Red velvet cake is one of my favorite types of cake. It is a buttermilk cake with a hint of cocoa – just enough for flavor, not enough to make it “chocolate cake” – that has a gorgeous red hue. The red, in theory, comes from the interaction between baking soda and cocoa powder, but to get the bright red color that the cake is famous for, red food coloring is almost always added added. Some people are put off of the cake by the food coloring, but this isn’t a good reason to miss out on this tasty cake. After all, food coloring is not something we add to all of our baked goods and there are even plenty of natural food coloring options out there to choose from.
Instead of going with a regular cake or cupcakes this time around, I opted to put my red velvet cake into the form of those classi, cake-like sandwich cookies, whoopie pies. The cookies are moist and tender and are sandwiched with a a mascarpone cream cheese mixture that adds just the right amount of flavor and sweetness. The cookies themselves are actually quite low in fat, although the presence of the filling makes up for that a bit. There is only a small amount of buttermilk in these as a nod to the traditional red velvet cakes, but the flavor in the finished cookies has a more chocolatey overtone than a buttery one. When everything is put together, you have a beautiful and tasty dessert sandwich that is perfect for any occasion – but is especially good as a Valentine’s Day treat.
These are best if eaten within a day or two of being made.
Red Velvet Cake Sandwich Cookies
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 tbsp buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 tsp red food coloring (more, if necessary)
Preheat oven to 375F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, then set aside.
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy, then beat in the egg whites, followed by the applesauce, buttermilk, vanilla extract and red food coloring. Add additional coloring, if needed, to reach desired color. Keep in mind that the color will dim slightly with baking, but I try to shoot for a burgundy/brown color. Stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth and no streaks of flour remain.
Drop batter two tablespoonfuls at a time onto the prepared baking sheet, forming 2-inch in diameter rounds.
Bake for 10 minutes, until set but not browned. Cookies should spring back when lightly touched, like a cake.
Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely
Makes about 40 cookies.
Mascarpone Cream Cheese Filling
4 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract (vanilla paste is even better)
1 tbsp milk
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
Beat together mascarpone and cream cheese until well combined. Beat in vanilla and milk. Add in confectioners sugar, scraping down the bowl as you go. When it has all been incorporated, beat on high speed for 1-2 minutes, until icing is very smooth and thick, but not stiff. Add more confectioners sugar, if necessary.
Spread filling between pairs of cooled cookies.
Makes about 20 sandwich cookies.
Barbara (Biscuit Girl)February 13, 2007
What a cool, clever idea! And an excellent way to combine two of my favorite desserts….whoopie pies and red velvet cake.
rachelFebruary 13, 2007
Yummy! I just bought the ingredients to make red velvet cupcakes and can’t wait to try them.
LydiaFebruary 14, 2007
Red velvet whoopie pies — what a wonderful idea! I always wondered why “red velvet” cake had that name — now I know, it’s the food coloring.
AbbyFebruary 14, 2007
They are so adorable! They match the liners so cutely, too. Great idea!
Mishmash !February 14, 2007
Hi Nic!My first visit and I am glad I found ur blog atleast now!! I’m dumbstruck!! and I really dont know which one to try first!! I love baking and I dont think I should check out for other sites for recipes anymore coz u have everything here accompanied by absolutely beautiful pics!! A great job !
Happy V-Day 🙂
MariFebruary 14, 2007
Nic, I love your blog!
My family enjoyed the whoopie pies so much. It was so moist and yummy! It was worth venturing out in this horrible New England weather today to get some ingredients I didn’t have at hand.
DeborahFebruary 14, 2007
Hi! I’d love to try baking these cookies, but I have a question: Can I make them without buttermilk, and substitute something like soy milk instead? I don’t have any buttermilk, and am reluctant to buy a whole carton just for a tablespoonful of it. Thanks!
And these look delicious!
LoriFebruary 14, 2007
Nic, I too love red velvet cake even though it’s unheard of here in the Philippines. Awesome idea to use it here in sandwiches. Thanks for sharing.
NicFebruary 14, 2007
Deborah – You can use a tablespoonful of regular milk instead, and soy milk should work just fine.
ChrisFebruary 14, 2007
Oh – Are you kidding? I LOVE this idea. I have made whoopie pies often, even switching up the chocolate to Gingerbread – but there Red velvet whoopie pies? I have fallen in love on Valentine’s Day!
Mevrouw CupcakeFebruary 15, 2007
Oh what lucky friends you! I made red velvet cupcakes for V-day, but I’m definitely going to try these and your whoppie pie recipe. Thanks for sharing!
pom d'apiFebruary 15, 2007
Your cakes it’s so wonderful, I love that. Congratulation, it’s so sweet. My name is Candy and I live in France. I have a blog : http://candyneige.canalblog.com/. Thank’s for your cookery
Urban GirlFebruary 15, 2007
Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Yum. Can’t wait to find an occasion to make these treats!
FreyaFebruary 16, 2007
Delicious! Never had whoopee pies but these look pretty great!
Bill McMichaelFebruary 16, 2007
Oh My Gosh!
Red velvet cake in bite sized portions. That could be dangerous!
Boston1955February 17, 2007
Very, very nice this cookies.
From Barcelona greetings.
MollyFebruary 19, 2007
Nic, these are GENIUS! Valentine’s Day may be over, but I have a feeling that Red Velvet Cake Day is coming soon…
Norfolk DumplingFebruary 20, 2007
I made these and then made a chocolate tiramisu with them. It was fab! Thanks for the recipe.
SJFebruary 23, 2007
I want to try these – Red Velvet cake is my fav!!! Thanks for the recipe!
gymnast_karate^kid/tinÃºvielFebruary 23, 2007
“Red Velvet Cake.”
It just sounds so rich, doesn’t it? And I love your pictures. They’re all so gorgeous.
flanthrowerFebruary 25, 2007
Thanks for the recipe! I love red velvet cake but can’t justify the work and the ingredients to make one just for me. This is an excellent compromise and something I can take as a little snack on the go.
a wittFebruary 25, 2007
Wow… just wanted to say I love your blog. I’ll be reading!
(My food blog is at http://no-movie-star.livejournal.com/, but anyone is welcome to my other blog, too.)
Thanks again… Hope to try these soon!
LauraFebruary 26, 2007
I am guessing that you can sub oil for the applesauce?
I am allergic to apples and was wondering it if was a direct amount sub or not.
PeabodyFebruary 26, 2007
Oh I am dying to try these.
RachaelFebruary 27, 2007
Oh wow. I love red velvet and I LOVE sandwich cookies. THis is a dream!
SarahJuly 2, 2007
hi! these cookies look fantastic – i would like to make them as a gift for a friend – how long will they keep after making them, just out of curiosity (filling included)? thanks!
Virginia TrostleDecember 27, 2007
I have looked for a vegan recipe for what the Amish call whoopie pies and this is close I’m sure I can veganise it for my daughter who has loved these pies since she was a child. Thanks!!!!
PattyFebruary 14, 2008
I really want to make these for a party this Saturday. I live at altitude (8200 ft) and I am wondering if I should make any adjustments to the recipe to account for that???? I know they make special flour, should I use that instead??? I am so not a baker, so I am a bit lost!
TesMay 12, 2008
Can the cookies be stored out in an airtight container or do they need to be refrigerated because of the cream cheese and mascarpone cheese.
TBCOctober 24, 2008
I am one of your regular “lurkers”. 🙂
I just wanted to bring this to your attention.
Maybe you already know about it?
AnonymousMarch 13, 2009
I just got done making these! They are wonderful! I used the filling from the Whoopie Pie recipe as I didn’t have the ingredients for this filling. Thanks so much; love your blog!
mariaJune 4, 2009
i hope i will make these right!!
GinaSeptember 29, 2009
These were fabulous! So moist and rich…they didn’t last the evening…they’re all gone! Thanks for a great recipe and great blog…I’ve posted about these on my blog and credited (linked) you with the recipe..
StefaniJanuary 24, 2010
These look so yummy! I am bookmarking this recipe!
diana merrellFebruary 8, 2010
I just posted red velvet whoopie pies and they are so good. Wish I would have found yours sooner.