Ch. 46: Incredibly Soft Banana Whoopie Pies

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My parents had picked up a whole bunch of local bananas from a food stand the other day, and had tasked me to make something before they go bad. I honestly didn’t want to make any more banana bread- having seen that quarantine trend come and go faster than the year has gone by- seriously, how is it already August??? I ended up finding this recipe for Banana Whoopie Pies off of the new King Arthur Baking website. Formerly King Arthur Flour, they’ve since re-branded- likely because they do a lot more than sell flour these days. The recipe looked straight forward enough and I hoped it would turn out so I could have other options every time my bananas go overripe. A whoopie pie or cream pie is essentially 2 soft cookies that sandwich a creamy filling. I’ve made an oatmeal version before from Stella Parks and so the idea of one tasting like banana bread made it all the more exciting. 

The “cookie” portion of these starts by creaming together butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until smooth. After which you add in the vanilla, followed by the mashed bananas- which, in my case, meant about seven of these tiny little guys. Next come the eggs which makes for a curdled looking batter which KAB (that’s gonna take some getting used to) assures is just fine. The flour and baking soda get whisked together and folded in, as well as the walnuts. I opted to skip the chocolate chips as they tend to overpower most banana breads- I’ll say more on that later. The dough is then scooped onto a parchment lined baking sheet and baked for about 14 minutes or until risen and golden brown. Next comes the filling which was cause for concern as many of the commenters said they found to be too sweet. KAB actually recommends following their Pumpkin Whoopie Pie filling as an alternative, which is pretty much a simple cream cheese frosting, minus the butter. Once the “cookies” are completely cooled, they’re paired up and ready to be sandwiched. I transferred the frosting to a piping bag for easy  distribution, and topped off each cookie with one of a similar size. 

These whoopie pies were so scrumptious and homey. The cookies are more like muffin tops, remaining incredibly soft and light even after baking and a stint in the fridge. The banana flavor is strong, pairing nicely with the cream cheese frosting and the walnuts. I certainly didn’t miss the chocolate chips at all, but if that’s your thing, by all means. The recipe makes about 20 sandwiches, though I still had about half of the frosting leftover. I ended up making another batch to use up what was left, which made for a great gift to neighbors. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed these- from how simple they were to put together, to how satisfying it was to eat. 

Full Recipe | Method from King Arthur Baking:

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/banana-whoopie-pies-recipe

See the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for that filling recipe (minus the ginger):

https://www.kingarthurbaking.com/recipes/pumpkin-whoopie-pies-recipe

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