Cake, hands down, is my favorite type of dessert. I don't love all cakes, but I do love the texture of most. When baked correctly, the moist and tender crumb of a sweet slice usually leaves me drooling for more. Naturally, being a baking enthusiast, there are lots of other treats that leave me weak in the knees, but I'm just saying...this girl loves her some cake. Especially when they're present for special occasions!
One of my brother-in-law's just turned 20 and I became very excited at the thought of baking him up an extra special birthday cake. However, being a college student and living on campus, I figured even a small cake may be much to deal with in terms of slicing, keeping leftovers, etc. I didn't want to make typical cupcakes, but I did walk down the hand-held route. Enter, the chocolate cake whoopie pies!
After dressing these little guys up with festive and colorful sprinkles, I knew they would be ready for the birthday boy. Aren't they cute? They look like birthday-cake-sandwich-cookie-baby-cutie-patooties! Easy to eat and easy for celebrating a special birthday! They are perfectly moist and have all fine qualities of a fine slice of real cake. Whoopie!
Chocolate Cake Whoopie Pies
makes about 36
For the cakes (recipe adapted from Gourmet Magazine):
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
For the filling:
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 1/2 tbsp heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 cups powdered sugar (you can adjust the amount according to your taste)
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and milk.
3. Use a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), and cream together the butter and sugar. Once the mixture has become creamy and pale, add the egg and vanilla-- mix on medium for another 4-5 minutes. The batter should be pale and fluffy. Change the speed to low and alternately add the flour and milk mixture, in thirds, into the egg/butter-- start with flour and end with the flour. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and stop mixing once everything has combined smoothly (no dry patches).
4. Fill a piping bag, fitted with a large round pastry tip, with the chocolate batter. Pipe 1 1/2 inch circles onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper-- be sure to leave about 2 inches between each. Bake in the middle and lower racks of a heated 350 degree F. oven for 10-11 minutes. Wait for a few minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Make sure the cakes have cooled completely before filling.
5. To make the filling, cream together the butter, whipping cream, and vanilla extract until everything is creamed together. On low, slowly beat in the powdered sugar into the butter. Scrape down the bowl every once in awhile to make sure all the sugar is incorporated. Once you have reached the desired level of sweetness, Increase the speed to medium high and continue to whip the filling for another 4-5 minutes until it is fluffy and smooth. Use a piping bag, or small spatula, to fill one side of the whoopie pie before topping with another. Repeat with the rest of the cakes.
6. To garnish with sprinkles, pour about 1/2 cup into a bowl. Gently dip each whoppie pie, on its side, into the bowl. Press gently and turn the whoopie pie to coat all sides with sprinkles.
7. Store the whoopie pies at room temperature in a lightly covered container. Enjoy!