Autumn is in full swing and I’m enjoying it with these freshly baked Apple Cider Whoopie Pies. Made with reduced apple cider, apple butter, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg. Once baked, they’re brushed with butter and sweet cinnamon sugar and generously slathered with bourbon caramel buttercream and a drizzle of bourbon caramel OR brown sugar cream cheese icing! Simply put, they’re the best fall whoopie pies!
ABOUT THESE APPLE CIDER WHOOPIE PIES
These Apple Cider Whoopie Pies are DELICIOUS. They are filled with warm fall spices, apple cider, apple butter or applesauce, and are coated with cinnamon sugar. They’re amazing slathered with either Bourbon Caramel Buttercream Frosting and an optional drizzle of caramel OR Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing!
If you’re a fan of Snickerdoodles, you’ll love these cookies. They share a similar soft, cakey texture and delicious cinnamon sugar coating. My Snickerdoodles are irresistibly good and I highly recommend adding them to your must bake list!
WHAT ARE WHOOPIE PIES?
Whoopie pies are soft, cakey cookie sandwiches with a sweet filling in the middle. I always think of whoopie pies being the traditional chocolate flavor, but there are lots of different versions of whoopie pies. For a peanut butter version of a whoopie pie, definitely try my Peanut Butter Cookie Sandwiches with Peanut Butter Buttercream!
FALL FLAVORED WHOOPIE PIES
Flavored with warm fall spices, apple butter, and apple cider, these Apple Cider Whoopie Pies taste like apple cider donuts! Since these cookies are so delicious, I knew the filling had to be equally as special and flavorful.
DELICIOUS FILLING OPTIONS
- BOURBON CARAMEL: My husband and I tried these with just a tablespoon of Bourbon Caramel in the middle and they were soooooo good!
- BOURBON CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM FROSTING: It’s super creamy, extra sweet, and decadent. Pro tip? Add a drizzle of Bourbon Caramel over the frosting!
- BROWN SUGAR CREAM CHEESE ICING: After making this simple, incredibly delicious icing for both my Pumpkin Carrot Cake and Brown Sugar Cupcakes, I said I would be putting it on everything! Try it and you’ll see why!
OTHER FAVORITE APPLE DESSERT RECIPES
What is fall without delicious apple recipes. For a moist, delicious apple quick bread topped with a buttery crumble, definitely check out my Apple Cinnamon Bread. This Apple Cider Coffee Cake with Apple Cider Glaze is packed with chopped apples, topped with a buttery cinnamony streusel and finished with a simple apple cider glaze!
WHAT’S IN THESE APPLE CIDER WHOOPIE PIES?
- Apple Cider: Boiled down to half for a stronger, sweeter, tangier apple cider taste! Do not substitute apple juice.
- Unsalted Butter
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Granulated Sugar
- Brown sugar: I recommend dark since it has more molasses flavor, but light or dark work.
- Apple Butter or Applesauce: Use homemade or store bought. They both add more apple flavor and help make the cookies super moist.
- 2 Eggs
- Vanilla Extract
- Bourbon Caramel or Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing
- Powdered Sugar (if making Bourbon Caramel Buttercream Frosting)
MAKING THE COOKIE BATTER
REDUCING THE APPLE CIDER
The first thing you’ll want to do is to boil down the apple cider. Reducing apple cider intensifies the flavor and tartness of the cider. If you’re short on time or would prefer to skip this step, just use a half a cup of apple cider without reducing it.
Reducing apple cider is easy. Just heat it on the stovetop until is reduces to about half. Let it cool to room temperature while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
DRY AND WET INGREDIENTS
From here, it’s a pretty standard no chill cookie recipe. Sift to combine the dry ingredients in a medium sized bowl. In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars, on medium speed until combined.
Add the vanilla followed by the eggs. Next, add the apple cider followed by the apple butter or applesauce. Turn the mixer on low and mix in the flour until just combined.
BAKING THE COOKIES
Turn the cookies out into mounds about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, placing them 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Rotate the pan halfway and bake 11-13 minutes or until cookies spring back when touched lightly with your fingertip.
Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack.
Brush the cookies with melted butter and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar or toss them in the cinnamon sugar.
Coat them in sugar as soon as they’re cool enough to touch. Return cookies on the rack to cool completely. Do not add the filling until the cookies have cooled.
ENJOY THESE AS COOKIES OR WHOOPIE PIES
These cookies are delicious as is. I have made this recipe just for the cookies and as whoopie pies. Slathering these cookies and turning them into whoopie pies definitely takes these to a decadent dessert level!
MORE ABOUT THE FILLING OPTIONS
Caramel is one of the best ways to complete a dessert! It’s sweet, gooey, and decadent. Bourbon Caramel has an added depth of flavor from the salt and bourbon! It’s made with just seven ingredients and only takes about 15 minutes to make.
BOURBON CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
Once the Bourbon Caramel has been made and cooled, use it to make Bourbon Caramel Buttercream! It’s super rich, creamy, and super sweet!
BROWN SUGAR CREAM CHEESE ICING
I love these filled with Bourbon Caramel and Bourbon Caramel Buttercream, but this Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing is my filling of choice! The brown sugar just adds the best caramely flavor and I love how the cream cheese balances out the sweetness. I need to try these with the Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing with a drizzle of Bourbon Caramel!
These soft cookies are so good that I’m willing to be you’ll want two…with some delicious Bourbon Caramel Buttercream or Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing slathered between them! Made with apple cider, apple butter, and warm fall spices, these Apple Cider Whoopie Pies are THE perfect way to celebrate the autumn apple season!Print
This Apple Cider Whoopie Pie recipe makes soft, delicious cookies that taste like apple cider doughnuts! Made with apple cider, cinnamon, apple butter, they’re the perfect fall treat. They’re coated with cinnamon sugar and stuffed with either bourbon caramel buttercream or brown sugar cream cheese icing. Bonus: these Apple Cider Whoopie Pies are baked, not fried!
FOR THE APPLE CIDER WHOOPIE PIES
- 1 cup apple cider (reduced to 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, divided (6 tablespoons for the dough and 2 tablespoons melted for brushed the baked cookies)
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar, light or dark, packed
- 1/4 cup apple butter or applesauce
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
FOR THE CINNAMON SUGAR COATING
- 3 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
FOR THE BOURBON CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM (if using)
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/4– 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, (add gradually until desired consistency is reached)
- 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons Bourbon Caramel Sauce,* cooled to room temperature
- pinch of salt
FOR THE BROWN SUGAR CREAM CHEESE ICING (if using)
- 4 1/2 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (leave it at room temperature for at least an hour before making)
- 3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
- 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons brown sugar, light or dark
- 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 F. In a small pot, bring the apple cider to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until cider is reduced down to 1/4 cup. Set aside to cool before using. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer, beat 6 tablespoons of the butter with the sugars, on medium speed until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the vanilla followed by the eggs. Add the apple cider followed by the apple butter or applesauce. Turn the mixer on low and mix in the flour until just combined.
- Turn the cookies out into mounds about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, placing them 3 inches apart on the baking sheet. Rotate the pan halfway and bake 11-13 minutes or until cookies spring back when touched lightly with your fingertip.
- Once out of the oven, allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for five minutes before transferring them to a wire rack. Brush the cookies with the reserved 2 tablespoons of melted butter and sprinkle them with the cinnamon sugar or toss them in the cinnamon sugar.
- Allow cookies to cool completely on a rack before filling them with either 1 1/2 tablespoons of Bourbon Caramel Buttercream or Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Icing and a teaspoon of Bourbon Caramel (if using).
FOR THE BOURBON CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM (if using)
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the butter and salt on medium for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Add the Bourbon Caramel and mix until the caramel is incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl now and a few times while adding the powdered sugar.
- Turn mixer to low and add gradually add 1 cup of the powdered sugar until combined and smooth. Add the remaining powdered sugar as needed until it reaches the consistency you like. If frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar. If it’s too thin, add milk or heavy cream.
FOR THE BROWN SUGAR CREAM CHEESE ICING (if using)
- In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and butter on medium speed for one minute until creamed and combined. Add the brown sugar and mix on medium for another minute. Mix in the vanilla then turn the mixer on low and gradually mix in the powdered sugar. Pipe or spread the icing on one half of the whoopie pie. Gently top with another cookie.
*Prepare the Bourbon Caramel ahead of time so that it has time to cool before making the buttercream. You’ll have extra Bourbon Caramel Sauce leftover. See Bourbon Caramel Recipe for other suggestions on how to enjoy it!
Keywords: cookies, whoopie pies, apple cider, apple cider whoopie pies, fall, apples, cookie sandwiches