Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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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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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

99 Comments

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  1. Hi Sally. I’m from South Africa. I’ve tried and tested so many of your recipes and always comes out perfect. Love your blog. Will have to try out these Whoopie Pies soon. Looks yummy! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes:)

  2. These look like perfection. I’ve only ever made chocolate chip whoopie pies before, I loved them but here in Scotland they aren’t really sold or made anywhere so no one understood the whole cake-cookie-mash-up haha! I’m sure these festive red velvet ones could change their mind, or I could just eat them all instead. Thanks for another great cookie recipe!

    1. Thanks Sara! I’ve got my eye on your turkey and wild rice soup. I just made leftover turkey noodle soup on Friday and have a little more turkey to use up.

  3. Hi sally, I love this time of year. It’s the best part of your blogging I look forward to anually. These look amazing. P.S. I hope you had a lovely holiday. I would have wished you on time but I was in London for vacation.

  4. These look amazing! I love red velvet cake and have tried about 3 recipes for RV cookies (including your RV chocolate chip!), but can’t seem to get a “true” RV taste… maybe it’s the buttermilk? I’ll give this one a try 🙂

    1. Honestly, I think it’s quite difficult to pack true red velvet taste into a cookie because most of the red velvet flavor comes from the soft cake-like texture, buttermilk, butter, vanilla, cocoa… and it’s tricky to pack that into a cookie! While they have the vanilla/cocoa flavor, I’ve actually made my RV chocolate chip cookies with red velvet flavoring. Have you ever seen these baking emulsions before? It really helps! I add about 3/4 teaspoon. Taste the dough, then add 1/4 teaspoon more if I think it needs it.

      1. Well, can’t say that I have! I figured buttermilk was key, since I didn’t use it in any of the recipes I tried.
        I’m from Brazil so it can be tricky to find some ingredients here (e.g., said buttermilk), but I’ll definitely look for a red velvet emulsion. Thanks!

  5. I love this time of year and I absolutely love baking 5000 batches of cookies! These remind me of those special, limited edition red velvet oreos (came out a couple Valentine’s Days ago I think) but these are obviously way better; of course, homemade is always better. Can’t decide if I want these or chocolate whoopie pies more, or even vanilla! Maybe I’ll just find recipes for all 3 and make all 3, and put all of them out for Christmas. There’s no such thing as too much dessert at Christmas, right? I’ll definitely be giving these a shot this December. P.S your photography is so nice! I know it’s often hard to make cookies look good or “pretty,” but you really did! I love the sugar, or ‘snow’ sprinkled on these too 🙂

    1. I appreciate the compliment on the photos because these were tricky with the contrast! I like your idea of making red velvet, chocolate, and vanilla whoopie pies for a holiday platter. You could sprinkle them all with the “snow” !

  6. YUM. These look amazing, I can’t wait to try them!
    Do you know about how long these will stay fresh after they are baked?
    I’m assuming I should keep them in the refrigerator due to the cream cheese icing.
    Thanks Sally!

    1. To be honest, it’s only slightly more efficient at getting the sides than my normal paddle. I like having both, though. Because one is usually dirty!

  7. Fabulous Sally – this is slightly off topic, but you mentioned food coloring, which got me thinking…Can you do a post about how you decorate your sugar cookies? What tools do you use? What food coloring for the icing do you use? Why? I’d love to know your technique! Thank you for all that you do 🙂

    1. Kira, that’s a wonderful post idea. Thank you so much for the suggestion. Maybe when I’m finished writing my cookbook I can spend some time on it!

  8. I think I’ll be adding these to this year’s Xmas cookie plate! I’ve never made whoopee pies, but you’ve given me the confidence to try. 🙂

  9. Hi Sally! Thank you so much for all of the fabulous recipes. I’ve made a few extremely tasty things from your site, and they’ve all been great. 

    Quick question: I know you don’t recommend liquid food color, but I have a ton of it since my red velvet cake calls for it. How would I adjust this recipe to use that instead of the gel food coloring?

    Thanks again!

    Cheers,
    Shauna

    1. Hi Shauna! That’s a great question. I would add 2 extra teaspoons of flour. It’s not much, but will balance out the added liquid. I suggest using 1 Tablespoon of liquid coloring.

  10. I’ve actually been looking for a good whoopie pie recipe, now that you have one, I’ll definitely be using yours! Thanks lots

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