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.

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!

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red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese filling

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 12 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours
  • Yield: 12 pies or 24 individual cookies
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Homemade red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese filling are decadent, moist, and flavorful!


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

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 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.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead & Freezing 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 (affiliate links): KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge BeaterRed Gel Food Coloring | Baking Sheet | Silpat Baking Mat | Crate & Barrel Plates
  3. Buttermilk: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 and 1/2 teaspoons of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 2/3 cup. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the whoopie pies won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  4. Adapted from Better Homes & Gardens.

Keywords: whoopie pies, red velvet whoopie pies

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

124 Comments

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  1. Have you ever made a gluten free version? If so will you share?

    1. I’m sorry, Elizabeth but I don’t have any experience baking with gluten free flour.

  2. Cheryl Brantley says:

    Hello All, I don’t leave comments often but I have tried several Red Velvet Whoopie Pie recipes. I don’t know why I did not go with Sally’s recipe first. I think because it only made 12 cookies… But the recipes I tried before hers were very dry or just did not taste right. This recipe is by far the best. I think it is the brown sugar that works so well with the chocolate and makes them perfect in taste and consistency. These are by far the best. Don’t waste your time with any other recipe. I will say that I did not have gel food coloring when I made mine so I added an extra 1/4 cup of flour to offset the 2 oz of red food coloring I used…

    1. I’m so glad that you gave this recipe a try and enjoyed it, Cheryl!

  3. Made these this afternoon and they are delicious! Did not make any substitutions except for I was apparently out of food coloring so they looked like chocolate whoopie pies! The cookies took about 10 minutes in my oven and got nicely puffy. I got exactly as many as the recipe suggested, and the frosting recipe makes the perfect amount. Thanks for another foolproof recipe Sally 😀

  4. Sonia Lightsey says:

    Sally, I LOVE your sense of humour!!

  5. Hi Sally,

    I was wondering what you would recommend if I wanted to make them mini size? I just made them the regular way and they are absolutely delicious! However, I would like to make them small for a bite sized snack for a baby shower. I used a 1.5 tablespoon cookie scoop. Is there smaller sizes I could buy. Maybe 1.5 tsp scoop?

    And how long would I bake them for?

    Thanks!

    1. Hi Jessica! This small cookie scoop holds 2 teaspoons of dough and will yield smaller whoopie pies. The bake time will be shorter!

  6. Does baking time change if using a Whoopie pie pan?

    1. I believe the whoopie pie pan requires more batter per cookie, so the bake time may be longer.

  7. please can I use medium cream cheese instead of block cheese cos it’s not available in my country.

  8. Sally, these were marvelous. Everyone ate them in 0.5 seconds; they were soft, marvelously flavored little gems, and people swooned over the cream cheese frosting. I am making them a second time this week to bring to my meditation group.

    I was always too scared to tackle baking until I stumbled across your site, and your recipes have opened up a whole new world for me. I’ve genuinely found a new hobby that brings a ton of joy to myself and those around me. Thank you!

  9. Hi sally!

    My son absolutely LOVES these and i was wondering if its possible to make a giant (like 8 inch) cookie instead of smaller ones?

    1. Hi Amanda! I honestly haven’t tried that before, so I can’t say for sure. I can’t see why it would be a problem though! Maybe bake it in an 8 or 9 inch cake pan.

  10. Hi Sally
    Can I frost the whoopie pies and then freeze them? Or do you recommend frosting upon thawing?

    1. Either way works! If you fill them I recommend wrapping them individually to freeze and before enjoying thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

  11. Love your red velvet cake recipe but this whoopie pie recipe is lacking. Didn’t have the vinegar so this was too brown and didn’t have the “bite” like the cake. Also, wondering if we’re missing an egg here? On a separate note -love the videos – makes things look so very easy and achievable!

  12. Hi, Sally! I’m planning to spiked this recipe for our Christmas party and I’m thinking of using champagne. How do you suggest it incorporated in the recipe?

  13. These look fabulous! Have you ever made them with almond extract instead of vanilla. When I look at these, I *taste* almond for whatever reason! 😀

    1. I haven’t tried that, no! 2 teaspoons of almond extract would be a lot since it’s pretty potent, so try 1 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract.

      1. Yes, I wondered about that. Almond does deliver a POW if you use too much. Thanks, Sally!

  14. Made three batches these yesterday for a gathering of ladies this evening, and they are delicious. The only things I did differently was to use buttermilk powder and water in place of the buttermilk, and substitute the gel paste for Loran Red Velvet Emulsion. The cakes flattened out a bit more than the pictures, so I think next time I would use real buttermilk instead. But no worries- they still look great! The filling is just the perfect amount for this recipe. I used the same cookie scoop for the filling as I used for the cookies, and lightly pressed the two halves to smooth out the filling over the entire cookie. What I like about the filling – it’s not too sweet. I’ve seen other recipes that use double or more of the confectioners sugar, and my teeth ache just reading that! Thanks, Sally, for a great variation of the chocolate whoopie pie.

  15. I’m obsessed with red velvet and these are so good!!!

  16. Awesome recipe! I was a bit worried because the batter seemed a little too runny, but it ended up working perfectly! Wonderful recipe as always

  17. Lori Beverage says:

    Hi Sally:
    Just discovered your site. It’s everything I’ve been looking for.
    On the whoopie pies. can i wrap each in a zip lock and mail them. How long with they keep without being frozen.
    Thanks
    Lori

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Lori, Since the filling is cream cheese we recommend storing these in the refrigerator for up to one week or freezing.

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