It is no secret that I am a huge fan of all vampire-related things, especially if those things happen to be vampire-themed Halloween treats! I’ve made cookies, cupcakes and even pancakes before! I recommend serving them all at your next Halloween party, but if you have to narrow it down to just one treat, you might want to opt for a batch of my Vampire Whoopie Pies. These delightful desserts look like they have been bitten by a vampire with a very sweet tooth and are filled with edible fake blood that oozes out when you sink your own teeth in.
The whoopies are made with rounds of vanilla buttermilk cake. I chose to work with a vanilla cake because a white cake presents the best contrast with the bright red “blood” decorating each finished pie. The cakes themselves are soft and tender, but sturdy enough that you don’t have to worry about them crumbling as you assemble your pies. They have a nice vanilla flavor and a hint of rich buttermilk, but they are not too sweet on their own. I specifically made them less sweet because the pies are filled with a sweet vanilla buttercream frosting, as well as “blood,” and I wanted to make sure that every bite was balanced.
Instead of spreading the frosting evenly over the surface of the cake, I piped it into a circle, leaving a hollow center in each whoopie pie. This creates a neat space for the “blood” and ensures that you can assemble your pies without any leaking out and revealing the surprise inside. The bite marks are made using a toothpick dipped in more “blood” and I highly recommend dripping a bit around the plate that you will be serving your whoopie pies on before serving.
These are best eaten on the day that they are assembled, however the sandwich cakes can be prepared a day in advance and stored in an airtight container until you are ready for them. The fake blood and the frosting can also be prepared in advance. Once you have all your components, assembly is very quick and easy. When you set them out to serve, consider prominently placing some napkins alongside your serving platter – after all, you don’t want that bright blood filling to end up on your floor when your guests take a bite!
Vampire Whoopie Pies
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
Vanilla Buttercream (recipe below)
Homemade Edible Blood
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar
In a medium bowl or a large measuring cup, whisk together buttermilk, egg and vanilla extract until well-combined. Add buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Pour in melted butter all at once and stir until it is completely incorporated.
Drop heaping tablespoonfuls of batter, making them as round as possible, onto prepared baking sheet. You should have 24-26 individual cookies.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, until cookies are set and spring back when lightly pressed. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 3-4 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Pair up the cake rounds with other rounds of similar size and shape.
Place Vanilla Buttercream and fake “blood” into piping bags or ziploc bags with the corners snipped off. I recommend a larger hole for the buttercream and a smaller one for the “blood”.
Starting with the bottom of one of the cake rounds, pipe a generous circle of buttercream. Fill the center with “blood”, then place the matching cake round on top. Do not overfill the blood, because you don’t want it to run out when the whoopie pies are assembled. Repeat with all remaining pies.
Using a toothpick or a small skewer, make two small pricks on top of each assembled whoopie pie. Dip the toothpick into the “blood” and add drops to each of the pin-pricks, then drip some down the side of the cake.
Serve the same day they are assembled.
Makes 12-14 whoopie pies.
Vanilla Buttercream Filling
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tbsp milk
2-2 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a large bowl, beat all ingredients together until frosting is thick and smooth. If frosting is too thick to pipe easily, add in an additional teaspoon or two of milk. If frosting is too thin, gradually add additional confectioner’s sugar.