You guys. Two things.
First, Happy October! These black and orange whoopie pies are great.
They’re a spooktacular take on my classic whoopie pie recipe (which actually comes from my dear friend Joyce. Thank you!!!).
They’re a festive and perfect way to ring in the Halloween season.
(After all, we do live in Salem, Massachusetts, a.k.a. Witch City.)
Second, making this recipe, I learned something important. Even though I’m pushing 40 years old, I apparently can’t be trusted with food coloring.
By the time I was done, my paws, arms, and FACE were covered.
Just a warning if you’re not accustomed to working with it. A little goes a long way.
We wanted to give these guys an extra kick of flavor.
The bright orange filling is fragrant with spiced rum (we like Kraken, but use your fav) and my homemade vanilla extract (get my recipe here).
If you’re not booze friendly, you can skip both entirely and still have a totally delicious whoopie pie extravaganza.
Oh, and, since it’s Halloween season, a quick shameless plug for a friend.
If you’re after THE BEST apple candle (or other flavor, for that matter), hit up Lizzie over at Witch City Wicks.
She hand pours her soy candles right here in town and they’re amazing.
What kind of pan should you use?
Lately, I’ve been make whoopie pies using muffin-top pans.
Cake baked in pans will rise a little more, so you’ll get slightly poofier rounds (because the batter can’t spread a lot).
If you don’t have special pans, you can always slap a silicone mat or some parchment paper onto a baking sheet, then bake the cake in puddles, like this.
Cake baked like this will give you flatter, more uniform rounds (because they can spread as much as they need to).
Both methods work, use the one you prefer.
Alrighty, enough chit chat. To the ovens!
Black and Orange Halloween Whoopie Pies
For the cake
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (NOT hot chocolate mix)
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup milk
2 1/2 – 3 Tbls. black food coloring (that’s about one 1-oz. bottle of food coloring)
For the filling (double the recipe if you want a “double-stuff” type filling)
1/2 cup butter (that’s one stick)
1 cup powdered sugar
3 heaping Tbls. marshmallow fluff
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Tbls. dark rum
2 tsp. yellow food coloring
1 tsp. red food coloring
Yields 6 monster-sized whoopie pies, or 12 smaller ones
Do a little prep
Preheat your oven to 350-degrees F.
Spray your muffin-top pans lightly with oil, OR line your sheet pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats if you’re baking them freeform.
Make the cake batter
Put the flour, baking soda, salt, cocoa, and sugar in the bowl of your mixer (or a large mixing bowl, if you’re using a handheld electric mixer).
Beat quickly to combine the dry ingredients.
Add the egg, milk, and vanilla.
Beat until combined and just uniform.
Beat in the black food coloring. (I managed to get covered because I wasn’t paying full attention when I added it to the bowl!)
You want your batter to be midnight black. Noxious looking, right? (And perfectly spooky!)
Fill your pans about half to three-quarters full with batter (depending on how poofy you want your cake).
If you’re not using a pan and are baking puddles of batter on a sheet pan (see pic above), use about:
- 2 Tablespoons of batter to make 6 large whoopie pies
- 1 Tablespoon of batter to make 12 smaller whoopie pies
Bake the whoopie pies
Pop the pans into your preheated, 350-degree F. oven.
Bake for 10 – 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
They cook quickly. Keep an eye on ’em and you’ll be just fine.
When they’re done, yank the pans out of the oven and set them on a rack for about 5 minutes.
After about 5 minutes, remove the cakes from the pan onto a rack and cool completely before filling.
(Trust me on this. Warm cake + filling = a gooey, runny mess. It’s a horror show totally befitting Halloween…but way less fun to clean up after.)
Make the whoopie pie filling
Add the yellow and red food coloring.
(If you can find bottled orange food coloring, by all means, use that! My grocery store didn’t have it, so we improvised!)
Beat well to combine.
If you like, tweak the color by adding a little more yellow (to lighten it up) or a little more red (to deepen the color).
Fill your Halloween whoopie pies
When the cakes have cooled completely, it’s time to fill them.
Grab one piece of cake, drop a big spoonful of filling on it, and spread it almost to the edges.
(It’ll squash out a little when you top it with the second piece of cake.)
Drop the top on, and VOILA!
You just made a Halloween whoopie pie. Rinse and repeat with the rest of the cakes.
If you find that somehow your filling is a little runny, beat in a little more powdered sugar, until it stiffens up.
(Adjust the color by adding a few extra drops of yellow and red if necessary.)
If the spirit moves you (har har), stage your own dastardly photoshoot with Halloween LEGO mini figures.
Can’t get enough Halloween?
We can’t either! Check out last year’s festival of fright here in beautiful Salem, Massachusetts.