Lemon Whoopie Pies with White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream

January 14, 2013

in Cookies, Recipes

Abby Dodge is one of the best bakers in the world.  I got to know her by baking my way through her dessert stories in Fine Cooking magazine, where she began as a recipe tester eighteen years ago. Abby has a flair for combining flavors and textures in unexpected but delicious ways and her recipes are foolproof.

In her new and delightful cookbook, Mini Treats & Hand-Held Sweets: 100 Delicious Desserts to Pick Up and Eat, published last year by The Taunton Press, Abby has come up with inventive takes on all sorts of cookies, macarons, pastries, mini cakes and pies, frozen treats, and even candies.

Every month on Abby’s blog she selects a recipe and invites readers to submit their own riffs on her main theme.  These baketogethers, as they’re called, unite members of the cyberspace baking community in an altogether human way, and it is fascinating to see the creativity that pours forth.

I got so excited about the baketogether idea that I plunged into Abby’s book and picked out a recipe to tweak instead of waiting for Abby’s selection.  Generous soul that Abby is, she insisted I post my version of the recipe (Abby’s Orange Whoopie Pies with Orange-Honey Buttercream became, in my hands, Lemon Whoopie Pies with White Chocolate Lemon Buttercream).  Whoopie pies are sandwiches of two tender cakes enclosing a soft creamy filling. The flavoring possibilities are endless and can be tailor made to individual tastes.

So what if this is a baketogether in reverse?  I’ll just link my post to her blog, and she’ll link hers to mine and we’ll see what happens.

My first trial resulted in a dough that was a tad too wet and difficult to scoop into balls.  When I wrote about Abby about it, she made her recipe again and even sent me photographs to show me the recipe worked just fine.  Why was my dough wetter than hers?  The culprit turned out to be my measuring cup!  My ancient glass heatproof cup measured on the generous side.  So instead of using it to measure ½ cup of buttermilk the recipe called for, I measured 8 tablespoons of buttermilk and the dough turned out exactly as it should.

And here’s the dough I scooped onto a silicone-lined baking sheet with a 2-tablespoon capacity ice cream scoop.

I decided to make my whoopies twice the size of Abby’s because I’m a tall guy who likes big things.  Even so, these pies are not huge.  They’re about 3 inches across and fit nicely in the hand.  Here’s a sheet of the baked cakes.

To fill them, you turn half the cakes upside down and top them with a  big gob of the white chocolate buttercream.

After covering the buttercream with the flat side of a partnered cake, you press gently until the buttercream reaches the edge of the cakes.  All that’s left is to decorate the whoopie pies, and you’re done.

So here’s the recipe.  Please let me know what you think and send me your own variations on the theme.  Perhaps then we can all yell whoopee!


Recent Posts:

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura@MotherWouldKnow January 15, 2013 at 6:58 pm

Greg, Many thanks to you and Abby for making this month’s #Baketogether even more fun than usual. I’m especially glad to get to know you and your blog better because I’m very much into the “why’s” of baking and cooking. Your whoopie pies look so good, I’m tempted to follow your recipe, but that’s not in the spirit of this adventure, so I’ll find a way to go “off the beaten path.”


Greg Patent January 15, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Thanks for writing, Laura. Abby’s recipes are so inspiring they open one’s baking chops to all sorts of possibilities. I look forward to seeing what your variation on this theme will be!


Michelle January 15, 2013 at 8:56 pm

Those look delicious! I’ve had the recipe in my RSS reader since you posted it, I didn’t want to read it until I had the time to properly peruse. I defintely want to try making them! My one attempt at whoopies was a bit lacklustre, but that was partly down to a very weird filling (it was meant to be the classic marshmallow, but it was very unpleasant-tasting) and your one sounds like it can’t miss.

I have two questions for you (this is something I really love about baking blogs. Recipe books just _refuse_ to answer me when I talk to them!)

1: Why lemon extract instead of lemon juice? Are you worried about curdling the mixtures?

2: Your recipe notes that it should be “pure” lemon extract. Ireland is very limited in its baking ingredients, so the only lemon flavourings I know of are sold by the same companies that do food colourings (Dr. Oetker and Goodalls), alongside their peppermint and orange extracts. I’m familiar with the vanilla essence vs extract issue, so does the same rule apply here when reading the label? (Anything saying essence is bad, but when it says extract, it’s good?)

Thank you!


Greg Patent January 15, 2013 at 9:41 pm

I think extract is American for essence, and I use it for a stronger lemon flavor than I would get from the same amount of lemon juice. If you want, just use finely grated lemon zest–just use an amount you feel will give the cakes and buttercream a nice lemon punch.

I love blogs, too, because you can go right to the source with questions and comments. And if you tweak the recipe using a flavor other than lemon, please let me know what you did! Thanks so much for writing.


Rhonda January 23, 2013 at 7:37 am

Greg, essence is typically artificial flavoring and is weaker in flavor than extract. Although it can be substituted for each other, the flavor profile will be much milder.


Greg Patent January 23, 2013 at 9:08 am

Rhonda, I really appreciate your clarification of “essence.” I’ve not seen the word used that way in the U.S.


Dianne Jacob January 16, 2013 at 12:53 pm

I’m intrigued by your discovery that your ancient glass measuring cup is “generous.” Should I be wary of mine?


Greg Patent January 16, 2013 at 1:08 pm

Dianne, I was quite surprised by the “generosity” of my Pyrex 1-cup measure. Then I checked the 1/3 cup level and found it actually measured 6 tablespoons instead of 5 1/3 tablespoons. Do check yours and let me know what you find.


Barbara | Creative Culinary January 16, 2013 at 1:51 pm

Feel like I should shout ‘Whoopie’ when I see these pies. Absolutely love the flavor combination but then I’m in love with Ms. Abs too; and I’m not talking my dog of the same name!

Welcome to Baketogether Greg!


Greg Patent January 16, 2013 at 5:19 pm

Thanks, Barbara. The Baketogether’s a wonderful idea, the next best thing to us all being together in the same kitchen with many stoves, mixers, and kitchen tools. Abby is such a great inspiration.


Stephanie January 19, 2013 at 7:14 pm

I am also anxious about my ancient measuring cup. I’ve used it for all of my recipes, but it has seen better days. Do you older recipes now need to be adjusted?


Greg Patent January 20, 2013 at 5:59 am

Hi, Stephanie. No, my older recipes need no adjustment. I think this particular whoopie pies dough formula was particularly sensitive. And the way someone measures can throw results off. I scoot down so that my eyes are at cup level. Even when measuring tablespoons, I’ve seen some bakers not quite fill a tablespoon whereas others will almost overfill. So, not to worry.


Rhonda January 23, 2013 at 7:40 am

I’m a lover of all things lemony, the lemon the better and this has double lemon, right up my ally.

I’ll have to test my measuring cups, I’ve been using the same 2 cup pyrex for about 20 years so maybe it’s not that accurate. Of course I’m not too big on measuring so maybe it doesn’t matter for me 😉


Laura January 27, 2013 at 2:19 pm

LOVE these! Thanks for sharing!


Greg Patent January 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

Thank you for letting me know, Laura.


Leave a Comment

Help us prevent spam! *

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: