Whoopie Pies

Recipe excerpted from Rose’s Baking Basics © 2018 by Rose Levy Beranbaum. Photography © 2018 by Matthew Septimus. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. (Adapted by Edible East Bay.)

This recipe is said to have originated in the Pennsylvania Dutch country. Although it is called “pie,” it is actually a cake. The batter is stiff enough to scoop and bake free-form on a cookie sheet, but the results are light and moist. Whoopie pies are usually filled with an airy vanilla buttercream such as mousseline, but neoclassic buttercream, chocolate mousse ganache, or any whipped cream would also be great choices.

Makes six 3½-inch whoopies (510 grams batter)

Baking equipment: Two 15×12 inch cookie sheets, coated with nonstick cooking spray or with shortening; Optional: 2 inch diameter cookie scoop

2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
1 large egg (or if measuring, 3 tablespoons plus ½ teaspoon, 50 grams, or 47.5 ml)
1.5 ounces (42 grams) dark chocolate, 60{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} to 62{94d79dd6af1e87a94e700e4c297236468333f22e27ed5757b44711974a9a4b91} cacao, chopped
1 cup (lightly spooned into the cup and leveled off) plus ½ tablespoon bleached all-purpose flour (125 grams)
¼ cup (sifted before measuring) unsweetened alkalized cocoa powder (19 grams)
½ teaspoon (2.2 grams) baking powder
½ teaspoon (2.7 grams ) baking soda
½ teaspoon (3 grams) fine sea salt
½ cup (121 grams or 118 ml) low-fat buttermilk
2 tablespoons (27 grams or 30 ml) canola or safflower oil
½ cup (120 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar, preferably dark Muscovado
1⅓ cups filling of your choice (see headnote)

Preheat the oven to 400°F for 30 minutes or longer before baking. Set an oven rack at the middle level.

Mise en place

  • About 1 hour ahead, set the butter and egg on the counter at room temperature.
  • About 30 minutes ahead, melt the chocolate in a small microwavable bowl. Stirring with a silicone spatula every 15 seconds, heat the chocolate until almost completely melted. (Alternatively, melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over hot, not simmering water—do not let the bottom of the container touch the water—stirring often with a silicone spatula.) Remove the chocolate from the heat source and stir until fully melted. Let it cool until it is no longer warm to the touch but is still fluid (80–85°F).
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Then sift the mixture if necessary to remove any lumps from the cocoa and baking soda. 
  • Into a 1 cup measure with a spout, weigh or measure the egg.
  • Into a 2 cup measure with a spout, weigh or measure the buttermilk.

Make the batter

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter, oil, sugar, and egg on medium speed for about 5 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. The mixture will be smooth and pale in color.
  • Add the cooled melted chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated.
  • Add one-third of the flour mixture with one-third of the buttermilk, and beat on low speed just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture and buttermilk, and then the final third. Raise the speed to medium and beat for about 15 seconds, until smooth.

Shape the whoopies

  • Measure the batter into a 2-inch cookie scoop, gently rounded, or use 2 spoons to drop 6 rounded mounds (42 grams each) of batter, evenly spaced, onto one of the prepared cookie sheets. They should be about 2 inches wide by 1 inch high.

Bake the whoopies

  • Bake for 6 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway around. Continue baking for 2 to 4 minutes, or just until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a fingertip.
  • While the first batch is baking, mound the remaining batter on the second cookie sheet. Bake as soon as the first batch is removed from the oven.

Cool the whoopies

  • Set the pans on wire racks for 5 to 10 minutes. Using a thin pancake turner, lift the whoopies from the pans and set them on wire racks. Cool completely.

Sandwich the whoopie pies

  • Place a mound (about 3 gently rounded tablespoons) filling between two whoopies to make a sandwich. Press down lightly until the filling reaches the edges.

To store

  • If unfilled, whoopies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days (1 week if refrigerated or 3 months if frozen).
  • If filled, whoopies can be stored in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 1 day.