These densely chocolate hand-held cakes make a fun change from cupcakes. Traditionally a New England or Pennsylvania Amish dessert, rumour has it they were made with leftover cake batter similar to jam turnovers made with leftover pastry. Somehow I doubt that story; whoever heard of leftover cake batter? Just use a bigger cake pan! Kids were so happy to see them in their lunch boxes they yelled “whoopie!”.
Most recipes call for the filling to be made with Marshmallow fluff or buttercream icing. This version cuts the sweetness of the buttercream by incorporating a pudding-like cream made with flour and milk. Light, fluffy and delectable. A huge hit! That part stays true.
A densely chocolate cookie-cake-sandwich filled with fluffy white filling. A perfect treat for school lunches or snacks.
For the cakes:
- 60 g (½ c) unsweetened cocoa
- 240 g (2 c) all-purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 100 g (½ c) vegetable shortening
- 200 g (1 c) sugar
- 1 egg
- 8 oz (1 c) milk
- 10 ml (2 tsp) vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 226 g (7 oz or 1 c) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 200 g (8 oz or 1 c) sugar
- 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
- 5 ml (1 tsp) vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
- 30 g (1/4 c or 4 tbsp) all-purpose flour
- 8 oz (1 c) milk
Make the cakes:
- Preheat the oven to 450°F or 425°F Convection.
- Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to mix and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the shortening and sugar. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla extract and mix well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the bowl and mix well.
- Using a medium (1½ ounce or 2 tbsp) scoop, place scoops of the batter onto the prepared cookie sheets (about 12 per sheet) and bake for 6-7 minutes. Using a metal spatula, remove immediately to cool on a wire cooling rack. Let cool completely.
Make the filling:
- In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugar and salt and beat until light and fluffy, and the sugar has dissolved (5 to 10 minutes). Scrape down the sides of the bowl about halfway through. Beat in the vanilla. There will still be traces of grittiness from the sugar, but those will disappear when the flour and milk mixture is added; it’s almost magic! Scrape the mixture into a small bowl and set aside. You’ll need the bowl of the stand mixer for the next step; no need to wash it out in between, though.
- In a small saucepan, whisk together the flour and milk until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture forms a very thick paste and the flour taste has cooked out (6 to 10 minutes).
- Transfer to the mixer bowl fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until completely cool. Beat in the butter-sugar mixture on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
Assemble the pies:
- Using a small spatula, spread a generous dollop of filling on the flat side of sixteen of the cake rounds. Top with a matching sized cake and serve.
I find it easier to pipe the filling, so feel free to go that route if you prefer.
These make a fairly small cake, perfect for holding in little hands, and especially for school lunches. One of my granddaughters asked me to make them bigger next time; I suggested she have a second one later, and everyone was happy.
Adapted from A Family Feast and Fine Cooking.
I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.