Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

How to make moist and soft red velvet whoopie pies filled with cream cheese filling! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Hello and welcome to COOKIE PALOOZA 2016.

If you’re new around Sally’s Baking Addiction, my annual cookie palooza hits right after Thanksgiving and it’s a total cookie party as we countdown until Christmas. 10 cookie recipes in a row, with all the butter, sugar, chocolate, and sprinkles you can imagine. I bake up a storm each November to prepare. So get your mixers ready, your ovens preheated, and belt loosened? because in year 4 (omg!), we’re doing it BIG.

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Recipe #1: red velvet whoopie pies. You asked for them!

How to make moist and soft red velvet whoopie pies filled with cream cheese filling! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

If we’re being honest, I was inspired to include these red velvet whoopie pies in the cookie palooza after experiencing THIS. They’re filled with cream cheese!! Many of you asked for a homemade version of those big bakery red velvet cookies and while I considered trying, I don’t think anything coming out of my oven could quite live up to City Cake’s perfection. So whoopie pies it is! Let’s check them out:

I’ve made chocolate whoopie pies more times than I can count. I love the family recipe so much that I published it in the paperback edition of Sally’s Baking Addiction— it was one of the 8 bonus cookie recipes! They’re soft and moist cakey cookies sandwiched together with sweet marshmallow frosting. Here, I switched the intense chocolate flavor with red velvet– an awesomely classic combination of vanilla, cocoa, and butter. No more marshmallow frosting, but instead a thick and tangy cream cheese filling. Think of these whoopie pies as handheld, individually portioned* red velvet cake. Like a cupcake, but more interesting.

*Portion control is good for you, remember?

Red velvet whoopie pie batter on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Here’s the thing about whoopie pies: they’re vastly easier than they look!

The batter is quite basic using flour, a little cocoa, creamed butter and brown sugar. Brown sugar for moisture, cocoa for flavor! Make sure you’re using natural unsweetened cocoa powder. That is KEY in this red velvet recipe. Remember why? Buttermilk is essential for their flavor while a little gel food coloring creates their deep red hue. You can absolutely leave the food coloring out if you prefer.

A note about the optional food coloring: I tested this recipe with both liquid and gel food coloring. I 100% prefer the gel food coloring. It’s brighter and more intense than liquid. You’d need quite a lot of liquid to obtain that signature red color in these whoopie pies– and that added liquid isn’t ideal for a cookie. I got mine off Amazon, but you can find it at craft stores. So inexpensive!

Red velvet whoopie pies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

The cookies will only take about 10-12 minutes in the oven, then let them completely cool before sandwiching cream cheese filling between. Who needs turkey or a BLT? Let’s all have our sandwiches in super soft red velvet form!! Lunch is… served.

How to make moist and soft red velvet whoopie pies filled with cream cheese filling! Cookie recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’ve been meaning to make red velvet whoopie pies for years, so I appreciate you pushing me to do so!

Fun fact: Did you know that in western PA, where my in-laws are from, whoopie pies are called gobs? I can’t decide which name I like better. They’re both fun!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 3 Tablespoons (15g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (160ml) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • gel red food coloring

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 6 ounces (170g) block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick; 60g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar, sifted (plus more for topping)
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats (highly recommended for best nonstick cookie baking surface!). Set aside.
  2. Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
  3. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter for 1 minute on medium-high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and beat on medium high speed until fluffy and combined. Beat in egg on high speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Once egg is full combined, beat in the vanilla and buttermilk. Mixture may look curdled; that's ok.
  4. On low speed, slowly mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until combined. Add enough food coloring to achieve a deep red hue (usually about 1 teaspoon gel). Spoon or scoop mounds of batter, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets-- about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until centers appear set. Mine usually take 11 minutes. Allow to cool completely before sandwiching.
  6. In a large bowl using a hand-held or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese for 1 minute on high speed until completely smooth and creamy. Beat in the butter until combined. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy.
  7. Pair the cookies up based on their size. Spread cream cheese filling onto the flat side of one cookie and sandwich with the other. Repeat with remaining. Sprinkle confectioners' sugar on top of each if desired. Cover leftover whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Make ahead tip: You can prepare the batter, cover it tightly, and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Let it come to room temperature and bake as directed. You can freeze the baked whoopie pies for up to 3 months. Wrap them individually. Before enjoying, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

Recipe Notes:

adapted from Better Homes & Gardens

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

SHOP THE RECIPE


Here are a couple items I used to make today’s recipe.

Kitchenaid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge BeaterGel Food Coloring | Baking Sheet | Silpat Baking Mat | Crate & Barrel Plates

Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pays me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

How to make moist and soft red velvet whoopie pies filled with cream cheese filling! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

91 Comments

Comments

  1. Kathleen on November 28, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Sally, I can’t wait to see what’s next for cookie-palooza! I saw,the tip about freezing….is,that with or without the filling? I’m trying to plan for Christmas and was going to make the weekend before and thaw Christmas morning! Thanks so much!

    • Sally on November 29, 2016 at 7:31 am

      Hi Kathleen! You can freeze with the filling 🙂

  2. Amy on November 28, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Sally,
    My vision and hearing screening is coming up. I am lucky to have student nurses to help out as well as a team from my school district. I know that my team LOVES red velvet-I made red velvet cupcakes to thank them last year and wanted to make something different. Thanks for this recipe! I’ll also make the hot chocolate in my new crock pot for them!
    -Amy

    • Sally on November 29, 2016 at 7:32 am

      Yes yes yes! What a delicious combination of treats for the gang.

  3. Saadiya Patel on November 28, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    I’ve never heard of the name gobs but I think it’s just so quirky,fun and whimsical! I believe I will use that name from now on 🙂

  4. JC on November 29, 2016 at 11:52 am

    I made Green Velvet cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day by simply subbing green gel food coloring. I bet it would be adorable here to make half red, half green holiday whoopie pies! I feel a baking project with my daughter and her friends coming on. 🙂

    • Sally on November 29, 2016 at 12:51 pm

      Oh my gosh YES. Why didn’t I think of that? I’m doing it when I make them again in a few weeks. So festive!

  5. Giannia on November 29, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    Whoopie! These look amazing! I can’t wait to bake them!
    Do you think these would hold up in the mail?

    • Sally on November 30, 2016 at 9:35 am

      Probably not the best cookie to ship unfortunately 🙁

  6. Laura | Tutti Dolci on December 1, 2016 at 2:17 am

    These are the prettiest whoopee pies ever! I just love that rich jewel red velvet!

    • Sally on December 4, 2016 at 8:56 am

      Thanks Laura!

  7. Nicola on December 1, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Red velvet – good.  Gobs – not so much.  In the UK ‘gob’ is a somewhat vulgar term for your mouth, as in “Shut yer gob”, so perhaps I’ll stick with whoopee pies for now.

    I have a chocolate recipe that I refer to as crack cocaine for teenagers, since after just one they are so hyper on sugar I need to let them out of the house to run around! 😉

    • Sally on December 2, 2016 at 8:12 am

      Oh goodness! Let’s just keep calling them whoopie pies then 😉

  8. tori on December 3, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    Hi sally. i just made the batter but its  not firm like normal cookie dough. Is that how it should be? Also i noticed you say not to chill dough and you usually do with your cookie doughs. does this not need to be? 

    • Sally on December 4, 2016 at 8:54 am

      It’s like cake batter, not cookie dough. So it will be a little more liquid-y. No need to chill!

  9. Flour Girl on December 4, 2016 at 12:35 pm

    My dad LOVES red velvet whoopie pies. I had yet to find a good recipe… But this one looks spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Sherry on December 6, 2016 at 6:11 am

    How long will these be good for if left outside? Or will they need to be in a fridge pretty much constantly?

    • Sally on December 6, 2016 at 8:35 am

      Hi Sherry- a couple days is OK at room temperature. Make sure they are covered tightly.

  11. SkinnyMe on December 7, 2016 at 9:57 pm

    The recipe was awesome, but I did make a couple of adjustments… I left out the red food coloring, and I added fresh blueberries on top of the filling. Yummy!

    • Sally on December 8, 2016 at 8:26 am

      Love the blueberry addition!

  12. charlie on December 9, 2016 at 6:05 am

    looks absolutely amazing! i’m going to try these out over the holidays 🙂 

  13. Tara on December 29, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    I made these a couple of weeks ago for my grandparent’s birthday/Christmas party and everyone LOVED them!! My brother special requested a pecan pie, so I went with your pecan bars and they were all gone in about an hour!! We are all big red velvet lovers and your red velvet cheesecake brownies are always a big hit. They came out bigger than I expected but they were perfect. So easy to make! I had no idea how fun they would be. Thank you for the recipes!

  14. Shana on January 28, 2017 at 5:00 pm

    I just made these. They are delicious!  But they are not as poufy as yours and ca,e out very flat. Any suggestions why so I can fix for next time?  Thanks!

    • Cathy Phillips on June 28, 2018 at 11:37 pm

      This has happened to me with other whoopie pie recipes—I was wondering the same thing.,,

  15. Drea on March 9, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    How many pies does this recipe yield?

    • Sally on March 10, 2017 at 6:35 am

      12

  16. Diane Chung on April 10, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    100% would recommend. It is delicious. I gave some to my friends and they LOVED it. Mine were really flat unlike the picture but it was still beautiful

  17. Karen on April 14, 2017 at 1:23 am

    Hi Sally, tried making it and was a huge success, it tasted great and it was puffy which is the way it should be. However, how do you ever make it into a perfect circle? Mine came out in different shapes.

    Thanks.

    • Sally on April 14, 2017 at 9:15 am

      Are you using a cookie scoop? That ensures the circle shape 🙂

  18. Cathy on April 22, 2017 at 11:54 am

    Can you substitute regular milk for buttermilk?

    • Sally on April 24, 2017 at 9:19 am

      I don’t suggest it.

  19. Tricia on May 21, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Sally,

    In the frosting, could I substitute shortening for the butter? [I just used my last stick on the whoopie pie batter itself, and am feeling too lazy to go to the store] I know shortening can sometimes impart a waxy flavor but I’m hoping maybe the tanginess of the cream cheese can prevail?

    Thanks,
    Tricia

  20. Amber on August 16, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    My favourite flavour is red velvet. I made a cake with my dad for my birthday and it was red velvet. ❤️

    • Sally on August 16, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      It’s so good! 🙂

  21. Tara Chamot on September 25, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I am planning on making these for my sons bday party & will have to double the recipe as 12 sandwiches won’t be enough. Do you recommend doing two seperate batches or just one doubled batch all at once? Thanks!

    • Sally on September 25, 2017 at 5:47 pm

      I strongly recommend 2 separate batches. You risk overmixing or undermixing with too much batter at once.

  22. Dusty on October 13, 2017 at 12:13 pm

    Made these today as per recipe. They are perfect. Thank you for the recipe

  23. Michael Witz on November 17, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Can these be made into smaller size cookies? Like half dollar size and what amount would that be per cookie? I was thinking of making a batch of 40 or so for our mens ministry gathering on Monday niights.

    • Sally on November 18, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Absolutely! I’m unsure exactly how much batter you’d need for that size, but you can use a couple teaspoons of batter per cookie instead of 1.5 Tbsp. The bake time will be slightly less.

  24. Adrienne on December 7, 2017 at 9:53 am

    Could applesauce be used in place of the egg?

  25. Jenny Burmesch on December 24, 2017 at 9:03 am

    I know you have blogged about it before.. how do we make the buttermilk? How much vinegar?

    • cellest on May 28, 2018 at 1:00 pm

      for buttermilk just get the powder and follow the instructions

  26. Sarah on May 12, 2018 at 9:45 am

    My 3 year old daughter and I are making these this morning for a Mother’s Day treat. Not very springy but my mom loves red velvet so it’s perfect. Claire called these whoopsie pies… new name in our house! Thanks for the spot on recipe once again. I have made countless recipes of yours and every one has turned out beautifully. Thank you!

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