We love our red velvet around here. If you haven’t seen them already, we’ve posted iced red velvet cookies and red velvet thumbprint cookies. But today’s recipe takes the cake (no pun intended). They’re annoying to make, but this is the absolutely best red velvet treat out there for those of you who love red velvet as much as we do.
Today, we’re baking red velvet whoopie pies.
These are not low in sugar. They’re also loaded with fat. This one time, overlook it. Red velvet whoopie pies are a special treat and we only make them once every few years, so don’t be shy: indulge a little!
For those of you who don’t know, a whoopie pie is a Pennsylvania Dutch treat with two cake-like cookies and a creamy vanilla flavoring in the center. Traditionally they are chocolate, but red velvet is a common variety as well. My mom (Sharon) also makes then in other flavors like pumpkin and banana. Yum!
First, we make the cookie part. Here are the ingredients you need: cocoa, red food coloring, baking soda, vinegar, Crisco, sugar, eggs, salt, flour, vanilla, and buttermilk.
As you’ll notice, I don’t have buttermilk in the picture above. I rarely keep buttermilk in the house, since I don’t have tons of recipes that call for it. If you’re like me, all you have to do is put one tablespoon of vinegar into a measuring cup, then fill to the one cup line with regular milk. Stir and let stand for five minutes – now you have buttermilk!
One of the reasons this recipe is such a pain to make is that it makes a lot of bowls messy. But seriously, do all of these steps rather than trying to throw things together in your bowl. It just makes them a lot better!
First, mix together the cocoa and food coloring in a small bowl. I recommend not using a plastic bowl, since that could stain easily. Set aside.
You also want to mix the baking soda and vinegar together in a separate bowl and set aside. If you have kids, they love this part, since it fizzes. It’s a perfect opportunity for a learning moment.
Next, combine the Crisco, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla in a large bowl. Slowly mix in the red mixture until you have a nice dark-pink batter.
If you make a mark with your knife first, it’s easy to measure the Crisco (or butter, if you’re making a different recipe with butter) without trying to cram it into a measuring cup. Just cut off the perfect amount!
Add your flour and buttermilk, then add the baking soda and vinegar mixture last. You’ll get to a more dough consistency, rather than the batter you had before.
This picture was taken before I added the baking soda and vinegar mixture, so if yours looks a little wetter, that’s okay! It’s a wetter-than-normal batter for cookies. If you can scoop ’em and drop onto cookie sheets without too much ploppy spreading, you’re fine.
At this point, you still have a long way to go with these darn cookies, so pour yourself a glass of wine. I’m drinking Black Raspberry from Benigna’s Creek (only available in Pennsylvania right now, sorry! Free the grapes!).
Okay, now that you’re sufficiently wine-d, time to bake! Drop the cookies onto a sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. At first they’ll look neon-y, but they aren’t done until they look a little less bright. Here’s what I mean:
Try to make the cookies pretty uniform in size, since you’ll be making them into sandwiches with cream in the middle.
Speaking of the cream…we haven’t even started making that yet. Criminy.
Here are the ingredients you need: eggs whites, vanilla, flour, milk, powdered sugar, and Crisco. Yes, more Crisco!
Cream together the egg whites, vanilla, flour, and milk. It will look way too runny – don’t worry! Then add the powdered sugar (we do this in batches so it doesn’t fly everywhere when you turn on the mixer), and lastly, add the Crisco.
You can make the icing while the cookies cool. Then, just add a nice big spoonful between two cookies to create a sandwich and voila! You’re finally done. Reward yourself by eating one before the kids/spouse/roommate/whoever get home and start scarfing them.
Keep these in a container in the fridge. If you aren’t going to eat them quickly, they also freeze really, really well. To store, we like to wrap each sandwich in plastic wrap. This will help keep them fresh and (if you freeze) avoids freezer burn. The red color makes them perfect for the holidays, so make a big batch ahead of time when you have a free day and just thaw for any party you’re hosting or attending.
Here’s the printable recipe:
- 2 teaspoons cocoa
- 1 ounce red food coloring
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- ¾ cup Crisco
- 1½ cups sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 egg whites
- 2 Tablespoons vanilla
- 4 Tablespoons flour
- 4 Tablespoons milk
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1½ cups Crisco
- Mix cocoa and food coloring. Set aside.
- Mix baking soda and vinegar. Set aside
- Combine Crisco, sugar, eggs, salt, and vanilla (cookie ingredients). Add food coloring mixture.
- To batter, add flour. Then, add buttermilk and combine well. Lastly, add baking soda and vinegar mixture.
- Drop cookies onto sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes.
- Cool cookies on baking rack.
- While cookies are cooling, prepare cream filling by creaming together egg whites, vanilla, flour, and milk.
- Add powdered sugar.
- Blend in Crisco.
- Put a large spoonful of filling between two cookies to make sandwiches.