Chocolate Whoopie Pies from Grandma’s Kitchen

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Let me share with you how to make my grandma's recipe for chocolate whoopie pies. These soft chocolate cookie sandwiches with vanilla buttercream filling are a family-favorite dessert recipe she taught us all how to bake.

It's no secret that I love my grandma's recipes. Both my grandmas were wonderful cooks, and the heirloom recipes they passed down mean everything to me. This chocolate whoopie pie recipe has been in my family for over a century.

Sometimes I even love to make this version of heart shaped whoopie pies for Valentine's Day.

Why You're Going to Love These Cookies

  • They're so delicious. Soft and cake-like, they're sandwiched together with a creamy vanilla buttercream filling.
  • You'll love how easy they are to make. There's nothing to them. Mix up the cookie dough and bake, and mix up a quick filling while they're cooling. Easy peasy.
  • They require minimal ingredients you likely already have in your pantry.

Ingredient and Substitution Notes

  • Butter – You'll need unsalted for the cookie dough, and salted butter for the filling.
  • All-Purpose Flour – While these are made with regular flour, I make them gluten-free all the time; I just use my favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour to make them. You can make them both ways with no issues whatsoever. Just use a good flour.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – I prefer Hershey's unsweetened cocoa powder, but you can use whatever you have on hand, as long as it's unsweetened.

While we're talking ingredients…

Let's Talk Quick about What Whoopie Pie Filling is Made of

You have options when it comes to making your whoopie pie filling…

  • Most whoopie pies include marshmallow fluff in the filling.
  • My great grandma, who traveled to Missouri by covered wagon, used a cooked icing she made with 1 cup sugar, 1 or 2 tbsp. butter, 1 tsp. vanilla, a dash of salt, and enough cream to set this mixture. She'd cook it to soft ball stage and ice the cookies on the underside, putting together two cookies like a sandwich. She would make these and have them ready for an after school snack when my mom and her sisters would arrive home from school via the school bus. She stored them in a metal roasting pan with a lid that was all bent up, and she kept it in the pantry.
  • You can use a simple cream cheese frosting.
  • I prefer to use a whoopie pie filling without fluff, my favorite sugar cookie icing I've made since I was a kid. It includes powdered sugar, salted butter, vanilla, almond extract, and milk or heavy whipping cream. This is pretty much what my grandma used too.

Remember, the complete ingredient list with amounts and everything is in the printable recipe card below. Keep scrolling.

How to Make Chocolate Whoopie Pies

Baking chocolate gobs is a 2-step process. First, cookies, then the filling.

First Bake the Cookies

  1. Cream (or mix) the butter and sugar together.
  2. Then add the eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
  3. Whisk or sift all the dry ingredients, including the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt, together.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. If the batter is too thin, you may need to add just a bit more flour.
  5. Drop from teaspoons onto a baking sheet; then bake at 350° F for 10 to 12 minutes.
  6. When fully baked, remove the cookies from the cookie sheet, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.
steps for how to make chocolate whoopie pie recipe in KitchenAid bowl, mixing butter and sugar, eggs and vanilla, dry ingredients and milk, scooping cookies, and baking on cookie sheet

Then Make the Whoopie Pie Filling

  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  2. Add the milk to the mixture.
  3. Slowly add the powdered sugar to the mixture, mixing it in as you go. You want a good consistency, not too runny or the cookies will slide apart; you want the icing thick enough to stay on the cookie but not so thick that it breaks the cookies apart when trying to spread it. Once everything is mixed together, the icing should be smooth and creamy, free of any lumps.
  4. Put the cookies together with this filling to form chocolate sandwich cookies.
whoopie pie filling without fluff in green mixing bowl with spoon and spreading knife

And that's it! They're ready to enjoy, and boy will you enjoy these cookies. My mouth is watering just thinking about them.

Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's

Why are my whoopie pies flat?

This is why I mention that you may need to add just a bit more flour. Depending on the flour you use, your dough could be quite thin, and you don't want it to be so thin that it's falling off the spoon. It should scoop quite nicely without running off the spoon. If your batter's too thin, your cookies will be flat.

Can I make these ahead of time?

Yes, of course! I wouldn't recommend more than a day ahead of time, but yes, you can make them the day before and they'll be just fine. You may, however, want to store them in the fridge if you add the filling the day before, since the icing has milk.

How should I store whoopie pies?

I recommend keeping them in the fridge 'til you're ready to serve them, since the filling does have milk (or cream). They should keep for 3-5 days if stored in an airtight container.

Can you freeze whoopie pies?

Yes, you can. You can bake them, frost them, package them in plastic wrap, then place them in an airtight container and freeze. They should keep for about 3 months.

pile of chocolate gobs on green Texas Ware plate

If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube. And subscribe to my email list too!

stack of chocolate whoopie pies on green Texas Ware saucer plate

Chocolate Whoopie Pies

How to make my grandma's family-favorite recipe for chocolate whoopie pies. Soft cookie sandwiches with vanilla buttercream filling.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Cookies & Bars, Desserts
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 578kcal
Author: Mel Lockcuff

Equipment

Ingredients

Whoopie Pie Dough:

Whoopie Pie Filling:

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
  • Cream (or mix) the butter and sugar together.
  • Then add the eggs and vanilla, mixing well.
  • Whisk or sift together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt.
  • Mix the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. If the batter is too thin, you may need to add just a bit more flour.
  • Drop from teaspoons onto a baking sheet.
  • Bake at 350° F for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  • When fully baked, remove the cookies from the cookie sheet, and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

Whoopie Pie Filling:

  • In a large mixing bowl, mix together the softened butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  • Add the milk to the mixture.
  • Slowly add the powdered sugar to the mixture, mixing it in as you go. You want a good consistency, not too runny or the cookies will slide apart; you want the icing thick enough to stay on the cookie but not so thick that it breaks the cookies apart when trying to spread it. Once everything is mixed together, the icing should be smooth and creamy, free of any lumps.
  • Put the cookies together with this filling to form chocolate sandwich cookies.

Notes

Why are my whoopie pies flat?
This is why I mention that you may need to add just a bit more flour. Depending on the flour you use, your dough could be quite thin, and you don't want it to be so thin that it's falling off the spoon. It should scoop quite nicely without running off the spoon. If your batter's too thin, your cookies will be flat.
How should I store whoopie pies?
I recommend keeping them in the fridge 'til you're ready to serve them, since the filling does have milk (or cream). They should keep for 3-5 days if stored in an airtight container.

Nutrition

Serving: 1Servings | Calories: 578kcal | Carbohydrates: 96g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 80mg | Sodium: 237mg | Potassium: 212mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 64g | Vitamin A: 625IU | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 2mg
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