Another installment of ALL PUMPKIN EVERYTHING happened this past weekend in the Wake & Bake kitchen and if you think we’re sick of the Fall flavors + pumpkin spice by now--you’d be dead wrong, my loves. In fact, we have not one, but TWO recipes we’re sharing with you this week in an attempt to show you just how seductive a giant gourd can be to the tongue. Even if you’re not a huge fan of pumpkin delights, I’d make hefty, irresponsible bets that after you lie in the pillowy comforts of our pumpkin cinnamon rolls or bite into these precious pumpkin whoopie pies, you’ll be a convert.
Like clockwork, the weather took notice of our bewitchment once more and the temperatures fell as soon as we gathered in Caitlin’s kitchen. Being the culinary angel she is, Caitlin warmed us up on that rainy morning with her signature waffles, complete with buttery maple syrup and the fluffiest veggie frittata (here's a great base recipe we like to play with!)! We were joined by the cheerful presence of our Spiderfriends Nina Chantanapumma, Machele Johnson, and culinary wizard Shadan Kishi-Price of Leila’s food truck! Together, we buzzed about the kitchen island, stirring, mixing, twirling--your standard, infectious, W&B energy.
The first task to tackle was getting the dough ready to rise for our pumpkin cinnamon rolls. This recipe is an exclusive brainchild of Caitlin Childs--I don’t know if y’all were aware of this, but any time Caitlin makes a recipe she’s never tried before, she’ll often make several variations to see which she likes best. She’ll tweak the ingredient content or switch up the instructions to tip the scales in her delicious favor and see what shakes out. Over time, she culminates the best parts of each recipe and the final edits you experience once it’s all over...are truly the creme de la creme. Excuse me one moment while I reminisce on those cinnamon rolls….I wonder if they’re thinking about me as much as I’ve been thinking about them…
Where am I? Oh yea! Writing a blog...not….drooling over memories of slathering cream cheese icing over warm cinnamon buns….
Once our dough began to proof, we started on our whoopie pies! These were almost too cute to eat. If you’re not familiar with the whoopie pie, what you need to know is that they are a traditional American treat, originally introduced by the Amish community in Pennsylvania. These were typically made with leftover cake batter and usually contain a light, fluffy frosting in the middle. They’re thought to be called whoopie pies because children would shout “WHOOPIE!!” any time they had one in their lunch pail. A fun little fact that I will not ever disagree with, considering how delicious they are.
While I am a big fan of making whoopie, I’d never actually made whoopie pies before, so I was anxious to find out how difficult this recipe would be, but guess what? IT WASN’T! And with the help of a cookie scoop, the sandwich cakes came out so perfectly round and light, we were squealing with excitement before they were even out of the oven. Once cooled, all you do is put a dollop of the cream cheese filling between the cakes and lightly press them together like a much softer, more sensual Oreo. We ended up halving the original recipe and were immediately filled with regret. We learned that day--there is no such thing as “too many” whoopie pies. Make the full recipe, just trust us.
By then, Caitlin’s dough was nice and risen, so she got to work rolling it out and massaging the cinnamony, pumpkin filling across the velvety canvas. Watching her roll up this massive, delicate concoction and cut them into perfect little buns was like watching Da Vinci paint. Her culinary skills really shine when you watch her work with dough. It’s really a joy to see.
After they came out of the oven, we liberally drenched them in a thick cream cheese icing and with one single bite, we all unanimously agreed that they were the BEST cinnamon rolls we’d ever had! The best part was that they weren’t necessarily strong with pumpkin flavor, per se, but the addition of the pumpkin in the dough and the filling just elevated the texture and flavor to a whole new level. It was truly, a melt in your mouth experience and all I can really sum up about these is that they were nothing short of orgasmic.
So there you have it, two gourd-geous treats that fall on both ends of the spectrum as far as how pumpkin-y they are. So whether you’re a total pumpkin nut, or someone who’s wary of putting squash in desserts, we hope you’ll carve out space for at least one of these amazing recipes in your kitchen. Happy baking!