January 11th, 2010

Makin’ Whoopee…Salted Peanut Whoopie Pies…

I have not been this excited about mastering a recipe in years! Reading the news paper and Delicious magazines predictions on what’s  ”hot” this year in the line of culinary arts, I could not stop myself from flying into the kitchen to bake up an enormous storm  as whoopie pies are going to be in vogue this year.

We had a lot of fun making these outrageously indulgent and seriously delicious whoopie pies. At first the song “Makin’ Whoopee” by Frank Sinatra got us going, singing in the very non musical voices that we have. It bugged us for a while at first as we knew there was a song with these words, well I hope you get the idea and feeling of the amount of fun we had creating this incredibly yummy cake.

I was reading up about whoopie pies and it’s said that they apparently originated in Maine, USA amongst the Amish community. The Amish wives used to bake small cakes from their leftover cake batters, sandwiched them together with butter cream and packed them into the lunch boxes of their children and husbands. The name is claimed to have originated from when the husbands and children opened their lunch boxes and found these delights they would scream “whoopie”. Well even if this is untrue and only a myth I want it to be true. Making whoopie entertained us for a few hours and made me laugh from deep inside, smile and shout yippee. I had smeared chocolate around my face and there was something magical and romantic about these pies . I know that the song and the cake are not linked in any way shape or form but it helped me to create this desirable recipe.

It was a bit of a finger in the air after reading endless versions of American whoopie pie recipes on the net. Discovering that they should be chocolate flavoured but then the only recipes that made any sense were pumpkin flavoured which confused me even more. So I approached the “whoopie project” by ripping up all  the 8 sheets of  nonsensical scribbles  and developed my own recipe. The results were outrageously good and I screamed “whoopie” when they came out this good!

I garnished my whoopie pies with a glossy chocolate glaze and sprinkled them with my Christmas pressie to give them an extra touch of glamour and class. Mr.P gave me a jar of Laura Santtini’s Food Bling for Christmas so when the opportunity arose to use it, this girl was in heaven. The traditional butter cream filling was replaced with a salted peanut cream cheese filling…ooh it’s incredibly good and adds a crunch and salty sweet naughtiness to this heavenly cake.

They say the cupcake is  2009 so watch out for whoopie pie!

I’m going to make a outragious statement: I think whoopie pies are much better than cupcakes! Reason for this statement is that you have cake on both sides of the frosting and there is the addition of a extra space for more garnish and gloss. This prevents the possibility of a dry portion of cake as per cupcakes. As cupcakes only have a frosting on top you get to eat the best bits first and can be left with dry cake in the base of the cupcake paper. Well with the whoopie pie you get to eat it all together and makes the best bits last for longer. Get my point?!?!

Salted Peanut Frosting

  • 200g cream cheese, Philadelphia cheese is the best one for this recipe (full fat natural flavour)
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 50g melted butter, cooled
  • 100g salted roasted peanuts, crushed

Make this cream cheese frosting in advance, it needs to set otherwise your whoopies will have a runny filling. I normally make the cream cheese frosting the evening before I need it, as it just simply speed things up. Alternatively if you make it on the day when you need it make sure you leave the frosting in the fridge to set before using.

Melt the butter and set aside to cool, it does not matter if it starts to set as long as it's still soft and pliable. I always melt a bit extra as you will find that it sticks to the bowl. Weigh the 50g required of melted butter after melting.

I also made this in my thermomix however you could have used any other make of blender.

First blitz the salted peanuts. Weigh the peanuts directly into the bowl and secure the lid and turn the dial on lock, press the pulse button until the peanuts are crushed and resemble breadcrumbs. Do not leave the peanuts to blend for too long as it will become a paste. Tip the crushed salted peanuts into a small bowl.

Place the icing sugar and cream cheese in the bowl and blend for 20 seconds, scrape the sides down and insert the butterfly whisk and whip the cheese for 2 minutes on speed 2.

Add the cooled, slightly set but still soft butter to the mixture, add the crushed peanuts and continue whipping with the butterfly whisk for a further 1 minute.

Transfer the frosting to a piping bag with a star nozzle (optional) and let the frosting cool in the fridge until set.

If you do not have a Thermomix then use any other branded machine with a balloon whisk attachment and follow the method as per above. Crush the peanuts using a pestle and mortar or any other machine with a blade to chop the nuts to the required texture.

Whoopie Pies Cake Recipe

  • 280g plain flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 2tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 150g soft brown sugar
  • 60ml sunflower or peanut oil
  • 125ml Crème Fraîche or natural yoghurt
  • 1 large free range egg
  • 60ml boiling water

Preheat the oven to 200°C and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.

Weigh the sugar into a large mixing bowl and loosen it up by letting it run through your fingers, like sand,  break up any lumps.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder, bicarbonate of soda and baking powder over the sugar and mix it together.

In a separate bowl whisk the egg, crème fraîche and oil together. Add the boiling water whilst whisking and immediately stir the liquid into the sifted flour mixture. I have done this all by hand but you could  use a mixer to do this. Do not over work the mixture, once it all comes together stop mixing.

Leave the cake batter to rest and cool down for 5 minutes. This stage is actually important as I baked the first tray and they came out all misshapen. Once I left the cake batter to cool a bit it was easier to work with and my whoopies came out more evenly and better shaped.

Transfer the cake batter to a piping bag (I tried shaping them with spoons but the piping bag gave me the best looking results). Pipe the cake batter in aproximatly 5 cm rounds, remember they will expand and spread so your whoopies will be slightly bigger than the size  piped . Bake them in the preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes, if they are a bit bigger than my size in this recipe I suggest you to bake them a tad longer. You are looking for a soft but cooked half moon cake, use a pallet knife to remove  from the paper. If  a crust has formed at the bottom it means they are cooked. Once the whoopies cool down they will have a bit of a crunch on the outside and the inside wil be caky and soft.

Transfer the cooked whoopies to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Makes approximately 24 - 28 half moon whoopies

Chocolate Glaze

  • 80ml water
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 80ml double cream
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 2 leaves of gelatine

I make this once the whoopies have gone into the oven, this glaze should have cooled down slightly but should still be runny and not completely set when you garnish the whoopies.

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until soft.

Weigh the caster sugar, water and cream into a small saucepan and bring it to the boil, boil the mixture for 2 minutes over high heat.

Add the cocoa powder and return the mixture to the heat and continue boiling for a further one minute over high heat.

Remove the saucepan from the heat and squeeze the gelatine to remove any excess water, stir the soaked gelatine into the warm cocoa mixture, mix well and transfer the mixture to a small bowl and set aside to cool till about 22°C - 24°C.

Once the glaze reaches this temperature it's easier to apply to the whoopies.

Pair up the whoopies  so that you have two that are of similar size and place the one side of the pair on a cooling rack with the flat side down, spoon glaze over to cover the whoopie completely, sprinkle each whoopie with your desired garnish. This is optional, I have used edible gold and sliver leaf however edible glitter or silver balls and sugar sprinkles will be just as pretty.

Let the glazed over  whoopie half moons set in the fridge. Remove them from the fridge as soon as the glaze is set.

Pipe the set salted peanut frosting on to the other half of the whoopie pair, then place the glazed other half on top and the whoopies are ready to be enjoyed.

Makes aproximalty 12 - 14 finished whoopie pies


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31 Comments to “Makin’ Whoopee…Salted Peanut Whoopie Pies…”

  1. I love, love, love whoppie pies. You’re right, they are way better than any cupcake. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. pamela says:

    looks fantastic! can’t wait to try it! thank you so much!

  3. 2010 winter olympics says:

    Delicious! Thanks for sharing such mouth watering recipe here. I would like to make it at Halloween.

  4. Barry says:

    Mouth was watering on this one.. never was much of a fan of cupcakes precisely for the reason you give..seems like a Sunday afternoon treat coming up for the family.. thanks for the recipe

  5. Ben says:

    Never heard of or tried whoopie pies before. But these look amazing. Definately worthy of Vogue!!!

    Keep up the Incredible work Madalene.

    P.S. Just out of curiosity where abouts do you work? Do you offer any work experience placements?

    Ben

  6. Elisa says:

    I made regular cocoa whoopie pies last year with homemade marshmallow fluff. The texture was great, like miniature cakes, so soft and moist.
    Hm salted peanuts.. I have half a jar of liquid salted caramel in the fridge.. that would work with peanuts.

  7. Nishta says:

    I, too, made whoopie pies for the new year–they served as our New Year’s Eve dessert and I could not BELIEVE how delicious they were. I used a similar recipe (from Rose Levy Birenbaum) but just went with the plain, classic flavors. Perfect with champagne!

    I think you are right–the new cupcake, a playful but sophisticated dessert for 2010.

  8. Oh, God, I must try this… Yummy! Thanks!

  9. Amanda says:

    Hi, I love your site, your food is like a work of art.

    re whoopie pies, I tried them last year when I first read about them taking over cupcakes on A Cup of Jo. They are super but so extravagant in terms of calories and effort I don’t think they will take over from cupcakes as a small treat.
    ps I also found it was impossible to eat only one!

  10. Smashing. I could almost break my diet.

  11. Mr. P says:

    They are beautiful! Thanks for having metric measurments too! I’m still with cupcakes though – easier to transport, and easier to finish. Whoopies are H-U-G-E!

    I do love how the little mounds of batter end up perfectly round. And you know, although the first ones I made were chocolate, I prefer the pumpkin variety – they have a really bouncy texture!

    You take a lovely photo by the way. :)

  12. Jo says:

    Cant wait to try out your recipe. After scouring the net this looks just what I was looking for. By the way -whats “marshmallow fluff”?

  13. Lizzie says:

    Oh my god. These look amazing!

  14. Hi Madelene.
    I am a chef myself and have trained with Michelin starred establishments most of my catering life.
    I recently discovered your website and I must say you are very talented and have some very good ideas.
    I love how seasonal you are with your recipes and all of your methods and ingredients work perfectly (however I had to adjust the vinegar air to suit my needs)
    I have only achieved 2 rosettes so far but am aspiring for more in the new year!!
    Please feel free to take a look at the Dante’s menu on the website, although it is not the most recent as we don’t launch that till tomorrow.

    Thank you for your help and briliant ideas

    Matt Williams x

  15. Herman says:

    Its Herman from the BMA, I’m making these today..about 160. I’ll let you know if they come out ok! Thanks.

  16. cake baker says:

    I had a go at these at the weekend, they take a bit of time but they are pretty straight forward to make. A couple of notes that might help other Whoopee makers!

    1. I only made half the frosting and it was enough but probably depends how much frosting you like :)

    2. I put the frosting in the pipe bag and put in fridge, not a good idea, I couldn’t pipe it, I spread it instead and it was ok just not quite as neat.

    3. Mine were about 4cm across and took 8 and a half minutes at 190

    4. The glaze didn’t set, but not sure if it was meant to or not. It stays tacky

    5. If I made again….I would put more salted peanuts in the frosting :)

    Thanks for the recipe!

  17. Wow. These look amazing! A salted peanut cream cheese filling sounds much better than a traditional butter cream filling. They definitely do look better than cupcakes.

  18. A whoopie project? Love it! What gorgeous photos and LOVE the sound of salted peanut cream cheese filling. Wow. We’ll definitely be hearing more about these babies ;)

  19. Madalene says:

    HI Gilnar,
    Yes freezing the cakes without the glaze and filling is perfect, defrost the cakes naturally and then garnish. You can make the glaze and filling Thursday, keep it refrigerated and then when on the day defrost the cakes and warm the glaze up and pipe in the filling and put your whoopies together!
    Good luck and happy baking!
    Madalene

  20. gilnar says:

    These look delicious! can I make the cake and freeze it? have friends coming over for lunch on sunday and only time i have to make them is thursday, or will they keep in an airtight container? Thank you again for the recipe.

  21. Lovely looking little whoopies! Beautiful photos too.
    Can’t believe I’ve only just discovered your site!

  22. Madalene says:

    HI Louise,
    Thanks for your comment on my whoopie pies. You can make whoopie pies with any of your favourite flavours. I also like pistachio, orange and chocolate and lemon is just as delicious.
    Happy Baking,
    Madalene

  23. louise says:

    Hi do you have any other flavours for these wonderful whoopies?? xxx

  24. whoppie monster says:

    Thx for the recipe!!! But can you put different things inside ???? I gonna make some for my mom as its mothers day!!!! Love the recipe xx

  25. Amanda says:

    Oh, I just love these and the little story about the origins of the name. I don’t care if it is true or not either – it sounds great!!

  26. [...] The British Larder is on to whoopie pies too. Here’s her recipe for Salted Peanut Whoopie Pies. The photos will make you pick up a spatula [...]

  27. KK says:

    Great flavor combo! I was just searching for a fun whoopie recipe- this is it! Thanks!

  28. chefchef says:

    Nice recipe – thanks.
    But if you halve the quantities for the frosting you will still have plenty.

  29. Stella says:

    Thank you so much for this recipe – I have just made these and they are perfect, the texture of the cakes is just the right amount of spongy v. chewy, great with the crunchy filling. These whoopies were so good they forced me to leave my first ever comment on a food blog :-) I did not use a piping bag but the whoopies still came out looking good.

    Thank you for sharing.

  30. Jim Lock says:

    Mmmm these look well tasty. Perfectly round, some good baking.

    If your ever in London pop into Harvey Nicholson or Selfridges and check out the range of Whoopies they have there. Fantastic flavours, freshly baked, plus no artificial colourings, preservatives, stabilisers or nasties of any kind

  31. sioux says:

    my daughter has just discovered whoopies and we both think they’re delicious. your recipe sounds a good one to try.

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