Whoopie Pie Recipe

One thing that tends to happen when a food item becomes really, really popular is that it gets pushed to excess. By which I mean it gets “updated” and “revised” by recipe writer after recipe writer to the point that it soon becomes a sort of hyper-enriched, hyper-sweetened, hyper-everything’d caricature of its former self. It’s my belief that this is what has happened to whoopie pies over the last decade or so. The kind I made in my very first bakery job had nowhere near the amount of sugar or cocoa powder in the “buns” and they were filled not with buttercream but with a much lighter “heritage” frosting. This made for a much more reasonable and pleasing snack than the gut busters that have become the norm. What follows isn’t the recipe I first learned, but a reasonable facsimile thereof. I believe it’s much more in the spirit of the original whoopie. You’ll need:

10 ounces (2 cups) all-purpose flour
1 ounce (1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) cocoa powder
1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Sift the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl. Combine the buttermilk and vanilla in a small bowl or measuring cup. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the egg and yolk, then, beginning with the flour mixture, alternate additions of the dry and wet ingredients 3-2 until everything is incorporated. Spoon large dollops of batter onto a greased sheet pan. Bake for 10-12 minutes, then cool them on a wire rack.

Make sandwiches using “Heritage” a.k.a. “Boiled” a.k.a. “Flour” a.k.a. “Cooked Flour” a.k.a. “Gravy” a.k.a. “Cloudburst” frosting.

21 thoughts on “Whoopie Pie Recipe”

  1. I’ve never wanted to try whoopie pies because they have always looked too sickly sweet. This, however, sounds wonderful!

    1. Hi Louisa!

      I hope you will give them a try one of these days, since they really can be excellent when not taken to extremes! Thanks for the note!

      – Joe

  2. Hey joe,

    I can’t help but notice that your spelling of “whoopee” as opposed to “whoopie.” What’s up with that? 😉

  3. I love Whoopie Pies! The ones I’ve made before always have a shortening based filling, which I find to taste too much like shortening and not enough like frosting. I can’t wait to try these with your frosting recipe.

  4. Made them last night & I must say they are very, very good. I agree with Louisa, I always figured they would be too sweet. The heritage frosting is amazing! It is the perfect balance of sweetness & the texture is perfect. I will be using that for frosting a lot in the future. Thanks for the new recipe.

    1. Wow, are you ever fast out of the gate, Connie! Glad you like the profile of these pies. As I said, I always have. The heritage frosting is definitely the way to go! It’s funny, if you look at the “Heritage, a.k.a…” post you can see it has 60+ comments (including my own responses) which makes it the most commented-on post I’ve ever put up. People just love the stuff, probably because it’s such a balanced taste and texture compared to standard buttercream. It has some some drawbacks in the spreadability area, but it’s something people go back to over and over again.

      Thanks for the great comment!

      – Joe

      1. If I substituted half of the the butter with peanut butter for a peanut butter frosting would that work? I was thinking chocolate whoopees with peanut butter filling would be delicious!! Especially since my family is nuts about chocolate and peanut butter.

        1. Hi Connie!

          I’d make the recipe as it is, then beat in about 1/3 cup of smooth peanut butter. That should give you the frosting you want!

          – Joe

  5. I read the boiled frosting recipe with great interest, especially because I’m from Latvia and here we consider this type of frosting to be “normal”, whereas buttercream is that overly sweet stuff, packed with artificial additives that can be found on (and in) store-bought cakes. But I never could imagine the explanation you give about its origins (shortage of butter) although it really makes sense. Nevertheless, this frosting is what Latvians are looking for in layered cakes, together with white sponge sheets made of countless eggs and cranberry jam. Your recipe is something I will make as soon as I get ingredients at hand – never tried to combine boiled cream frosting with chocolate cake, but sounds really tasty!

    1. Very nice to meet you, Antuanete! Fascinating that this frosting is so popular in Latvia. I never would have guessed that. Please met me know how yours turns out. Come back again soon!

      – Joe

      1. Hi again, Joe,

        I tried this recipe and whoopee pies turned out very nice, in fact, so nice that they vanished before I had time to make photos.
        But I have to admit that I didn’t read the boiled frosting recipe carefully enough when I noted that it is very popular in Latvia, because it is not exactly the same recipe – ours has egg yolks or whole eggs in it, therefore it’s more like German buttercream (reader Kate mentioned it) only with flour instead of cornstarch. American boiled buttercream is really more “buttery”, but with vanilla flavour and combined into chocolate buns was very tasteful.
        But here I have one question about eggs and egg yolks in chocolate dough – what is the difference egg whites make, when comparing, let’s say, recipe with two egg yolks (I think that was the first version here) or with whole egg instead?

        1. Interesting question, Anutanete!

          The egg white does a couple of things. When I ran the recipe the first time it was stiffer than I wanted, so the extra white gave the batter the moisture that it needed. So whites do that…add moisture which translates into spread. But whites also add structure to a batter, in this case some more rigidity so the tops didn’t crumble so easily when I handled them.

          Thanks for the question!

          – Joe

  6. Hi, I’m sure your tired of this question but would the recipe work substituting butttermilk for “milk+acid (lemon juice/vinegar)” ? I live in Argentina and such a product doesn’t exist!
    Thanks for all the time and care you put in all your posts! I really aprreciate it!

    1. Oh yes, that’s fine. A tablespoon of either freeze squeezed lemon juice or vinegar, substituted for a tablespoon of milk.

      – Joe

  7. Uh oh, I’m confused.

    Ingredients list one egg, and one egg yolk. Then the instructions only says to beat in the egg yolks. (plural) Will the eggwhite change the batter or did you intend us to use it?

  8. Hi Joe
    I tried these last week as a gift for some friendly printers… I’ll admit to changing out the vanilla for my current obsession, bergamot – but the result ? Amazing! A great combination of intriguing flavors and texture. And hugely appreciated by everyone, even without the heritage frosting, which would have been too much for their tastes.

    1. Wow…would have loved to have tasted those. Thanks for the note and the inspiration, Verity!

      – Joe

  9. I absolutely adore the concept of whoopee pies. I have yet to make them myself but this recipe seems to be quiet easy just like many of your other recipes. Could you change the cake part of the recipe to another such as vanilla, red velvet, caramel or something else and then change the cream? My favorite flavor is salted caramel, would it be possible to change the recipe to a chocolate cake and a salted caramel cream? I look forward to trying this recipe and letting you know how it works out with the different variables I have listed.

    1. Hey Devin!

      The world of whoopie pies is wide and getting wider. I’ve seen all those variations at one time or another, so I know it’s possible. You can use cake later recipes for the “buns” though you’ll want to go easier on the liquid since you don’t want the batter to run all over the place. Some experimentation is probably in order but I would think that cutting back on the liquid by about 1/3 should do the trick!

      Cheers and let me know how things go!

      – Joe

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