Monday, 18 July 2011

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Red velvet are my favourite favourite favourite cupcakes. When I bought the first cook book, it was the first thing I tried to make, having been really intrigued about the red colouring. They fast became my go to for any occasion or rainy afternoon of baking and I only ended up making an handful of other recipes from that cook book. This is what spurred me into this challenge of making everything in the new book. I wanted to try new things, like when I first made the red velvet cupcakes and possibly find some new favourites too.

Having discovered whoopie pies from the Cake Days book, it felt right to finally make the Red Velvet variety. Some of you might not know but a tragedy has occurred in the baking world..the Red food colouring made by Dr Oetker that is used the give these cupcakes their brilliant vivid colour has been discontinued! Still unsure what other substitutes there are that can give the same result, as most turn the sponge either pink or brown. Luckily, due to my obsession with the cupcakes over the last few years, I always had the red colouring in my store cupboard and so have enough to make a few batches up of whoopies or cupcakes.

It was a little weird making up this batter mixture as I am used to the measurements for the cupcakes and for these you used soft dark brown sugar which I thought was a little odd and was worried as I was mixing it all together that it might affect the colour of the sponge. Wasn't a problem though, I forgot how bright it actually is in the end. Made up the batter and into the fridge for half hour to set a little. Once done it was time to line the trays with greaseproof paper and spoon out the batter into the whoopie halves. I love the taste and unique shape of whoopie pies but have no realised I hate actually making them. The batter is a sort of dough like texture and is sticky so difficult to get onto the tray and into the right shape easily. It takes me so long to try and get them all the same size and the lining always slips around whilst I'm doing it to, just to make it extra difficult.

Having battled with that for a while, I finally had 18 mounds ready to go into the oven. This made 9 pies in total and I thought I had got them to a medium sort of size, especially since I made the right amount of pies this time too but when they came out of the oven they were massive. I had to just slide a knife around a few to separate them a little from each other. Again I probably could have made a few more smaller sized pies out of this mixture but there was just not enough oven space or baking trays for this. Not sure why the last batch, the Vanilla and Cardamom ones, came out perfectly sized. Either way it just means more for your money on each bite!

The filling for these whoopies again differs from the usual recipes as it is mainly icing sugar and not marshmallow fluff. Has just under half the usual amount of fluff and uses cream cheese and the butter to make up the rest with the sugar. Found that due to the lesser amount of fluff in the mixture, it didn't climb up the whisk attachments and took less time to mix too. It still had to go into the fridge to harden a little before sandwiching the mounds together. Made up the full quantity of filling and had a generous amount in each pie. They looked mouth watering, if a little big and I couldn't wait to try one out and see how the compare to the cupcakes.

Settled the little one down for a nap and then switched the kettle on and grabbed a plate and fork for my tasting. They are exactly like the cupcakes, just with a different texture and the filling isn't as strong a cheese taste as the cake toppings. Totally divine though, but I think I will stick to the cupcakes as easier and quicker to make..whoopie pies are just tricky. Need to now find a replacement for the red food colouring that gives just as good results as the Dr Oetker stuff. Can anyone help with this to save me going on a baking quest?


  1. The gel food colourings you get or the paste ones (used to colour icing) give really strong colours, not sure if the recipe would need adjusting slightly because the gels and pastes aren't as liquid-y? I've never made the red velvets, you've inspired me to give them ago. I'm ignoring all whoopies though as I was disappointed with the ones I made before, cupcakes all the way!

  2. Just saw this site. I've done the red velvet whoopie pies before... small ones (1"-2"). A pastry/icing bag makes them perfectly! I'll be making them this week for my brother and SIL to be's wedding rehearsal dinner (part of the wedding cake is going to be red velvet, so I thought the whoopies would be appropriate. The smaller ones are perfect for just a small bite, or 3 or 4... and fun!