Makes about 2 dozen whoopie pies
For the pies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup vegetable shortening
½ cup light brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 teaspoons red food coloring
1 cup buttermilk
For the cream cheese filling:
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
3½ cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and both sugars on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and the red food coloring and beat until just blended.
4. Add half of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and remaining ½ cup buttermilk and beat until completely combined.
5. Using a spoon (or a cookie scoop, which is what I used), drop a tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes spring back when pressed gently. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.
6. While the cakes are cooling, prepare the filling. In the bowl, beat together the cream cheese and butter on medium speed. Add the sugar and beat on low speed until combined. Add the vanilla and increase the speed to medium-high; beat until creamy and smooth, about 4 minutes.
7. To assemble: Spread or pipe the filling onto the flat side of one cake. Top it with another cake, flat-side down. Repeat with the rest of the cakes and filling.
Storing: Whoopie pies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Because these are moist, you may leave the container top slightly open. If you need to stack layers, place a piece of wax paper between layers.
They looked AMAZING! However, mine didn't taste very good. The filling was great, but the cakes didn't taste sweet enough. I determined that I had a blonde moment, and forgot to add the 1 c. of granulated sugar! ALL THAT WORK! We ate most of them anyway but, this is a lesson in checking, and double-checking your ingredients for accuracy. I'll surely try them again soon. ;-) Whoopie!