Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Frosting

Try my red velvet whoopie pies next!

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’.

Print

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
  • Yield: 15 whoopie pies
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Sweet, salty, and rich, these chocolate whoopie pies with salted caramel frosting satisfy all your dessert cravings!


Ingredients

  • 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 temperature*

Salted Caramel Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick or 115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) packed light brown sugar
  • 56 Tablespoons heavy cream, divided*
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and 1/2 cups (240-300g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Special Tools: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | Rainbow WhiskCookie Scoop | Silpat Baking Mat | Baking Sheet
  3. Buttermilk: A necessity 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.
  4. Heavy Cream: 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.
  5. Be sure to check out my top 5 cookie baking tips AND these are my 10 must-have cookie baking tools.

If you love salted caramel, try my salted caramel turtle brownies!

How to make salted caramel turtle brownies with homemade salted caramel and one bowl brownies!! 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

78 Comments

  1. This just blew my mind. Like, oh my gosh. I actually had an idea the other day for a cupcake that is like a marble cupcake except one part is chocolate and the other is peanut butter. I would try it myself, but I don’t know a good peanut butter cupcake recipe. Do you think that you could try that? Thanks!

  2. Hi Sally!
    It’s a given that these whoopie pies look a-mazing! It’s also a given that your photographs are gorgeous! I want to reach into your pictures and grab a few of those beauties!!  But I must ask – where did you get that fabulous cake stand?! It’s beautiful!

  3. Sally,

    Where did you purchase the white, heart-shaped cake display plate? I’m from Pittsburgh and we love whoopie pies!

    Thanks!

  4. I always thought of whoopie pies as softer, tastier homemade oreos and these fit the bill! I’ve never seen salted caramel oreos before (although with all the flavours that company releases, I’m sure it’s coming), but do you remember oreo cakesters? I miss those chemical-laden whoopie pies. However, these look super fun to make & are filled with much less chemicals than anything store-bought. Can’t wait to try them this way or even with a vanilla filling to make them even more “oreo-y.” 😀

  5. Before this day ends, these Whoopie Pies will be on my counter. I’m not a huge chocolate fan either…but OH MY, do these look FAB with that frosting! I mean seriously–LOOK at the frosting. Like, I can’t feel my legs. Sally, I print off any recipe of yours I see, but for these, I LUNGED for the print button. Dying to try! Thanks so much!

  6. Though there’s lactic acid from the buttermilk, natural cocoa is required in the recipe. Isn’t the acid from the buttermilk enough to neutralize the baking soda? Why natural cocoa? Also, can I increase the acidity by adding some vinegar? If yes, how much vinegar is required? Thanks Sally!

    1. Sure can! Though I’m unsure of the amount. I assume you’re asking because you’d like to use dutched cocoa with BP? I’ve only tested with the BS + buttermilk + natural cocoa combination as I found using the appropriate amount of BP left a chemical aftertaste.

  7. Hi Sally. For the frosting, what if we were to use some homemade salted caramel sauce? Do you know how to make that into frosting? Just wondering!

    1. Hi Samira! I’ve tried it before with my own homemade salted caramel recipe and it’s just ok– the texture is a little off. I find this one with the brown sugar works like a charm.

  8. Oh my goodness – these look sinfully good. As always, you make the whole process look so doable Sally! Yum – chocolate and salted caramel. Makes my mouth water!

  9. These whoopie pies look delicious!
    About how much frosting gets sandwiched in between the cookies to create the whoopie pie?

    1. I don’t really measure it– maybe a Tablespoon or so? Just use your best judgement as to what will fit 🙂

  10. Made them yesterday! Oh my yum! I added a pinch more salt to the frosting (because I’m a salt freak), and my son’s friend said, “Wow, this is the first salted caramel ANYTHING that I’ve tried and liked.” I think he more than liked them–he ate three. 🙂  Thanks again, Sally, for sending me to my kitchen so I can please a lot of palettes! 

  11. Oh wow, woop woop for these lovely woopie pies, they look just wonderful. I love the combo chocolate-salted caramel. I’m usually not good with salted caramel though, but I like challenges so I guess it’s about time to give it another try 🙂

  12. I have a chocolate whoopee pie recipe that I sometimes make, with a plain buttercream filling.  After one of those, I always feel I have to take the kids out to climb a big hill, just so they can work the sugar out of their systems!

    Salted caramel filling might mean I only have to take them to climb a small hill…

  13. What else can I use the salted caramel on?  I’m gluten free (yippee) so the whoppie parts our for me. Thanks 

  14. We had these for dessert tonight and DANG! They are delicious! My cakes turned out pretty flat – I think my baking soda is old. But no matter, we loved them!

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