Making Whoopie Pies

This is my perfect whoopee pie: a flat, tender, not-overly-chocolate-y “bun” combined with a less is-more mock buttercream filling. Put the two together and you have sweet-yet-not-too-rich snack that is, in a word, happy-making. Wait, was that two words? Oh well, too late to go back and fix it now. I’ve got to travel tomorrow…I need to pack! Start by preheating your oven to 375 and sifting the dry ingredients together like so:

Combine buttermilk and vanilla.

Put the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle.

Beat them until they’re good and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Then beat in the egg and yolk, scraping the bowl as needed to get a uniform mixture.

Turn the machine down to low and add a third of the flour mixture…

…then half the buttermilk mixture…

…and so on and so on until everything is combined. Scrape the bowl during and after the process.

The batter should be both light and smooth.

Spoon dollops of about three tablespoons in volume onto sheet pans. Six per pan is pretty much perfect, though you can try to sneak a seventh in there…I dunno, it still crowds the sheet I think.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until they’re no longer mushy in the center.

You can either use them as they are, or employ a round cutter to even them out. This is what we did at the bakery, but me, I tend not to like the jagged edge as much.

Selecting one of the lesser-looking rounds, turn it upside-down and pipe on a generous amount of heritage frosting. I prefer this to spreading it with a knife because spreading tends to break and/or crack the tender buns.

Serve right away or store them. One of the glories of a heritage, cooked-flour frosting is that it will keep for days at room temperature without spoiling. Thus these whoopies can be stored, lightly wrapped, on the counter top.

If you want to wrap them individually, you can use plastic wrap, though that tends to make a mess. A thin cellophane is really ideal here, since it won’t stick to the bun. But who am I kidding? These things never last that long…

18 thoughts on “Making Whoopie Pies”

    1. Thanks, Geetha! To answer your question, vanilla is definitely the classic, though you do see other flavors these days, now that they’re so popular.

      – Joe

  1. can you suggest a substitute for buttermilk? We only have a much thicker variation (like yoghurt) here in Sweden.

    1. Susan you can add 1 Tablespoon of lemon juice or white vinegar to 1 cup of whole milk, stir, let set for 10 minutes and it will thicken to be like buttermilk. :):)

      1. To some extent, yes. However I suggest adding 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon milk, then stirring the lemon juice in the last addition of liquid. Lemon juice, believe it or not, is a strong enough acid to cause the milk proteins to curdle. Those lumps aren’t necessary desirable from a blending standpoint.

        Have fun!

        – Joe

    2. Are you talking about filmjölk? I found I could substitute half fil and half regular milk with no problems, when I live in Sweden. If you can find it, kärnmjölk is the same as old-fashioned buttermilk is in the US and can also be used..

  2. Hi Joe! How many pies does this make? I’m thinking this would make a popular Easter treat for the kids.

  3. Holy. Schmoly. I made these for my son’s birthday celebration with his class at school, and they were delicious. I did have to add quite a bit of sugar to the filling to get a good consistency; removing the milk/flour mixture from the heat after the first few bubbles rolled up didn’t leave it quite thick enough… I’ll try just a hair longer next time so I don’t end up with such a sweet filling. The cake part was amazing! I’ll definitely make these again!

  4. Thanks for doing these, Joe! And you’re right…they go so fast you don’t have time to wrap them!

  5. Hello Joe

    I’ve been reading your blog and these are the first things I’ve made.
    They were absolutely delicious. I’ll certainly be making more of your receipes in future.


    1. So glad they worked so well for you, Catherine! I vastly prefer these over any others I’ve tried. Thanks so much for getting in touch to tell me they turned out! Cheers,

      – Joe

  6. Dear Joe,

    I keep coming back to your website for constant guidance, you happen to have the right information each time.

    Right now, I have a slight problem with my whoopie pies. They tend t be perfectly dry and cakey when I remove them from the oven, cool and fill them. But after a few hours, the tops get sticky. Is it because of the filling that has water content (I use ganache, cream-cheese frosting), or because I live in a humid city (Mumbai, India)? I’ve tried baking it at a higher temperature, also for a few extra minutes and what not. NOTHING ever works – the tops get sticky in no time.

    Can you please help me?


    1. Try storing the filling and the cookies separately, and then just combining them when you are ready to serve. Or, if you need to store them filled for a bit (because you are packing them in a lunchbox), try storing them in a container with a loose lid instead of anything airtight. Letting them breathe a little should help. (I sealed mine in a tight closed plastic container and got the same sticky problem. After taking the lid off and letting them breath for a little while on the counter , the stickiness was greatly reduced.)

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