Do you like whoopie pies?

I have to admit, my experiences with whoopie pies are pretty limited. It’s not a treat that defined my childhood in any way. But people seem to love them, so I decided to figure out what the fuss was about.

Red velvet whoopie pies are nothing new– do a Google image search for them and you’ll get loads of these guys staring you in the face. And while they seem to have been tailored for Valentine’s Day, I thought they’d make for a great 4th of July dessert as well.

And seeing as the 4th is in two days, let’s get on it!

Seeing as I’ve never made whoopie pies or red velvet cake, I didn’t feel like developing my own recipe for this one. So I found this one over at Recipe Girl. The only changes I made were to use 2 heaping tablespoons of cocoa, and I didn’t have enough cake flour so I subbed all-purpose flour for a cup or so. Also, if your level of baking is more on par with a boxed cake mix, there are a lot of recipes out there using that, too!

After making up the batter as directed, I heated up my oven and prepped my baking sheets with parchment paper.

I made my pies a bit larger than the recipe indicated, because I needed them to be big enough to cut stars out of. So I used a medium cookie scoop.

I put only 6 cookies on each sheet to make sure they didn’t run together, and baked them for 6 minutes and they were perfectly done.

I had 2 different star cutters I wanted to try out. (I may or may not have at least 2 more star cutters in my possession…) I experimented a little bit and found that the pies cut nicer when fully cool.

Just press the cutter into the cooled pies to cut. As you can see, the edges do crack a little while you’re pressing.

Update: These cut best the next day.

But after you take them out of the cutter, the tops spring back & they don’t look cracked.

Sidenote: As I was baking all the pans of pies, I thought to myself– hey, wouldn’t it have been easier to just bake up a jelly roll style cake & then cut out stars from a full sheet of this stuff? Eh, hindsight’s 20/20, I guess. 🙂 I’m not sure how long you’d need to bake it if you did that, but I think it would save some effort!

Here’s the bigger star. I decided I liked the smaller ones better, since the star’s “arms” (seriously, what do you call them?) were shorter & less prone to breakage. But I think it would still work. Also, I’m bringing these to a barbecue where there will be more than 1 dessert, so mini is more conducive to sampling. 🙂

For the icing…

I didn’t follow the recipe from Recipe Girl. I made my own up, but screwed it up somewhere along the way. I managed to salvage it for the pictures, but it’s not really what I was hoping for. Here’s what I should have done:

1 8-oz pkg cream cheese

1/4 cup butter

1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme

Beat cream cheese & butter together until well mixed. Fold in marshmallow creme gently.

After I run to the store this afternoon, I’m going to try to do this right and I’ll update you as to whether this works. 🙂 Otherwise, use your favorite cream cheese frosting.

Update: This filling was exactly what I wanted. Make sure you fold the marshmallow creme in really gently and you’ll get a cream cheese marshmallow filling that’s just perfect.

I used a disposable pastry bag with the tip snipped off to pipe these onto the back of one of the pies. You could use a ziplock bag or a large round piping tip if you like.

Top with another of the stars and you’re good to go!

While these didn’t turn out exactly how I planned (mostly because I screwed up the icing) and they’re a smidge rough around the edges, I think they’re totally cute. And they taste just like a little slice of red velvet cake. Only they’re more festive.

And this cake? Really moist. Yum.

Make sure you don’t stack these on top of one another at any point in the process (unless you’re taking pictures for your blog) because the pies will stick together and not be pretty.

I hope all of you American readers have an awesome Independence Day!

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