Classic Whoopie Pies
Satisfy your sweet tooth with these classic whoopie pies! Dark chocolate cake, sandwiched around a fluffy, marshmallow-y vanilla creme filling.
For a little while, I had toyed around with the idea of titling this recipe “Next Level Whoopie Pies,” but I ultimately decided against it because I didn’t want to give the impression that these were anything other than the classic favorite we all know and love.
They are just that: soft chocolate cake sandwiched around a sweet, fluffy, marshmallow-y filling. Classic whoopie pies. So beloved, right?
In this case though, it’s a classic done so incredibly right.
We are talking cake that is just so unbelievably chocolate-y. Rich, dark, and full-bodied, with a moist texture that’s still sturdy enough to hold in your hand without it crumbling to pieces. The recipe is adapted from my Simply Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes, which is one of the top recipes on my site and one that I am still so proud of. Everyone loves it because a) the flavor is off the charts, and b) it’s so simple to make, in just one bowl. I just tweaked the proportions a bit to make it able to stand on it’s own, and I think you’ll love this whoopie pie version.
But it’s the filling that really takes these whoopie pies to the next level. Most whoopie pie recipes call for what’s basically a combination of American-style buttercream and marshmallow fluff. I wanted to make a completely from-scratch version, so as I’m cruising around looking at homemade fluff recipes, I realize that most of them are just Italian meringue. Add soft butter to that and you have Italian meringue buttercream!
Have you ever tasted Italian meringue buttercream? Oh my good lord! It is to-die-for! You have never put anything so silky-smooth and light into your mouth. The texture is positively divine!
I’m mostly a Swiss meringue buttercream gal, but in this case we are going Italian because that glossy, gooey Italian meringue is a dead ringer for homemade marshmallow fluff.
To me, there’s no better combination of flavors than chocolate and marshmallow. And this whoopie pie recipe totally takes that to the next level!
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Classic Whoopie Pies
For the cakes
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 1 cup (86 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons dark cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons (1.5 teaspoons) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 g) unsalted butter, , softened
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup (200 g) Greek yogurt, (thick sour cream can be substituted)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the filling
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar,, divided
- 2/3 cup (166.67 g) water
- 5 large egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon (0.5 teaspoon) cream of tartar
- pinch of kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups (340.5 g) unsalted butter,, softened but cool.
To make the cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Place the flour, sugar, cocoa powders, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl, and whisk to combine.
- Add the soft butter, and mix on medium speed using the paddle attachment for about a minute. The mixture should resemble damp sand.
- Stir in the eggs until incorporated.
- Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula, and add the Greek yogurt and vanilla.
- Mix on medium-high speed for about a minute and a half, to aerate the batter and build the cake’s structure.
- Using a 1-ounce scoop, drop balls of batter on the prepared sheet pans.
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
- Cool completely, then sandwich around 1 ounce of filling.
To make the filling:
- li>Place half the sugar in a small pot with the water, and cook over medium heat.
- Place the egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large mixing bowl and whip on medium-high speed with the whisk attachment.
- When the whites can hold soft peaks, slowly add the remaining sugar (about a tablespoon at a time) while continuing to whip.
- When all the sugar has been added, add the vanilla and continue to whip the meringue until stiff. Turn the mixer down to low speed while you wait for the sugar syrup to come to temperature.
- When the sugar syrup has reached 235 degrees F, remove it from the heat, turn the mixer back up to medium-high, and slowly pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl in a thin stream. (Do not pour onto the spinning whisk; it could splash out of the bowl and burn you.)
- Continue to whip until there is no hint of warmth when you place your hand on the side of the bowl.
- When the meringue is completely cool, whip in the butter, a tablespoon at a time. (If the mixture seems runny, place the entire bowl and whisk in the refrigerator for 10 to 20 minutes, and re-whip. If the mixture seems curdled, just keep whipping- it will come together.)
I am quite a competent baker and followed this recipe to the letter. Firstly my cakes did not rise at all and then the filling was very liquid and would not thicken even after refrigerating it for over an hour. It had the consistency of pouring cream. Very disappointed…. wonder what went wrong?!?
Instead of using butter, a shortening should probably be used instead. consistency of the filling was buttery texture and tasting. completely ruined the whoopie pie by using the 1 1/2 cups of butter.
Sorry you didn’t like it Viv. Personally I love the flavor of butter. I think it makes these whoopie pies even more delicious. Also I would not recommend using shortening in this type of filling- it’s an Italian meringue buttercream and I don’t know that shortening would behave properly for this type of application.
Hi! I made a similar recipe and also homemade my fluff! But I had a question about the filling safety. Since the homemade version uses egg whites is it safe for kids to eat? Thanks!
Unless you’re serving it to someone with an egg allergy, it should be fine. The egg whites are cooked by the hot sugar syrup. Good luck and I hope you enjoy Noelle!
Do these need to be refrigerated or will they keep at room temperature?
Hi Karen! They’re probably ok for a day or so at room temp, but after that you’ll probably want to pop them in the fridge. Hope you enjoy!
I could eat a TON of these.LOVE this recipe!
I can’t even say how much I love whoopie pies! And the classic is the very best. Great recipe!
This is seriously one of my favorite desserts! Thank you for posting this!
I’m so glad your filling is completely homemade! These are to die for!
ahhhhh whoopie pies remind me of the month I spent in Maine!! So many fun memories, and I love how delicious these look!
Maine is amazing! And I know these are their state treat, right? Thanks Kayle!
These look insanely delicious hunny!
Thank you so much Nicole! It’s been so long; I hope you’re doing well!
Yes. So much yes. I LOVE this classic recipe- gotta make these soon!
So happy you like it Karly! Hope you get a chance to try it out sometime.
Pretty as a picture and classic. I love a good whoopie pie! I used to get the best ones from the Amish bakers in the Reading Terminal market when I lived in Philadelphia, maybe it’s time to revisit those memories and make a batch! <3