Oooooeeeeeeee, I’ve started thinking about Christmas!! I think it might be a bit early but I can’t wait to share my delish frangipane mince pie recipe with you! How early is acceptably early? Hmmm, probably not quite yet so here is the autumnal ace up my sleeve instead – the applesauce recipe I was referring to in my last post…
…spiced applesauce whoopie pies! The apple in these makes the sponges beautifully soft and moist (and a teeny bit healthy, maybe?) and the walnuts add a bit of toastiness and texture. This is proper chunky-knit jumper, roaring-fire, Bonfire Night stuff. Totally not the point that Bonfire Night has passed and it’s actually eerily mild outside *ahem*. Hope you didn’t get too soaked watching the fireworks and your pets have forgiven you…
These sponges are full of spice and all things nice and the filling has the tang of cream cheese with a comforting, mellow nuttiness running through it. Quintessentially autumnal, delicious and the perfect bite-sized sweet treat. Enjoy!
Spiced applesauce whoopie pies with walnut cream cheese filling
Makes about 48 mini pies (96 sponges)
For the sponges:
- 70g walnuts
- 120ml sunflower oil
- 200g soft dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg (free-range please)
- 200ml applesauce (recipe here)
- 180g plain flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
For the walnut cream cheese filling:
- 70g walnuts
- 160g full-fat cream cheese (I used Philadelphia)
- 20g unsalted butter, room temperature
- 200g icing sugar
- 40g applesauce
- pinch salt
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Blitz all the walnuts (for the sponges and the icing) in a food processor until coarsely ground and then toast over a medium heat in a dry frying pan for a few minutes. Tip: Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
Using the beater attachment of your food mixer, beat together the oil and sugar. Beat in the egg and then the applesauce, scraping down the sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are incorporated.
Fold in the walnuts, flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, spices and salt and mix until any lumps have disappeared.
Drop blobs of the batter onto your baking tray (you’ll have enough for multiple batches), about 3cm apart. Tip: I used a level teaspoon per blob to make mini whoopie pies but you could make bigger ones if you fancy it.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, until slightly springy when gently poked. Cool on a wire rack.
For the filling, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Beat in the icing sugar, applesauce, salt and walnuts until you have a smooth mixture (with flecks of walnut in of course!). Chill in the fridge for about 30 minutes or longer if you can (this will set it a bit).
To assemble the whoopie pies, sandwich spoonfuls of the walnut cream cheese filling between pairs of sponges. Tip: Depending on how much filling you like in your pies, you may have some filling leftover – what can I say? There are worse leftovers!
Dust with icing sugar before serving. Tip: These sponges are pretty sticky so be sure not to store them on top of each other!
Sources: Recipe and photos by pip & little blue.