Whoopie Pies

February 1, 2020

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The ultimate Whoopie Pies – perfectly chocolatey, super soft and fluffy and filled with a luscious marshmallow fluff whoopie pie filling. Each bite of these decadent cake-like cookies truly just melts away in your mouth!

Do you have a weakness for chocolate? Also try my favorite Chocolate Cake, this irresistible Edible Chocolate Cookie Dough (with two other flavor options) and my go-to Brownies. February is national chocolate lovers month after all so we’d better celebrate.

Stack of Whoopie Pies on a plate.

The delicious whoopie pie (also known as Gobs what a funny name)!

You’ll find a many variations of this New England and Pennsylvania favorite. But the most common chocolate version you’ll find online seems to be a butter based cookie.

This in my opinion creates more of a dense and dry cookie, but for whoopie pies I’m all about keeping them light and fluffy (that classic Amish style). So I go with a vegetable oil and water based batter, just like a classic chocolate cake which these cookies are mimicking.

And traditional filling is usually made up of raw egg whites (which I’m fine eating myself but not comfortable serving to other people) and shortening (which I’m not a fan of altogether). So I instead I go with a store-bought marshmallow fluff and butter to build up the flavor and texture of the filling.

What do these Whoopie Pies taste like? Well of course chocolate cake, or something similar to a Ding Dong but obviously a hundred times better!

They’re rich and deeply chocolatey, they’re perfectly moist and that fluffy marshmallow whoopie pie filling keeps that light as air texture going throughout.

These are such a dreamy, easy to make sandwich cookie you’ll get requests for time and time again!

Ingredients that go into whoopie pies shown in this image.

Ingredients Needed for Chocolate Whoopie Pies and Filling (Plus Substitutes)

  • All-purpose flour – I recommend using unbleached flour but the standard bleached all-purpose flour will work as well.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – use good quality cocoa for the best tasting cookies.
  • Baking soda – this helps the cookies rise. Use baking soda that hasn’t expired so ensure it works properly.
  • Salt – this will keep the cookies from tasting flat, don’t forget it!
  • Light brown sugar – in a pinch you can make your own brown sugar. To do measure out 1 cup white sugar, omit 1 Tbsp and replace with 1 Tbsp molasses, mix well.
  • Buttermilk – don’t keep buttermilk on hand? You can make your own just mix 1/2 cup milk with 1 1/2 tsp vinegar or lemon juice. Rest 5 minutes.
  • Vegetable oil – canola oil will work fine too.
  • Egg – the egg helps bind the ingredients together, but if there is an allergy you can check these substitutes here.
  • Vanilla extract – vanilla bean paste (equal amounts) can be used as well.
  •  Hot water – just hot from the tap is fine no need to heat.

For the filling you’ll also need:

  • Butter – I use both unsalted and salted to balance out the sweetness of the filling. I don’t like to add salt separately because it doesn’t dissolve well.
  • Marshmallow fluff (aka marshmallow creme) – if you’d like you could just skip the filling recipe altogether and replace with a homemade marshmallow fluff.
  • Powdered sugar – this sweetens and thickens up the filling. Unfortunately with this super fine, powdery texture there aren’t any great substitutes for powdered sugar (aka confectioners sugar) in frosting and fillings like so.

Image of steps 1 - 4 of mixing whoopie pie batter in mixing bowl.

How to Make Whoopie Pies

  • Prepare oven and baking sheets: Set over racks in upper and lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  • Whisk dry ingredients: In a mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.
  • Mix wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract until well blended.
  • Blend wet and dry mixtures: Add flour mixture and mix just until combined, then pour in hot water and mix just until combined.
  • Drop batter onto prepared baking sheets: Scoop batter out using a medium cookie scoop or 1 1/2 Tbsp at a time, and drop onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2-inches apart.
  • Bake until set: Bake first two sheets at a once, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until cookies spring back when touched or toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 8 – 10 minutes total.
  • Cool completely: Let cool about 5 minutes then use a spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Bake remaining last sheet of cookies in center of the oven, about 8 – 10 minutes.

Steps 5 - 8 making whoopie pie batter and adding to cookie sheet.

How to Make Whoopie Pie Filling

  • Cream butter and sugar: Cream In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) cream together unsalted butter, salted butter and powdered sugar on low speed until well combined.
  • Whip till fluffy: Increase mixer speed to high and whip until until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Blend in vanilla.
  • Fold in marshmallow fluff: Remove bowl from stand mixer, add marshmallow fluff and fold together using a rubber spatula just until combined.
  • Chill filling: chill mixture about 20 minutes to thicken up then fold again.
  • Fill cookies: Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe over half of the cookies, sandwich a second cookie over the top.

How to Store Whoopie Pies

  • Store them in an airtight container set on parchment paper (I like to store on a baking sheet covered with a lid).
  • Keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days.
  • Let rest at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving to let filling and cookies soften up a bit.

Steps 1 - 4 making whoopie pie marshmallow cream filling in mixer bowl.

Tips for the Best Whoopie Pies

  • Don’t over-mix the batter for a fluffy texture. Same with the filling.
  • If cocoa is lumpy here, and just about anytime when baking, sift it first.
  • If brown sugar is clumpy break up those clumps with your fingertips before using. You may also one to consider purchasing one of those clay brown sugar disks to help keep it moist.
  • Chill filling a bit before adding to the cookies and keep it cool otherwise it will be runny. The fridge helps firm the butter back up making for a slightly firmer filling.
  • It summer months keep these away from the heat, not a cookie you want to serve at an outdoor lunch party unless serving from a cooler.
  • Store in a single layer, no stacking. They’ll start to stick together since they’re moist and the filling will get flattened and run out the sides otherwise.

Piping marshmallow cream filling over cookies.

Possible Variations

  • Use Dutch cocoa for even richer flavor.
  • Go for a classic egg white whoopie pie filling at your own discretion (no serving to elderly, children and pregnant women).
  • Use a different flavor of filling like cream cheese, caramel, coconut, chocolate or peanut butter. Or just flavor the filling recipe with a little extract like coconut extract.
  • Fill with sweetened whipped cream instead.
  • Add 1 tsp of instant espresso powder to the batter.
  • For a filling less prone to running just use buttercream frosting, 1/2 batch of vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream.
  • For a festive cookie during the holiday season, add a little peppermint extract to batter or filling and roll edges of filling in finely crushed candy canes for peppermint whoopie pies.

Overhead image of chocolate Whoopie Pies with one broken in half to show texture.

More Delicious Sandwich Style Cookies to Try

Whoopie Pies
4.87 from 38 votes

Whoopie Pies

The ultimate Whoopie Pies - perfectly chocolatey, super soft and fluffy and filled with a luscious marshmallow cream whoopie pie filling. Each bite of these decadent cake-like cookies truly just melts away in your mouth!
Servings: 17
Prep30 minutes
Cook18 minutes
Ready in: 48 minutes

Ingredients

Cookies

  • 2 cups (283g) unbleached all-purpose flour* (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1/2 cup (45g) unsweetened cocoa powder (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup packed (200g) light brown brown sugar, break up any clumps
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk (no buttermilk substitutes!)
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water

Filling

  • 8 Tbsp (113g) salted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 Tbsp (85g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/4 cups (270g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 10 oz. marshmallow fluff (aka marshmallow creme, about one and half 7 oz. jars)

Instructions

  • Set oven racks in upper and lower third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 18 by 13-inch baking sheets with parchment paper, set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix together brown sugar, buttermilk, vegetable oil, egg and vanilla extract until well blended.
  • Add flour mixture and mix just until combined, then pour in hot water and mix just until combined.
  • Scoop batter out using a medium cookie scoop or 1 1/2 Tbsp at a time, and drop onto prepared baking sheets, spacing 2-inches apart.
  • Bake first two sheets at a once, rotating sheets halfway through baking, until cookies spring back when touched or toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 8 - 10 minutes total.
  • Let cool about 5 minutes then use a spatula to transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Bake remaining last sheet of cookies in center of the oven, about 8 - 10 minutes.

For the filling

  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand mixer) cream together salted butter, unsalted butter and powdered sugar on low speed until well combined.
  • Increase mixer speed to high and whip until until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Blend in vanilla.
  • Remove bowl from stand mixer, add marshmallow fluff and fold together using a rubber spatula just until combined.
  • Chill mixture about 20 minutes to thicken up then fold again. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large round tip and pipe over half of the cookies, sandwich a second cookie over the top.
  • Store cookies in an airtight container set on parchment paper, in a single layer in the refrigerator up to 3 days. Let rest at room temperature about 30 minutes before serving.

Notes

  • A few reviewers have mentioned issues with batter being too runny. Be sure you are properly measuring the flour and cocoa - it should be scooped right from the package and leveled off not spooned and leveled (or better yet use a scale). If you are worried about it just include and extra 1/4 cup flour for thicker batter.
Possible Variations:
  • Use Dutch cocoa for even richer flavor.
  • Use a different flavor of filling like cream cheese, caramel, coconut, chocolate or peanut butter. Or just flavor the filling recipe with a little extract like coconut extract.
  • Fill with sweetened whipped cream instead.
  • Add 1 tsp of instant espresso powder to the batter.
  • For a filling less prone to running just use buttercream frosting, 1/2 batch of vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream.
  • For a festive cookie during the holiday season, add a little peppermint extract to batter or filling and roll edges of filling in finely crushed candy canes for peppermint whoopie pies.
Nutrition Facts
Whoopie Pies
Amount Per Serving
Calories 383 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 39mg13%
Sodium 200mg9%
Potassium 88mg3%
Carbohydrates 56g19%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 38g42%
Protein 2g4%
Vitamin A 334IU7%
Calcium 28mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.

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144 Comments

  • Cosmogirl143

    Ok, the batter was a little runny for sure, even after I added the extra flour as suggested. Also, for some reason, they seemed to be a lot more work than they should have been, hence only 4 stars….BUT they were delicious, the best whoopies I’ve ever had actually, super moist. Initially I threw the recipe out after I made them due to the amount of work..BUT I just resurrected it since like I said, they were delicious…deadly even…bet you can’t eat just one! I will work on fine tuning it for the future.

  • Jackie

    Cooled the batter on ice for about 15 minutes to thicken, that helped but it was still a little thin so I did add a 1/2 cup flour and 2 tablespoons of cocoa that thickened it up just right.

    • Cosmogirl143

      I’ll try that next time. I added the extra flour but that wasn’t enough. It made the batter difficult to work with…I will try the extra cocoa next time too.

  • Darlene Ernst

    I normally use powdered buttermilk. Is that going to make a difference here?

  • Karen Duquette

    Hi :) you mentioned you could change the filling meaning add cream cheese etc. so if I wanted to say make pumpkin whoopie pies with cream cheese filling could I just add pumpkin to batter and cream cheese to the same fluff filling? Thank you Karen

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Hi Karen – unfortunately the batter recipe would be quite different with pumpkin I would use a recipe that specifically calls for pumpkin in it. I have pumpkin oat whoopie pie recipe if you would be interested in those here.

  • Kylie

    Batter turned out incredibly runny! I saw this as a common thing in previous comments and just kind of shrugged it off, well it’s a real thing. I used less than half of the amount of hot water that the recipe called for it and it was still so funny that I couldn’t even scoop it out onto the plate it was more of a smoothie consistency I ended up adding in more flour to thicken up the batter and the taste turned out just fine however it was more of a cake texture than a cake brownie cookie texture due to the extra flower. I definitely want to try this again but will be making some serious adjustments possibly not adding any of the water at all

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      I’m so sorry this happened I would like to get to the bottom of the issue so others don’t run into a similar problem. Did you use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients by chance or measure as noted? Was real buttermilk used or the buttermilk substitute? Which brand of cocoa was used? I’d appreciate your input.

    • Emily Moore

      I had the same issue with the runny batter, but they taste amazing! I wonder if we let the batter cool completely they wouldn’t turn out runny and flat? I had a little bit of batter left after baking 4 sheets’ worth, and the two cookies I made came out nice and puffy, and smooth on the outside (rather than pocky). I will definitely try this recipe again but will let the batter cool first.
      *I measured as directed, used Hershey’s baking cocoa, and made buttermilk using whole milk and lemon juice, if that helps!

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        I think the homemade buttermilk likely isn’t as thick as well. I recommend using the real thing. Thanks for your tip to let it rest!

  • HollyRae

    Thank you for this great recipe! I researched many recipes online but chose yours as you explained the use of oil, instead of butter, in the cookie/cakes. That sounded good to me as I wanted to make very moist whoopie pies. I also watched my baking time carefully, as baked items continue to bake/hold heat even out of the oven. So I remove mine just before I think they spring back when touched lightly in center. I did not have Fluff on hand so I used a buttercream recipe for the filling. Yes I love sweet things and these were so good!

  • Sharon

    Batter is too runny. I added more flour and still flat. They, didn’t have a good chocolate flavor and I used Dutch processed cocoa. I’ll try another recipe that adds a little coffee to enhance the flavor plus more cocoa and no hot water. Texture was nice.

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      It could be the Dutch cocoa that threw the recipe off. I recommend sticking with regular cocoa here. Sorry that happened!

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      The cookies should freeze ok they might just get a little sticky on the exterior when thawed. I wouldn’t recommend freezing the filling.