By Taylor Griffin
As the weather cools down outside, I love to crank the heat up in my oven with an unending supply of fall-inspired baked goods and treats.
This week, I chose black velvet whoopie pies with orange filling. While I mostly opt for creative ways to cook with cinnamon or pumpkin spices, this Halloween recipe made for a spooky-sweet change to the usual pumpkin loaf.
Curious about the name, I found through research that these treats are native to the Amish and New England culture. From traditional chocolate to seasonal pumpkin, the name for these cream-filled goodies spawn from the reaction people gave upon finding one in their lunch box.
Following the hype over cake pops and funky cupcakes, whoopie pies in more recent years have become almost as trendy to bake as they are to eat.
However, the true question remains: are they pies, cookies or cakes?
Although I’ve yet to arrive at a conclusion, these black velvet whoopie pies are the perfect alternative to the typical fright night snack.
Black Velvet Whoopie Pies
Originally pinned from
What you need
For the cookies:
1 package German chocolate cake mix
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons black food coloring
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
For the filling:
1 stick of butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 jar marshmallow cream
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon red food coloring
1/2 teaspoon yellow food coloring
What to do
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat all of the ingredients for the cookie mix together until well blended. Spoon a few tablespoons of batter two inches apart from each other on wax paper and bake for around eight minutes.
While the cookies bake, beat the filling ingredients together until smooth. Let the cookies completely cool before icing them.
What went right
I was pleasantly surprised to find that these turned out as I had hoped. Before finding this recipe, I never understood exactly how whoopie pies got (and kept) their fluffy shape. With a tall glass of milk, they taste almost like cakey Oreos.
Also, I’m not a fan of orange-flavored sweets, so I traded it for vanilla extract.
What went wrong
Clearly, my pies didn’t come out as pretty as the originals. Getting the clumps of batter to bake just the right size was a challenge, thus creating lopsided concoctions.
Additionally, the cream filling was a bit runny. To remedy my not-yet-softened butter, I microwaved it slightly. I suppose this contributed to the messiness.
As a word of advice, a vial of black food coloring is not enough to satisfy this recipe. In fact, my brand new bottle only supplied two of the three tablespoons needed for the cookies.
I substituted a ghastly mix of primary colors (still staining my hands) to top off the ebony batter.
These scary snack cakes are way too delicious to leave alone: a detrimental side effect that spoils any appetite.
On top of which, the gobs of black I put in the mix make for a ghoulish tint of the mouth, somewhat reminiscent of a zombie’s set of chompers.
Whether they’re for a Halloween party or a night on the couch with a scary flick, these treats will have anyone screaming for more.