Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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 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!

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 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!

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
  • 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 | 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


  1. Sally,
    My vision and hearing screening is coming up. I am lucky to have student nurses to help out as well as a team from my school district. I know that my team LOVES red velvet-I made red velvet cupcakes to thank them last year and wanted to make something different. Thanks for this recipe! I’ll also make the hot chocolate in my new crock pot for them!

    1. Yes yes yes! What a delicious combination of treats for the gang.

  2. Saadiya Patel says:

    I’ve never heard of the name gobs but I think it’s just so quirky,fun and whimsical! I believe I will use that name from now on 🙂

  3. I made Green Velvet cupcakes for St. Patrick’s Day by simply subbing green gel food coloring. I bet it would be adorable here to make half red, half green holiday whoopie pies! I feel a baking project with my daughter and her friends coming on. 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh YES. Why didn’t I think of that? I’m doing it when I make them again in a few weeks. So festive!

  4. Whoopie! These look amazing! I can’t wait to bake them!
    Do you think these would hold up in the mail?

    1. Probably not the best cookie to ship unfortunately 🙁

  5. Laura | Tutti Dolci says:

    These are the prettiest whoopee pies ever! I just love that rich jewel red velvet!

    1. Thanks Laura!

  6. Red velvet – good.  Gobs – not so much.  In the UK ‘gob’ is a somewhat vulgar term for your mouth, as in “Shut yer gob”, so perhaps I’ll stick with whoopee pies for now.

    I have a chocolate recipe that I refer to as crack cocaine for teenagers, since after just one they are so hyper on sugar I need to let them out of the house to run around! 😉

    1. Oh goodness! Let’s just keep calling them whoopie pies then 😉

  7. Hi sally. i just made the batter but its  not firm like normal cookie dough. Is that how it should be? Also i noticed you say not to chill dough and you usually do with your cookie doughs. does this not need to be? 

    1. It’s like cake batter, not cookie dough. So it will be a little more liquid-y. No need to chill!

  8. My dad LOVES red velvet whoopie pies. I had yet to find a good recipe… But this one looks spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. How long will these be good for if left outside? Or will they need to be in a fridge pretty much constantly?

    1. Hi Sherry- a couple days is OK at room temperature. Make sure they are covered tightly.

  10. The recipe was awesome, but I did make a couple of adjustments… I left out the red food coloring, and I added fresh blueberries on top of the filling. Yummy!

    1. Love the blueberry addition!

  11. looks absolutely amazing! i’m going to try these out over the holidays 🙂 

  12. 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!

  13. 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!

    1. Cathy Phillips says:

      This has happened to me with other whoopie pie recipes—I was wondering the same thing.,,

  14. How many pies does this recipe yield?

  15. Diane Chung says:

    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

  16. 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.


    1. Are you using a cookie scoop? That ensures the circle shape 🙂

  17. I don’t suggest it.

  18. Hi Sally,

    In the frosting, could I substitute shortening for the butter? [I just used my last stick on the whoopie pie batter itself, and am feeling too lazy to go to the store] I know shortening can sometimes impart a waxy flavor but I’m hoping maybe the tanginess of the cream cheese can prevail?


  19. My favourite flavour is red velvet. I made a cake with my dad for my birthday and it was red velvet. ❤️

    1. It’s so good! 🙂

  20. I am planning on making these for my sons bday party & will have to double the recipe as 12 sandwiches won’t be enough. Do you recommend doing two seperate batches or just one doubled batch all at once? Thanks!

    1. I strongly recommend 2 separate batches. You risk overmixing or undermixing with too much batter at once.

  21. Made these today as per recipe. They are perfect. Thank you for the recipe

  22. 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.

  23. Could applesauce be used in place of the egg?

  24. My 3 year old daughter and I are making these this morning for a Mother’s Day treat. Not very springy but my mom loves red velvet so it’s perfect. Claire called these whoopsie pies… new name in our house! Thanks for the spot on recipe once again. I have made countless recipes of yours and every one has turned out beautifully. Thank you!

  25. Christina Blanco says:

    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!!

    1. Thanks, Christina!! I’m so happy that you all enjoyed these – such a fun tradition to bake for them!

  26. Hi Sally, Red velvet is my grandsons favorite, however, he wants a cake. Would this recipe make an 8 “ cake. Thank you.

    1. Hi Nanny! Here is my red velvet cake recipe. You can bake the layers in 8-inch cake pans– the cakes will be a little thicker and may take a couple extra minutes.

  27. Yvette Estrada says:

    I’m baking these for a cookie party this weekend and I don’t know how I should attack this especially since I have to make many batches but I was wondering if i have to put the filling in right after it’s done chilling or could I bake the cookies one day and fill them the next day or a couple days after? Thanks !

    1. Hi Yvette, You can bake the cookie part and wrap tightly after they are cooled and then fill them a day or two later if that is easier for you! Enjoy the party!

  28. If freezing, do you recommend using plastic wrap or aluminum foil to wrap them?

    1. Either works! I usually use plastic wrap.

  29. 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!

    1. I made a batch of these for my book club meeting. They taste incredible! I have a question. I used parchment paper when I baked them and lined my storage container with it. The cookies stuck a little. Is that normal? Should the paper be lightly greased? Can the cookies be stacked on top of each other on a cookie tray?

      1. Hi Deborah! You can lightly grease the parchment if you find the batches are sticking. If you have a silicone baking mat, I highly suggest baking on those. No sticking. Yes, you can stack the cookies– they stick a little bit, but keep them in the refrigerator so they don’t stick to each other as much.

  30. Tasha Shoemaker says:

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

    1. I can’t see why not!

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