Did you know that whoopie pies originated in Maine? Pennsylvanians will try to tell you that they invented them, but don't believe them. They are definitely from Maine. I LOVE whoopie pies. Two cakey cookies, with frosting in the middle? What could be better? And they are so adaptable. You can make different sizes, different flavors for the filling and the cake, there are tons of possibilities. I've made traditional ones (dark chocolate cake, vanilla filling) and pumpkin cakes with cream cheese filling. And I've had apple ones and I got a HUGE maple one at the Fryeburg Fair in Maine last year (THAT one was amazing.) I want to make red velvet ones. I love red velvet. And I think banana would be yummy, too. With cream cheese filling.
My munchkin had his last day of preschool and to celebrate, they had a party for the kids. So of course, I brought dessert. I had in my mind an idea of a cake that I wanted to make, but it didn't work out because I didn't have time the night before. I had finals for grad school that I really had to work on and so I couldn't devote HOURS to baking. I wanted to make whoopie pies for the kids, because it needed to be something kid friendly and little sandwiches are easy for little hands. So, I decided on mini whoopie pies for the kiddos and one large cake size whoopie pie for the adults.
Little people like simple, so I went with classic chocolate cakes and vanilla filling. This recipe is from one in a magazine called Fresh that is published by the grocery store Hannaford. Here's a link to the original, but I left out the instant coffee. Preschoolers don't need coffee, even in minuscule amounts.
3/4 cups unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 cups flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350F. As always, I use my baking stones which are well seasoned and do not need to be sprayed or lined. Regular baking sheets should be lined with parchment or sprayed with cooking spray.
In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Measure out buttermilk and add vanilla and set aside.
With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix butter and brown sugar until well blended. Add eggs one at a time and continue mixing until smooth.
Add half of the flour mixture to the butter and sugar mixture and mix on medium until smooth. Add half the buttermilk mixture and continue to mix on medium speed, scraping the sides when necessary. Add the remaining flour and then the remaining buttermilk, mixing until smooth after each addition and continuing to scrape the sides of the bowl.
For my large, cake size whoopie pie, I scooped several spoonfuls of batter on to the baking stone and smoothed it out into a large circle, about 8-9 inches across and baked them for 14 minutes. For my mini whoopie pies, I used small spoonfuls (about a tablespoon) and baked them for about 10 minutes. But for normal sized pies, about 2-3 tablespoons should be sufficient. Cakes should be puffy, but still soft to the touch. Let cool for about 3 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
3/4 cups unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups sifted confectionary sugar
3 cups marshmallow creme (Fluff is best, but not available everywhere)
With an electric mixer on medium speed, mix butter and vanilla until well mixed and creamy. Add half of the confectionary sugar and mix on low to combine then on high. Add the rest and mix again, scraping sides as necessary.
Add marshmallow creme and mix until filling is fluffy and smooth.
For the big whoopie pie, I slathered on several large dollops of filling, smoothed it out and added the top.
The little ones took about a teaspoon of filling.
The fickle preschoolers seemed to like them, although, some licked out the filling and others just ate the cakes. And the big one came out great, too.
I think next time, red velvet. Or maybe gingerbread ones around Christmastime...