Monday, February 21, 2011

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

I have most definitely jumped on the whoopie pie bandwagon.  What's not to love about these handy little sandwich treats where you get cake and filling all in one? The sky's the limit for combinations of cake and filling variations too.  My family moved from Florida to Pennsylvania when I was a kid and that was the first time I ever encountered a whoopie pie.  Obviously it made an impression.  The kind I remember having back then were like the recipe here today, the only difference is that I've switched out the more traditional whipped vanilla filling and filled mine with a cream cheese icing. My apologies to any whoopie purists out there.  I gave some of these to my Dad and his friends who were out playing golf and they kindly served as my taste-testers.  Its always great to get feedback before posting a new recipe but I think with this recipe you really can't go wrong.  The chocolate cake is enhanced with a tiny bit of espresso powder and hot coffee which is such a good combination with chocolate. I thought this rich chocolate cake was a good combination with the cream cheese filling.  The recipes for both come from one of my favorite cookbooks at the moment, Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented.  The authors, Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito have really created a treasure trove of favorite American desserts and every one I've tried has been delicious.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies


For the Chocolate Cookies:
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup dark unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp. instant espresso powder
1/2 cup hot coffee
1/2 cup hot water
2 cups firmly packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt


For the Chocolate Cookies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda and set aside.

In another large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder and espresso powder.  Add the hot coffee and 1/2 cup hot water and whisk until both powders are completely dissolved.

In a medium bowl, stir the brown sugar and oil together.  Add this to the cocoa mixture and whisk until combined.  Add the egg, vanilla, and buttermilk and whisk until smooth.

Use a rubber spatula to gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.  Make sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as you fold.

Use a small ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets about 1 inch apart.  Bake for 10 to 15 minute until the cookies are just starting to crack on top and a toothpick inserted into the center of a cookie comes out clean. Be careful not to let these over bake.  Mine didn't even need to bake for 10 minutes so make sure you keep an eye on them. Let the cookies cool completely on the pan while you make the cream cheese frosting.

For the Cream Cheese Filling:
Sift the powdered sugar into a medium bowl and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until it is completely smooth. Add the cream cheese and beat until combined.

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla, and salt and beat until smooth.  Be careful not to overbeat the filling or it will lose structure.  The filling can be made 1 day ahead.

To assemble the whoopie pies, turn half of the cooled cookies upside down (flat side facing up).  Use an ice cream scoop or a tablespoon to drop a large dollop of filling onto the flat side of the cookie.  Place another cookie, flat side down, on top of the filling.  Press down slightly so that the filling spreads to the edges of the cookie.

Adapted from Baked Explorations


  1. It's always a good time for a whoopie pie. :) These look so very good.....cream cheese and chocolate is a great mix.

  2. I have yet to try making whoppie pies. I love the way they look and taste but i have been too scared to make them. I thought they were hard to prepare. Clearly, i was mistaken because your recipe looks very simple...looking forward to trying it :)

    -abeer @

  3. Those look absolutely yummy! I haven't made whoopie pies yet. They always get pushed to the back burner, but I'll get to them one day! Great post!


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