Whoopie pies are one of Maine’s most loved comfort foods. Who doesn’t love a whoopie pie? One of my favorite indulgences is the classic dark chocolate whoopie, loaded with rich, creamy peanut butter filling. As you know, a whoopie pie is two soft cake-like cookies, with a creamy filling of marshmallow, butter-cream or cream cheese. I just had to share my healthier version of this Maine classic with you. Traditional whoopies are made with white flour, vegetable shortening and not butter etc. You know me, I had to healthy-up the recipe a bit and if you’re still worried about calories just skip lunch, this luscious whoopie is so worth it…
* We like to claim that the original whoopie pie is from Maine, some insist that the recipe for whoopie pie has its origins with the Amish. You can find whoopies in stores all across the state of Maine. In Lancaster county Pennsylvania, you’ll find roadside farm stands offering homemade whoopies. These delicious cake-like whoopie pies were considered a special treat because they were originally made from leftover cake batter. Workers found that they could easily bring this little cake to work with the frosting safely inside. According to Amish legend, when children would find these sweet treats in their lunch bags, they would shout “Whoopie!”
* Nutritional info: Calories 250, Total fat 10g, Total carbs 25g (for small whoopies)
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter or sub. Smart Balance
- 1 cup sugar (or a sweetener like stevia)
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups low-fat buttermilk (or sub. 3/4 cup yogurt 3/4 cup milk)
- 1/2 cup melted and cooled dark chocolate
Peanut butter filling
- 6 ounces Neuchâtel (light cream cheese)
- 1/2 cup natural creamy peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter or Smart Balance
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- a pinch of sea salt
- 4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 2 tablespoons milk
Directions: Prep Time: 1 1/2 hrs Total Time: 1 1/2 hrs
- Pre-heat oven to 350ºF. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray or line with parchment paper and set aside. Use baking silicon mats if you have them.
- In a large mixing bowl, on medium speed, mix butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth after each egg. Mix in vanilla extract and melted chocolate.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half the flour mixture to mixing bowl and mix on medium speed until combined. Add half the buttermilk or yogurt and mix again on medium until smooth. Repeat with remaining flour and buttermilk or yogurt, and mix until smooth. The batter will be very thick, don’t over-mix.
- I like to use a quick-release ice cream scoop to portion the batter onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each to allow for spreading. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until puffed and set but still soft when touched lightly with fingertips. Or use the clean toothpick test. Let the whoopies cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets before transferring them to wire racks to finish cooling, about 15-20 minutes. Repeat with remaining batter.
- Prepare the filling while the whoopies are baking and cooling. In a large mixing bowl, mix on medium speed, whipping the cream cheese, peanut butter, butter, vanilla, and salt until light and creamy. Add half the confectioner’s sugar; mix on low at first to combine, then on high until nice and smooth. Add remaining confectioner’s sugar and milk and blend on low, then on medium high until light and fluffy, about 5-6 minutes.
- To assemble whoopie pies. Scoop the filling onto the flat sides of the whoopies, dividing it evenly. Top with remaining cakes, flat side against the filling, round side up. I like to wrap each whoopie pie individually in plastic wrap and store in the fridge, they freeze beautifully. Makes 12 big whoopies!