Whoopie Pies

Through the years readers have told me about a dessert called a whoopie pie. Some of them say it is Midwestern in origin, other say from southwestern Pennsylvania. They have tempted me with the description–two soft little chocolate cakes between which you sandwich a creamy vanilla filling. One reader kindly called them Oreos on steroids! Well, I was curious to find the recipe and bake them. Thanks to Joan Linthicum of Raleigh, North Carolina, for sending me her recipe. These buttery, soft cakes are something Joan has been baking for more than twenty years.

Whoopie Pies
Serves: 18 whoopie pies
For the cakes:
  • 1 package (18.25 ounces) plain chocolate cake mix
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter; melted
  • 1 large egg
For the filling:
  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 large pasteurized egg white
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Make the cakes: Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F. Set aside 2 ungreased baking sheets
  2. Place the cake mix, butter, and egg in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until the ingredients come together in a stiff mass, 1 to 2 minutes. Form the dough into 1-inch balls with your hands or scoop the dough into balls. Place the balls of dough on baking sheets 2 inches apart.
  3. Place the baking sheets in the oven and bake the cakes until they are still a little soft, 10 to 12 minutes. If your oven cannot accommodate both baking sheets on the center rack, place one on the top rack and one on the center rack and rotate them halfway through the baking time. Remove the baking sheets from the oven and let the cakes cool on them for 5 minutes. Then, using a metal spatula, transfer the cakes to wire racks to cool completely, 30 minutes longer.
  4. Make the filling: place the confectioners’ sugar, shortening, egg white, and vanilla in a medium-size mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until just combined, 1 minute. Spoon about 1 teaspoon onto the flat side of one cake. Top the filling with a second cake to make a sandwich. Repeat with the remaining cakes and serve.

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