Since having the Pumpkin Spice ones from Trader Joe’s in Chicago, I have been in love with these creamy, cakey, sweet packages of delight.
After having a Whoopie Pie party here in Mumbai, my friends inevitably developed the same obsession with them.
You can’t get them here!
So we decided to make:
Not-So-Red Velvet with Vanilla frosting
I say not-so-red because we couldn’t find food colouring.... but it’s not that good for you anyway.
After a while I had to confiscate the frosting because with all the ‘clandestine’ licking, it was going to run out...
We had an argument as to how to remove them from the foil, (No, you do not hold the foil upside down and let them fall off...) and had fun picking which pairs of cakes would look cute together.
I personally prefer whoopie pies chilled. I think they just become nice and solid and ice-cream-y.
After frosting them, we were too eager to try some, so we split a fresh one.... yum....
The chilled ones were just too delicious! We couldn’t put our finger on the flavour at first, and then it hit us: Ice Cream Sandwiches!
They tasted like ice cream sandwiches..... only much better, much fresher and with a more cocoa-y complex flavour.
Red Velvet Cake
Adapted from Whoopie Pies, by Sarah Billingsley & Amy Treadwell
Note: The recipe gives you the option of choosing how much cocoa you want. We went with 3/4 cups and it was perfect.
If you’re cooking in India, I would recommend that you grind the granulated sugar for the cakes into powdered sugar, like you did for the frosting, because we got little bubbles in the cakes where there was granulated sugar and you could see it on the top. Powdered sugar would give a much smoother finish.
makes 48 4-inch cakes
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 - 1 cup flour, depending on your preferences
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 ounce (1 small bottle) red food colouring
1 cup buttermilk (OR 1 tablespoon vinegar mixed into 1 cup regular milk)
Preheat your oven to 350 F and line two baking trays with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
In a bowl, beat together the butter, shortening and both sugars until just combined using a stand or hand mixer, with the paddle attachment, on low speed.
Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the vanilla and red food colouring and beat until just blended.
Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk and beat until just combined.
Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. (Also check by inserting a saté stick into one of the cakes. If it comes out clean, they're done. If there are crumbs stuck to it, leave the cakes a little longer.)
Let the cakes cool for about 5 minutes once they've been removed from the oven. Take them off the baking sheet and leave them to cool completely. (Otherwise your frosting will melt on them...)
Lessons learnt: Always powder the granulated sugar
Note: You can't find unsalted butter in Bombay, unless maybe at Crawford Market
3 cups confectioners' sugar (or finely powdered sugar)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 to 4 tablespoons heavy (whipping-- not whipped) cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Using a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together the sugar and butter, starting on low and increasing to medium speed, until the mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, vanilla and salt and beat on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes.