Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling
These personal-sized desserts are ready in 30 minutes! Chocolate whoopie pies with cream cheese filling are soft and fluffy with a dark chocolate flavor. They’re perfect for bringing to parties and sharing with friends!
I’m a New England girl at heart, so it’s no wonder I love homemade whoopie pies so much… they originated in Maine! This perfect dessert is simply two cookie-sized cakes sandwiched together with cream cheese frosting. How delicious does that sound? You’ll probably like my gingerbread whoopie pies too!
Why this recipe works
The chocolate cakes are perfectly soft and fluffy while the cream cheese filling is rich and creamy (I use the same filling for my pumpkin whoopie pies). These little treats are the perfect handheld dessert to serve guests when entertaining. Not only do they taste delicious, but they are also easy to make and ready in 30 minutes!
- Unsalted butter: Use room temperature butter for easy mixing. Unsalted butter is best because salt is added separately to activate the baking powder and baking soda.
- Cocoa powder: Unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-processed cocoa powder will work in this recipe.
- Espresso powder: This secret ingredient enhances the dark chocolate flavor without making a noticeable coffee taste.
- Light brown sugar: I like using brown sugar instead of granulated because it makes the cakes extra moist!
- Cream cheese: I recommend block cream cheese for frosting. It is thicker and has less air than the cream cheese in a tub.
- Confectioners’ sugar: Also known as powdered sugar, this will add sweetness to the cream cheese filling.
Switch up the filling and try different flavors. Use my vanilla buttercream or chocolate buttercream recipes. You can also fill chocolate whoopie pies with strawberry cream cheese frosting for Valentine’s Day. Another option is with marshmallow creme filling using the frosting recipe from my sweet potato pie cupcakes.
Try a different size. Did you know you can make mini chocolate whoopie pies simply by using a small cookie scoop? Baking time will be 7 to 8 minutes and the recipe will yield 36 to 40 servings.
Double the recipe. If you’re planning an event or party, double the recipe for more servings!
How to make chocolate whoopie pies
- Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt. Set aside.
- Beat butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla, and mix until combined.
- Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to the wet ingredients. Begin and end with adding the flour mixture.
- Scoop about 2 tablespoons of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining batter, placing each scoop about 2 inches apart. Bake cookies at 350 F for 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely.
- Make the frosting: Whip cream cheese and butter together until light and fluffy. Add confectioners sugar and mix until combined. Add vanilla and salt, then mix until smooth.
- Assemble: Transfer frosting to a piping bag and frost the bottom of one cookie. Top with a matching cookie and gently press together. Repeat with remaining cookies.
Use room temperature ingredients. This makes a smooth and consistent batter, which is necessary for perfectly soft and fluffy whoopie pies. For perfect results, use a kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients. If you don’t have a scale, spoon your flour into a measuring cup and level with a knife.
Avoid over-mixing the batter. This will cause the cookies to be dense and flat. Instead, stir in the dry ingredients just until incorporated. Let the chocolate cookies/cakes cool completely before frosting otherwise the frosting will melt.
Use block cream cheese, not the kind from the tub. This makes all the difference in frosting! Block cream cheese is denser and has less air. As a result, the frosting will be more stable and thick when piping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Place them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will stay fresh for up to 1 week. Add parchment paper between layers to keep them form sticking.
Yes, individually wrap the sandwiches in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator before serving.
The dough was likely too warm or the cookie sheet was still hot causing the dough to spread. Make sure your ingredients are measured properly too.
Wet your fingers with water and gently smooth the tops of the dough before baking. You can also do this with a spoon.
Whether it’s chocolate cake or chocolate cookies, you will surely like one of these recipes!
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Get the Recipe: Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling
- 2 ½ cups (312 g) all-purpose flour
- ½ cup (48 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon espresso powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ¼ cups (250 g) light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (120 ml) whole or low-fat milk
Cream Cheese Filling
- 1 cup (225 g or 8 oz block) cream cheese, room temperature
- ¼ cup (57 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 cups (240 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch salt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt; set aside.
- In another large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well between each addition. Add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the batter alternately with the milk in three additions, beginning with the flour.
- Use a two-tablespoon-sized cookie scoop to drop portions of batter roughly two inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake for 10-12 minutes, then remove from the oven. Allow the cookies to cool on the pans for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whip cream cheese and butter on high speed for two minutes. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the confectioner’s sugar until it is incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and add the vanilla extract and salt. Mix on medium speed until incorporated (about 10 seconds, avoid over mixing).
- Transfer to a frosting bag fitted with a frosting tip (I used Wilton tip 1A). Pipe a layer of frosting about ½-inch thick on the flat side of half of the cookies, then top with the other halves. You can also use an offset spatula to cover the flat side with the frosting.