Here’s to sheer indulgence: palm-sized rounds of espresso-scented devil’s food cake sandwiched around a subtly flavored coffee/marshmallow/cream filling.
Go on, take a virtual bite. Imagine the moist mocha cake yielding to a soft-yet-dense 3/4″-thick layer of smoooooth, rich filling.
And if I haven’t sold you on these Mocha Whoopie Pies yet, go ahead, click out of here; you’re just not a mocha maven.
This recipe is a great example of chacun à son goût, a.k.a. each to his own. The original recipe, as printed in our Baker’s Catalogue and on our recipe site, yields a very assertively flavored mocha cake with dark chocolate ganache filling.
I like mocha, but I like it subtle; I want to taste more chocolate than coffee. So here in the blog, I cut way back on the espresso powder in the cake – and exchanged a light-colored, mildly flavored coffee filling for the original recipe’s chocolate ganache.
Bottom line: different strokes for different folks. If you’re a coffee devotée, a fan of in-your-face flavors, you’ll love the original.
If you’re a mamby-pamby wuss person of more delicate tastes who likes to wake up and smell the coffee, but who doesn’t really want a coffee slap upside the head, then you’ll prefer the recipe below.
Starbucks Dark Komodo Dragon Blend vs. Folgers: you know who you are.
And if you find yourself humming “The best part of waking up…” right about now – read on.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease two baking sheets, or line with parchment.
Let’s start by making the cakes. Beat together the following until smooth:
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
2 to 3 teaspoons espresso powder, to taste*
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
*For plain chocolate whoopie pies, eliminate the espresso powder.
Though the original recipe doesn’t call for it, I like to add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Like a small amount of espresso powder, vanilla highlights chocolate’s flavor without adding any assertive taste of its own.
Add 1 large egg, again beating until smooth.
Stir in 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa. I’m using our King Arthur all-purpose baking cocoa, which I feel combines the best of both natural and Dutch-process cocoas. Which makes total sense – since it’s a blend of the two, plus black cocoa, as well.
Add 2 1/3 cups (9 5/8 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour alternately with 1 cup milk. First some flour; mix it in; then some milk, mix it in. Maybe a heaping 1/2 cup flour and 1/3 cup milk at a time.
Once everything is added beat until smooth, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure any pasty ingredients are fully incorporated.
Drop the dough by the heaping tablespoonful onto the baking sheets. A tablespoon cookie scoop works very well here.
Leave about 1 1/2″ to 2″ between the rounds, as they’ll spread a bit.
You’ll need to bake the cakes in batches, as you can bake maybe 2 dozen at a time, and the recipe makes about 32 cakes (and therefore about 16 whoopie pies).
Bake the cakes for 10 to 12 minutes, until just firm to the touch.
See how they spread? Looks like I spaced them just about right.
Remove from the oven, and cool on the pans for 10 minutes.
Once you can move them without any breakage, transfer them to a rack to cool completely.
Next, the filling.
Now that I think of it, you could make this filling ahead of time if you like. It has to chill for awhile, so if you’re really into efficient use of time, consider making it before the cakes.
Mix the following in a microwave-safe bowl, or a saucepan:
2 cups (1 pint) heavy or whipping cream
1 bag (10 to 10 1/2 ounces) marshmallows; mini-marshmallows are easiest to use
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Next, decide your chosen level of coffee flavor. I opted for using 2 teaspoons of espresso powder; if you don’t have espresso powder, try instant coffee powder, or instant coffee granules dissolved in a tiny bit of water.
Heat gently, stirring frequently, until the marshmallows melt completely.
Remove from the heat, and stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Pour the icing into the bowl of your stand mixer or another mixing bowl, and refrigerate until chilled.
Once the icing is thoroughly chilled, beat at high speed using your stand mixer or an electric hand mixer; it’s impossible to whip fully by hand, so please use a machine. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure you’re incorporating all of the chilled icing.
As you beat it the icing will warm up, expanding in volume and lightening in color. Be sure to beat long enough for this to happen, and for the icing to become very smooth.
Spread the flat side of half the cakes with the filling. It helps to dollop it on with your trusty tablespoon cookie scoop, then gently spread nearly to the edge of the cake.
Top with the remaining cakes, rounded side up; press down gently.
I ended up with one cake round left over after all the sandwiches had been filled. Baker’s treat!
As I said earlier – WHOOPIE!
For a mocha-ier pie with dark chocolate filling, check out our recipe for Mocha Whoopie Pies.
For the light coffee filling shown here, use the coffee version of our Super-Easy Marshmallow Icing recipe.