These Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies combine soft and moist chocolate cakes with a creamy, peanut butter frosting sandwiched in between. They're a classic, easy to make recipe that is perfect for any occasion, and my God do they taste wonderful!
Behind the Recipe
The classic whoopie pie with chocolate cake and vanilla buttercream frosting has been a huge favorite of mine since I was a kid!
I thought it would be fun, for my first whoopie pie recipe, to make one that's a chocolate peanut butter combo. Because, after all, that is my favorite combo!
They're really easy to make, taste fantastic, and they freeze well too! If you've never tried a whoopie pie before, you absolutely must!
Is a Whoopie Pie a Cake, Pie, or Cookie?
Whoopie pies are small cakes that are baked as cookies on a baking sheet.
You take one of the small chocolate cakes, spread on the frosting or filling, then you top it with another small cake. Wah-la, a whoopie pie!
Some people have even referred to them as inside-out cupcakes, but I've always thought of them as sandwiched cakes.
What is the History of the Whoopie Pie?
Whoopie pies are a well-known Pennsylvania German and Lancaster Amish tradition that are also known as "Gobs" to those that live out in Western PA. They are also considered to be a classic from the New England states as well.
It's believed that whoopie pies came from left over cake batter that were placed in children's lunches.
When the children would open up their lunch and saw them, they would (allegedly) yell, "Whoopie!" I don't know if this is exactly true or not, but what I do know is they are delicious...oh-so-delicious!
Over the years there have been so many different variations of the whoopie pie made, but the classic has always been chocolate cake with marshmallow filling or vanilla buttercream frosting.
And if you ever get the chance, you need to make your way to Strasburg, PA for the Whoopie Pie Festival. I've been to it twice now and holy cow, there are so many whoopie pies it is unreal!
They even have the largest whoopie pie ever on display!
How to Make Homemade Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
This homemade chocolate-peanut butter whoopie pies recipe is an easy one!
The chocolate cakes are made by first creaming the vegetable shortening and granulated sugar together. Then you add in the egg and vanilla extract.
You'll want to make sure to whisk your dry ingredients together well in a separate bowl before adding it along with the milk and warm water to the rest of the mixing bowl.
The batter will be on the lighter, fluffier side and not heavy or runny.
Peanut Butter Frosting
For the peanut butter frosting, this is also an easy recipe to whip up!
You first cream the unsalted butter and peanut butter together, then add the vanilla extract, followed by slowly adding in the sifted powdered sugar and heavy whipping cream.
I love this frosting so much I could have licked the bowl clean!
Why use Shortening in this Recipe?
Above I mentioned using vegetable shortening in this chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies recipe. I don't always use it when I bake, but it is nice because it keeps the cakes from spreading out too much and leaves you with a nice, fluffy dome-shaped cake.
Quick Tips for Making the Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies
Tip No. 1: Use a cookie scoop. To scoop out the batter, I used my 1 ½ tablespoon or medium size cookie scoop which gave me roughly 3-inch diameter chocolate cakes. I was definitely generous when placing a scoop of the batter onto the baking sheet too.
You could even get away with using the 2-inch cookie scoop if you wanted to make them a little bigger.
Tip No. 2: How to store your whoopie pies. You can keep each whoopie pie tightly wrapped in plastic wrap out at room temperature for up to 2 days.
Alternatively, you can can store them wrapped and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about 5 days. Or, my favorite, you can wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, place in a sealed freezer bag, and keep in the freezer where they can last about 3 months.
Tip No. 3: Storing the peanut butter frosting. If you're not going to fill the whoopie pie cakes that same day, you can keep the peanut butter frosting covered tightly in the mixing bowl with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight.
When you're ready, take it out of the fridge and allow to come to room temp before filling the whoopie pie cakes. You may need to re-whip the frosting a little to bring it back to life.
Try These Chocolate Peanut Butter Dessert Recipes!
If you love this chocolate peanut butter whoopie pies recipe, then you'll love these!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie PiesAuthor:
whoopie pie cakes
peanut butter frosting
- 1 cup Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 1 cup Peanut Butter, creamy
- 2 - 2 ½ cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 2-3 tbsp Heavy Whipping Cream
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
whoopie pie cakes
- Adjust oven rack to 2nd level position (just above center) and preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Using your hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the vegetable shortening and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until nice and fluffy. Add in the egg and vanilla extract, then mix until completely blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Switch the mixer speed to low, then alternatively add a little of the whisked dry mixture, followed by a little of the milk and water. Repeat until all ingredients have been added and the mixture is completely blended.
- Using a cookie scoop (I used my 1 ½ tablespoon or medium-size cookie scoop drop a generous scoop of batter on to the lined baking sheet, spacing each cake about 1 ½- to 2-inches apart. I got 6-8 cakes on each baking sheet. They will spread out, but not by a lot.
- Place in the oven and bake at 375ºF for 12-14 minutes or until the center of the cakes spring back when lightly pressed.
- Allow cakes to cool slightly on the baking sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a cooling rack.
peanut butter frosting
- Using your hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the unsalted butter and peanut butter together until smooth. Add in the vanilla extract.
- Switch the mixer speed to low and gradually add in the sifted powdered sugar, then add in the heavy whipping cream. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Using a small spatula or piping bag with a tip of your choice, add the peanut butter frosting to the bottom of a whoopie pie cake. Then top with another cake.
- To scoop out the batter I used my 1 ½ tablespoon or medium size cookie scoop which gave me roughly 3-inch diameter chocolate cakes. And I was definitely generous when I went to scoop out the batter to drop it onto the parchment lined baking sheet.
- You could even get away with using the 2-inch cookie scoop if you wanted to make them a little bigger.
- You can keep each whoopie pie tightly wrapped in plastic wrap out at room temperature for up to 2 days. Alternatively, you can can store them wrapped and kept in an airtight container in the fridge for up to about 5 days; or—my favorite—you can wrap them tightly in plastic wrap, place in a sealed freezer bag, and keep in the freezer where they can last about 3 months.
- If you're not going to fill the whoopie pie cakes that same day, you can keep the peanut butter frosting covered tightly in the mixing bowl with plastic wrap in the fridge overnight. When you're ready, take out of the fridge and allow to come to room temp before filling the whoopie pie cakes. You may need to re-whip the frosting a little to bring it back to life.
- You can easily double both the whoopie pie cake and peanut butter frosting recipes for more whoopie pies.
- Recipe adapted from Discover Lancaster.