Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

Making a whoopie pie is simply like making cupcakes - the key is to use a fantastic recipe.  I have my core cake recipes that for me work for cakes, cupcakes or whoopie pies - I do not want to fuss with a different recipe for each baked good, I mean who has time for that?  A red velvet cake is kind of like a chocolate cake, eased back on the cocoa and drenched with red food coloring and a touch of vanilla.  What separates my red velvet cake from my chocolate cake is this uses oil instead of butter, kind of like a carrot cake.

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
1 1/3 cups canola oil
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
1 - 1 oz. bottle red food coloring
1 tsp. vinegar - I use either regular white or Balsamic
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment combine flour, sugar, baking soad, salt, cocoa powder and oil.  Turn mixer on medium and mix until well combined - then add buttermilk, eggs, red food coloring, vinegar and vanilla bean paste.  Turn mixer on low and mix for 2-3 minutes until completely incorporated.  Scrape bowl with a spatula if necessary to make sure all of the ingredients are combined.

Prep whoopie pie pans by spraying them with Bak-klene and placing parchment rounds in each well, then spraying again with Bak-klene.  Whoopie pies are notorious for sticking, so it is essential to guarantee their release.  This recipe make four (4) of the mini-whoopie pies or two (2) of the regular-sized whoopie pies.

Bake them off in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes (325 if you are using convection).  Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for ten minutes, then I use a small icing spatula to get under each delicate pie and gently lift it up and place on a cooling rack to completely cool.  They will solidify more so they are easier to handle when they cool.  Fill each with vanilla-bean filling (recipe below), I fill an icing bag fitted with a star tip (obsessive nature not required) and serve.  The filling recipe for the miniature ones needs to be doubled (which I have done here) as you have more pies to fill.

16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened - room temperature
16 tbsp. (1 stick) regular vegetable shortening
1 - 7 oz. jar marshmallow fluff
2 tbsp. vanilla bean paste
4 cups powdered sugar

Place all ingredients into the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whip attachment and beat for several minutes until mixture is combined and fluffy.

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