Pumpkin gingerbread sandwich cookies with secret-ingredient buttercream (hello, beans!)

Pumpkin Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies | A Dash of Compassion

I know, I know. It’s been a while, huh? But now that baking season is officially upon us, I’m back with a fun recipe I think you’ll love.

These pumpkin gingerbread sandwich cookies are so good I’ve made them a few times over the last two weeks, and I’m so glad the timing worked out so I can share them with you before the holiday stress takes over! I love that these cookies are naturally sweetened with coconut sugar and molasses, which make them sweet but not too sweet. Plus, these two sweeteners work so well with warming winter spices like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. I also mixed in a little pumpkin puree so they’re on the softer side, which actually works perfectly well in cookie sandwich form.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies | A Dash of Compassion

Now let’s get to the best part: that luscious layer of vanilla buttercream. You’re probably wondering what that secret ingredient is—and yes, I totally spilled the beans in the blog post title!

I’ve spent countless hours testing out different ways to make healthier–or even just a wee bit more nutritious—frosting that is as creamy and fluffy and delicious as traditional (albeit vegan!) buttercream. There are lots of great recipes out there using sweet potato, cashews or coconut cream, but when I’m looking for something that won’t scare away my omni friends who aren’t as much into healthy desserts as I am, I always go back to buttercream when frosting cupcakes or cakes or filling sandwich cookies.

Pumpkin Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies | A Dash of Compassion

So, with that said, I began experimenting with the base ingredients of traditional buttercream (vegan butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a touch of nondairy milk) and came up with a variation that also includes white beans! And you know what? I think it’s just as good (if not better) than my old, tried and true buttercream.

I can’t wait for you to give these a try. Let me know what you think!

Pumpkin Gingerbread Sandwich Cookies | A Dash of Compassion

Oh, and if I’m not back before the end of the month, I hope you have an amazing holiday and new year!

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Pumpkin gingerbread sandwich cookies

Yield: 12 to 13 servings


For the cookies:

  • 1 1/2 cups oat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot starch
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cup coconut sugar
  • 2/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup sunflower oil
  • 1/4 cup blackstrap molasses

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup white beans
  • 2 tablespoons nondairy milk
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 3 1/2 to 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds scrapped


For the cookies:

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, arrowroot, flax meal, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, ginger, salt, cloves, and nutmeg. In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, pumpkin puree, oil, and molasses until smooth. Add the pumpkin mixture to the bowl with the flour ingredients and stir until well combined and a soft cookie dough forms. Place the bowl in the fridge for about 15 minutes.
  2. While the dough is chilling, preheat the oven to 350F and line two large cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Scoop the dough (about 2 tablespoons each) onto the prepared pans. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the tops are slightly cracked. Allow to cool completely.

For the buttercream:

  1. Using a blender, blend the beans and nondairy milk until very smooth. You may need to stop to scrape down the sides of the blender container. If you own a Blendtec twister jar, it's perfect for this step!
  2. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until light and fluffy. Add the bean mixture and beat until well combined (the mixture will look kinda gross at this point). Add the powdered sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, and continue mixing until thick and creamy. Add the vanilla bean seeds (or vanilla bean powder if you have it) and mix until well combined. The buttercream should look much like traditional buttercream. It might be slightly softer but that's okay. Refrigerate the buttercream until the cookies are cool enough to assemble with the icing.

To assemble:

  1. Use an icing bag, or just a spoon, to spread the buttercream on half of the cookies. Add another cookie on top and press down gently. Store the cookies in an air-tight container in the fridge. These cookies also freeze well. Thaw for about 20 minutes before serving.


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