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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Birthday Cake Whoopie Pies (a Funfetti knock-off recipe)

Whoopie pies have been very popular recently, some might even say trendy. And why not? Whats not to love about whoopie pies? Two cake blobs with an icing center? Simple perfection. Plus, the name is pretty great too. 

One of the greatest things about whoopie pies, is the veneration in flavor combinations. Its pretty much an endless creative march. Anything is possible. Savories, sweets, savory sweets; think banana, peanut-butter and bacon, a whoopie pie fit for a King!

I wanted to make these Birthday Cake whoopie pies because I love sprinkles and I love Funfetti cake. That is pretty much the only box cake mix I ever buy. Its pretty much just a vanilla cake with sprinkles, but there is something about adding sprinkles to something that just makes it ten times more festive. And the bright blue of the buttercream in the middle o f these sandwiches just makes them irresistible.

Birthday Cake Whoopie Pies
(adapted from Whoopie Pies, by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell)

  •  2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (packed) brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sprinkles (I used jimmies), and some extra for sprinkling on the cakes
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper.

In the work bowl of a  stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and both sugars until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined.

In a measuring cup, combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar. Add milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Add the vanilla and beat on medium for about 2 minutes until completely combined.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the sprinkles until just incorporated.

Using a spoon or cookie scoop, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets, sprinkle the tops with some sprinkles and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes begin to brown. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely. 

Blue Buttercream
(adapted from Whoopie Pies, by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell)
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3-4 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extra 
  • Pinch of salt
  • Gel food coloring (you can use regular liquid food coloring, but the color won't be as intense)
In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the confectioners' sugar with the butter, starting on low and increasing to medium speed, until the mixture is crumbly, about 1 minute. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, and salt and beat on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the food coloring a little at a time until the desired hue is achieved.

Assembling the Whoopie Pies

Lay out your cakes in pairs (one for the top and one for the bottom) with the flat sides facing up, spread the buttercream on one of flat-sides of your cakes. You can do this with a spoon or a knife, or used a pastry bag or a cookie scoop. Top this with another cake to create a sandwich. Repeat with the rest of your pies. 

I have to say something about the book Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix 'em, Match 'em, Eat 'em Up Recipes, by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell. I love this book. Every recipe I have tried from this book has been wonderful. They have a wonderful way of writing that is just warm and inviting and makes anyone feel like they can tackle what seems to be a tricky dessert. The pictures are pretty (always a must for me) and the little history of whoopie pies (all American!) is just delightful. I got my copy of the book on super clearance, but I would have paid full price if I had known what a treasure this book is.

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