I won't lie, I was pretty scared about the full bottle of red food coloring that goes into this but that's how you get the beautifully vibrant red color of the cake. It's interesting because I noticed that by the end of the night they were a darker red than when they were freshly baked earlier in the day. Avoid getting the dye and uncooked batter on your hands and clothing though or you may end up a bit stained until you can scrub it back off! I never piped anything prior to recipe but it was pretty easy and the heart shapes (see my pic below!) made this dessert extra cute. And, I got to use my awesome cake decorating tools that I bought from Michael's for 60% off!
Nestled among Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles, they made a very cute Valentine's Day Love at First Bite Dinner Club dessert presentation (Hey, I think I'm getting better at taking pictures! The one above was accepted by Foodgawker, a site that features beautifully delicious food! You can read about that here.).
I was able to make about 16 fully assembled pies out of this recipe but that may vary depending on the size of the cookie (cake? pie?...never really sure what to call these things!) that you make. These hand-held pies are perfect for picking up and snacking on for a sweet treat!
Are you a whoopie pie fan? Check out these other flavors that I've made previously:
For the cookies:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp. cocoa powder
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- ¼ tsp. salt
- 8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 oz. red food coloring
- 8 oz. cream cheese
- 5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2½ cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.
- To make heart-shaped whoopie pies: Using a heart template cut out from card stock or a heart shaped cookie cutter, trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper sized to fit two cookie sheets. Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.
To make regular round whoopie pies: Place parchment paper on cookie sheets and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated. Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of dry ingredients. Do not overbeat. Blend in the food coloring.
- To make heart-shaped whoopie pies: Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip. Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide.
To make regular round whoopie pies: Spoon heaping tablespoons on batter onto parchment paper.
- Bake 7-9 minutes or until the tops are set. Transfer cookies to a cooling rack. Repeat with any remaining batter. Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in the vanilla extract. Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.
- Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip. (Alternatively, you can spoon heaping tablespoons of frosting onto each cookie and spread, leaving the edges clear). Pair the cookies up by shape and size. Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up. Pipe frosting onto the flat-sided cookie of each pair, leaving the edges clear. Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges. To store, refrigerate in an airtight container.