Vanilla Whoopie Pies in Valentine’s day colors are so fun and easy to make!
Learn how to make colorful Valentine Whoopie Pies with buttercream filling and festive sprinkles for the ones you love this holiday.
You are going to have so much fun making this Valentine’s Day version of the traditional Whoopie Pie! They can be made in any color you want, and are so soft and delicious.
What is a Whoopie Pie?
Is it a cookie? A mini cake? Whoopie Pies are a bit of both – with luscious frosting sandwiched between two soft, cake-like cookies.
As the story goes, these tasty desserts got their name as they were packed in workers’ lunchboxes. When someone opened their lunchbox to find the sweet treat, they would exclaim, “Whoopie!”.
The traditional Whoopie Pie is a chocolate cake with vanilla filling and is popular in New England where it is said to be a traditional dessert passed down from the Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch cultures.
Other names for the Whoopie Pie include black moon, gob, black-and-white, bob, or BFO (big fat Oreo).
Why You Will Love This Recipe
- A Fun Twist on a Classic: Instead of chocolate cookies, we’re making a vanilla whoopie pie batter. This allows us to change the color of the dough to make pretty pink, white, and purple cookies for Valentine’s Day.
- Simple Ingredients: You won’t need to hunt down any fancy items to make this recipe. Everything you need to make Whoopie Pies is easily found at your local grocery store, or already in your kitchen.
- Step-by-Step Recipe: I’m showing you exactly how to make Whoopie pie shells, a delicious smooth buttercream frosting, and all of the steps to turn them into adorable Valentine’s Day cookie sandwiches.
Vanilla Whoopie Pie Ingredients
Complete list of ingredients with quantities and instructions is located in the recipe card below
For the Cookie Dough:
- Unsalted Butter and Granulated Sugar: Like most cookie recipes, the dough for whoopie pies starts with creaming together softened butter and sugar.
- Eggs: Choose large eggs for baking, and let them come to room temperature before mixing them in.
- Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt: These are the dry ingredients for the recipe
- Vanilla Extract: For a rich, warm vanilla flavor, choose your best quality vanilla extract for this recipe.
- Food Coloring: This is what makes these vanilla whoopie pies into Valentine whoopie pies! I’m using red, pink, and purple gel food coloring, and colorful circle-shaped sprinkles. Try using any fun Valentine’s sprinkles for your whoopie pies!
For the Frosting Filling:
- Unsalted Butter: This is a simple buttercream frosting, so it starts with softened butter.
- Powdered Sugar, Vanilla Extract, and Milk: Blend these ingredients in with the butter and you’ll have a rich, creamy, and sweet whoopie pie filling in seconds!
- Sprinkles: I’m using colorful circle-shaped sprinkles. Try using any fun Valentine’s sprinkles for your whoopie pies!
How To Make Whoopie Pies
Start by preheating your oven to 400°F/200°C. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray, and set it aside while you make the dough.
- Mix the Dough: Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer (or use your stand mixer). Add the eggs and vanilla, and beat until combined. Lastly, add flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat until the dough is uniform.
- Separate it: Carefully divide the dough into three equal parts, and place each in a separate bowl.
- Color it: Add one color of gel food coloring to each bowl, a few drops at a time, until you reach your desired shades. Keep in mind that the colors will darken slightly once you bake the cookies.
- Form into Balls: Create 1 ½ – inch balls of dough and place them on your prepared baking sheet, leaving at least two inches between each cookie. If needed, bake these in two batches.
- Flatten: Use a flat-bottomed glass or measuring cup to gently press the balls until they are between ¼ – ½ inch thick. Spray the glass with cooking spray to avoid any stickiness.
- Bake: Place the tray into the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the edges of the whoopie pies are lightly browned and the tops are no longer wet-looking. Remove from the oven and cool completely on wire racks.
- To Make the Frosting: Start by creaming together softened butter and powdered sugar.
- To Finish the Frosting: Mix in vanilla extract and milk. Beat with the mixer until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. If needed, add additional milk or powdered sugar to get a thick consistency.
- Make Cookie Sandwiches: One at a time, spread a generous amount of frosting on the back of one whoopie pie, and top with a second one to make a sandwich.
- Add Sprinkles: Roll the edges of the sandwich into sprinkles that you’ve placed in a shallow bowl.
Top Whoopie Pie Tips
- Make these any color you like! Pink, red and purple are fun for valentines day, but you can make vanilla whoopie pies in Christmas colors, Halloween colors, or your favorite colors for birthday parties or other special occasions.
- Gel Food Coloring is best. When baking, you want to avoid adding unnecessary moisture to your doughs and icings. Gel food coloring is low moisture and highly pigmented, so you only need a few drops to get vibrant colors for your whoopie pies.
- Use room-temperature eggs – they blend into the other ingredients more smoothly. I like to set out the butter and eggs at the same time so that they can both be at room temperature and ready to go.
- Try to make the dough balls the exact same size so that your cookie sandwiches match up perfectly. A cookie scoop will help you portion the dough properly. You might also consider weighing the dough with a kitchen scale.
- Don’t add icing to warm cookies! Make sure that you allow the cookies to cool down completely before filling them with buttercream. Otherwise, the frosting will melt.
- Make them one at a time. While it might seem easier to add the frosting to all of the whoopie pies first, then roll them in sprinkles, it’s actually not. Rolling the whoopie pies into sprinkles while the frosting is freshly added will ensure that the sprinkles stick to it.
How to Store Whoopie Pies
Store your vanilla whoopie pies in an airtight container in the refrigerator. If kept this way, they will stay fresh for 4-5 days. After that, they will start to dry out.
Let the cookies sit at room temperature for a bit before eating so that the frosting can soften.
You can freeze whoopie pies for longer storage too! They freeze quite well. It’s best to wrap each whoopie pie individually with plastic wrap, then place the wrapped cookies in a zipper bag or freezer container. Store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Let frozen whoopie pies thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour before eating!
Other Valentine’s Desserts to Try
See all of our best Valentine’s Day Desserts, or start with these favorites:
- Conversation Heart Sugar Cookies
- Ombre Heart Spritz Cookies
- Fun Valentine’s Day Cat Cookies
- Pink Strawberry Cake Mix Cookies
Whoopie Pie FAQs
Whoopie pies benefit from the extra bit of oil used to bake them, as they have a tendency to stick to the pan. I prefer to lightly oil the pan rather than use parchment paper for this recipe.
You can! If you’re making vanilla whoopie pies for a large group or want to have extra to store in the freezer, feel free to double, triple, or even quadruple the recipe.
Due to the amount of sugar in the filling, it should be safe to keep these at room temperature, so long as your room is fairly cool. I recommend keeping buttercream desserts in the refrigerator for food safety and quality though.
Make Valentine vanilla whoopie pies this year! They are fun, festive, and easy to make, and will impress anyone you serve them to. Don’t forget to Pin this recipe!