Coffee and chocolate together is usually described as mocha, an even blending of both elements to create a flavor that has plenty of both coffee and chocolate. These Chocolate Coffee Whoopie Pies have chocolate cookies sandwiching a coffee-infused filling, but unlike most “mocha” desserts, these two flavors stand out very independently on their own. This is because the coffee filling has a lot of coffee in it and has a much more intense flavor than your average mocha. This means that these sandwich cookies are a great way to get your coffee fix, no matter what time of day you might be indulging in them.
The pies start with a soft, cake-like chocolate cookie. The cookies are made with unsweetened cocoa powder, which gives them a deep, bittersweet chocolate flavor and keeps the cookies light in texture. The whoopie pies are made to be two or three bites per cookie – not as large as some whoopie pies – and since they need to be sandwiched together, it is best if you can keep the cookies as close to the same size as possible. You can do this by carefully portioning out the dough or by using a cookie scoop. The cookies should be cooled and paired up with cookies of similar size before they are filled.
The filling is a buttercream that is laced with instant espresso powder. The buttercream doesn’t need a lot of liquid, so even strong coffee isn’t enough to flavor it without the help of instant coffee. I always recommend using Starbucks Via as an instant coffee option with a lot of flavor (it also dissolves very easily), as well as espresso powder. Instant coffee can be used if you don’t have instant espresso, but you may want to add a bit extra.
Since the coffee flavor is strong, the finished whoopie pies aren’t overly sweet. They have a great coffee flavor and just the right touch of chocolate. I added a little drizzle of extra filling on top, which looks nice but makes the whoopie pies a little bit messier to eat. It’s worth it, in my opinion. Serve these with a latte or with a scoop of ice cream alongside.
Chocolate Coffee Whoopie Pies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup white sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar. In a small bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, egg, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and buttermilk until smooth. Pour cocoa mixture into flour mixture and whisk until batter comes together.
Drop batter into 1-inch balls on the prepared baking sheet, trying to keep the size as uniform as possible.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until cakes have set and spring back when lightly pressed.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before filling with Coffee Buttercream (below).
To fill, pair cookies off with another cookie of equal size. Pipe a generous amount of filling between the two cookies. Drizzle with leftover filling, if desired.
Makes 18-20 whoopie pies
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 tbsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp heavy cream, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 – 3 cups confectioners’ sugar
In a small bowl, dissolve the instant espresso powder in cream and vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, beat together butter, instant coffee mixture and 2 cups confectioners’ sugar. Gradually blend in more confectioners’ sugar until frosting is smooth, thick and fluffy.