Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Old fashioned whoopie pies get a holiday twist with these festive Peppermint Whoopie Pies! Soft, fluffy chocolate cookies are sandwiched around a light and fluffy peppermint filling for a melt in your mouth dessert!

This post is sponsored by the Ohio Poultry Association. As always, all opinions are my own.

Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Fluffy chocolate whoopie pie with peppermint.

There’s nothing quite like the nostalgia of a whoopie pie. I grew up eating these cookie sandwiches at family reunions, where other favorites from our Mennonite/Amish heritage, like Amish Chicken and Noodles and Amish White Bread, were always on full display.

A staple in Pennsylvania Amish country and throughout New England, whoopie pies are a classic dessert consisting of cake-like chocolate cookies with a creamy filling.

Endless adaptations have come from this one treat, including Pumpkin Whoopie Pies and Funfetti Whoopie Pies. Today, we’re giving them a holiday makeover with a hint of peppermint!

This dessert would be a great addition to your holiday gifting and cookie trays! Today, I’ll walk you through the entire process of making them, including make ahead and freezer instructions.

Whoopie pies with crushed peppermints, stacked on a plate.

Are Whoopie Pies a Cake or a Cookie?

Like the indeterminable origins of the chicken and the egg, there’s not one right answer to this question. Whoopie pies are a cake-like cookie, with two fluffy chocolate cake cookies sandwiched around a cream filling.

They have pie in their name, look like cookies, taste like cake, and are also somehow a sandwich? Listen, I don’t know how it works, but, luckily we don’t have to decide the answer in order to enjoy this sweet treat.

What You’ll Need: Ingredients + Substitutions

Before we dive in, I feel the need to warn you. This recipe takes some time. If you’re looking for a dessert that’s ready in an hour, head over to our Easy Homemade Brownies.

HOWEVER, you don’t need any special ingredients or skills to make whoopie pies. I’ll walk you through each piece with step by step photos and troubleshooting tips! You’ll end up with a BIG BATCH of whoopie pies for sharing throughout the holiday season.

Ingredients for the chocolate whoopie pie cookies in glass bowls.

For the chocolate cake cookies:

  • Large eggs– I always use large eggs when baking, and recommend others do as well. Egg size can impact the final product, so when possible stick with large eggs for the most consistent results. If you don’t have large eggs, use this conversion chart to see how to substitute different sizes.
  • Shortening– I don’t often use shortening for baking, but it’s ideal for these cake-like cookies. Look for shortening sticks instead of the can, and don’t use butter flavored shortening.
  • Granulated sugar, all purpose flour, and salt– Just your basic pantry staples.
  • Cocoa– You’ll need unsweetened 100% cacao, not Dutch process.
  • Milk– 2% or whole is fine. I have not experimented with non-dairy milks in this recipe.
  • Vinegar-Just like in this Chocolate Crazy Cake, pure white vinegar creates lift and fluffiness.
  • Hot water + baking soda– The soda is what gives the vinegar something to react to, giving the cookies their signature puffy, cake-like texture.
Bowls with ingredients for peppermint whoopie pie filling.

For the filling:

  • Egg whites– This recipe uses 6 egg whites. I use an inexpensive egg separator to make fast work of separating the yolk from the white. Save the egg yolks to make one of these Leftover Egg Yolk recipes.
  • Granulated sugar
  • Unsalted butter– You’ll want to leave the butter out at room temperature until a spoon pressed into it leaves an indentation, but doesn’t totally squish it.
  • Salt
  • Marshmallow creme– You may see this listed in stores as either marshmallow creme or marshmallow fluff.
  • Peppermint extract– Look for pure peppermint extract, and not mint extract, which will have a spearmint taste. You can increase or decrease the extract to get as much peppermint flavor as you want.
  • Peppermints– You can use either hard candy or peppermint candy canes for the crushed peppermints.

How to Make Whoopie Pies

Make the Cookies:

  1. Preheat and prep. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. Beat eggs, shortening, and sugar. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until light in color. Add the shortening and sugar, beating well.
  1. Sift dry ingredients. Make sour milk. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and salt. In a measuring cup, mix the milk and vinegar.
  2. Beat together in alternating turns. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the egg mixture in small batches, beating on medium speed between additions, and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  3. Add hot soda water. Whisk together the hot water and soda in the same measuring cup the milk was in. Add it to the cookie dough and beat on medium low speed until well combined.
  1. Scoop cookies. Use a medium cookie scoop to drop dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 1.5 inches between scoops.
  2. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until tops do not indent when lightly pressed with a finger.

What’s in Whoopie Pie Filling?

There are a few different options for whoopie pie filling. The whoopie pies I grew up with were filled with a shortening-based frosting combined with a little marshmallow fluff. It was very sweet and fairly dense.

In the recipe I’m sharing with you, I’ve opted for a Swiss Meringue filling, which is made by cooking egg whites and sugar together, then whipping them into a fluffy, marshmallow-y frenzy. This is the same method used to make traditional marshmallows, just without the gelatin!

While this filling definitely requires a little more work, I vastly prefer it to other fillings. It’s light, fluffy, and not overly sweet. Sandwiched between the two fluffy cookies, this filling melts in your mouth, just like a toasted marshmallow.

I’ve included detailed instructions for the filling below, plus some troubleshooting tips if you need it! And of course, this Swiss Meringue can also be used to frost other cakes, like Easy Strawberry Cake.

How to Make Marshmallow Filling for Whoopie Pies

  1. Start a pot of water to boil. Fill a pot (or the bottom of a double boiler) with a few inches of water on the stove top and bring to a simmer.
  2. Whisk sugar and egg whites. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until frothy, about 1 minute.
  3. Cook the eggs and sugar. Place the bowl of egg whites over the pot of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, about 8-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a small drip (cooled slightly!), and rub it between your fingers. If it feels grainy, it needs a little longer. The mixture has to reach 160 degrees in order for the sugar to fully melt.
  4. Beat the eggs. Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should hold its shape for a few seconds before flopping over.
  5. Cool and beat in butter. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature, then switch to the paddle attachment. Add the butter a few Tablespoons at a time, beating well and making sure it is entirely incorporated before adding more.
  6. Add marshmallow creme and flavorings. Add the marshmallow creme, salt, and peppermint extract and mix well.

Assemble Peppermint Whoopie Pies

  • I prefer to use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to quickly pipe the filling into the whoopie pies. You can also use a gallon zip lock with a small slit cut out of the corner.
  • Place the peppermints into a bag and use a heavy rolling pin to crush them into small pieces. Spread the peppermint out into a thin layer on a baking sheet.
  • Roll the edges of the assembled whoopie pies into the crushed peppermint.
Chocolate whoopie pie cookies being swirled with peppermint filling.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions

  • The unfilled cookies keep well stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Filled whoopie pies can be kept at room temperature for 5 days.
  • The filling can be made up to a week in advance. It keeps well at room temperature for 3 days, and can be stored in the fridge for up to a week. If refrigerating, you’ll need to bring it to room temperature, then return it to the mixer and re-whip it before filling the cookies.

How to Freeze Whoopie Pies with Swiss Meringue Filling

The cookies and the Swiss Meringue buttercream can each be frozen separately, but assembled whoopie pies with this filling can not be frozen.

  • To freeze the cookies, place them in a freezer safe baggie between layers of parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
  • To freeze the filling, transfer it to a freezer safe bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze flat then store for up to 3 months. Thaw it at room temperature, then place it in the bowl of an electric mixer and re-whip until fluffy.
Chocolate eppermint whoopie pie.

Troubleshooting

The filling is separated or curdled

Place the bowl for the mixture over a pot of simmering water (just like the double boiler we used earlier!), and heat it until the edges of the buttercream start to melt, about 1-2 minutes. Put the bowl back on the mixer, and beat on low to incorporate the melty bits, then switch it back to high and beat until smooth. This method works perfectly to reincorporate the frosting, and beating it a second time makes it even lighter and creamier!

The filling is soupy

Place the bowl with the filling back in the fridge for 20-30 minutes, then rewhip until fluffy.

Peppermint whoopie pie with a bite taken out of it.

More Holiday Cookie Recipes

We love holiday baking! Here are a few more of our must-make holiday treats!

All About Eggs

  • As you’re tackling your holiday baking, remember to wash your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling eggs!
  • Did you know there’s a good chance the eggs you’ll use this season came from an Ohio egg farm? Ohio is ranked No. 2 in the nation for egg farming, producing more than 10 billion eggs a year.
  • Visit OhioEggs.com to meet more egg farming families. Ohio egg farmers are proud to provide healthy, safe and affordable eggs to consumers year-round, while protecting the environment for future generations.
  • Visit www.OhioEggs.com and follow the Ohio Poultry Association on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube for more egg recipes and to learn about egg nutrition and egg safety tips.
Chocolate eppermint whoopie pie.

Peppermint Whoopie Pies

Yield: 32
Prep Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Soft chocolate cookies are sandwiched around a fluffy peppermint marshmallow filling to make these festive Peppermint Whoopie Pies!

Ingredients

For the cookies:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 Tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

For the filling:

  • 6 egg whites
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 ½ sticks butter (up to ½ stick more)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup marshmallow creme
  • ½ teaspoon peppermint extract or more, to taste
  • ½ cup crushed peppermints (or candy canes)

Instructions

For the cookies:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the eggs until light in color. Add the shortening and sugar, beating well.
  3. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa and salt. In a measuring cup, mix the milk and vinegar.
  4. Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk mixture to the egg mixture in small batches, beating on medium speed between additions, and scraping down the bowl as needed.
  5. Whisk together the hot water and soda in the same measuring cup the milk was in. Add it to the cookie dough and beat on medium low speed until well combined.
  6. Use a medium cookie scoop to drop heaping Tablespoons of dough onto the prepared cookie sheets, leaving at least 1.5 inches between scoops.
  7. Bake for 6-7 minutes or until tops do not indent when lightly pressed with a finger. Remove and cool on the pan for about 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

For the filling:

  1. Place a pot of water (or the bottom of a double boiler) on the stove top and bring to a simmer.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and sugar until frothy, about 1 minute.
  3. Place the bowl of egg whites over the pot of simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, about 8-10 minutes. Alternatively, you can take a small drip (cooled slightly!), and rub it between your fingers. If it feels grainy, it needs a little longer. You want the sugar to be completely melted.
  4. Pour the egg white mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat at high speed until soft peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. The mixture should hold its shape for a few seconds before flopping over.
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature (it should be close already after beating), then switch to the paddle attachment. Add the butter a few Tablespoons at a time, beating well and making sure it is entirely incorporated before adding more.
  6. Add the marshmallow creme, salt, and peppermint extract and mix well. Taste, and add additional peppermint if desired.

Assemble:

Place the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large round tip or a gallon zip lock with a small slit cut out of the end. Swirl a layer of filling on half of the cookies and sandwich with the second cookie.

Spread the crushed peppermint out over a baking sheet then roll the exposed edges of the filling in the peppermint.

Notes

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions

  • The unfilled cookies keep well stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • Filled whoopie pies can be kept at room temperature for 5 days.
  • The filling can be made up to a week in advance and stored in the fridge. You’ll need to bring it to room temperature then re-whip it before filling the cookies.

How to Freeze Whoopie Pies

The cookies and the Swiss Meringue buttercream can each be frozen separately, but assembled whoopie pies with this filling can not be frozen.

  • To freeze the cookies, place them in a freezer safe baggie between layers of parchment paper. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.
  • To freeze the filling, transfer it to a freezer safe bag, squeeze out as much air as possible, and freeze flat then store for up to 3 months. Thaw it at room temperature, then place it in the bowl of an electric mixer and re-whip until fluffy.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 32 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 322Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 273mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 29gProtein: 4g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

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