filling: A cream cheese filling is the perfect compliment to these cookies.
  • Holiday perfection: Perfect for sharing with friends or plating on a cookie platter!

Recipe Ingredients

Gingerbread whoopie pie ingredients on the counter.

Find the full printable recipe with specific measurements below.

  • Molasses: This gives gingerbread a warm sweet flavor which goes so well with the spices. It’s thick and sticky so I like to spray the inside of my measuring cup with a little bit of oil before measuring the molasses to make it easier to pour out into my mixing bowl.
  • Light brown sugar: This sugar is made when white granulated sugar and a little bit of molasses are combined. It has a light caramel flavor.
  • Spices: I use ground ginger, cinnamon, and cloves to get that classic gingerbread flavor.
  • Cream cheese: Look for brick-style full-fat cream cheese to make your frosting. It will hold up better and give your frosting a firmer texture than if you use non-fat or spreadable cream cheese in tubs.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter for my frosting, but you can use salted if it’s what you have. Make sure that your butter is soft before you start combining it with the cream cheese. If it’s too cold, you’ll have lumps in your frosting. If you forget to leave the butter out of the fridge, you can check out my guide on how to soften butter for some tips!

About That Flour!

 It’s so important when you’re baking to measure your flour accurately. Too much or too little flour can drastically affect your results. Have a look at my helpful tips on how to measure flour accurately if you’re unsure!

Frosting Variation

Simple cream cheese frosting goes perfectly with these spicy gingerbread cookies, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop there! You might like to try some of these other frosting ideas to mix things up:

How to Make Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

It only takes a few minutes to make this cookie dough which is great during the busy holiday season! It does need to be refrigerated for 10 – 15 minutes before baking so you can start making the cream cheese filling while you wait and pop it into the fridge until you’re ready to sandwich the cookies together.

Showing how to make gingerbread whoopie pies in a 6 step collage.
  1. Cream. Combine the butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the egg and beat until everything is smooth. Next, add the molasses and mix everything until combined.
  2. Add dry ingredients. Sift together the dry ingredients. If you don’t have a sifter, whisk everything in a large bowl and then add it to the butter mixture. Mix the dough with a spoon. Be careful not to overmix it! Refrigerate the dough for 10 – 15 minutes.
  3. Scoop. Use a medium cookie scoop (about 1.5 tablespoons) to scoop the dough and form it into balls. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet and lightly press the tops to flatten them.
  4. Bake. The cookies will take 8 – 10 minutes to bake. When they come out of the oven, tap the baking sheet on the counter to create a good crackle effect. Cool the cookies completely before frosting them.
  5. Make the frosting. In a medium bowl mix together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix for an additional minute. If it looks a bit runny, you can add a little bit more confectioners’ sugar.
  6. Sandwich. Once the gingerbread whoopie pies have cooled, frost the bottom of one cookie with cream cheese frosting, then stack a second cookie on top of the frosting. You’ve just made the perfect gingerbread sandwich cookie!

Make Ahead

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could have freshly baked gingerbread whoopie pies at the ready whenever you wanted? Well, thanks to your freezer, you can!

Scoop the dough into balls, then quickly freeze (sometimes called flash freeze) on a baking sheet until hard (about 30 minutes). Then add the dough balls to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. 

To bake: Let the frozen dough balls sit on the baking sheet as the oven preheats. Then bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes to the original baking time if needed.

ginger sandwich cookie on counter

Expert Tips

  • Good crackle. If I want a good crackle (that classic ginger cookie look), I typically place them on the top rack of the oven. Then make sure to tap the pan on the counter when you pull them out. 
  • Wet hands. Lightly wet your hands with water before rolling the dough into balls. This will help any of the dough from sticking to your hands.
  • Perfect rounds. If your gingerbread whoopie pies are a bit wonky-shaped once they’re baked, take a spatula and gently nudge the edges back into shape while they’re still hot from the oven. They taste just as good if they aren’t perfect though!

Recipe FAQs

Why do you have to refrigerate the cookie dough?

This step helps prevent the gingerbread whoopie pies from spreading out too much while they’re baking.

Why is my cream cheese frosting runny?

Make sure you use brick-style full-fat cream cheese for the frosting. Non-fat or the spreadable kinds that come in tubs contain more water and are softer and can result in a runny frosting.

If your frosting looks a bit too runny, you can pop it into the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up a bit. You can also add a little bit more powdered sugar although not too much or your frosting might be too sweet.

Does the filling squish out when you take a bite?

Yes, it’s inevitable that some may come out the sides when you bite into this whoopie pie so keep a napkin handy! Refrigerating the cookies before serving helps slightly as everything thickens and stays more intact.

Can gingerbread whoopie pies be left out overnight?

These whoopie pies are filled with cream cheese frosting, so you should refrigerate them. If you are substituting with a buttercream filling, you could leave them in an airtight container at room temperature overnight.

Storage

These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I actually prefer them on the 2nd day once the spiced flavors have had a chance to deepen.

Freezing frosted cookies: To prevent your gingerbread whoopie pies from sticking together when freezing, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze them for one hour. Once the cookies are hard, you can stack them in a freezer-safe container and freeze them for up to 3 months. 

bite taken from ginger sandwich cookie

Looking for more sandwich cookies? Try my chocolate whoopie pies, oatmeal cream pie cookies or these spiced pumpkin whoopie pies.

More Holiday Cookies

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bite taken from ginger sandwich cookie

Gingerbread Whoopie Pies

5 from 5 votes
↑ Click stars to rate now!
Author: Jamielyn Nye
Celebrate the holidays in style with these gingerbread whoopie pies. Two classic chewy ginger cookies are sandwiched together with fluffy cream cheese filling in these perfectly spiced treats.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 8 mins
Chill + Cool Time: 50 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 13 mins
Servings: 12

Ingredients 

Ginger Cookies

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter , softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar , packed
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar , for rolling the cookies

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1 ½ cups powdered sugar , plus more as needed
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

Ginger Cookies

  • Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper,
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar 1 minute, or until fluffy. Add in the egg and beat until smooth. Mix in the molasses combined.
  • In a medium bowl, sift or whisk the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, cloves. Mix into the butter mixture with a spoon just until combined, being careful not to overmix. Cover and chill 10 to 15 minutes. 
  • Place the granulated sugar into a shallow bowl. Using a medium cookie scoop (or about 1 1/2 Tablespoons), roll the cookie dough into a ball. Roll the dough into the sugar. Place on the baking sheet, about 2 inches apart. Lightly flatten the tops with the palm of your hand.
  • Bake 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on the sheet 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely. Tip: If your cookies aren't cracking as much as you'd like, bang the pan on the stove right after they come out of the oven to crack the cookies. They will settle as they cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • In a medium bowl, mix together the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer 2 minutes, or until creamy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix an additional minute. Add more powdered sugar, if desired.
  • Once the cookies have cooled, dip the bottom of a cookie in cream cheese frosting.
  • Stack another cookie on top of the frosting. Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

Notes

Tip: If I want a good crackle, I typically place them on the top rack of the oven. Then make sure to tap the pan on the counter when you pull them out. 
To store: These cookies will stay fresh in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator. I actually prefer them the 2nd day. 
Freezing dough: Scoop the dough into balls, then flash freeze on a baking sheet until hard (about 30 minutes). Then add to a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months. Let the frozen dough balls sit on the baking sheet as the oven preheats. Then bake as directed, adding 1-2 minutes to the original baking time if needed.
Freezing frosted cookies: Place on a pan and freeze for 1 hour. Once hard you can stack in a freezer container and freeze up to 3 months.

Nutrition

Calories: 426kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 66mg | Sodium: 307mg | Potassium: 179mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 42g | Vitamin A: 623IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition provided is an estimate. It will vary based on specific ingredients used.

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Vegetarian

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