Now that I am back in the mountains after visiting family in Indiana for a few weeks, I’ve finally had some high altitude kitchen time. Being at sea level because I had to remind myself not to ‘altitude adjust’ whenever I baked anything!
In Indiana, all of the trees and shrubs were blossoming when I first arrived and it was so beautiful. I got lucky this spring because I returned to town when everything decided to bloom here too. It’s beginning to look like summer! Each day our aspen trees open their leaves a little more and the hummingbirds have arrived by the fleets.
So, whoopie pies. In the last two years, whoopie pies have certainly been a ‘trendy’ food. When gourmet food shops and bakeries began showcasing the whoopie pie, people went nuts for these treats and I know many bakers who have made quite a fortune off of selling them. If you’ve never had a whoopie pie, imagine slicing off the top of two cupcakes, and sandwiching them together with a fluffy filling. Like a big cakey cookie sandwich.
But, like cupcakes, not all the recipes you find will be good ones. There should be a balance- the cakes need to be moist and tender, and the filling needs to be soft and not too sweet.
This recipe is definitely a keeper. The whoopie pie cakes are super soft, fudgy, and very chocolately. I like to use a homemade marshmallow fluff to fill these with and in my younger days, I could probably have eaten an entire batch of this stuff alone. The fluff is the perfect pillowy texture and ridiculously addicting. The cake and filling in this recipe remind me of eating a slice of devil’s food cake with a seven-minute frosting. Rich, but also light.
In my experience with these whoopie pies, they are best the day they are made. The filling loses some of it’s softness and firms up over time. Make these for a barbecue, birthday party, or picnic, as they are a convenient handheld dessert. And I can assure you that you won’t have any left…
How to make this high altitude adjusted recipe:
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Adapted from Teri’s Kitchen and The Pastry Queen Christmas by Rebecca Rather
Note: If you like lots and lots of filling in your whoopie pies, double the marshmallow filling recipe.
- For the Whoopie Pies:
- 1¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ cup cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ tablespoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
- Scant 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- For the Marshmallow Filling:
- 2 egg whites
- 1½ cups sugar
- ⅓ cup cold water
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- ½ cup mini marshmallows
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- To make the Whoopie Pies, begin by preheating your oven to 365 F.
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking soda, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes.
- Beat in the egg until smooth.
- Add the buttermilk and vanilla and stir until combined.
- Gradually beat in the flour mixture until just incorporated. It should be thick and tacky.
- Scoop out the batter using 1-2 tablespoon measures (depending on how large you want your whoopie pies) and place three inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the cakes are puffed and no longer look wet in the center.
- Let cool completely.
- Pipe or spoon the marshmallow filling onto the underside of one cake, and sandwich with another.
- To make the Marshmallow Filling: begin by bringing a pot of water to a simmer over medium heat.
- Combine the egg whites, sugar, water, and cream of tartar in a bowl that fits over the pot of simmer water.
- Whisk the egg white mixture constantly, turning the heat to low if necessary, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Carefully pinching a drop of the mixture between your fingertips is a good test to ensure you feel no granules of sugar.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the pot of simmering water and transfer the egg white mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Beat the egg white mixture with a whisk attachment on high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
- Meanwhile, microwave the marshmallows until they begin to puff, and add them to the egg white mixture as its whipping.
- When the marshmallow filling is thick enough to pipe, stir in the vanilla and fill the whoopie pies. The longer it sits the more it will firm up.
- Makes about 16 whoopie pies, depending on size.
Note: This recipe was adapted for high altitude baking. To make this recipe at sea level, increase the baking soda to 1 tablespoon, the baking powder to 1/2 teaspoon, and the sugar to 1 full cup. The baking time may vary slightly.