Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Whoopie Pies are well known in the New England area and are quite loved.  Whoopie Pies are basically a cake sandwich with a variety of different fillings.  Some claim the filling should have marshmallow crème with sugar and shortening and others that is should be a light buttercream.  Either way, it’s hard to go wrong with these.  For a cake worshipper like me, it’s kind of heaven.

I adapted an old favorite recipe to make it dairy, gluten and egg free (if needed) and it went seamlessly.  I promise you will never know it Top 8 and many more free from. The devil’s food cake base is dense and super moist and the peppermint edge in the filling cuts the sweetness, because it’s definitely sweet! Traditional whoopie pie filling has marshmallow crème (fluff), but because it contains egg whites, I went with an alternative buttercream type base.  I love the holiday feel with the colors, and these are fun to play around with when it comes to flavor profiles.

The Whoopie Pies are very quick to make and the cookie base freezes wonderfully so you can start the Christmas baking prep early.  As a matter of fact, the pies can even be filled and frozen.  Just defrost in the refrigerator.  These are a wonderful alternative to cupcakes when a special treat is needed.  My husband Erik said they are just like Suzy-Q’s!

Cheers to another KBFC 12 Days of Holiday Cookies recipe!  Be well, enjoy and remember life is short so eat dessert first…safely!  💙👩🏻‍🍳 

Ingredients and Substitutions

Vegan/Safe Shortening – For the Cookie Base: I prefer a safe vegan or regular shortening or vegan butter to regular dairy butter.  It helps keep the cookies moister and cake like.  Butter will make them crisper and you’re looking for a soft texture here.  I like Spectrum palm shortening and Crisco. Coconut oil is an option as well, but it will have a stronger flavor and be a bit greasier.

For the Filling: Again, a safe shortening option or vegan butter will lend to the more traditional taste and texture for the filling, but you can use butter as well.  The shortening holds up much better.  Coconut oil is very temperature sensitive so this may not be the best option.  I like Spectrum palm shortening and Crisco.

Applesauce/Egg – Because my original recipe calls for one egg, it was easy to make it egg free by using applesauce.  It keeps it moist but not overly so.  You can use an egg if it’s safe for you as well.

Gluten Free or Regular Flour – This shortbread can be made with either regular all-purpose flour or gluten free flour.  If using a gluten free flour blend, stick to the 140 g. per cup and use a blend that has xanthan gum.  Add ¼ tsp. per cup of flour if it does not have it.  Remember all gluten free blends are different with different densities there will have to be minor adjustments depending on the one you use, but they are minimal.  I use King Arthur Flour Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend.

Cocoa Powder – I have always used Hershey’s safely since I have been baking for Casey’s allergies.  I trust their labeling and find as a company they are very transparent.

Safe Non-Dairy/Regular Milk – Whatever is your safe option here go for it, just make sure it’s room temperature.  I use So Delicious unsweetened coconut beverage. 

Peppermint Extract – This is optional, but I really do the love the holiday flavor it adds.  Additionally, it cuts the sweetness of the filling and mint, and chocolate are a classic combination. I use McCormick extracts.

**As always, please check which brands are safe for your needs**

Gluten Free Vegan Allergy Friendly Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Dairy Free, Egg Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Seed Free, Top 8 Allergy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian

Author: Katie Martino Lopez

Prep Time: 30 minutes (batter prep and frosting prep/assembly)

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Cook Time: 12-15 minutes, depending on size

Total Time: about one hour, with cooling and assembly

Yield: 8-10 3″ sandwiches, up to 24 mini sandwiches.  Size depends on how big the batter rounds are made.

Ingredients

For the Whoopie Pie Cake Base

  • ½ c. safe shortening or vegan butter
  • 1 c. light brown sugar (don’t substitute granulated sugar)
  • 1/3 c. applesauce (for GLUTEN FREE) or 1 egg. For NON-GLUTEN FREE use ¼ c. applesauce.
  • ¼ c. cocoa powder
  • 2 c. (270 g.) all-purpose gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum or regular all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 c. safe milk, room temperature (I use unsweetened So Delicious coconut beverage)

For the Whoopie Pie Filling

  • ¾ c. safe shortening, vegan butter, or regular butter (I prefer to use safe shortening)
  • 2 c. confectioner’s sugar, sifted if there are lumps
  • Dash salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. peppermint extract, or to taste
  • 1 ½ – 2 Tbls. safe milk
  • Candies or sprinkles for decorating edges

Method

  1. Cookie Dough: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a small bowl, add safe flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and 2 Tbls. sprinkles. Whisk to combine and set aside. a paddle attachment, cream the safe butter and granulated sugar on medium speed until light in texture and fluffy. Scrape the bowl down from the bottom and sides often to incorporate well.  Be careful not to overmix the butter and make it too soft or the cookies will be flat and misshapen.
  3. Add the applesauce or egg and mix to incorporate.
  4. Add dry mixture and blend until well combined, making sure the bottom and sides are properly mixed in. If the dough is too soft, chill in the refrigerator (not the freezer!) for 30 minutes. 
  5. On a parchment lined pan, scoop by tablespoon sized mounds. The recipe will yield 20 cookies to make 10 sandwiches.  Note that if the size can be anything you’d like, big or small, but it will affect the final yield.
  6. Immediately bake for 15-20 minutes. Cool completely while preparing the frosting.
  7. Frosting: In a medium bowl, sift the confectioner’s sugar.
  8. With a hand mixer or on a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the confectioner’s sugar with safe butter and salt at medium speed until light in texture and color. Scrape down the bowl often to incorporate all the sugar and butter together.
  9. Add the vanilla and add a drizzle of safe milk if the frosting is too thick. The frosting can’t be too stiff, or it’ll break the cookie. Don’t overmix the frosting or the butter will be soft and ooze out.
  10. Assembly: If desired, tint the frosting with safe food color, I do about 4 colors per batch of frosting with some left over. If using sprinkles in the edges, place in a shallow bowl or plate.
  11. Spread about 1 tablespoon of frosting on the flat side of the cookie and sandwich together, pressing slightly to have the frosting go the edges of the sandwich ONLY if you’re adding sprinkles. Roll the cookie edges through the sprinkles to have them stick or leave plain.
  12. Sandwiched cookies will keep in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 3 days or in the in the refrigerator for 5 days in an airtight container. Unsandwiched cookies are fine in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.

Recipe Note

  • A little goes a long way with the filling! Don’t go overboard or you will not have enough, and it will be overpowering.
  • Go ahead and freeze! Either filled or unfilled, wrap well and store for up to a month in the freezer.  Thaw in the refrigerator.
  • I like making these a little smaller-they’re easier to eat and you can really stretch the amount.

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Disclaimer

As we all know, reading labels and preparing food when managing allergies is a job within itself with much responsibility. All the brands I use are ones that I have contacted, and Casey has eaten safely. That being said, I must remind…

Please do your own research when deciding which products and foods are safe for the allergies you manage. These are the ones that are safe for our needs but may not be for you. Everyone has different comfort levels with manufacturing and production procedures.

And, as a friendly reminder, always have 2 epinephrine auto injectors on hand!

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