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red velvet whoopie pies on a black plate with a bite taken from one whoopie pie

Hello and welcome to COOKIE PALOOZA 2016.

If you’re new around Sally’s Baking Addiction, my annual cookie palooza hits right after Thanksgiving (see you next year, pumpkin pie!) 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 (between endless batches of pie crust, of course) 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!

red velvet whoopie pies with cream cheese filling

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?

2 images of red velvet whoopie pie batter in a glass stand mixer bowl and mounds of batter for red velvet whoopie pies on a silpat baking mat on a baking sheet

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 the difference between Dutch-process vs. natural cocoa powder? 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!

2 images of a red velvet whoopie pie on a silpat baking mat and spreading cream cheese filling onto a whoopie pie

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.

red velvet whoopie pies on a black plate

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 1x
  • Category: Cookies
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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


  • 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


  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.


  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 | 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

Reader Questions and Reviews

  1. I made these a couple of weeks ago for my grandparent’s birthday/Christmas party and everyone LOVED them!! My brother special requested a pecan pie, so I went with your pecan bars and they were all gone in about an hour!! We are all big red velvet lovers and your red velvet cheesecake brownies are always a big hit. They came out bigger than I expected but they were perfect. So easy to make! I had no idea how fun they would be. Thank you for the recipes!

  2. I just made these. They are delicious!  But they are not as poufy as yours and ca,e out very flat. Any suggestions why so I can fix for next time?  Thanks!

  3. 100% would recommend. It is delicious. I gave some to my friends and they LOVED it. Mine were really flat unlike the picture but it was still beautiful

  4. Hi Sally, tried making it and was a huge success, it tasted great and it was puffy which is the way it should be. However, how do you ever make it into a perfect circle? Mine came out in different shapes.


  5. Can these be made into smaller size cookies? Like half dollar size and what amount would that be per cookie? I was thinking of making a batch of 40 or so for our mens ministry gathering on Monday niights.

    1. Absolutely! I’m unsure exactly how much batter you’d need for that size, but you can use a couple teaspoons of batter per cookie instead of 1.5 Tbsp. The bake time will be slightly less.

  6. Once again Sally you never fail to amaze me. My daughters and niece know whenever they get together I will be baking a recipe from you and its always so delish!! Thanks once again. These whoopie pies are amazing and even better chilled!!

  7. Oh myyyy these are fantastic! I just made a batch and I don’t think they’re gonna survive long enough to be frosted, they taste delicious on their own. I tried one after it cooled slightly and it’s like a soft fluffy pillow that just melts in your mouth. Fat pants, here I come!

  8. Hi Sally, just curious, could I add white chocolate chips/chunks to the whoopie pies? Or would they fail to turn out?

  9. 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…

  10. 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 😀

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

  13. 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!

  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. 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

  16. 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.

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

  17. Last year I made three batches and my family loved them so much that this year I’m requested to make 6 batches

  18. This is my signature cookie now, thanks to you so, we really love this recipe

  19. Wow! These are so good. Can’t wait to try your other whoopie pie recipes.

  20. Hi Sally,
    Love your site and your recipes!! Both times I’ve made these, they’ve started to burn on the bottom before I get to 10 minutes. Any idea why this might be happening? I’m using parchment paper, and my rack is in the middle, so not sure what I’m doing wrong. Otherwise, they are sooooo good!

    1. Hi Kirstin, do you have an oven thermometer? It sounds like your oven may be running a bit hotter than it’s reading. Feel free to slightly reduce the temperature to help with the early burning. Hope this helps!

  21. Hi Sally! Long time fan, first time poster I’m thinking about filling these with marshmallow filling. Can I still prepare these early … up to 4 to 5 days , stored in the fridge?
    Thank you,

    1. Hi Robin! If using a meringue-based recipe (like our Homemade Marshmallow Creme) we suggest only storing in the fridge for up to 2 days because the meringue will begin to weep.

  22. If I had to sum it up in one word, it would be AMAZING!!!!!!! They are lightly chocolat-ey, with an undertone of vanilla, and with cream cheese filling, they are TO DIE FOR!!! I don’t like super sweet frostings, so I used this for the filling
    Smush 8 oz room temp cream cheese around in a bowl (to fully soften it). Then, with a mixer on, gradually add in 1/2 cup room temp butter. Sift in 1 cup of powdered sugar, and beat until combined. Then add in 1 tsp vanilla, and a very tiny pinch of salt, and beat until combined.
    Thank you sooooo much for the recipe!!

  23. Hi!! I love this recipe so much! In the past, I’ve just used red gel food coloring, but I would like not to use artificial coloring! In the notes, it mentions that you can use beet powder, so I’m wondering how much I would need? Thank you in advance!

    1. Hi Oona, we’re unsure of the best amount of beet powder to use to get this exact color, but use enough until you are pleased with the color of the batter. Hope this helps a bit!

  24. Hi! I can’t wait to make these! Can I make the batter and then make the icing before I scoop/bake the cookies? Thank you!

    1. Hi Jessica, you can, although we like to make the frosting while the cookies are baking and cooling. Either works!

  25. I just made these. Absolutely perfect and totally yummy. Hope grandkids like this new treat I made for them! Thanks. I did find though that I only baked for 8 min. Have found that my oven must be hotter as I need to take about 2 min off your recipe timer.

  26. I love red velvet and I am quite particular with my recipes when it comes to this type of cake. I don’t stray from my families recipe and forget about any store bought red velvet. For me to leave a comment on any food/recipe site is unheard of…especially for red velvet. Ladies and gents…your browsing stops here. These red velvet whoppie pies were EVERYTHING! Lord in heaven…after I made these and tasted my hard work, there were tears running down my cheeks. Delicious. Absolutely delicious and I would not change a thing. Any comment/rating below 5 stars….that person didn’t follow the recipe right. Hands down this is a damn good recipe and it sure is tasty!! These were gone in a matter of minutes for Thanksgiving. This recipe is saved in my recipe book and I’ll be making them for Christmas. THANK YOU!!!

  27. Dear Sally,
    I am making your red velvet whoopie pies this week. I am not sure about
    the right kind of cocoa powder. My two boxes say Dutch Processed and the
    only says good for baking.
    You say to use natural unsweetened – will the box say this ?
    Thank you,

  28. Hi love this red velvet whoopies, quick quesrion can I skip rolling it on granulated sugar? My husband doesnt like the sugary texture

    1. Hi Ludwina, We don’t roll these whoopie pies in granulated sugar. We do sprinkle confectioners’ sugar on top of each after they are assembled but you can skip this, it’s really just for looks.

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