Every summer since I was in diapers (literally), my family and I have spent two weeks of August in a small cottage in southern Maine. Although I grew up in Virginia, moved to New York, and lived a few places in-between, Maine truly feels like home. The quiet streets, the salt air, the picturesque little beach town, the food, my family, all contribute to a feeling of purest happiness.
When I can’t sneak up there for a weekend and summer seems too far off, I try to bring a little bit of Maine to my everyday by making whoopie pies. Weird name, amazing treat. A whoopie pie is like a sandwich made from cake. The classic, consists of two chocolate cake discs filled with a marshmallow frosting center. The cakes are moist, the center is intensely sweet – it is like eating a cloud of awesome.
In adulthood, I became so infatuated with the whoopie pie – I considered going into the WP business. I tested recipes, researched farmer’s markets, and even registered a small business.
Although Hometown Whoopie hasn’t launched yet, I still make whoopies whenever I can. One of my favorites is the caramel whoopie I invented. While it is NOT traditional by any sense, it is so delicious. I promise you once you take a bite of the rich, pillowy vanilla cake and your tongue hits the decadent caramel buttercream, you will not miss the chocolate.
I hope you will fall as deeply in love with these little caramel bites as I have. Here’s the recipe! Whoopie!!
Start by creaming your butter and sugar together.
Add in your eggs one at a time, mixing after each egg.
Add in your vanilla.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix.
Is there anything prettier than smooth cake batter? I had to show it.
I use my special whoopie pie pans but if you don’t have them just pipe rounds of batter on to a sheet tray lined with parchment. The rounds should be 1 1/2 inch in diameter.
Bake the whoopies until puffed and slightly browned around the edges. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before filling with my caramel buttercream.
To assemble, put a rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of half of the cake rounds. Sandwich together with remaining cake rounds.
Look at these little beauties! One bite and I am immediately transported to the sunny shores of southern Maine. Enjoy!
Caramel Whoopie Pies
2 cups cake flour (not self-rising)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 stick of butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
In the bowl of a stand-mixer cream the butter and the sugar together. Scraping down the sides periodically. Next, add the eggs in one at a time, mixing after each addition. Mix in your vanilla.
Whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix until just combined.
Transfer the batter to a piping bag and pipe 1 1/2 inch rounds onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Leave a two inch gap between each mound of batter.
Place in the oven and bake for 10 – 15 minutes until the cakes are slightly browned around the edges and when pressed the cake springs back. Transfer the cakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Make the caramel frosting.
Once the cakes are cool, put a rounded tablespoon of filling in the center of half of the cake rounds. Sandwich together with remaining cake rounds.
And there you have it! Whoopie pies for all!