When it comes to making foods festive, I love some good old fashioned red and green (and possibly some glitter too). I’m just not into a lot of traditionally Christmassy flavours like mincemeat (blurgh) or brandy (double blurgh).
These chocolatey whoopie pies are just good. Like all whoopie pies, they’re soft and fluffy and hold their shape when baked, but they’re also richly chocolatey despite only containing cocoa powder. If you’re looking for a chocolate dessert to take to a holiday party, these are great value for money (being inexpensive to make) whilst also being impressive.
Oh and you can eat them like a hamburger.
- 230g plain flour
- 75g cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- large pinch salt
- 170g unsalted butter
- 150g caster sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 60ml buttermilk
- 120ml strong coffee, lukewarm
- 110g unsalted butter
- 120g icing sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 140ml buttermilk
- 75g melted marshmallows, or marshmallow fluff
- Gel food colouring in red and green
- Christmassy sprinkles, or crushed candy canes
- First, preheat your oven to 190c/gas mark 5/350f and prepare two very large flat baking or cookie sheets by greasing them well.
- Next, sift together the flour, bicarbonate of soda, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a large bowl, and set aside. Use a stand mixer (or person with strong upper arms) to mix the butter and sugar thoroughly until its well blended and fluffy. Add your egg and vanilla and mix well. Combine the buttermilk and coffee and whisk together, and then add a third of the coffee-buttermilk mixture to the butter/sugar/egg, along with a third of the flour mixture. Continue adding with the mixture on low until everything is incorporated and you have a glossy chocolatey bowl of deliciousness.
- Using two tablespoons, scoop up a heaped tablespoons of batter and fashion them around two inches apart on your trays - don't let them get too close as they will spread out. Spend some time trying to get them as close to round as you can with the spoon, and then wet the tips of your fingers or the back of a spoon with a little water, and smooth off the top and sides of each pie so that its smooth and spherical.
- Bake the whoopie pies for 8-10 minutes - the tops should be crackled and spring back when touched. Once they're done, remove completely from the oven, but don't remove from the tray - they're delicate until they've cooled down. Once they're completely cool, carefully lift them off using a spatula.
- Beat your very soft butter and the icing sugar together and then add the buttermilk and vanilla. To melt the marshmallows, pop them into a small bowl with a little knob of butter, and then microwave them on high power for 30 seconds, then remove and stir. Keep going until they combine into a liquidy mush with stirring, and then mix into the frosting and stir thoroughly until everything is combined.
- To colour your frosting, divide it into two bowls and add a small amount of gel colouring to each and mix thoroughly.
- To assemble your whoopie pies, pair them up by size (an uneven number of pies? you get to eat the outsider!), and either pipe or spoon a good quantity of frosting (I'd estimate it at 1.5 tablespoons) onto your base pie, and then squidge them together and add sprinkles. If its a warmer day, you'll want to refrigerate them until they set.
There are loads of festive whoopie pie ideas floating around in cyberspace, here are a few of my faves if you’d like to try your hand at your own.
- Peppermint Whoopie Pies by Brown Eyed Baker
- Christmas Pudding Whoopie Pies by Dr Oetker
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies by With Sprinkles On Top
What do you think readers – are you tempted by some festive whoopies?