These gluten-free whoopie pies have a dark, moist chocolate cake and creamy buttercream filling. If you prefer the traditional marshmallow filling, the recipe is included too. Either way you’ll have a fun treat sure to please everyone!
Chocolate Cake Ingredients
Gluten-free flour – The trend in gluten-free baking has moved to all-in-one wheat flour replacements. So I developed this recipe using King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour. King Arthur is widely available, the most affordable option I have used (relative to the gluten-free world) and is certified gluten-free. Be sure to check out my collection of King Arthur Gluten-Free Flour recipes.
Cup4Cup and Pamela’s All Purpose Artisan blend will work well too. These two are certified gluten-free. I did not test with Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 (not certified GF) since I have had sensitivity issues with their products.
Cocoa Powder – This recipe has equal parts flour and cocoa powder for a strong, dark chocolate flavor. Ghirardelli used to be my go-to, but their products now contain a wheat warning. Hershey’s cocoa powder is gluten-free and easy to find at your local market. I personally prefer an organic cacao powder but I encourage you to use whatever unsweetened cocoa powder you have!
I use dairy-free milk substitutes – almond, coconut, oat, soy will all work. Just be sure to use an unsweetened one.
I prefer oil over butter in my cakes. It does a much better job of add a rich, moist texture to gluten-free cakes. Light olive oil, sunflower, avocado, safflower, canola or any neutral vegetable oil will work.
Mixing the Cake Batter
More than many cake batters, this one will develop air pockets very easily. Too much air will make these little cake dry and will create bubbly tops. A lot of chocolate cake recipes solve this problem by adding hot water to the batter. I just don’t like this idea when there are raw eggs involved. So, here’s how to avoid over-mixing:
Sift the dry ingredients into a bowl and stir with a whisk so that they are completely combined. Lightly beat the wet ingredients and sugar before adding to the dry. Stir the wet and dry together, using a rubber spatula, just until combined and mostly smooth. A few tiny lumps are ok. Get it into the pan and send it straight to the oven.
Whoopie Pie Filling
Marshmallow filling is the traditional whoopie pie filling and makes such a fun treat. It takes a little extra time to make from scratch but is well worth it for this pretty, white pillowy filling. This filling doesn’t store well, so make this one when you are almost ready to assemble the whoopie pies.
Buttercream frosting is the preferred filling in my house so I’ve included my favorite vanilla buttercream frosting recipe. For more frosting options check out my pipeable cream cheese frosting. vegan chocolate cream cheese frosting, 2-ingredient vegan chocolate frosting or even my unusual, yet delicious and creamy sweet potato frosting which is sweetened only with maple syrup.
You can also add flavored extracts or syrups to the vanilla buttercream, like mint extract or creme de menthe (in these whoopie pies above) or orange extract, which is amazing with chocolate. Add 1-2 tsps of extracts.
Baking the Cakes
You will need muffin top pan(s) or a whoopie pie pan (same thing) to make the cake portion of this recipe. The wells are 3″ wide by 1/2″ high. I have seen other whoopie pie pans that are 1 – 1.5″ high. In my opinion, that is too tall. I have a FULL cupboard, but luckily these pans don’t take up a lot of space and they’re great for making toaster corn muffin tops,
The recipe makes 12 whoopie pies which requires 24 little cakes. Muffin top pans come in 6 or 12. I have a 12, so I did it in 2 batches. Since the cakes bake up in 10 minutes and the pan cools quickly, this will work. Otherwise, get yourself 2 of these pans and bake them all at once!
And, YES, these little cakes bake at 325°F, not the usual 350°F baking temp. It works best for this chocolate cake.
Gluten-Free Whoopie Pies
Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- 3/4 c gluten-free flour blend*
- 3/4 unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 2/3 c unsweetened dairy-free milk room temperature
- 2/3 c oil light olive, sunflower, avocado, canola
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or powder
- 1 c sugar
Vanilla Buttercream Filling
- 1 stick 4oz unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 c powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or bean paste
- 2 tps milk or milk substitute
- 2 large egg whites room temperature
- 1/4 c + 2 Tbsps sugar NOT powdered
- 3 Tbsps light corn syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- You will need a muffin top pan/whoopie pie pan (same thing).
- Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.
- If the eggs are cold, place in a bowl of warm water while preparing the other ingredients.
- Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and espresso powder (If using) into a mixing bowl. Stir with a whisk to combine well.
- If the milk is cold, heat in the microwave for 10 seconds to take the chill off. In a small bowl, very lightly beat the the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla and sugar.
- Add the liquid ingredients to the dry and stir until mostly smooth. Over-mixing will create too many air bubbles which will cause uneven rising and dry cake.
- Fill each well with about 3 Tbsps batter. Smooth the top and spread it evenly to the edges. Gently, shake the pan side to side and forward and back to help spread it evenly,
- Bake 10 minutes or until the top is set and bounces back from a gentle tap.
- Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. These do need to cool for an hour before handling or the top is too sticky,
- Make the FillingChoose either the Buttercream Filling OR Marshmallow Filling
- This buttercream filling can be made ahead of time. If using within 24 hours, leave at room temp, otherwise, refrigerate and pull it out about 2 hours before using.
- If your powdered sugar is very lumpy, I suggest sifting it. I use C&H and rarely sift, and get smooth creamy results.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the butter for 30 seconds until creamy.
- Add half of the powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated. Add the remaining powdered sugar and beat on low until incorporated.
- Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the milk and vanilla and beat on high for 15- 20 seconds.
- See above for flavor options or more frosting recipes.
- For easiest assembly, place the buttercream in a pastry piping bag fitted with a tip.
- This marshmallow filling should be used immediately, so it its best to wait to make it until the cakes are almost cooled.
- Place the egg whites, sugar and corn syrup in the top of a double boiler over rapidly boiling water. Beat constantly with an electric mixer until soft peaks form. It should take 3-4 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Beat on medium high speed, with a whisk attachment if you have it, until soft peaks form. It should take less than a minute.
- Transfer to a pastry piping bag fitted with a tip for easiest assembly.
Assemble the Whoopie Pies
- Take one of the little cakes and add frosting to the flat bottom. Gently press another little cake on top. ENJOY!