Do you know what a Whoopie Pie is?
I actually had not heard this term until recently because it seems to be regionally New England with Amish origins. According to food historians, Amish women would bake these (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in farmers' lunchboxes. When farmers would find these treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!"
I would be in agreement with them, because the first time I tasted one from the Menonite farmers at our farmers market, I was hooked. Soft cake sandwiching a sweet frosting filling. Not as pretty as a cupcake but, in many ways, I think better tasting and easier to eat.
Traditionally you will find whoopie pies in chocolate, oatmeal or pumpkin. Mostly with a white sugar frosting center but sometimes with a creme cheese frosting filling. I've also been seeing red velvet cake versions too. These cakes are firmer than a yellow cake so they hold up to sandwiching.
Pumpkin is my favorite though. Since the sugar pumpkins have been coming in, I've made these twice. I think it is very important to use your own roasted pumpkin over canned. The results, no matter what you are making with it, are going to be incrementally better.
Roast your pumpkin, scoop out the flesh and puree it (you can do this in advance).
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp fresh gound nutmeg
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
2 1/2 Cups brown sugar (I do a mix of light and dark)
1 Cup canola oil
2 egg replacers (I use Ener-G brand)*
2 Cups pumpkin
1 tsp vanilla extract
*Note: No matter if you cook vegan or not, you should have a box of this on hand. Besides the obvious cruelty issues, eggs spoil and having a box of this on hand ensures you will have all the ingredients you need when baking.
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices in a large mixing bowl and whisk together to combine. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, egg replacer (mixed separately first, according to the box instructions), pumpkin and vanilla extract.
Add wet ingredients to the dry and combine until well mixed. Drop by rounded tablespoons, not too close together, on a parchment paper lined (ideal) or greased baking sheet. You should have enough for about 24 - 30 sets.
Bake for 10 - 12 minutes or until the center springs back when lightly pressed. If you bake on parchement, you can transfer the whole sheet off of the baking sheet and onto wire racks to cool.
When thoroughly cooled, pipe or spoon on a dollop of frosting and sandwhich together.
My frosting of choice for cupcakes, cakes and Whoopie pies is the Wilton icing. It's pure white so it takes colors perfectly and it's pretty stable. Plus you can make it in advance as well.
Wilton Frosting Ingredients:
1 16oz can of Crisco
1 2lb bag of powdered sugar
1 tsp clear vanilla extract
1 tsp clear butter extract*
2 Tbl Meringue Powder (optional)
Pinch of salt
*Note: you can play with the amounts or add other extract flavors as you choose. Almond is a good one too.
In a stand mixer (ideally) whip the vegetable shortening with 2 Tbl water until fluffy. Add in half the powdered sugar, 1 Tbl of meringue powder (if applicable) and 1tsp of extract. Blend in the mixer until well combined. Remove from the mixer and add 2nd half of the powdered sugar, 1 Tbl of meringue powder (if applicable), pinch of salt, the other extract and 2 Tbl of water. Blend on medium speed until well-combined. You can add more water until the fosting is to the consistency you like for decorating or icing.
This recipe is a part of:
Top image by: Teeny Tiny Turkey
All other images by me.