You’re never alone on Valentine’s Day if you have food. Who needs to go out to fancy shmancy restaurants and shell out a gazillion dollars on gifts when you can spend the day in your comfiest clothes, eating mounds of V-Day chocolates, and perhaps enjoying a special dinner of your favorite foods capped by sweet dessert? I’m sure it’s wonderful to have a sweetie to spend the day with, but I am totally alright having a love fest with my food.
In fact, I think it’s time that reveal that I’m in a relationship…with these Red Velvet Whoopie Pies filled with Strawberry Buttercream. They’re everything I look for in a dessert and more. With just one bite, I swooned. I tried to keep it together for the camera, but what you don’t see is me in between takes having an emotional affair with my whoopie pie.
The Red Velvet Whoopie Pies truly live up to their name; they’re rich and vibrant in and color and so moist, fluffy, and velvety in texture. They’ll melt in your mouth without an ounce of resistance.
Speaking of melt-in-your-mouth, let’s talk creamy, smooth Strawberry Buttercream Filling. That stuff is a whole new world compared to the artificial icing in a can from the store. It’s made with fresh strawberries, so it’s bursting with bright, refreshing flavor that perfectly compliments the subtle hint of cocoa in the red velvet. Talk about a match made in heaven.
Great, so Red Velvet and Strawberry Buttercream have found their soulmates, and I’m the awkward third wheel.
That’s okay; I can’t be upset when these whoopies are so delicious. Plus they’re quick, easy, and customizable: you can choose to make a couple big fat ones for the serious sweet tooth, or cut out little mini heart shaped ones for bite-sized heaven.
I know; you’re in love aren’t you?
A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:
- There a few keys to achieving a perfectly thick, moist, and fluffy whoopie pie: First, don’t over-bake. I’ve found more success pulling things just before I actually think they’re done. Second, mix the batter as little as possible. Over-mixing causes cakes to fall flat or be dry.
- A little fact: Some people think red velvet is just chocolate cake batter with red food dye. That ain’t red velvet! Red velvet has a little bit of cocoa powder, but it is NOT a chocolate cake. It’s a fluffy, velvety cake with a unique flavor and mild hints of cocoa.
- You can make these bigger or smaller; totally up to you. You could also probably pipe the batter onto the baking sheets in heart shapes. I cut out the the mini ones from finished big whoopie pies with a small heart cookie cutter.
- Parchment paper is a MUST when making whoopie pies. Otherwise, they’ll stick to the pan. Cooking spray is not a good bet either because it often makes the bottoms brown too much.
- They sell 1-oz. bottles of red food dye in the baking aisle of your grocery store.
Red Velvet Whoopie Pies with Strawberry Buttercream
Yield: 12 large whoopie pies or 24 mini
For the Pies
Adapted from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix’ em, Match’em, Eat’em Up Recipes
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbsp. natural unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 4 tbsp. vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. whole milk
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tsp. white vinegar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 oz. red food dye
For the Strawberry Buttercream
By The Smart Cookie Cook
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter, softened
- 6 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp. fresh strawberry puree, from about 3/4 cup fresh whole strawberries*
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp. almond extract
- pink or red food dye, optional
*To puree strawberries, slice off the very top with the leaves and puree in food processor until completely smooth.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and salt together. Sift onto a large piece of wax paper.
- In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the butter, shortening and both sugars on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat on low speed until combined. Batter will be curdled.
- Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a small measuring bowl. With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture. Beat just until everything is combined. Add the vanilla and food dye and beat on low speed just until completely combined.
- Using a small cookie or ice cream scoop, drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 1/2 inches of space between cookies. I made larger ones. Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes (start to check at 7 minutes), or until they are puffed and set. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the filling: In a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the powdered sugar into the butter, 1 cup at a time, until thoroughly combined. Start at low speed and then increase the speed so you don’t have a powdered sugar explosion. Beat in the strawberry puree, vanilla extract, and almond extract. Also add a few drops of food coloring if you’d like it brighter in color.
- Spread a generous amount of frosting onto the flat bottom of a cooled cookie. Top with another cookie, flat side down, to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in airtight container.