Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

How to make moist and soft red velvet whoopie pies filled with cream cheese filling! Cookie recipe on

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

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

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

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

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

  • 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: KitchenAid Stand Mixer | 5-qt Tilt-Head Measuring Bowl | Flex Edge BeaterRed Gel Food Coloring | Baking Sheet | Silpat Baking Mat | Crate & Barrel Plates
  3. 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


  1. Hey Sally! I have two questions.
    (1) I am going to make these in the evening and then bring them to work the next morning. Do I need to refrigerate the pies overnight?
    (2) Will low fat buttermilk be okay with the recipe? I could only find low fat!

    Also, I only have sparkly red gel food coloring. Excited to see how that comes out!

    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Lauren, Cover whoopie pies and store in the refrigerator because of the cream cheese frosting 🙂 The low-fat buttermilk is ok. Enjoy!

      1. 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?

  2. 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.

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

  4. 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…

  5. 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 😀

  6. 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?


  7. 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!

  8. 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.

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

  9. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally