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.


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Whoopie Pies

A densely chocolate cookie-cake-sandwich filled with fluffy white filling. A perfect treat for school lunches or snacks.



For the cakes:

  • 60 g or ½ c unsweetened cocoa
  • 240 g or 2 c all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 100 g or ½ c vegetable shortening
  • 200 g or 1 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 240 g or 1 c milk
  • 10 ml or 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the filling:

  • 30 g or ¼ c all-purpose flour
  • 200 g or 1 c sugar
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • 240 g or 1 c milk
  • 5 ml or 1 tsp vanilla paste or pure vanilla extract
  • 226 g or 7 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature


Make the cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F or 425°F Convection and line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir to mix and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in the bowl and mix well.
  5. 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:

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk the flour, sugar, salt and milk until smooth. Cook over medium-low heat until the mixture forms a very thick paste and the flour taste has cooked out (6–10 minutes). 
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour mixture until cool, light and fluffy. Tip: hold a bag of frozen peas or corn against the side of the bowl to quickly bring the temperature down. Beat in the vanilla. 
  3. Add the butter, one chunk at a time, and beat until light and fluffy (4–5 minutes).

Assemble the pies:

  1. Add the filling to a large piping bag fitted with a round pastry tip (Wilton size 1A or Ateco 808). Pipe filling onto the flat side of sixteen of the cake rounds. Top with a matching sized cake round. 


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.

  • Author: Helen Kain


  • Serving Size: Makes 18 small pies.


I’m sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch.