Whoopie Pies

published Feb 20, 2022
Whoopie Pies Recipe

Soft and round, not too sweet, and traditionally chocolate, whoopie pies are sandwiched between a fluffy white filling.

Makes18 whoopie pies

Prep45 minutes

Cook26 minutes to 30 minutes

Jump to Recipe
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whoopie pies on a plate, with one with a bite taken out off the plate.
Credit: Meleyna Nomura

It’s rumored that “whoopie!” is what Amish farmers used to say when discovering this sweet treat in their farm lunches. As a way to keep from wasting ingredients, Amish women would bake off large dollops of leftover cake batter into small cake-like cookies. Then they’d be filled with creamy, fluffy filling and eaten as mini sandwich cookies.  

The sweet treat has roots throughout both New England and Pennsylvania, although its popularity has grown since it was created in the mid-1920s — so much so that there is even a yearly whoopie pie festival!   

Credit: Meleyna Nomura

Characteristics remain the same wherever you go: Soft and round, not too sweet, and traditionally chocolate cakes sandwiched between fluffy white filling. You’ll also find variations such as gingerbread or pumpkin spice — especially during the fall and holidays.  

Whoopie Pies vs. Moon Pies

Being Southern, my personal favorite riff on the classic is red velvet. Also as a Southerner, I don’t confuse these with Moon Pies. While similar, Moon Pies are distinct because they also feature graham crackers, making them more of a fun play on s’mores. 

Whoopie Pies Recipe

Soft and round, not too sweet, and traditionally chocolate, whoopie pies are sandwiched between a fluffy white filling.

Prep time 45 minutes

Cook time 26 minutes to 30 minutes

Makes 18 whoopie pies

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

For the filling:

  • 8 ounces

    cream cheese

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 1 cup

    powdered sugar

  • 7 ounces

    marshmallow fluff or marshmallow creme

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    vanilla extract

  • Pinch

    kosher salt

For the cookies:

  • 8 tablespoons

    (1 stick) unsalted butter

  • 1 3/4 cups

    all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup

    Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • 1 cup

    buttermilk

  • 2 teaspoons

    instant coffee granules (optional)

  • 1

    large egg

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons

    vanilla extract

  • 1 cup

    packed dark brown sugar

  • 1 1/4 teaspoons

    baking soda

  • Cooking spray

Instructions

Make the filling:

  1. Place 8 ounces cream cheese and 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until smooth and fluffy, scraping down the sides halfway through, 2 to 3 minutes total. Switch to the whisk attachment.

  2. With the mixer on high speed, add 1 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, until incorporated, about 45 seconds per addition. Scrape down the sides after each addition of powdered sugar. Add 7 ounces marshmallow fluff or marshmallow creme, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract, and a pinch of kosher salt, and beat until combined, about 45 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour. Meanwhile, make the cookies.

Make the cookies:

  1. Place 1 stick unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl if using an electric hand mixer). Let sit at room temperature until softened, about 1 hour.

  2. Arrange 2 racks to divide the oven into thirds and heat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

  3. Place 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 2/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder, and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium bowl and whisk to combine.

  4. If using instant coffee, place 1 cup buttermilk and 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules in a liquid measuring cup and whisk to combine. Place 1 large egg and 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract in a second small bowl and whisk to combine.

  5. Add 1 cup packed dark brown sugar and 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda to the bowl of butter. Beat with the paddle attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula halfway through, about 4 minutes total.

  6. Add the egg and vanilla mixture. Beat on high speed until fluffy and pale, scraping down the bowl halfway through mixing, about 1 minute total. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk mixture. Beat on the lowest speed until just incorporated, 25 to 30 seconds. Stop and scrape down the sides. Add the remaining buttermilk and flour mixtures and beat on the lowest speed until just incorporated, 25 to 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and beat on the lowest speed for 30 seconds more.

  7. Using a 2-tablespoon cookie scoop, drop the batter onto the baking sheets, spacing them about 2 inches apart, 12 per baking sheet. Bake until the tops of the cookies are spongy and bounce back when poked, 13 to 15 minutes. Immediately transfer the cookies to a wire rack and let cool completely, about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, bake the remaining batter.

  8. To assemble, flip half of the cookies over. Distribute the filling evenly onto those halves with a small cookie scoop, a spoon, or a pastry bag. Close the sandwich cookies with a second cookie flat-side down.

Recipe Notes

Make ahead: Store the whoopie pies, unfilled, in an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days. Store the filling in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Freeze the unfilled whoopie pie cakes in an airtight container or zip-top bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for an hour and fill to serve.