Try my red velvet whoopie pies next!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
- 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour, spoon & leveled
- 6 Tablespoons (30g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 and 1/4 teaspoons 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
- 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.
- Whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together.
- 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.
- 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.
- Scoop mounds of batter, about 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons each, onto prepared baking sheets-- about 3 inches apart.
- 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.
- 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!)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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If you love salted caramel, try my salted caramel turtle brownies!
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Here are some items I used to make today’s recipe.
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