white-chocolate whoopie pies from scratch

Are whoopie pies technically pies or cake? I feel like they’re basically a cupcake sandwich. This recipe’s from the Sunday magazine of The Washington Post from a local pastry chef, Karen Urie of the Town House restaurant in Chilhowie, VA. (http://www.townhouseva.com/index.html)

I figured since the recipe’s from a pastry chef, it’s gotta be good. And it is. I’ve had many a baking failure lately, so I was relieved that these turned out. Don’t be intimidated by the recipe. You probably have all the ingredients (except the buttermilk and white chocolate chips) in your fridge/pantry already. One thing to note was that it was a bit difficult to get the cookies to be perfectly round. An ice cream scoop might help.

Also, I took liberties with the filling, nearly tripling the amount of white chocolate so it would be less buttercreamy, more chocolatey. The second time I made this recipe, I also cut down the butter in the filling to 2.5 sticks. Note that the original recipe is below without my modifications.

I used white chocolate chips from the Whole Foods 365 brand ($3+/bag) and melted them down in the microwave for 45 seconds. They’re decent quality and inexpensive. I waited till the melted chocolate was room temperature before adding to the butter mixture. You don’t need to buy a candy thermometer.

These pies make a great party favor, plus you can make them ahead. They last 4 days in the fridge; 1 month in the freezer.


Karen’s Whoopie Pies


MAKE AHEAD: When individually wrapped and stored in an airtight container, the whoopie pies may be frozen for 1 month.

Makes thirty-three 2 1/2-inch cookie sandwiches


For the cookies

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, plus 2 large egg yolks

For the filling

  • 16 ounces (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 ounces good-quality white chocolate, melted and cooled to about 93 degrees (best to use some from Biagio Fine Chocolate, with at least 30 percent butterfat)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


For the cookies: Position oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven; preheat to 350 degrees. Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt on a large sheet of wax paper or parchment paper.

Combine the buttermilk, water and vanilla extract in a liquid measuring cup.

Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer (preferably using a paddle attachment) or an electric hand-held mixer. Beat on medium speed for several minutes, until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low; add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, beating until incorporated between each addition, then alternate additions of the flour and buttermilk mixtures until well combined.

Portion the cookie dough in 2-tablespoon amounts on the prepared baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Make about 66 mounds of equal size. Bake 2 sheets at a time (on the upper and lower oven racks) for about 6 minutes, then rotate the sheets top to bottom and front to back; bake for 6 to 8 minutes, until the cookies are set, but springy to the touch. Ttransfer to wire racks to cool completely.

While the cookies are cooling, make the filling: Combine the butter, confectioners’ sugar, salt and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer (preferably with a paddle attachment) or an electric hand-held mixer. Beat on low, then medium-high speed until creamy and smooth. Stop to add the melted, slightly cooled chocolate; beat on low speed until just combined.

To assemble, place a tablespoon or two of the filling on the flat sides of half of the cooled cookies. Press the flat sides of the remaining cookies on top of the filling to make the cookie sandwiches.

Wrap each whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap, then transfer to an airtight container.


2 Responses to “white-chocolate whoopie pies from scratch”

  1. February 14, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Thank you! I had a terrible time finding a recipe without crisco in the filling (the thought of crisco grosses me out!). Can’t wait to make these!!!

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