Two discs of chocolate cake sandwiched around a cloud of frosting. Is it a cakewich? A frosting burger? No! It’s a Whoopie Pie. I seem to be on a pattern of baking things with goofy names.
Soo… is it a pie or a cake? Actually, this recipe is from the King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion. So I’m classifying it as a cookie. Though, really, I consider it a cookie-shaped cake. On the other hand, cookie supposedly means little cake, soo… I guess that’s the problem with labels, eh? Let’s not think too hard about it.
When I got the King Arthur Flour book for Christmas, this was one of the recipes that leaped out at me. I’d heard of Whoopie Pies, but I didn’t know what they were. Actually, I thought they were the same as Moon Pies, which I’ve never liked. (Though that could be because my grandma always had the banana flavor.)
It seems that Whoopie Pies are a New England tradition, which explains my ignorance, being a Gulf Coast dweller myself. I haven’t been able to dig up too much history on the treat, but according to What’s Cooking America, they originated with the Pennsylvania Amish. Not wanting anything to waste, they used leftover batter to make these pies. Appreciative children cried “Whoopie!” and thus, the Whoopie Pie was born.
Traditionally, Whoopie Pies are humongous things, but I made mine in three different sizes. See the notes for more details.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
adapted from The King Arthur Flour Cookie Companion
Oven Temp.: 350°
Approx. Bake Time: 13-15 minutes
Yields: 4 large (4 inch) pies
4 tbsp. butter, room temperature
1/2 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. beaten egg
1 c. flour
3 tbsp. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. butter
2/3 c. powdered sugar
3/4 c. marshmallow fluff
3/4 tsp. vanilla
– In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a liquid measuring cup, mix together the milk and vanilla.
– In a separate bowl, cream the butter, sugar, and egg. Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk mixture, adding the dry ingredients in three installments and the milk mixture in two. (It should go dry-wet-dry-wet-dry.)
– Drop the batter by the 1/4-cupful onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake in a preheated oven until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and transfer to wire rack to cool completely.
– Beat all four ingredients together until light and fluffy.
– Spread half of the cookies with about 1/4 cup of filling, then top with the remaining cookies.
– When portioning out the cake batter, you may want to spritz your measuring cup or other scooper with a little non-stick spray to get the batter out more easily.
– To make about 8 medium sized pies, spoon two tablespoons of batter per cake layer and bake 11-13 minutes.
– To make about 16 small pies, spoon one tablespoon of batter per cake layer and bake for about 10-12 minutes.
– These are best stored individually wrapped.