Mocha Whoopie Pies: deliciously devilish

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WHOOPIE!

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.

Oh, my…

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.

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. memphisrn

    They look wonderful. And I guess you don’t need a special pan..that’s a treat! I guess there would be a way to use the marshmallow cream in a jar?

    The cream tends to be much softer than the actual marshmallows, so you’d want to decrease the amount of cream in the filling to balance out the goo-factor. I would increase the amount of marshmallow cream to 12 oz (most of a LARGE jar of fluff/marshmallow cream) and decrease the heavy cream by 1/4 cup. Give it a try and see how it works out! We’d love to hear your feedback! Best, Kim@KAF

    Reply
  2. Karrie

    Would this work with say evaporated milk instead of the heavy cream? I always have that on hand and not heavy cream

    Sorry, Karrie – you need the whipping quality of the heavy or whipping cream to make this work. That said, you could certainly use the evaporated milk to make a filling that was less light/fluffy, and more like confectioners’ sugar icing than whoopie pie filling – totally up to you. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  3. Madeline

    These look fabulous! One quick question though, would I be able to use homemade marshmallows instead? Thanks for your input.

    No guarantee since I haven’t tried it, Madeline, but if they can hold up to being heated and melted and still firm up again – don’t see why not. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      No guarantee since I haven’t tried it, Madeline, but if they can hold up to being heated and melted and still firm up again – don’t see why not. Good luck – PJH

  4. hoydoris

    How do you keep the pies after they are made? Refrigerated or room temperature?

    If you plan on keeping them for more than a day I would put them in the refrigerator!-Jon

    Actually, I’ve stored them at room temp, well wrapped, for 3 to 4 days, and they’re fine; the fridge will dry them out quickly. Hope this helps – PJH

    Reply
  5. tommix

    “Brown sugar”—-does it matter light or dark?

    Those who are “super tasters” or trained tasters (detecting nuances in flavor) may find the dark brown sugar gives more molasses flavor. Sadly, I’m not in that group of bakers or tasters, so either sugar works in my kitchen. If this recipe was a sugar cookie, the color of brown sugar would affect the appearance as well. In this chocolate recipe, the appearance is dark anyway. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  6. Rhonda

    Hi, I made these and although they tasted great, I don’t think the filling came out right. I beat it forever and it just wouldn’t firm up. I put it in the fridge overnight and it did solidify by it was more of a marshmallow texture than a creamy texture. How long are you suppose to beat the filling. I swear I beat it for almost an hour. Thanks

    The trick with the filling is the marshmallow: depending on the brand, the firmer the marshmallow, the thicker the filling. It is also possible that there was a bit too much liquid, this would also prevent the filling from setting well. It should have whipped up within 5-10 minutes of mixing! I’m sure the extra air you incorporated yielded that fluffy, marshmallow-y texture. I hope your next batch turns out better! Kim@KAF

    Reply
  7. Margaret

    Followed directions for filling, way to runny, did not whip up well.

    Sorry to hear about the trouble with this portion of the recipe. Did you happen to change any of the ingredients? Also, did you make sure that the mixture was completely cold in the refrigerator before trying to whip it?-Jon

    Reply
  8. Ellen

    I made the whoopie pies and could not get the batter to spread. They stayed very round and did not “whoopie”. I suspect the kitchen was cold and I overwhipped air into the batter after I added the milk (which was cold). They still tasted great and I love the technique of fluffing up a simple ganache for the filling.

    Other than making sure my ingredients are room temp. is there anything else I might do to make the batter spread out more? Thanks!

    Ellen, sounds like you may have used too much flour; did you weigh it when measuring? If not, be sure you’re measuring using the “sprinkle and sweep” method. Also, if you cut back on the sugar at all, that could have prevented the pies from spreading as they should; but I’m thinking it was an overabundance of flour. Hope you try these again – PJH

    Reply
  9. Elizabeth

    I made these today, but instead of your cream filling I actually made your homemade vanilla marshmallows for filling, and spooned in on the flat side of the pies while it cooled until I could set 2 of them together without it all oozing out. Wow… super rich chocolatey cakes – and not real sweet so the sweet filling is a must. They are delicious!! I call it a success!

    It almost sounds like a Moon Pie that you came up with! Dip those in chocolate and you’d have a classic treat on your hands! Great idea! :) Kim@KAF

    Reply
  10. JOYCE

    HI, I haven,t tried any recipes as of yet, been in the hospital for 2 weeks. Just got home and trying to catch up on all my emails. Those muffins look so good and can’ wait till I get my strength back. I had a tumor in my pituitary gland, but no cancer. Its been a long haul. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Joyce, glad that tumor was benign! Here’s to an uneventful recovery, and I hope you get to enjoy some whoopie pies soon. :) PJH

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