Tag Archives: buttercream

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

I don’t remember where I first discovered whoopie pies. I still don’t understand why they are called pies, rather than cake, which really is what these are. Two moist, semi-fluffy, cakes sandwiched together by a lovely cream filling.

If you go to Foodgawker, (one of my absolute favorite food-related sites on the internet) and search “whoopie pie,” the results are vast. Pumpkin whoopie pies, red velvet whoopies, peaches and cream, chocolate mint, banana, sweet potato, lemon, salted caramel, green tea… The possibilities are limited only to your imagination.

A couple months ago, I was browsing the Williams-Sonoma site and saw their whoopie pie pans on sale. Now generally, I resist purchasing such things because I know they don’t fall into the “much needed” kitchen gadget realm. But… it was on sale. So I resisted my resistance, then waited very patiently for nearly two months while my precious whoopie pie pan continually got back-ordered. (I easily could’ve gone with the Wilton brand, which has never given me a bad baking product. Oh well.)

Yesterday seemed like a good day to bake some whoopie pies, but where to start? I knew I didn’t want the typical plain, vanilla cream. (Not that I don’t appreciate the stuff, it’s just a little boring when you’ve got no restraints about what you could be making instead.) I had some dark unsweetened cocoa (I like Frontier Cocoa Powder, which I can get in bulk… but use what you’ve got or like! Even if it isn’t dark chocolate…) so I decided on a dark chocolate cake. Peanut butter simply sounded good, so I opted for a peanut butter buttercream filling. Oh my goodness.

My husband says he usually has self-control when it comes to eating sugary things… but he cannot stop eating, or wanting to eat, these whoopie pies. The last one, he cut a quarter off. Ate it. Sat for 5 minutes, then cut off another quarter. I’m guessing the remaining half won’t last until dinner time. I’m not complaining; I fully believe in allowing yourself to indulge in chocolate and peanut butter as you see fit. These are a great place to start.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies

You need a whoopie pie pan for these little guys!

Ingredients: 

For the cakes (recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma):

1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup dark, unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. sea salt
2/3 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
1 cup buttermilk (I used 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar + 2 tbsp. and ¾ cup whole milk), at room temperature

For the filling:
1 cup smooth peanut butter
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Lightly grease the wells of your whoopie pie pan.

In a bowl, sift together the flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and brown sugar over medium speed, until well combined (1-2 minutes). Add the vanilla and egg, then beat until fluffy and light (2-ish minutes). Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl, then over low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, mixing only until the ingredients are just combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat for about 30 seconds.

Place 1 tablespoon of batter in each well of your pan. Once all the wells are filled, tap the pan on the countertop, to evenly distribute the batter (and to release air bubbles!). Bake for approximately 12 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack too cool completely. Wipe out the wells of your pan and repeat the above mentioned process, until all the batter is used up.

While the last batch of cakes is cooling, prepare the filling.

In the clean bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together the peanut butter, butter, and vanilla until well combined. Over low speed, slowly add the confectioners sugar a little at a time, until combined. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat the filling until it’s light and fluffy (2-3 minutes).

To assemble the whoopie pies, spread or pipe about 2 tablespoons of filling on the flat side of half of the cakes. Top each one with another cake, dome-side up.

Yields: 1 dozen whoopie pies

  • If you’re not eating these right away, wrap them up in plastic wrap and refrigerate. They’re best served at room temperature, but are not bad cold, either! :)

Brown Butter Honey Banana Cake with Whipped Honey Buttercream Frosting

Some days require cake, regardless of special occasions. Fancy cake, plain cake, frosted, unfrosted, cupcakes, layer cakes, sheet cakes… Cake. I’ve struggled with food in the past — counting calories religiously, limiting myself with numbers and quantities. Worrying about where exactly these calories will or won’t go. It took a long time to get to a place where I can allow myself to enjoy desserts, food, meals, without hesitating about calories and wondering whether or not that balances with the number I’ve worked off for the day. To delight in a mid-week cake just because it sounds good, or because my body’s craving it, is a good freedom. Plus, in moderation (it’s not as though I’m baking cakes daily and over-indulging), it’s nice to simply enjoy something sweet after a good meal. Or for breakfast the following morning… without the added self-imposed guilt.

This is a fantastic cake to give in to. The brown butter adds a slight nutty taste, the honey’s not overpowering, but very present in each bite, and the banana adds a perfect amount of sweetness. While I’m not usually too fond of frosting, the whipped honey buttercream works nicely with this cake. It’s very much worth trying!

 

Brown Butter Honey Banana Cake

Ingredients:

½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
¼ cup + 2 tbsp. sugar
¼ cup good quality honey
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 egg, at room temperature
¾ cup banana puree (approx. 2 medium bananas)
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
¼ tsp. ground ginger
¼ cup buttermilk

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350º F. Prepare two 8-inch round pans by buttering them, lining the bottom with parchment paper, the re-buttering and lightly flouring. Here’s a quick, lovely tutorial if you need it.

In a small pan on the stove, heat the butter over medium heat until it’s completely melted, whisking often. Once it has melted, it’ll start getting foamy. Keep a close eye on the butter at this point, as it can go from browned to burnt pretty quickly. Keep whisking, paying attention to the smell of the butter. It will have a nutty aroma and turn a lovely shade of light brown when ready. Remove the pan from your stove, then strain the butter into the bowl of your mixer.

Beat the brown butter with your sugar, honey, and vanilla. Keep beating until the mixture cools off slightly (about 3 – 4 minutes). Add the egg and beat until the mixture looks light and airy (1 – 2 minutes). Beat in the banana puree.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Alternately add the dry ingredients and your buttermilk to the banana mixture, until all the ingredients are well incorporated.

Evenly divide the batter between your two cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean (or with few crumbs attached). Remove the cakes from the oven and allow to cool in pans for about 10 minutes, then loosen sides, remove from pans, and cool completely on wire racks.

Prepare your whipped honey buttercream, then frost your cake and enjoy!

 

Whipped Honey Buttercream

Ingredients:
¾ cup unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), at room temperature
6 tbsp. good quality honey
3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tbsp. heavy cream
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Directions:
In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the butter and honey, mixing for about 2 – 3 minutes, until the butter is light colored and slightly fluffy.

Add in 1 cup of sugar, incorporating at a low speed. Once the sugar is fully combined (about 2 minutes), increase the speed to medium-high. Beat until the mixture is creamy and smooth. Repeat with the remaining sugar, adding it one cup at a time.

Add the heavy cream and vanilla to the sugar mixture. Beat on medium-high until the frosting is smooth (1 – 2 minutes).

Makes enough frosting for a 2-layer 8-inch round cake.

Silas Henry’s Chocolate Cake and Buttercream Amazingness

I am a master at making sunken-middle floppy homemade cakes. Fortunately, the following cake came out not just rich, moist, and fluffy… It looked like it was supposed to!

I hadn’t made buttercream frosting prior to this recipe. Honestly, most of my experiences with the stuff has come from over-frosted store-bought cakes that I don’t enjoy eating. This recipe, however, was phenomenally good… I altered the original recipe just slightly, not wanting to buy Ovaltine simply for one batch of frosting.

Rich Chocolate Cake

Ingredients

2½ cups packed brown sugar
¾ cup + 2 tbsp. butter, softened
3 eggs
1¾ tsp. vanilla extract
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup + 2 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa
2½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup + 2 tbsp. boiling water

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 350° F. Lightly grease two 8-inch round cake pans then dust lightly with flour. * Note

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs to the creamed butter/sugar mixture, one at a time, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Beat on high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla extract.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Sifting the dry ingredients is sometimes recommended, but I’m a busy girl and sometimes I just don’t feel like taking the time. For this particular cake, it didn’t seem to matter!

Alternate adding the flour mixture and the sour cream to your butter/sugar mixture. Mix on low speed until well combined. The batter will be semi-thick at this point.

Stir the boiling water into the other mixture. This will thin out the batter quite a bit. While I was worried at first, this actually turned out deliciously okay!

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick poked into the center of the cake comes out clean or with minimal crumbs attached.

Cool completely before frosting.

* Note: This is actually enough batter for two 9-inch round cakes, or two 8-inch round cakes and at least 6 regular sized cupcakes.

The World’s Best Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Recipe originally taken from Joy the Baker.

Ingredients:
3 sticks (1½ cups) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup + ½ cup dutch cocoa powder (unsweetened)
¾ tsp. sea salt
4 cups powdered sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
1 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Cream together the butter, 1-cup of the cocoa powder, and salt. The mixture will be quite thick.

Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add in the powdered sugar about ½ a cup at a time. Turn your mixer down to low speed and alternately add the powdered sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.

As the sugar becomes incorporated into the butter, increase the speed of your mixer to high and beat the frosting until smooth.

In another small bowl, stir together the heavy cream and remaining ½ cup of cocoa powder.

Turn the mixer down to medium speed and pour the cream into your frosting, slowly and steadily, until the frosting reaches your preferred consistency. You may not need all of the cream mixture.