While the mysterious origins of Red Velvet Cake are as varied and as deep as creatures of the Red Sea, it’s been brought back, it’s in style and it’s, apparently, here to stay.
Which, is fine by me. What could be bad about a chocolate cake, a devil’s food cake for that matter, with a bit of red food coloring. Nothing at all. Except don’t even think about wearing white anywhere near it! That red coloring is very much like a red velvet cloth that’s been put in the laundry with your whites. But, as you eat one Whoopie Pie, your mind will drift away and you won’t even care that your best white towels are now a rosy shade of pink.
Share a Red Velvet Whoopie pie with a loved one this Valentine’s Day.
This wonderfully moist and rich cake recipe has been adapted from The Joy of Baking.
For the Cakes:
2 ½ cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbs cocoa powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups white sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 tbs liquid red food coloring
1 tsp white distilled vinegar
1 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Prepare a Whoopie Pie pan or a shallow baking dish with spray oil and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl sift together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or a large bowl with your hand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined.
In another small bowl, whisk together the buttermilk and the red food coloring. Try not to splatter, as red food coloring has a way of staining anything it touches. Permanently!
With the mixer on low speed, add the flour mixture and color buttermilk to the butter mixture, beating until all the ingredients are well combined.
In a small cup mix the vinegar and baking soda. (Science Experiment!) The mixture will fizz but won’t overflow the cup (Darn! That’ll be for another day.) since it’s not so much. Quickly fold into the cake batter.
Spoon the batter into the prepared Whoopie Pie pan or into the prepared cake pan. The batter should only be filled about 1/4 of the way up the sides. You want a thin cake.
Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their pans for 10 minutes then remove them to a wire rack and let cool completely.
Meanwhile, let’s make the filling!
For the Filling:
6 tbs unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ cups confectioner’s sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 jar marshmallow crème (I used the regular white, but you can also use Raspberry or Strawberry marshmallow crèmes- fun for Valentine’s Day!)
2 tsp vanilla
In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, salt and the marshmallow crème until smooth. Add in the vanilla and mix well. You can now spoon the mixture into a piping bag if you want, to be used to fill the whoopie pies or you can just use a spoon to fill the centers. Refrigerate any unused crème bringing it back to room temperature before attempting to pipe any more cakes.
Assemble The Whoopie Pies
If you used a Whoopie Pie pan, you can just use two of the individual cakes and sandwich them together with filling in between. However, if your cakes have too much height, or you want to get more pies (double!), you can just slice off the tops of each cake, horizontally, and fill the centers and return the tops to the bottoms. It’s really up to you. For the ones pictured here, we just sliced off the tops. We are very glad we did too, because they all went quickly.
If you used a shallow cake pan, you can use a cookie cutter to cut out your shapes, or twist an inverted glass to make rounds of cake. Or you can just slice out pieces if you have a steady hand and can create matching tops and bottoms. (They can be close since crème will be in the middle!)
Once you have all your tops and bottoms laid out, pipe or spoon the filling into the center of the cooled pies on one side. Place it’s matching part on and you are ready to eat!
To store: Place in a single layer on a piece of wax paper. Because the cake is so moist, it has a tendency to stick, peeling a layer of cake off. So if you want one pretty side, be sure to make sure they are stored in only one layer.