The softest gluten-free, vegan mini sugar cookies made with apple butter mixed right into the cookie batter! These Gluten-Free Apple Butter Whoopie Pies are stuffed with a bourbon-infused cinnamon buttercream frosting and more apple butter for the perfect fall cookie treat!
You may have seen last week that I posted my very first Instant Pot recipe for Naturally Sweetened Instant Pot Apple Butter! Now this apple butter turned out so great that it’s definitely an eat-from-the-jar type butter, but I wanted to incorporate it into another delicious recipe, and by golly do I have a killer sweet treat for you today!
I first thought that maybe some apple butter linzer cookies would be fun, then I moved to making a more traditional soft apple butter sugar cookies after I made these Soft Pumpkin Sugar Cookies that turned out so fantastic I was hooked, but as I was seeing lots of whoopie pies on the ‘gram I thought, aha! That’s what I’ll make! This Gluten-Free Apple Butter Whoopie Pies with Bourbon Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting idea just kind of combined all my previous ideas into one delicious treat!
So guys, I think I might have outdone myself with this dessert recipe. Not only are they easy to make (promise!) but they are fan-freaking-tastic. They are for sure a can’t-eat-just-one kinda dessert, so be fully prepared to eat at least 2. But don’t worry, they are small-ish, kind of like a large macaron.
Now, if you don’t have an Instant Pot, you can make your apple butter in a slow cooker or stovetop even, but it’ll take longer. I suppose you can just hit the easy button and buy some even (make sure there’s minimal ingredients!), but I really encourage you to make your own apple butter for this recipe- it’s SO quick and easy in your Instant Pot.
The soft sugar cookies themselves have apple butter mixed right into the batter, but then I also spread more apple butter on the cookies so you really get that apple butter flavor. You simply cream the butter, coconut sugar, and vanilla together with a hand beater then beat in the apple butter and flax eggs, the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
I then like to pipe the batter onto a macaron baking mat to make sure the cookies are perfectly round and all the same size so your cookie sandwiches won’t be disproportioned, but maybe that’s just the perfectionist in me… you do you! 😉
These little cuties only need to bake for 10 minutes and then you let them cool, and they cool fast. But while they are cooling you make your bourbon cinnamon buttercream frosting but simply beating together vegan butter, bourbon, cinnamon, and powdered sugar. And if you’re not into the whole bourbon thing, go ahead and leave it out, these whoopie pies still uphold their deliciousness. Then pipe the buttercream on one cookie, apple butter on the other and smush them together to make the best Gluten-Free Apple Butter Whoopie Pies with Bourbon Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting!
Apple Butter Cookies
- 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose flour (preferably 1:1 baking flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/2 cup apple butter
- 1 cup coconut sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) plant (non-dairy) butter, softened
- 1/4 cup nut/seed butter (like cashew, almond, sunflower seed butter)
- 2 flax eggs (2 tablespoons flaxseed meal + 5 tablespoons water)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- pinch salt
Whoopie Pie Filling
- Bourbon Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
- Apple Butter
Bourbon Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plant (vegan) butter
- 3.5 cups organic powdered sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons bourbon (optional)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- If you're making homemade apple butter make this the day before. Try my Naturally Sweetened Instant Pot Apple Butter recipe.
- Heat oven to 375°F.
- Make your flax eggs by combining the flaxseed meal and water and letting it sit for a few minutes until it "gels up".
- In a large bowl, beat the butter, nut/seed butter, vanilla, and coconut sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, until well blended.
- Beat in the apple butter and flax eggs until well mixed.
- On low speed, beat in the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, allspice and salt.
- Lay out your macaron baking mats (if using) onto baking sheets (you'll need 2).
- Fill a pastry bag with the cookie dough fitted with a 0.7" round piping tip and pipe the cookie dough to fill the outer circle.
**Note: you don't want the batter to be too thin, so I like to keep the piping tip in the middle and make tiny movements while piping the batter until the circle is full
- Once all the batter is piped onto the mats, bake 10 minutes and cool for about 15-20 minutes before filling with frosting.
For the frosting:
- In a stand mixer (alternatively you can do this with your hand blender/mixer) cream the butter, bourbon and vanilla on medium speed. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and keep blending until it thickens.
Making the Whoopie Pies:
- When the cookies are cool, pipe the bottom of one cookie with the buttercream frosting, leaving a small border around the edge.
- Spread some apple butter on the other cookie and then place on top of the buttercream cookie to make a "sandwich".
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, alternatively you can freeze them too!
**NOTE: if you use sunflower seed butter, your cookies will likely turn green as they cool. Google why this happens!