I have been wanting to put together a whoopie pie for some time now. Just the thought of a soft, moist, bite-sized cake paired with a creamy light center filling is enough to get my sweet tooth pining. With the flurry of Christmas still fresh on the calendar, my home has inevitably become littered with the likes of candy, candy and more candy. In particular, there seems to be a fondness towards mini candy canes. They can be found everywhere from my children’s school goodie bags to the sweet filled gingerbread houses we constructed at our first annual gingerbread decorating party this year. Check out a sampling of the masterpieces the kids put together:
I’m sure you can agree that there was some serious talent amongst our young culinary artists. Gingerbread genius aside though, I needed a resourceful idea for ousting all those surplus red and white sugar sticks from my house. Bring on the cocoa-nut peppermint whoopie pie.
These round beauties are made using coconut milk which adds a subtle yet unique flavor to the cocoa flavored cake. They’re moist and light; trust me when I tell you it’s a challenge to eat just one.
Putting a batch together is fairly straightforward. Start out by whipping up a few eggs along with a couple scoops of sugar. When the spinning subsides, you want it to look light and frothy.
Stir in a few more wet ingredients including the coconut milk, olive oil, and a couple different extracts.
Next up, you’ll need to mix together a smattering of dry ingredients and sift them into the wet.
Once combined, pour the batter into a greased whoopie pie tin. My tins are for mini whoopie pies, but this batter would work with regular sized whoopie pie tins as well. It also works well for cupcakes and even for layer cake so get creative if the mood strikes you as it often does me.
Bake them up at a respectable temperature and pop them out to cool. Aren’t they adorable?
But what’s a whoopie pie without the sweet cream filled center? It’s just a plain old cake my friend and Mommie simply doesn’t do plain. Grab up a hunk of cream cheese, a pile of powdered sugar along with a handful of crushed candy canes and spin it into sugar blissed submission.
Just a note that I like to run the candy canes, roughy crushed, through a food processor along with the powdered sugar before adding it to the filling. This will yield a fine grained peppermint powder that will leave you with no large candy cane chunks. If you like the chunks, then just proceed with a rough crush and move onward.
Once you’ve swirled your ingredients into a smooth flurry of flavor, you’ll add in the cream. You can whip the cream before adding it if you prefer, but I’m lazy and add it straight into the bowl along with the filling.
If you add it straight in, you’ll turn the mixer on low to incorporate it into the frosting and then turn it on high for a minute or two to air up the cream until it’s all smooth and delicious-like.
I want to throw out a note of caution here; if you add the cream straight to the filling and then whip, it will be a bit too heavy and wet to be pipable. I actually spooned it onto my whoopies. If you are planning to pipe as frosting for a cupcake or otherwise, you may want to cut out the milk altogether and whip the cream before adding it to the frosting. This should render a firmer and more shapable (is that even a word?) filler/topper.
Snatch up a handful of the cooled cakes, slice them in half and dollop a healthy spoonful of the filling onto the bottom half.
Drop the top back on the filling and presto chango, pretty pink peppermint pies appear as if on command.
Repurposed candy never tasted so good.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Whipped Peppermint Frosting
Yield: about 60 bite-sized whoopie pies
Total Time: 45 min
For the Cake:
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 13.5 Oz. Can Coconut Milk (about 11/2 Cups)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
11/2 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
11/2 Cups All Purpose Flour
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
For the Filling:
6 Oz. Cream Cheese
3 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1 tsp Milk
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Peppermint Extract
1/4 Cup Crushed Candy Canes
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
In a large mixing bowl, whip together the eggs and two sugars until light and frothy.
Mix in the coconut milk, vanilla and almond extracts and the olive oil.
Combine all the dry ingredients, the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Sift into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
Pour into greased tins and bake at 350 degrees for 7 to 9 minutes until firm.
For the filling whip together the cream cheese, powdered sugar, milk, vanilla, pepperment extract and candy canes.
Optional: Running the candy canes (roughly crushed) with the powdered sugar in a food processor will give you a nice fine grained peppermint powder.
Add the cream to the finished filling. Mix slowly to incorporate and then turn beaters on high and whip for a minute or two until frosting is smooth and creamy. You can also whip the cream ahead of time and fold into the cream cheese mixture.
For a more pipable frosting, leave the milk out and whip the cream before adding to the cream cheese mixture.
Slice the cakes in half and spoon a hearty teaspoon's worth of the frosting onto the bottom of each adding the top back on once you've finished.