Something fun for your valentine? These Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Strawberry-Rose Cream are cute & delicious. Moist chocolate cake rounds filled with a flavorful strawberry and rose buttercream.
When we were traveling to Maine a few month ago, whoopie pie was on my list of things to try. Although I have made them at home before, I want to try one from local bakery, especially from the New England area. In fact, whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine.
On our first day in Maine, we stopped by Two Fat Cats Bakery and got 2 whoopie pies. One was a chocolate with vanilla buttercream, and the other one was pumpkin with maple filling. They were absolutely delicious! Moist cake with layers of flavors. We were surprised and impressed. If you’re visiting Maine, definitely try them out. In the meantime, you make my version at home.
When I think of whoopie pies, they have to be chocolate. These chocolate rounds are actually little cakes. They are really moist yet light. I like that they’re not too sweet too. It’s very straight forward and easy to do. The only trick is to use a cookie scoop to keep the cake rounds the same size.
For the filling, I’m going for something that is fitting for Valentine’s Day. Strawberry and rose are no doubt the first things that come to mind. Freeze-dried strawberries are the way to go for creating a flavorful buttercream. Without adding extra liquid, freeze-dried fruit gives a good natural and strong flavor to baked goods. Process them into food processor or grinder to make fine powders, then add to buttercream. For the rose, I used rose extract. Rose extract is a concentrate, so just a little bit is enough.
When assembling the whoopie pies, I like using a pipping bag and a round tip. It makes the process so much easier and the frosting looks cleaner too. Also, add a bit more frosting than you think you need. You want the pies to look full and fill. There are a lot of cakes, so be generous with the frosting.
Moist chocolate cakes with a little tart strawberry frosting and a hint of rose. They are cute and fun. Either for a party or Valentine’s Day, you will like them. You maybe thinking that there are quite a lot of whoopie pies for 2 people. Let me tell you a secret. They can be frozen. Keep a few at room temperature, then freeze the rest for later. Perfect easy desserts for the rest of the month, right? Enjoy!
Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Strawberry-Rose Cream
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick) (at room temperature)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (packed)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg (at room temperature)
- ½ cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
- 2⅓ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole milk (at room temperature)
- 1 cup freeze-dried strawberries
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter (2 sticks)(at room temperature)
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ¾ teaspoon rose extract
- 3 – 6 tablespoons whole milk (at room temperature)
- Pinch of kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 350˚F (177˚C). Arrange racks in lower and upper thirds of the oven. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment papers. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, both sugars, espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt on medium speed until light and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla extract and egg, beat until blended. Add the cocoa powder and mix on low speed until combined.
- Add the flour and milk to the wet ingredient alternately in 3 additions, by starting and finishing with the flour. Mix on low speed until just combined, scrapping down the sides and bottom of the bowl every once a while. Do not overmix.
- Scoop batter with a cookie scoop (2 tablespoons) onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2-inch spaces in between. You can fit about 8 scoops on one sheet.
- Bake in the oven for 11 – 12 minutes, rotating the baking sheets top to bottom and front to back after 6 minutes. Bake until set and toothpick comes out clean. Transfer the baking sheets to counter and let rest on the sheets for at least 5 minutes. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool completely. Repeat with the rest of the cake batter.
- For the buttercream, first transfer the freeze-dried strawberries into a food processor (or grinder) and process into fine powders. Measure out 1/2 cup powders to use.
- In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the butter for a minute on medium speed. Add strawberry powders, powdered sugar, rose extract, salt and 3 tablespoons milk. Mix for 30 seconds on low speed, and beat on medium-high speed for 2 minutes. Add more milk if the buttercream is too thick.
- On a cool baking sheet, line a parchment paper. Place half of the cakes upside down on the baking sheet.
- Prepare a piping bag with a ½-inch round tip. Fill the bag with buttercream. Pipe a dome of frosting onto the center of an upside-down cake. Top with another cake. Gently press down to squeeze the filling to the edge. Repeat with the rest. Serve.
- To make it easier, use a scoop for cake batter. I used a cookie scoop that holds 2-tablespoon of batter. Helps to make the cakes the same size.
- Rose extract is different from rose water. It’s concentrated. A little goes a long way. I got mine from Amazon.
- Each whoopie pie is about 2½-inch in diameter. They are not too small, and not too big.
- When filling the whoopie pies, add a little more frosting than you would normally. You want about ¼-inch thick of frosting on the finished pies.
- Whoopie pies would stick to each other after a while. Best to keep them on a parchment paper on a single layer.
- For storage, there are 2 ways to do that. If you are enjoying them with 2 days, keep in an airtight container at room temperature. Second way is to freeze them. Wrap them in plastic wrap individually. Keep in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, transfer to a Ziploc bag and store for up to a month. Remove to room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.