Chocolate Whoopie Pies may be one of my favorite truly American desserts. Delicate cakes sandwiched with a sweet filling in between, often marshmallow based, they are the devil to eat – you are guaranteed to get messy – but pure heaven in every bite! Today’s recipe includes a luscious peanut butter filling that can also double as a frosting if you are making a cake or cupcakes. Watch out, you can’t stop at just one!
Today’s recipe is adapted from the incomparable Dorie Greenspan. If you want a recipe that will work every single time, Dorie is your gal. I had originally planned on using a different cake recipe and a peanut butter filling I’ve made before, but once I saw that Dorie had the same flavor combination, there was no question which recipes I would be using!
The combo of chocolate and peanut butter in a whoopie pie has been on my mind for over a year but it kept getting pushed out. Today I finally get to share it with you! These are rich and indulgent, with deep dark chocolate flavor that balances the sweet and creamy peanut butter filling.
I increased the ingredients for the filling by half again, giving you plenty to be generous when piping, a trend that people love. If you want a less sweet dessert, just reduce the amount of filling you use. You can always add more later if you want!
I decided to use a decorative piping tip to make them more fun and as soon as I saw how pretty the filling was, I decided to make a couple of open-faced whoopies. Aren’t they beautiful and elegant! Can you imagine these beautifully piped and sprinkled with chocolate jimmies for Halloween! They would definitely be the first thing to disappear on a buffet!
Dorie’s recipe calls for pans with 24 (2-inch) depressions, similar to the size of a macaron. Most whoopie pie pans (mine included) have 12 indentations and are sold as singles. Unless you have two pans, you will have to make two batches of the cakes. I wish I had the smaller version like Dorie’s; they would make the perfect two-bite cakes that you could eat without getting frosting all over yourself!
You can make these with the traditional marshmallow filling, flavored with vanilla or anything you like (perhaps orange?!). Virtually any buttercream frosting would also work. Change the colors to fit the holiday – how fun would it be to have purple, green, and yellow whoopie pies for Mardi Gras parties. Let your imagination go wild and I bet you come up with an intriguing, delicious flavor combo all your own!
Have a wonderful Chocolate Monday my friends ~ thanks so much for visiting!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Using a heavy-duty stand mixer takes all the work out of this recipe, allowing you to walk away and get other things done while it whips the filling. My KitchenAid has paid for itself at least 20 times over. Just having it for Thanksgiving alone is worth the price! If you don’t already have one, put it on your wish list and maybe you’ll get one for your birthday or during the holidays!
Using a gluten-free flour blend makes it easy to convert these. If you have someone who is allergic to peanuts, you can use any creamy nut butter you like. Just be sure it isn’t a “natural” version, you need the oil to be completely emulsified to avoid a greasy texture.
- Whoopie Pies
- 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour or gluten-free flour blend
- 1/2 cup (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder (preferably Dutch-processed)
- 1-1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- 1 stick (8 tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
- 1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup (240 ml) whole milk, at room temperature
- Peanut Butter Filling
- 1 stick (113g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup (192g) creamy peanut butter (not natural)
- 3/4 cup (90g) confectioners’ sugar
- 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
- Prepare the Whoopie Pies: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat 350°F. Butter or spray a whoopie pie pan, even if the pan is nonstick. If you don't have a pan, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium until soft and creamy. Add both sugars and beat until well blended. Add the egg and beat for 2 minutes. Then add in the vanilla.
- Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix only until the dry ingredients are incorporated and you’ve got a thick, smooth, silky batter.
- Using a spring-loaded 2 tbsp cookie scoop, place a rounded scoop in each of the whoopie molds -- no need to flatten the batter, it will spread as it bakes. If not using a form, drop rounded scoops on the parchment-lined baking sheet, being sure to leave at least 2-inches between each one. Unless you have two whoopie pans, you will have to bake the cakes in batches. Cover the leftover batter between batches.
- Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the cakes puff and spring back when lightly pressed in the center and a toothpick comes out clean. Leave the cakes in the pan for a couple of minutes and then transfer carefully to a wire rack to cool. If you baked the cakes on parchment, slide the paper off the baking sheet onto a rack and let the cakes cool to room temperature before carefully lifting them off the paper.
- Bake the remaining batter. Cool the cakes to room temperature before filling them.
- Make the Filling: Working in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl with a hand mixer, beat all the ingredients together on medium-high speed until soft, fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Fill the Whoopie Pies: Using a piping bag with a plain or star tip or a spoon, pipe a generous amount of filling on the flat side of half the cakes. Top with the other halves, flat side down, twisting the tops gently just to make certain that the pieces are “glued” together.
- Storing: Best the day they’re made, the whoopee pies, without the filling, can be individually wrapped airtight and frozen for up to 2 months. Defrost in the wrapper then fill and serve as directed above.
- Yield: about 12 whoopie pies (24 individual cakes)
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