Growing up in New Hampshire meant a certain familiarity with whoopie pies. These chocolate cake sandwiches with a marshmallow-y filling were just the thing my 5-year old self could devour. Every school bake sale and local bakery reserved a place for them. I live out west now, and they are nearly impossible to find in these parts. I guess I’ve come to terms with long bouts of whoopie pie-withdrawal. (I love them, I really do!)
I recently got a strong craving for them. With that said, I thought about how I could make them especially for Valentine’s Day. Make them heart-shaped, of course! But that wasn’t enough–I felt they’d need some added color, a little pink or red to spice things up. I came across these edible sparkles by Wilton. They have this pretty, shimmery thing going on. Sprinkled on the white frosting, they glisten–which looks oh so lovely.
If you’ve never made whoopie pies before, I should tell you that the filling commonly calls for shortening, not butter. That’s because it lends something special to the texture. It holds up to the thick marshmallow really well. But butter or coconut oil can certainly be substituted.
The cookie cutter that I used was about 3.5″ x 2.5″. Yours can be smaller or bigger; mini whoopie pies would be adorable for a party.
The cake part was adapted from Wilton. For the filling, I slightly adapted Erin Cooks’ recipe. The result is a classic whoopie pie (with lots of vanilla flavor). Make these for your sweetie, friends, children…whoever you adore!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. (If using a dark cookie sheet, set oven temp. to 340 or so.) Spray a large cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray or cover with parchment paper.
Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed till the mixture is fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add the egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated (about 1 minute).
In a smaller bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk them all together. Put half of the dry mix into the large bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix till just incorporated on a low speed. With the mixer still going, slowly pour in the buttermilk. Keep the mixer running so that the buttermilk gets incorporated. Stop the mixer and add the remaining dry ingredients. On a low speed, mix everything together until just combined. (Take care not to over-mix the batter.)
Prepare the Filling
Spoon the batter into circles on cookie sheet. Use about 2 tablespoons of batter for each. Gently flatten the batter so that it bakes evenly. Place on center rack in oven and back for approximately 9 minutes, or until the cake springs back when touched. Transfer to a cooling rack.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the Marshmallow and shortening. Mix until light and smooth (about 3 minutes). With mixer on low speed, add the vanilla. Once it is mixed in, turn off the mixer and add all of the sifted confectioners sugar. Start mixer on low then increase speed to medium. Beat the mixture until well combined and stiff.
Once the cakes have cooled, place each cake on a flat surface and use your cookie cutter to shape them. Once you're done, frost half of them with the marshmallow mixture. It's sticky and thick, so try to use a small spatula and hold each cake in the palm of your hand. Top with the remaining cakes.
To decorate with sprinkles/sugar, hold whoopie pie on its side and turn as you go. You can even lightly press the sprinkles onto the frosting, if needed.
» When making the filling, coconut oil or butter may be substituted for the shortening
» Want a tinted frosting? Add food coloring along with the vanilla, before you add the confectioners sugar