Saturday, July 7, 2012

Strawberry-Vanilla Whoopies with Fresh Marshmallow Cream Filling

To download a copy of this recipe for Strawberry-Vanilla Whoopies, click HERE!

One might think that once they gave the world the glorious gift of Lobster Rolls, the good people of Maine would have rested on their laurels. Not so. Maine is also the state that popularized another classic culinary delight: Whoopie Pies, an irresistible treat consisting of vanilla marshmallow filling sandwiched between two soft, almost cake-like, chocolate cookies. (I say popularized instead of created because, although Whoopie Pies were first main-streamed in Maine in the late 20’s and early 30’s, they actually have their origins sometime before that in the Amish culture of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.)

Aside from using vanilla cookies instead of chocolate, and strawberry filling in place of vanilla flavored, this recipe differs from traditional Whoopie Pies in a number of areas. First is size. A traditional Maine Whoopie Pie can be about the same size as a hamburger which seems, to some of us at least, to be too much of a good thing. The version below is also made with butter substitute instead of the traditional vegetable shortening. 

By any name and regardless of origin, this we know for sure: a good Whoopie Pie is joyous thing.

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin.
  • The strawberry marshmallow cream filling we’ll make is essentially a homemade, strawberry-flavored version of the Marshmallow Fluff you used as a kid to make “fluffernutters.”
  • To make the thickening syrup, you’ll need to use a candy or sugar thermometer. (If you don’t already have it, I recommend getting one. You’ll  find it’s useful for all kinds of things in the kitchen.)
  • As you’ll see in the recipe, one of the ingredients for the filling is egg whites. Since we’ll be beating them into fluffiness, it’s important to use the whites from fresh eggs. Don’t use the packaged, pour-from-a-carton egg whites for this. Those may be good for a lot of things, but they don’t fluff up when beaten the way fresh ones do.

This recipe makes about twelve 3-1/2” whoopie pies.

We’ll start by making the cookie portion.

Begin preheating the oven to 375 degrees. Spread ½ cup of shredded coconut out on a foil-lined baking sheet and use the preheating oven to toast the coconut lightly. (Be sure to keep an eye on the coconut, since it can burn easily.)

In a bowl, sift together 2-3/4 cups of all purpose flour, ½ Tbsp cream of tartar, ½ tsp baking soda and ½ tsp kosher salt, and set aside.

Put 6 Tbsp of butter substitute and 1 cup of sugar in a mixing bowl and beat until it becomes light and fluffy.

Add ½ cup non-fat plain yogurt, 1 tsp vanilla, and ½ cup of skim milk and continue mixing. (At this point there will still be some separation in the mixture.)

Add 2 egg substitute eggs and the toasted coconut and continue mixing.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. When the flour has been incorporated enough, increase the mixer speed to high. (Starting at low speed prevents the flour from being thrown by the mixer.) Mix for about a minute at high speed so as not to overwork the mixture.

Place rounded tablespoons of the mixture about 2” apart on baking sheets lined with silicon sheets or parchment. (Depending on your baking sheets and oven, it may be necessary to work in batches.)

Bake until lightly browned but still a little soft, about 15 minutes, turning the baking sheet half-way. (Be careful not to overcook; the finished cookies should have a texture that is a little soft and cake-like, similar to black and white cookies.) Rinse the bowl for use in making the filling. When the cookies have finished baking, set them aside on a rack to cool.

While the cookies are cooling, we’ll prepare the filling, starting with the strawberry puree.
Hull and rough chop ¼ pound of fresh strawberries.

Cook the strawberries in a small, covered saucepan and over low heat for a few minutes until soft.

Puree the cooked strawberries in a mini-processor or blender and set aside. Rinse the small saucepan for use in making the syrup.


Next, we’ll make our marshmallow cream.
In a mixer bowl, beat 2 fresh egg whites, a pinch of kosher salt, and a pinch of cream of tartar, and continue whisking until fluffy. Add 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar to the egg white mixture and continue beating until peaks that are a little firmer than soft peaks form.

In the small saucepan, mix the 1-1/2 Tbsp water, ½ cup of light corn syrup, and 6 Tbsp of granulated sugar together. Using a candy or frying thermometer, cook over medium heat until it boils and comes to 246 degrees (“firm ball”).


With the mixer on low, drizzle the syrup into the beaten egg white mixture. When all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high and beat until fluffy, about 5 to 6 minutes.

With the mixer on low speed, add a few drops of red food coloring and ¼ cup of the strawberry puree and food coloring until combined. Cover and refrigerate the filling mixture to cool.

To prepare the Whoopie Pies:

While the filling is cooling, apply a thin coating of apricot preserves to the flat side of each cookie.

After the filling has cooled, pipe it onto the flat side of half of the cookies using a piping bag or large zip-lock type storage bag with one corner cut.

When the filling has been placed on the cookies, place the flat side of an unfilled cookie on the filling to form a sandwich. Press down gently.

Dust both sides with confectioner’s sugar and serve!

To download a copy of this recipe for Strawberry-Vanilla Whoopies, click HERE!

That’s a sweet treat indeed. Enjoy!

Please visit again next week for new recipe! Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. Wonderful recipe and so well explained.Was nice to meet you on FB and discoered your lovely blog

  2. Sounds delicious. Maybe someday I'll be able to eat one! ;-) You DO know that I consider shredded coconut to be an evil substance...

  3. Thanks, Sylvia, Alaina (great to see you again!), and Sandy. The recipe is pretty easy and tasty. And yes, I am still searching for the balance between loving to bake and wanting to be mindful of things like weight and cholesterol, if such a balance even exists. Coconut is the kind of acquaintance that can be good to be around, but do not turn your back on him. Politics, it is said, make for strange bedfellows. As it turns out, with regard to ingredients, so does baking.