Whoopie Pies are a fluffy cake-like chocolate cookie sandwich with gooey marshmallow filling in the middle. They are a popular treat in the northeast United States. Our Maine Whoopie Pies recipe is the classic version, but there are so many ways to customize it! I will share some ideas with you a little later in this post.
Dutch-Processed Vs. Natural Cocoa
The traditional Maine Whoopie Pie is really dark, almost black! It is very similar to the color of an Oreo cookie. We achieve this color by using Dutch-processed cocoa. Not only does Dutch-processed cocoa give us the coveted dark color, but it also offers gives our recipe a rich, yet smooth chocolate flavor.
If you love the flavor of Whoopie Pies then you will want to also try these Black Forest Cupcakes. They are super easy to make, and have a texture that reminds me a little bit of Whoopie Pies.
It is important to sift your dry ingredients together so that you don't have cocoa lumps. Don't skip this step! It will help the cocoa distribute evenly all throughout the batter.
Another important ingredient distinction in this Maine Whoopie Pie recipe is the baking soda. Some recipes call for baking powder. We use baking soda because it creates a cake that will be domed and fluffy when it comes out of the oven, and then it will fall a little on itself. This style is more of a traditional Whoopie Pie.
How to Make Maine Whoopie Pies
Beat the sugar and butter together in a separate bowl. Then add the eggs and vanilla. Scrape down the sides well after the addition of the eggs. This is an important step that helps to ensure that all of the eggs are well mixed in.
When you are ready to add the flour, it will be done in stages, alternating with the buttermilk. Adding the dry ingredients and the liquids in smaller amounts helps to keep your batter free of lumps and prevent overmixing of the flour. Mix the last portion of flour by hand.
I use a heaping two tablespoon scoop to portion the batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. If you don't have a scoop then you can use a quarter cup measure, filling just over halfway. This will make cookie cakes that are about 3-inches in diameter. The batter will spread, so leave plenty of room between the mounds.
Depending on the size of your oven, you may need to bake these trays on racks one above the other, and also bake in batches. If you are baking two trays at once, place one rack in the top third of your oven and the other in the bottom third position. Rotate the trays halfway through cooking. Allow the cakes to cool for 5 minutes before sliding the parchment off and allowing them to cool completely. You can then reline your baking sheet and cook your remaining cakes.
Creamy, Fluffy Filling
The best part about Whoopie Pie is the filling! It combines cake frosting wtih marshmallow fluff to create a sweet and creamy filing. Refrigerate the filling for at least 30 minutes so that it thickens. The filling can be made a day or two ahead, if you would like. Just keep it refrigerated until you are ready to use it.
Pipe the frosting onto the cake using an open tip. Or if you prefer, you could scoop a quarter cup of filling onot half of the cakes. It is helpful to sort through the cakes ahead of time, matching up similar sizes and shapes. This helps each Whoopie Pie come together cohesively.
Whoopie Pie Variations
Maine Whoopie Pies are traditionally chocolate with a vanilla filling, but you don't have to limit yourself to this classic flavor. There are many different flavor options you can choose from. Here are a few of my favorites:
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Whoopie Pies can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap them individually in plastic wrap, then place in a zip-top freezer bag. Allow them to thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours prior to serving.
Stored in an airtight container, Whoopie Pies can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.
The buttermilk gives the Whoopie Pies a subtle tang, and the acid helps the cakes rise. If you do not have buttermilk, you can make a substitution version very easily! Just put a tablespoon of white vinegar into your measuring cup, then fill it with enough milk to equal 1 cup.
These Whoopie Pies were our dessert for our Maine State Dinner! Check out our other adventures of famous food from across the states.
Maine Whoopie PiesRecipe by:
- 2 cups flour (260 grams)
- ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon table salt
- 1 cup packed brown sugar (110 grams)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- ½ cup salted butter, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 ½ cups marshmallow cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking soda, and salt together into a medium bowl.2 cups flour, ½ cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon espresso powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ¼ teaspoon table salt
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter and sugar on medium speed for 4 minutes.1 cup packed brown sugar, ½ cup salted butter, softened
- Add egg and beat for an additional minute, then scrape sides. Add vanilla extract and beat until mixed in.1 large egg, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture into the batter and mix on low speed until just combined.Add ½ of the buttermilk and mix fully.Add ½ of the remaining flour mix, then remaining buttermilk, and mix until incorporated.Add the rest of the flour mixture and mix in by hand until flour is no longer visible.1 cup buttermilk
- Spoon in 2 tablespoons onto baking sheets, leaving plenty of room between them as they will spread.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. Press your finger gently into the top of one of the cakes. If it springs back then it is done. If it remains indented, continue cooking.Once baked, remove from oven and cool completely.If you have remaining batter, allow the first batch to cool for 5 minutes, then slide them off of the pan and add a new parchment sheet to cook the remaining cakes.
- Beat butter, sugar, and vanilla on medium speed until combined. Increase speed to high and continue beating for 4 minutes.12 tablespoon butter, 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Gently fold marshmallow cream into the frosting using a spatula.2 ½ cups marshmallow cream
- Place in the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes to thicken.
- Fill a pastry bag with the filling, using an open tip. Pipe filling over the flat surface of half of the cookies. Match cookies according to size and place the second cookie over the top.
- Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Remove to room temperature 30 minutes prior to serving.
Does the filling use salted butter?
Yes, it does. If you want to use unsalted butter instead then increase the salt to 1/2 teaspoon.
Hi, In the cake instructions, it says to add vanilla extract. I don't see it in the recipe. How much should there be for the cake part.
Wow! Thank you for catching that. I apologize that I left that off in the original recipe. It is 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. I have updated the recipe card.
I’m not sure what exactly happened but I followed the recipe exactly and the batter was so crumbly once cooked and cooked that half of them broke. The flavor was good but aesthetically they ended up looking terrible and were not able to be eaten without a plate and fork due to them falling apart.
I am so sorry that you had difficulty with this recipe. The most likely culprit is that you used too much flour. That is easy to do if you are scooping the flour to measure. I will update the recipe to include the flour weight, and also instructions that you should spoon the flour into a measuring cup so that it does not get too compact. I hope you will try the recipe again with these measuring methods!
This is so easy to make and it looks delicious too. A perfect snacks for that boring afternoon.
It definitely adds some fun to the afternoon!