Makin’ Whoopie(s) for Valentine’s Day!

Are you familiar with the Whoopie Pie? No one in my little corner of the world has ever heard of a whoopie pie. If I weren’t a food writer, I’m not sure I’d know what one was either.

According to Wikipedia:
A whoopie pie is a baked good made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, sometimes pumpkin cake, with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. While considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition, they are increasingly sold throughout the United States. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers’ lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout “Whoopie!”

Remember Hostess’ Suzy Q’s- sweet creamy filling sandwiched between 2 layers of chocolate sponge cake? I happily scarfed down many of those (along with Twinkies and Ding Dongs) back in the 70′s and 80′s. I’m now so far removed from things like Suzy Q’s that I wasn’t even aware they were still being sold.   Whoopie Pies are slightly similar and are certainly a more delicious alternative. For Valentine’s Day, I chose to make Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese & Marshmallow Buttercream Filling.

Some folks are weary of red food coloring. I don’t blame those folks. I don’t like to use bottled food coloring in large amounts in my red velvet baked goods. Instead I use red gel (or paste), which is far more concentrated… a little goes a long way and you don’t get that funky food color flavor.  Find it at baking supply stores or craft stores like Michaels.

I add about 1 teaspoon of the gel and then when the batter is all mixed up, I re-evaluate and add a little more if it isn’t quite the deep red hue I was hoping for.

For whoopie pies, you want your little “cakes” to turn out as round and as uniform as possible. It’s easiest to achieve this if you have a small ice cream scoop. Place spoon a Tablespoon or so of the batter onto the cookie sheets- they’ll spread a little bit so keep space between the batter blobs.

The cakey cookies themselves aren’t really anything to write home about. Red velvet needs a cream cheesy companion. In this case, I made a cream cheese buttercream with a marshmallow addition. Spread it over the bottom of the cookie, and sandwich another cookie- bottom down- to make your “pie.”

They turn out to be a very pretty little dessert for Valentine’s Day. You can make them ahead of time; keep them in a single layer on a tray. Cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate them for a day or two.  The verdict on these= YUM.  Let’s be truthful… the frosting is what really makes these worthwhile.  And their festive hue makes them a good choice for a lovely dessert.

In case you’re thinking that you might like to shape the batter on the cookie sheet to make cute, little heart-shaped whoopie pies, it doesn’t quite work. The batter moves around too much & it’s impossible to get matching cakes.

You can, however, make some larger circles and then use a cutter to cut out clean-shaped hearts if you’d like… though you’ll have a few red velvet cookie scraps to contend with.

And you’ll never guess what I found in my bag of conversation hearts!

Hope you get some whoopie(s) on V-Day ;)

This recipe can be found here: Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Leave a Comment




25 Responses to “Makin’ Whoopie(s) for Valentine’s Day!”

  1. 1

    Lydia — February 11, 2010 @ 6:47 AM

    Never heard of whoopies? Oh my! I guess I come from the whoopie capital- Lancaster, Pa (Amish country) and so it’s hard to imagine someone not knowing about whoopie pies.

    And I will attest that they are quite delicious. We love oatmeal ones especially. Oh, and did you ever make mini whoopies dipped in chocolate? Decadent!

    I just found your blog and really like it btw. :)

  2. 2

    grace — February 11, 2010 @ 7:19 AM

    some folks don’t know about whoopie pies? say it ain’t so! your batch looks great, lori–perfect for v day. and your title–hilarious. :)

  3. 3

    Tabitha — February 11, 2010 @ 7:26 AM

    My grandmother made molasses cookie whoopie’s when I was growing up in TN. Instead of traditional crisp molasses cookies, she made them soft and cakelike. They look a lot like your picture only a very different flavor. We filled them with cream cheese frosting. Delicious! If you’re going to make lots of shapes, making a thin sheet cake on a jellyroll pan might work well.

  4. 4

    dayna f. — February 11, 2010 @ 7:42 AM

    i love the look of the heart pies. as for never hearing of them… i live in texas and know many people that have no idea what whoopie pies are.

  5. 5

    Casey@Good. Food. Stories. — February 11, 2010 @ 7:54 AM

    In western PA, we have “gobs” instead of whoopie pies!
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=3179048&id=520769815

  6. 6

    katie — February 11, 2010 @ 8:26 AM

    No one near me has heard of them either. Interesting bit of history behind them. They look gorgeous!

  7. 7

    Louise — February 11, 2010 @ 9:34 AM

    Since making the move to Whoopie “country,” I just can’t get enough of them. Yours look darling. I love that you made them Red Velvety. Thanks for sharing, Lori…

  8. 8

    LilSis — February 11, 2010 @ 10:31 AM

    I love these! I sure wish I had time to make some and ship to my son in Texas. Red velvet is his favorite!

  9. 9

    nina — February 11, 2010 @ 10:45 AM

    I can hear my children go Whoopi!!!! Precious!!!!

  10. 10

    Lauren — February 11, 2010 @ 11:52 AM

    Red Velvet whoopie pies? Does it get any better than that? Looks so delicious-I may have to try this one.

  11. 11

    Marla — February 11, 2010 @ 12:26 PM

    Great job! No I would not want my whoopie pie to taste like red dye. Love those gel colors, they do come in handy when you need them. It is all about the frosting! Cream cheese/marshmallow…yum!

  12. 12

    Mason — February 11, 2010 @ 3:45 PM

    LOL @ “tweet me”!! These look perfect! So, that explains why my icing isn’t red! I need to use 1 tsp of the red-red to get it there. Cool!

  13. 13

    Fran — February 11, 2010 @ 4:11 PM

    Love the title of this post! And the Tweet Me heart. I know I heard of a Whoopie Pie, but don’t think I ever knew what it was until we started carrying a pan and mix in the last few weeks. I still haven’t had one though.

    Too bad I don’t have a valentine to make these for.

  14. 14

    VeggieGirl — February 12, 2010 @ 4:28 AM

    LOOOVE Whoopies!! :-D

  15. 15

    shelly (cookies and cups) — February 12, 2010 @ 4:52 AM

    So cute!

  16. 16

    Evan Thomas — February 12, 2010 @ 7:50 AM

    How beautiful! I’m one of those people who personally won’t touch the food dye, but I’m sure this recipe had so much going on beyond that in terms of flavor no one would miss the color :-D

  17. 17

    Noble Pig — February 12, 2010 @ 9:27 AM

    Those turned out adorable!

  18. 18

    Carissa — February 12, 2010 @ 4:56 PM

    I’m a New England girl (Maine) and whoopie pies are everywhere! I just made some last night actually!

  19. 19

    Cheryl — February 12, 2010 @ 8:11 PM

    How cute! My gram used to make the best whoopie pies – we love them up here in New England!

  20. 20

    Stella — February 13, 2010 @ 7:11 AM

    I always feel weird about food coloring, but these are beautiful, RecipeGirl! The photo on T.S. is extra good.

  21. 21

    Lucy — February 13, 2010 @ 9:27 AM

    I have never tried a classic whoopie pie, yet they look so delicious. I am loving the cream cheese/marshmallow combination for the filling – surely good enough just on its own? ;)

  22. 22

    RecipeGirl's Mom — February 13, 2010 @ 1:00 PM

    Loved your Valentine presentation and the Whoopie pie story. Yum! Happy V day to all.

  23. 23

    Jen Schall — February 13, 2010 @ 9:19 PM

    These look cute! I love whoopie pies. :) I am also now determined to go buy some conversation hearts and find ones that say Tweet Me, because I know that will make my hubby laugh since I’m always sending him direct messages (and he’s always ignoring me)

  24. 24

    Dina — February 14, 2010 @ 9:09 PM

    very festive and cute!

  25. 25

    Janice — September 25, 2011 @ 4:42 AM

    Made this recipe yesterday, and they are delicious!!! My teenagers took their first bites into their pies, and all I heard was “Mmmmmm”. Both were silent (unusual for them) until they finished, apart from the occasional “Mmmmmm”.
    I look forward to making more, and trying out some new flavors.
    Thank you Lori.