How to Choose the Best Whoopie Pie Baking Pans Plus Bonus Recipes
Whoopie Pie Pans AreThe Key to Baking Attractive, Evenly Moist, Easy-to-Eat Whoopie Pies
Whoopie pies are one of my favorite desserts. Nearly everyone who has ever tasted one loves them; they're a special, delicious, gooey treat for kids (who love food they can eat with their hands!), and most adults I know say that eating a whoopie pie makes them feel like a kid again.
Learn the pros and cons of using whoopie pie baking pans vs. flat baking sheets for your homemade cake shells, criteria for choosing a good baking pan for them, my recommendation for the best whoopie pie pans, recipes and helpful baking tips.
Advantages of Whoopie Pie Pans vs. Regular Baking Sheets or Cookie Sheets
The traditional way to make whoopie pies is to bake the cake shells on a flat baking sheet or cookie sheet, which creates the iconic domed shape. So why should you consider buying a special whoopie pie pan instead? Because it helps you make whoopie pies that are more attractive, better-tasting, and easier to eat.
Nicer-looking cakes. Baking whoopie pie cake shells on flat baking sheets gives them that authentic, domed whoopie pie shell shape. But I'm an experienced baker and I've found it very difficult to get small, round cakes of uniform size and shape by dropping or spreading the cake batter on flat cookie sheets. If you prefer to go this route, using one of the scoops I've recommended below to portion and shape the dough will give you the best results.
Alternatively, using whoopie pie pans makes it easy to get all the cakes the same size, shape, and depth. And while they don't create the traditional domed shells, I think having them all neat and in perfectly uniform, well-matched shapes and sizes is more attractive than having mismatched and/or misshapen domes.
Evenly moist and tender cakes (no thin, dried-out edges). The cake shells I used to bake on flat cookie sheets tended to have thin, dry edges. When the batter is baked on a flat cookie sheet or baking sheet, it spreads out as is bakes, making the edges of the cakes much thinner than the centers, so they dry out by the time the thicker centers are done.
Batter baked in whoopie pie pans bakes much more evenly because the cavities in the pan prevent the batter from spreading out at the edges and becoming too thin, allowing the cakes to bake up evenly moist and tender.
Easier-to-eat whoopie pies. While it's true that even mismatched cakes can be used to create yummy-tasting whoopie pies sandwiched together in pairs with gooey marshmallow creme-based filling, the resulting whoopie pies are less attractive and harder to eat than ones made with well-matched, symmetrical cake shells. It's hard to keep the filling sandwiched between mismatched cakes, and it's harder to hold a whoopie pie whose top is larger than its bottom (or vice versa).
Using whoopie pie pans with uniform cavities lets you create nice, round cakes of even sizes, shapes, and thickness, which makes a big difference in the appearance, taste, and ease of eating of these filled cake sandwiches.
Top 5 Features of a Great Whoopie Pie Pan
- High-quality nonstick finish that lets the individual cakes come out of the pan easily and intact.
- Dishwasher safe for easy cleanup.
- 10-year warranty to ensure that the nonstick finish will hold up well over time.
- The right depth so you don't end up with flimsy too-thin cakes that won't support the filling or too-thick" muffin top" cakes that spill over the edges of the pan.
- Reasonably priced since you'll probably want to buy at least two pans (if I'm going to go to the trouble of making homemade whoopie pies, I definitely want to end up with more than six of them!) :)
The Nonstick Whoopie Pie Pans I Recommend
Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie Pie Pans are the perfect combination of features, performance, and price. The high-quality nonstick coating over steel makes the baked whoopie pie cakes slide right out of the pan and is durable enough to be dishwasher-safe, although even hand-washing these nonstick pans is quick and easy.
These pans perform so well that they are backed by a 10-year warranty, which makes them a terrific value. They're also the right combination of weight and depth to turn out perfectly round, evenly moist and tender cakes without muffin-top spillover.
Tip: Keep in mind that you'll need two cake shells to make each whoopie pie. So if you want to make a dozen whoopies at a time, remember to get two 12-cavity baking pans.
Giant and Mini Whoopie Pie Pans
When it comes to whoopie pies, one size definitely does NOT fit all!
Some Like 'Em Big ...
That's why Wilton make a nonstick Giant Whoopie Pie Pan. The two 8" cavities create the cake shells to make one huge whoopie pie. When assembled with creamy filling, one of these enormous whoopie pies is as large as a typical layer cake and makes a great birthday cake.
Tip: Wrap one of these monsters in a sheet of cellophane and tie it with a ribbon for a tasty and unique gift. Men especially love these "Texas-sized" whoopies!
..and Some Like 'Em Small
These mini whoopies also are perfect for popping into lunch bags, enjoying with a cup of tea or coffee, or setting out as part of a dessert buffet. They also are a great dessert to bring to a barbecue or potluck.
Who Says Whoopie Pies Have to Be Round?
Wilton Nonstick Whoopie Pie Pans Come in Lots of Fun, Seasonal Shapes
In addition to traditional round whoopie pies, you also can make whoopies shaped like hearts, stars, bunnies, trees, Christmas stockings, and gingerbread men using Wilton Nonstick Whoopie Pie Pans in specialty shapes.
Note: Some of these pans have asymmetrically-shaped cavities, and Wilton has not made mirror-image cavities. The cakes baked in the asymmetric cavities should be sandwiched together with both cakes facing the same direction, rather than back-to-back.
Tip: Don't forget to buy two pans of whatever design(s) you choose if you want to bake a dozen whoopie pies at a time!
Christmas Whoopie Pies
The Wilton Nonstick 12 Cavity Holiday Whoopie Pie Pan has four cavities each of three different Christmas holiday themed designs. Use it to make two pine tree shaped whoopies, two Christmas stockings and two gingerbread men.
Tip: Buy two pans if you want to bake a dozen pies.
Thanksgiving and Kwanzaa Whoopie Pies with Pumpkins and Leaves
Wilton also makes a 12-cavity nonstick Harvest Whoopie Pie Pan with an autumn theme that lets you make three leaf shaped and three pumpkin shaped whoopies at a time. They're great for a Thanksgiving dessert, harvest festivals such as Kwanzaa, and for a seasonal sweet treat any time during the fall season.
Heart Shaped Whoopie Pie Pans for Valentine's Day and More
Heart shaped whoopie pies make a lovely sweet treat for your sweetheart, family, best friend, etc. For Valentine's Day, you can use white creme filling and roll the edges of the filled pies in heart-shaped or regular sprinkles, jimmies or other candy decorations. Alternatively you could tint the filling pink with paste or gel food coloring.
The Wilton Nonstick Heart Whoopie Pie Pan makes 12 cake shells, enough for six beautiful heart-shaped whoopie pies that are perfect for Valentine's Day, anniversaries, special birthdays, or just to let your kids, husband, wife, sister, brother, parents or special friends know you love them.
Note: I've always believed that whoopies, like roses, should come by the dozen. If you agree, you'll want to have two of these pans.
Bunny Whoopie Pies for Easter and Spring
Wilton's nonstick 12-cavity Bunny Whoopie Pie Pan lets you make six adorable bunny-shaped cake sandwiches. These are so cute, especially for spring or Easter! You can even decorate them with candy eyes and noses and pink frosting for the insides of the ears and maybe a frosting bow. Kids love decorating these kinds of baked sweets!
Tip #1: How to Remove the Printed Blue Cardboard Sleeve Without Tearing It
Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie Pie Pans come with a printed lightweight cardboard sleeve that wraps around the pan and is attached with adhesive. The back of the sleeve contains the recipes for making chocolate whoopie pies, raspberry whoopie pies and vanilla marshmallow creme filling so it's important to remove the cardboard without tearing through the recipes.
The glue is tenacious, but freezing the new pan for 30 minutes makes it easier to remove the sleeve without tearing it.
Other Uses for the Wilton Nonstick Whoopie Pie Pan with 12 Round Cavities
These shallow-cavity nonstick pans are extremely versatile and can be used for a variety of cooking and baking purposes besides just making whoopie pie shells. Here are just a few of the things Amazon reviewers have made with their Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie Pie Pans:
- 3-inch muffin tops (most muffin top pans have 4-inch diameter cavities) made with 1/4 cup of muffin batter in each cavity.
- Mini pizza crusts for individual pizzas.
- Perfectly round eggs for English muffin breakfast sandwiches.
- Cookies with thin, runny batter that tend to spread out in free-form shapes instead of circles, such as such as Florentine cookies or molasses lace roll-up cookies.
Baking vs. Buying Whoopie Pies - Which Do You Prefer?
Freshly-baked, homemade whoopie pies are not only delicious but also less expensive than commercially-baked whoopies and can be made in any combination of cake and filling flavors you like. On the other hand, baking and filling whoopie pies takes some time, although you can make them pretty quickly if you use the excellent and convenient Stonewall Kitchen whoopie pie mixes.
On the other side of the coin, it's faster and easier to buy whoopie pies than to bake them. But commercially available whoopie pies vary widely in quality, cost significantly more than homemade whoopies, and come in only limited flavors. Clearly there are pros and cons to both baking and buying these treats.
So where do you come down on the bake vs. buy trade-off?
Do you prefer baking your own whoopie pies or buying ready-made whoopies?
To quote the Pillsbury doughboy, "Nothing says lovin' like something from the oven."
The Best Whoopie Pie Pan Deserves the Best Whoopie Pie Recipes!
Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies Recipe
Here is the basic chocolate whoopie pie recipe from the Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie Pie Pan packaging, followed by the whoopie pie filling recipe.
I've rewritten the instructions a bit for clarity. Note that the packaging also includes a recipe for Raspberry Whoopie Pies. Enjoy!
I use two 12-cavity whoopie pie pans when I make this recipe. If you have only one pan you can bake the cake shells in two batches.
Serves: 12 whoopie pies
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 c. (1 stick) softened butter
- 1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 c. all purpose flour
- 1/2 c. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 c. buttermilk
- Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly spray two Whoopie Pie Pans with nonstick cooking spray. (If you have only one whoopie pie pan, you can either halve the recipe (beat the egg lightly before dividing it in half) or, preferably, bake the first batch and then cool, wash, and spray the pan with cooking spray again before filling it with the second half of the batter.)
- In large bowl of electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, approximately 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla extract, and mix until well combined.
- In another bowl (or on a large sheet of waxed paper), sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add half the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are almost incorporated. Stop the mixer, add the buttermilk, and then continue mixing on low speed until all the ingredients are almost incorporated. Stop the mixer again and add the remaining dry ingredients, then mix on low until just combined.
- Spoon approximately 2 Tbsp. of batter into each of the prepared cavities in the Whoopie Pie Pan; spread the batter to the edges of each cavity. Each cavity should be approximately 2/3 full.
- Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until the top of each cake springs back when touched.
- Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 8 minutes. Turn the cakes out on a cooling rack to finish cooling. Meanwhile, prepare the Whoopie Pie Filling (recipe follows).
- When the whoopie pie shells have cooled completely, assemble the whoopie pies by sandwiching two shells (cakes) together with the prepared whoopie pie filling.
Like This Chocolate Whoopie Pies Recipe? Please Rate It!
Whoopie Pie Filling Recipe
This is a nice, basic, vanilla-marshmallow creme whoopie pie filling from the cardboard sleeve of the Wilton Whoopie Pie Pan.
While this filling may taste a bit too sweet or too intensely vanilla-flavored by itself, it's just right when sandwiched between two whoopie pie cakes/shells.
- 6 Tbsp. butter - softened
- 1 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar - sifted
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 1 jar (approximately 7 oz.) marshmallow creme (such as Marshmallow Fluff)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Cream softened butter in large bowl of electric mixer. Add sugar and salt; mix well. Add marshmallow creme and extract; blend well. (Tip: Use a 1-piece rubber scraper sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to scoop marshmallow creme out of jar.)
- Use immediately to fill whoopie pies. Makes approximately 2 1/2 cups of filling, enough to fill 12 whoopie pies (24 cakes).
- Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare filling in advance, cover and refrigerate for up to one week. Just before filling whoopie pie shells, bring filling to room temperature and beat lightly with an electric mixer.
Quick and Easy Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies
Cake shells made from a boxed chocolate fudge cake mix + a classic marshmallow creme filling made from scratch, both made with peppermint extract = delicious semi-homemade Chocolate Mint Whoopie Pies
My mother-in-law, Linda, made a batch of these quick and easy chocolate mint whoopie pies as a special treat for my husband when he and I recently visited my in-laws for two weeks. For the filling, she used the Wilton Whoopie Pie Filling recipe filling above, substituting peppermint extract for the vanilla extract. The quick and easy part was that instead of making the batter for the whoopie pie shells from scratch, she prepared a box of chocolate fudge cake mix instead, substituting one teaspoon of peppermint extract for one teaspoon of the water to be added to the dry mix.
Luckily for me, my husband shares, and I can tell you these whoopie pies were a delicious treat! She wrapped up and froze six of them so we could take them home with us at the end of our visit, and I snapped this photo so you can enjoy them vicariously. Note: The lines in certain areas of the filling were made by the plastic wrap surrounding the whoopie pies when they were frozen.
Linda baked the cake shells in two Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie Pie Pans; you can see how nice and round and uniformly sized they turned out.
Tip #2: Use a Cookie Scoop to Measure Batter for Uniform Size Whoopie Pie Shells
Cookie scoops (or very small ice cream scoops) are great for portioning out whoopie pie shell batter as well as cookie dough. Scooping the same amount of batter into each cavity of the whoopie pie pans is a great way to ensure that all your shells will be the same size and thickness.
Are You a Fan of Whoopie Pies?
Most dessert lovers are big fans of whoopie pies, but not everyone loves them (or sweets in general). How do you feel about whoopie pies?
Are you whoopie pie lover, or not so much?
Tender "cakelets" sandwiched together with luscious, creamy filling - what's not to love?
Tip #3: Use a Pastry Bag / Piping Bag with a Large, Plain Tip to Fill Whoopie Pie Shells Like a Pro!
The cake shells are moist and tender so if you spread the filling with a spatula or knife it will pick up crumbs. For neat, crumb-free, professional-looking whoopie pie filling, scrape it into a pastry bag fitted with a large-to-extra-large plain round tip, e.g., August Thomsen #9, Ateco #809 or Wilton #1 A, and the same brand large-tip coupler. Pipe an even mound of filling centered on half the shells and top with the remaining shells, pressing down gently so the filling spreads evenly to edge.
Make Sure Your Pastry Bag, Large Round Tip and Coupler Fit Together Properly
Any brand will do, as long as all three components fit together properly. I recommend those made by Ateco / August Thomsen. The Ateco 18-inch plastic coated decorating bag is made of a cloth shell that won't slip out of your hand and lined with easy to clean polyethylene that also helps protect the fabric. It's also made in the USA. I love the fact that, unlike the old pastry bags I inherited from my mother that had rusty metal eyelets, the eyelets on this piping bag are rust-proof.
Ateco is owned by August Thomsen, and the 11/16" #9 plain pastry tube is identical to the Ateco #809 pastry tip. It's a large, wide-mouth, round decorating tube or icing tip that's great for filling not only whoopie pies but also eclairs, cream puffs, jelly donuts, and similar baked goods. It's also the perfect tip for piping out eclairs, cream puffs, macaroons, etc. - an extremely versatile pastry tip for many different types of baking applications.
Tip: Make sure you get the correct size plastic coupler to attach your large pastry tube securely to the decorating / pastry / piping bag. For the August Thomsen #9 / Ateco #809 plain pastry tube you'll need the Ateco 404 large plastic coupler.
Quick, Easy, and Delicious Whoopie Pie Mixes from Stonewall Kitchen - These mixes let you whip up delicious whoopie pies in just a few minutes!
Luscious Stonewall Kitchen Dessert Sauces
For a truly decadent treat, either drizzle one of Stonewall Kitchen's incredibly luscious dessert sauces over the tops of filled whoopie pies and then refrigerate them to firm up the saucy drizzle or refrigerate the jar of sauce until it thickens and then spread a layer onto the flat side of each whoopie pie shell before sandwiching pairs of them together with filling. Sinfully delicious!
All of Stonewall Kitchen's dessert sauces are incredibly rich and flavorful. The Chocolate Peppermint and the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Sauce are so good you'll be tempted to eat them straight out of the jar by the spoonful!
I like to warm up the sauce gently in the microwave or in a small saucepan of simmering water and then pour it over whoopie pies, ice cream, cake, berries, bananas or other fresh fruit ... well, you get the idea.
BONUS RECIPE #1 - The Original Recipe for the Best Whoopie Pies Ever
The Original Version of Famous "Wicked Whoopies" Whoopie Pies from Maine!
Without a doubt, the most famous whoopie pies from a commercial bakery are Wicked Whoopies from Maine. I've tasted a LOT of whoopie pies in my time and believe me, WICKED WHOOPIES ARE THE BEST WHOOPIE PIES EVER!!!
The bad news is that they're not always easy to find.
The good news is that Amy Bouchard, the fabulous baker who developed them, shared her Original Wicked Whoopies Recipe (chocolate cakes filled with a vanilla marshmallow creme filling) on the 207 Show on Maine's NBC affiliate, WCSH6, so now you can bake the original version of Classic Wicked Whoopies yourself!
A few important notes about this recipe:
- This is the original classic whoopie pie recipe she used when she was still baking and selling her whoopie pies from home, not the version she now makes in her commercial bakery (which doesn't use dairy products so the whoopie pies don't need to be refrigerated).
- The WCSH6.com web site didn't format the recipe, so all the ingredients are in a run-on paragraph with no separation. It was republished with appropriate formatting on Food.com; I recommend that you print out that version and then check it against Amy's original recipe on the WCSH6 site and note the differences on your printed copy. For example, the original recipe for the whoopie pie shells uses 4 heaping cups of flour, while the nicely-formatted version lists 4 cups of flour, which makes a big difference in the consistency and taste of the shells.
- Amy bakes her whoopie pies on regular baking sheets rather than whoopie pie pans with specially indented cavities, so they have the distinctive dome-shaped "whoopie pie shells". Then again, she's also a professional baker who probably doesn't have to worry much about thin, dried-out edges. :)
- One last thing: Wicked Whoopies are huge! Each cake shell uses 1/4 cup of batter. The Wilton Nonstick 12-Cavity Whoopie Pie Pans should be filled with only half that much batter (1/8 cup or 2 Tbsp.) per shell. So while Amy's recipe yields 12 big whoopie pies (24 shells plus filling), it will yield 24 whoopie pies (48 shells plus filling) if you bake them in the regular-size Wilton Nonstick Whoopie Pie Pans! They freeze beautifully, but if you don't want to bake that many, you may want to cut the recipe in half.
BONUS RECIPE #2 - Wicked Pumpkin Whoopie Pies!
Check out my article about the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Recipe from the Owner of Maine's Famous Wicked Whoopies Bakery to get Amy's sensational Pumpkin Whoopie Pies Recipe and to learn more about how Amy Bouchard turned Wicked Whoopies from a small home-based business into one of the fastest-growing companies in the US.
Whoopie Pie Recipe and Technique Demonstration Videos
We all learn differently, and for many of us it's easier to watch someone else demonstrate how to make a recipe before we try making it ourselves. Here are some of the best videos about making whoopie pies I've found. Most of them demonstrate a specific recipe.
© 2012 Margaret Schindel