Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Frosting

Soft, rich, and moist chocolate whoopie pies with easy salted caramel filling. Indulgent and worth every bite! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

When I asked you on Instagram if you wanted a chocolate whoopie pie with salted caramel filling or Nutella frosting filling– (1) I didn’t realize that it’s national caramel day tomorrow and (2) I 100% prayed like a caramel-craving fa-reak that you’d say salted caramel.

And the majority voted for salted caramel, so it’s a win win in the chocolate world today. Whoopie!

Soft, rich, and moist chocolate whoopie pies with easy salted caramel filling. Indulgent and worth every bite! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

This is my basic chocolate whoopie pie recipe. We’ve ventured into the whoopie pie scene before– remember the red velvet version? Same story here, just pure chocolate flavor. Now normally I’m not all about chocolate. You know I’d much rather have my apple pies, oatmeal raisin cookies, and a funfetti razzmatazz any day of the week. But when it comes to whoopie pies: why are we kidding ourselves? Chocolate is the only way to go. (Unless it’s pumpkin. That recipe is coming in Sally’s Cookie Addiction!)

Chocolate whoopie pies are like mini chocolate cake sandwiches and if that doesn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. They’re baked as cookies and stay extra soft because of the creamy filling inside. Fillings can range from traditional marshmallow filling (and you’ll find that recipe in the paperback edition of my 1st cookbook!) and mint chocolate to peanut butter and maybe even strawberry? (YUM!)

Use any of those fillings if salted caramel isn’t your fave.

How to make chocolate whoopie pies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Cake Batter or Cookie Dough?

But it all starts with a quality chocolate dough. Actually, this stuff is more like a super thick cake batter than a cookie dough. And that’s just the thing I want to run by you before you get started– don’t be nervous about the cake batter spreading and spilling all over the baking sheet. The whoopie pies actually stay intact pretty well. There’s enough baking soda to provide lift/shape and flour for support.

You don’t need any crazy ingredients to make chocolate whoopie pies, but there is another thing I want to run by you: you need 6 Tablespoons of cocoa powder. Not 1/4 cup, 1/3 cup, or 1/2 cup. 6 Tablespoons. Which is simply 1/3 cup + an additional Tablespoon. Use unsweetened natural cocoa powder, not dutch-process. Why? This should answer everything. The two act completely different in baking.

I like to use brown sugar instead of the traditional white granulated sugar. Primarily for a little extra flavor, but if we’re being honest– for lots and lots of extra moisture. Have you ever taken a bite out of a dry whoopie pie or dry piece of chocolate cake? I’d rather eat raw broccoli with frosting on to… I can’t even finish that sentence. Also for moisture: buttermilk.

The cake batter is very sticky– almost tacky. In my cookbook, I make the whoopie pies extra large, but I decided to shrink ’em down today. There’s 1.5 Tablespoons of batter per cookie and you know what will make life easier? I strongly suggest using a medium cookie scoop to keep things uniform and neat. This cake batter can get quite messy and I swear by a cookie scoop. Makes dividing up/shaping the batter/life SO MUCH EASIER!

How to make chocolate whoopie pies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make chocolate whoopie pies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make chocolate whoopie pies on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Since you used a cookie scoop, the cookies are all the same shape so matching them up is a breeze.

And now the salted caramel filling! Let’s revisit my new + improved salted caramel frosting I posted the other week. That’s exactly what you’ll use to fill these chocolate whoopie pies. No candy thermometer or special equipment required other than a pan and a mixer. A couple tips on the frosting because I’ve gotten some Q’s recently:

Salted Caramel Frosting Dos + Don’ts

  • Make sure your brown sugar is extra soft and moist. Not hard! (Read here about what I use to keep it soft and moist! Love those things.)
  • Make sure you are whisking the melted butter + brown sugar + cream together before it begins to boil.
  • Do not use margarine! Use butter.
  • Do not use milk! Use heavy cream.
  • If the frosting is too thick after you’ve added the confectioners’ sugar and extra heavy cream, add a little more cream to thin out if needed.

Salted caramel frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft, rich, and moist chocolate whoopie pies with easy salted caramel filling. Indulgent and worth every bite! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Soft, rich, and moist chocolate whoopie pies with easy salted caramel filling. Indulgent and worth every bite! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I may actually like salted caramel and chocolate together more than peanut butter and chocolate together. WHOAAAAAAAA. Actually, it’s a tie. But honestly, how miraculous is the combination of creamy salted caramel + soft, rich, moist chocolate cake? There’s nothing quite like this power duo.

Soft, rich, and moist chocolate whoopie pies with easy salted caramel filling. Indulgent and worth every bite! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I’m grateful for many things in life, but mostly for how the stars aligned this week. You voted for salted caramel and national caramel day is right around the corner. And these chocolate whoopie pies are practically begging for a salty sweet creamy center. When you take that first bite, you’ll know exactly what I’m sayin’.

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Frosting

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
  • 6 Tablespoons (30g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 5 - 6 Tablespoons heavy cream, divided2
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (240-300g) confectioners' sugar, sifted

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 the egg and vanilla on high speed, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to combine.
  4. On low speed, add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Then add half of the buttermilk. Repeat with the remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk until everything is added. Beat on medium speed until combined. It will be a thick, tacky, and sticky cake batter.
  5. Scoop mounds of batter, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets-- about 3 inches apart.
  6. Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes or until the tops spring back when touched. Mine usually take 11 minutes. Allow to cool completely before sandwiching. Make the frosting as they cool.
  7. Make the frosting: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add brown sugar and 2 Tablespoons of heavy cream. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved. Add salt. Allow to bubble for about 2-3 minutes, whisking every 30 seconds. Remove from heat, pour into a heat-proof mixing bowl, and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. With a hand or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat in 2 cups confectioners' sugar and 3 more Tablespoons of heavy cream. Slowly add 1/4 cup - 1/2 cup more confectioners' sugar until you reach the desired consistency. Add 1 more Tablespoon heavy cream if you find the frosting too thick. (Or more if it's much too thick!)
  8. Pair the cookies up based on their size. Spread the frosting onto the flat side of one cookie and sandwich with the other. Repeat with remaining. 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:

  1. Buttermilk is needed for this recipe. You can sour milk to make a DIY version of buttermilk by measuring 1 Tbsp of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar in a measuring glass. Add enough milk (whole milk is best) in the same measuring glass to reach 1 cup. Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The soured milk will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  2. Heavy cream is required for the caramel! There are no subs that will achieve the same texture and taste in this frosting. Here are all my recipes using heavy cream if you have leftover.

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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 some items I used to make today’s recipe.

KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Rainbow WhiskCookie Scoop | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet

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.

Soft, rich, and moist chocolate whoopie pies with easy salted caramel filling. Indulgent and worth every bite! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

63 comments

  1. So I made these last night, and they taste delicious. 🙂 But I’m having issues! I tried to make these once before and totally screwed up the baking soda so they came out like pancakes, but what was also weird was the batter was like a mousse. After fixing the baking soda (and being certain that I alternate dry and wet ingredients) my cookie batter was still very moussey and my cookies were still not as thick as yours. The one thing is — I use the Saco cultuered buttermilk powder instead of actual buttermilk. This is all I use for anything I bake that calls for buttermilk, and it doesn’t usually give me problems. Do you think that is what gave me the wrong consistency?

    • Is the batter tacky and sticky? Or smooth and creamy? I’ve never made these with buttermilk powder, so I’m unsure if that’s the reason. How do the finished pies taste?

      • Together with the caramel frosting, they taste smooth and creamy. Definitely pleasant. The whoopie pies are just a little thin. However, they are still pillowy and moist. So no complaints. Yours are just thicker and prettier.

  2. I just made these. However, mine were very light in color. Taste great but not dark at all. Also, my batter was more mousse like as well.

  3. I made these to take to dinner at a friend’s house over the weekend. Only problem I had was that I misread the frosting directions and didn’t give myself 30 minutes to let the caramel cool. When I finally realized the caramel needed to cool for 30 minutes (not 30 seconds!), I only had 30 minutes before I needed to leave the house! So I ended up putting the caramel in the fridge for 15 minutes to speed up the cooling process. The frosting didn’t get as fluffy as I wanted, but it still tasted delicious! And they were a hit with my husband and our friends! You (and your recipes) rock, Sally!

  4. I made these to share at my office last week and they were a HUGE hit!! My boss said they are my “secret weapon” – and I intend to use that to my benefit! 🙂 A few things I took note of…. when Sally says “use a heat proof bowl” for the caramel component, while it is cooling, use a heat proof bowl. What I found was the caramel, because it remained hot in the glass bowl (only bowl left after an all day baking spree), it continued to cook and became crystallized. I was able to “whip” most of that to creamy again with the heavy cream, but it could have been avoided if I had followed directions. Another lesson learned (though I already KNEW this would cause an issue)…. My computer was giving me issues and the recipe kept disappearing… so, what I thought was 1/2 stick of butter (for the batter) was really 1/2 cup = 1 whole stick. I didn’t realize that until I was getting the butter melted for the caramel… so I whipped up the remaining 1/2 stick and tried to incorporate it into the batter, knowing darn well it was going to change the way they baked since it wasn’t mixed with the sugar. The cookies baked just a TAD flatter, but other than that, everything went as stated and they were delish! Thanks for sharing this amazing concoction of chocolate meeting salted caramel, which is HEAVEN in my book!

    • Jen, Thanks for sharing your experience with these! Glad everything works out well for you! And definitely use them to your advantage at work 🙂

  5. Hi Sally! My caramel frosting was a little gritty (although delicious!). This was my first time attempting caramel…what did I do wrong that would have caused the grainyness? Thanks!

  6. Just made these today. All went well and they taste very good! One thing though. My end product does not look like the pic. My cookies spread out a lot where as your’s have some height to them. I prefer the look of your whoopie  pies. Can you advise me on what may of  happened. Thanks. 

  7. My caramel sauce was gritty, do you know what would have caused that?

  8. Hi Sally..// Yummy recipe…/// I love chocolate and I like your ideas.. I will try../// Thanks for the sharing the yummy recipe..!!!

  9. Just finished baking these 🙂 Once again awesome Sally. Somewhat of a happy accident, but maybe to address other comments that said their cookies were flat: I baked my cookies in three batches, and stuck the batter in the refrigerator while the first and second batches baked. Maybe this goes along with other cookie recipes where you advise to chill the dough to help prevent spreading (or this may be completely wrong with this one, just a guess!) But my second and third batches were cooked with batter straight from the fridge and they had increasingly less spreading & more volume with each bake. My third bake looks very similar to the look of yours! (Baking victory!)

  10. These are amazing! I made them for a friends Birthday as she loves the whole cookie/brownie phase that’s happening everywhere! 
    I was worried they were a bit too cakey and not cookie enough when they came out of the oven, but I tried one this morning with the filling and it was a little chewy a delicious!!
    I also added a bit more salt to my caramel while I whipped it to get a bit more balance of sweet and salty!! 
    Thanks so much!!! 🙂 

  11. Will these be fine out at room temperature for a few hours or more? I’m thinking of making these for a bake sale.

  12. Hi! I just made these and they did not come out like the picture. They were like pancakes. The store only had fat-free buttermilk. Could that be why I’m having problems??

  13. Is ok to use whole milk instead of buttermilk?

  14. Hi Sally! I made these for Thanksgiving. Mine came out runny so I put them in the fridge overnight. Not sure why but I am suspecting that I had a very light touch to spooning the flour into my measuring cups.  They baked nice but not exactly like yours with the mound in the middle. But they did come out thick and the flavor was spot on. I made them with your creamy peanut butter frosting and they were a huge hit!  Thank you for the recipe Sally!

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