Maine is one of my very favorite states to visit. There’s something about the intoxicating northern Atlantic sea air, the rocky and evergreen-studded coastline, the way the fog rolls in and engulfs the beach in the morning, watching a storm at sea roll by. And don’t dare forget about all the lobster!
If there was any other state I could live, it would be Maine. I could take the harsh and never-ending winters. I could take the love the people of Maine have for the Red Sox (not that I could ever be converted). And I could definitely take the nearly unlimited access to the whoopie pie.
Actually, since I can make them at home, unlimited access isn’t such a sticking point for me, especially when they turn out like these do. But Kyle and I spent Labor Day weekend in Maine (as I mentioned yesterday) and I made it my mission to eat whoopie pies all weekend long…which of course didn’t happen. We did, however, hit up a hidden gem in Freeport: Isamax Snacks. It’s a whoopie pie shop! Cupcakes be damned – this is Maine! They offer over 20 different whoopie pies (including jumbo pies that serve 12-18 people) and ship nationwide. I was somehow able to restrain myself and chose the classic and maple, both of which were seriously awesome.
That trip left me with whoopie pie withdrawl and since I didn’t have the chance to make a batch for our road trip (all of 3 hours lol), I pulled some together this past weekend. I decided on a classic chocolate cake (pie? cookie? I never know what to call it.) with chocolate chip cookie dough filling. For reals, how can you ever go wrong with cookie dough you can eat without the worry of getting sick? The cake is perfectly soft, thanks to the buttermilk, with a deep chocolate flavor and it will definitely be my go-to choice for a classic whoopie pie cake. I foresee many a-whoopie pie in my future this fall and winter, especially since I can’t get these out of my head!
If you have them, silicone baking mats work great for this recipe as the tackiness of the mat prevents the whoopie pie cakes from spreading out too much in the oven. To ensure cakes are pretty much equal in size, scoop the dough and level off the cookie scoop on the side of the bowl or with a knife.
For the chocolate cakes:
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the cookie dough filling:
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks), room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- To make the cakes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
- Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl; set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla until well combined. On low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure no loose flour remains.
- Using a 1 oz (1 1/2 tbsp) cookie scoop, scoop the batter onto the baking sheets, 12 batter rounds per sheet (4 rows of 3). Bake until set, about 8 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through. (When the top of the cake is gently touched, it should feel soft, but not wet.) Let cool on sheets on wire racks 10 minutes. Transfer cakes to wire racks using a spatula and let cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter, allowing the baking sheets to cool before scooping more batter onto them.
- To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in milk and vanilla, mixing until combined. Slowly add in flour and turn mixer up to medium until mixed well. If the filling seems too thick to pipe through a piping bag, beat in 1-2 extra tablespoons of milk. Fold in the chocolate chips.
- To assemble: Match the cakes up by size. Transfer the filling a piping bag with cookie dough and pipe the filling onto the flat side of one half of each matched pair. You’ll need about 2 tbsp of filling per whoopie pie. Gently press the halves together. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or wrapped individually in plastic wrap, if desired. These whoopie pies are best eaten within 3 days.
Yields: about 28 whoopie pies