Weeknight Cooking

Whoopie Pies with Raspberries and Lemon-Scented Cream

August 29, 2011

Whoopie Pies with Raspberries and Lemon-Scented Cream

- Jenny

Ah, the end of August, when thoughts turn to fireflies, the last of the cucumbers and “Um, when the hell are you all going back to school, anyway?”

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Here in DC kids are already back -- obscene, I know -- but in the waning days of the month, when everyone is tired of camp, swimming, DEET, and rain, I find myself randomly walking around the house, picking up stubbornly-dirty beach towels, and yelling at no one in particular, “Get off that iPad and do something productive.”

In my house kids know that means one of two things: putting something away or baking. The Incipient is no fool, and immediately turned her attention to Whoopie Pies with Raspberries and Lemon-Scented Cream. Why this recipe, I asked? “I like whoopie pies.” Works for me.

She and her friend put them together with a bit of supervision from me, which largely amounted to pulling out parchment paper (which Beautiful, Memorable Food does not tell you to use, but I do) and saying, “You really ought to beat that butter for longer” before going back to the newspaper.

I really avoid whoopie pies because they always seemed a tad difficult with a lot of room for error, but these guys are incredibly moist, divinely chocolatey and surprisingly simple. You will note that these have to be constructed as you go because of course you’ve got fresh cream here. This would be a really fun dessert for a last minute Friday night dinner when your neighbors or whomever else shows up looking for some chow. Not so much for a bake sale.

It seems, from my observation, that there are a few keys to making this recipe successfully: Do use good Dutch-processed cocoa as these cakes are pretty chocolatey; do make sure you have uniform measure when you blob the batter out on the pan (they used their hands and not the quarter cup); do turn them as instructed while baking and watch your oven like a hawk.

About the cream: some people raised a skeptical flag about lemon with chocolate. This is reasonable. But I have to tell you it is very subtle (they zested a small lemon so probably less than a teaspoon) and gives a nice gentle push to the cream. It helps make the recipe easy as well because you’re not really messing with frosting.

We did not use the raspberries, because none we saw looked good. That’s August for you, baby.

Whoopie Pies with Raspberries and Lemon-Scented Cream by Beautiful, Memorable Food

Makes 6

For the chocolate cakes:



For the filling:


  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (from one lemon)
  • 6 ounces fresh red raspberries (about 30)

  • First, prepare the cakes. Preheat oven to 350.

  • Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.

  • In another bowl, cream together butter and sugar. When light and fluffy, add in egg.

  • Mix in 1/2 of the flour mixture into the butter mixture.

  • Add vanilla and buttermilk.

  • Combine in the rest of the flour mixture with the batter.

  • Measure out 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto two baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches around each cake. Bake for about 12 minutes, switching pan position after 6 minutes. Cakes are done when they spring back to touch. Be careful not to overbake or they'll dry out. Cool completely on baking sheets before assembling into whoopie pies.

  • While cakes are baking, prepare the filling. First, whip cream into soft peaks, then gently stir in sugar, lemon zest, and vanilla. Refrigerate until ready to assemble whoopie pies.

  • Assemble whoopie pies just before serving. Mound about 2 tablespoons of prepared cream filling onto the bottom half of a cake. Then place about 5 raspberries onto cream, and top with another cake, bottom down. There will be extra cream-- feel free to serve with another dollop on the side, if eating on a plate.


Want to join Jenny in the Kitchen? Check out last week's summer side -- Simple Succotash.

Photo by James Ransom

By day, Jennifer Steinhauer, aka Jenny, covers Congress for The New York Times. By night, she is an obsessive cook.

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Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


mcs3000 August 30, 2011
These sound delish. I thought whoopie pies would be difficult too until I made some @ X-mas. To make them holiday-ish, I folded crushed candy canes into the cream.
Jestei August 30, 2011
Beautiful, M. August 29, 2011
Jenny, thank you so much for trying out and sharing my recipe! I am glad you enjoyed these. I had fun making them and my kids loved eating them. To make them a little more luxurious for an adult dessert, you could also add a splash of raspberry liqueur to the cream.
Jestei August 30, 2011
that sounds great too
dymnyno August 29, 2011
These look like a great dessert for a big party...very impressive looking and they sound delicious. I look forward to your Monday "find" every week.
Jestei August 30, 2011
i think they would yes because they don't take long to make. child labor helps, though.
Sagegreen August 29, 2011
I really love the idea of raspberries in these! But so glad to know they are great without them, too.
Jestei August 30, 2011
i found some nice ones today and will retry with them
WeeklyGreens August 29, 2011
My mom used to make a slew of them, then freeze them individually wrapped in plastic. I suppose you couldn't freeze this variety what with the cream and all. But you could freeze the cake part and make the cream as needed, dontchathink?
Jestei August 30, 2011
yes you could definitely do that but i think if you make these they will get eaten quickly
boulangere August 29, 2011
I tend to only make them for a large crowd, believing that if I'm going to make them, it may as well be a hell of a lot of them. But what a brilliant way to get kids off the iPad and into being productive. Thank you most of all, though, for voicing what I suspect many of us think, or have thought: "when the hell are you all going back to school, anyway?"
Jestei August 30, 2011
thank you so much
alonnasmith August 29, 2011
Isn't the whipped cream so soft that it squishes out between the little cakes, making it hard to eat?
Jestei August 29, 2011
i did not spread it to fall out the sides like that. so it was not so messy.
cateler August 29, 2011
Sounds yummy. But, you can't make a REAL Whoopie Pie without Fluff! You've got me craving one now...
Jestei August 29, 2011
i prefer fluff on balance but this is a nice twist; the cake component is really one of the best i've tried
cateler August 29, 2011
So now I have to make this cake - a pox on you!
Never used brown sugar in a whoopie pie before, seems like the cake would be sweeter. I bet that's why the whipped lemon cream works - not so sweet by comparison.