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, reasonably priced (relative to the gluten-free world) and is certified gluten-free. If you catch it on the right day, sometimes Amazon has it for $7.99 for the 3 lb bag (use the link above). I’ve seen it as high as $11.99 in the grocery store.
Cup4Cup (best price usually at Target) 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 bad reactions to several of 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.