Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

I know there are lots of cynics out there who dislike Valentine’s Day because it is a so-called “Hallmark holiday”.  That may very well be, but I think it’s always a nice thing to celebrate and spend a little extra time with your sweetie.  Plus, I’m a hopeless romantic.  My favorite colors are red and pink, so let’s face it – this holiday was made for me.  Because this is my blog and I LOVE Valentine’s Day (pun intended), I will be featuring Valentine-inspired or related recipes this week.  And, if there is one that I must urge you to try, this is the one.

What’s not to love?  For starters, it’s a sandwich cookie – but not just any sandwich cookie.  A super cute, heart-shaped red one that tastes just like delicious red velvet cake but in a smaller, more portable form.  Yay!  Honestly, I found these pretty much irresistible and had to give most of them away because I kept finding reasons to eat them for breakfast 😉  You could make them regular round whoopie pies, but the heart shape is so fun and really very easy.  I took some photos during the process to show what I did.  One tip I have for sandwich cookies in general is to pipe the filling rather than spread it on with a knife.  It makes for a much cleaner looking finished product not to mention it makes less of a mess in the kitchen.  Go make these right now (and send one my way)!

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
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For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. cocoa powder
½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1 oz. red food coloring


For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese
5 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2½ cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.

Using a heart template cut out from card stock, trace evenly spaced hearts onto pieces of parchment paper sized to fit two cookie sheets.  Place the parchment on the cookie sheets so that the side you have drawn on is facing down; set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.  Beat in the egg until incorporated, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.  Blend in the vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, beat in about a third of the dry ingredients, followed by half of the buttermilk, beating each addition just until incorporated.  Repeat so that all the buttermilk has been added and then mix in the final third of dry ingredients.  Do not overbeat.  Blend in the food coloring.

Transfer the batter to a pastry bag fitted with a large plain round tip.  Pipe the batter onto the parchment paper using the heart tracings as a guide.  Bake 7-9 minutes or until the tops are set, rotating the baking sheets halfway through.  Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheets at least 10 minutes, until they can be easily transferred to a cooling rack.  Repeat with any remaining batter.  Allow cookies to cool completely before proceeding.

To make the cream cheese frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment beat the cream cheese and butter on medium-high speed until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes.  Mix in the vanilla extract.  Gradually beat in the confectioners’ sugar until totally incorporated, increase the speed and then beat until smooth.

Transfer the frosting to a clean pastry bag fitted with a plain, round tip.  Pair the cookies up by shape and size.  (You can make this as easy or as difficult as you would like.  I’m kind of anal about it, so it takes me a while 🙂 )

Flip one cookie of each pair over so that the flat side is facing up.

Pipe frosting onto the flat-sided cookie of each pair, leaving the edges clear.  Sandwich the cookies together so the flat sides are facing each other and press gently to help the filling reach the edges.  To store, refrigerate in an airtight container.

Source: cookies adapted from Dinner and Dessert, originally from Better Homes & Gardens, December 2008; frosting frosting adapted from Confections of a Foodie Bride

112 Responses

  1. these look so delicious! i love red velvet cake!

  2. Oh these are soooo cute!!! I love the bright color, and they look so delicious! I love Valentine’s Day too! I hear a lot of people call it a “Hallmark holiday” which isn’t really true – people have celebrated Valentine’s Day long before Hallmark was around. Sure it might be “exploited” by Hallmark, but so is every other holiday. Looking forward to your recipes this week! 🙂

  3. Sorry to say but I’m one of those people that isn’t a very big fan of Valentine’s Day. My husband and I don’t really make a big deal about it. I’m just happy if I get a heart shaped box with chocolates inside. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that our Anniversary is in January. Valentine’s day kind of pales in comparison.

    Now that I have a 3 year old I do enjoying doing Valentine’s crafts with her including some baking! I’m not thinking that this is a very good recipe to do with her. But I am thinking that it would be a very good thing for me to EAT!!! I love that they have a cream cheese filling inside. Delicious!!!

  4. Those whoopie pies look great! I love Valentines Day too. It’s a great way to remember those special people in our lives.

  5. Wow great minds think alike! I had this exact same idea to make for my Valentine’s themed dinner club later this month. Your method of getting heart shapes though is a little different…I was planning on just making regular rounds then cutting out a heart with a cookie cutter after baking. (The scraps could be used for cakeballs or something!) This method would have a more finished edge. I just might give it a shot! Thanks 🙂

  6. These are adorable! I just may have to make them!

  7. These look yummy! Too nice to eat !

  8. I agree with you – it might a ‘Hallmark’ holiday, but its a great excuse to take a break from everything and spend some quality time with your loved one! These whoppie pies seem like the perfect start!

  9. So cute! Could you use heart-shaped cookie cutters? I guess you’d have to cut them after you bake it, which would waste cake. Hmm.

    • Molly, sure, you could use cookie cutters. But like you said, it would waste cake, and I think it has a more finished look this way.

  10. I CANNOT get over how talented you are! How do you find the time between a job, a little son, a home AND a husband? You amaze me! I can’t wait for more of your V-Day recipes! I heart Valentine’s Day!

  11. Those heart shapes TOTALLY make these desserts. That is pretty DANG cool! 🙂 🙂

  12. love these!!

  13. These will be perfect for my daughter’s upcoming Teddy Bear Tea Party. Thanks!

  14. I love this idea and definitely want to try! What a cute post and great pictures! 🙂

  15. These are some of the CUTEST Valentine’s Day treats I have seen this year. LOVE them! Really, really adorable any day of the year. Very creative. 🙂


  16. These will be great to bring to my daughter’s daycare. I love whoopie pies and these are beautiful (and I’m sure tasty!). Thanks for sharing! I wanted some clarification on the red food coloring…it’s the liquid kind (not gel), right?

  17. Oh! These are so cheery and cute 🙂

  18. Oh wow! They are so beautiful! These would be a great treat for Valentine’s day.

  19. A beautiful twist on the usual Red Velvet cupcakes. Love the vibrant color!

  20. Those might just be the cutest Valentine’s treats I have ever seen!

  21. Even if it is a Hallmark Holiday it’s still fun. Sometimes life gets so busy we need a little reminder to stop and show some love 🙂 These whoopie pies look great. I love how bright and beautiful they are 🙂

  22. great idea to shape into hearts!! too cute!

  23. Annie – how do these cookies taste w/out the frosting? I have never had red velvet cake, so I don’t have a comparison…I was thinking of just doing the cookie portion for my sons treats to go with his class valentines..he’s 3 so I didn’t want anything messy. Can you describe the flavor for me?

    • Hi Amanda,
      The flavor of red velvet is really difficult to describe, I really think you need to just taste it to know. I think the cookies would be okay without the frosting, but to me you can’t have red velvet without the cream cheese frosting (as in, I think that part of the red velvet flavor as a whole also depends on the frosting.)

  24. Could you clarify the size of heart shape that you used? How many cookies did this make?

    • Brenda,
      You can use any size or shape of heart you want. I just drew one freehand, so I don’t know exactly what the size was. Once I started piping the batter, I decided the heart I had drawn was too large so I just used it as a guide and piped smaller hearts. I would estimate that the cookies were about 2 1/2 x 2 inches. The yield will depend on the size of hearts you make. I think I got about 20 sandwich cookies out of the batch.

  25. These are adorable and very creative! Thanks for sharing your steps – I’m sure it will help in the process!

  26. Holy wow those look fab! The color is sensational. I definitely plan on making something red velvet for Valentine’s Day this year.

  27. Adorable!

  28. A few more questions Annie…how many whoopie pies does this recipe make? Will it make at least a dozen pies? What size is your baking sheet? Did you draw 3 hearts x 4 across? What was the size of each heart, approximately? I’m “one of those people” that needs specifics…sorry!

    • Hi Liz,
      See my response to another comment above regarding the size of the hearts and the yield. You can use any size baking sheet, and fit as many hearts on one pan as you want.

  29. These look great! I might try to make them for this Valentine’s Day.

  30. These are adorable. What a wonderful idea. They turned out PERFECT!!!

    Valentine’s is my favorite holida!!

  31. Love love love this idea! I was going to make red velvet cupcakes for the holiday, but now I’m definitely making these! About how many whoopie pies did your recipe make? I might have to make a double batch!

  32. These are as cute as they want to be. How many pies were you able to get out of this recipe?

  33. I can not wait to try this out, I’m going to test drive it tonight! I’m excited and I’m just like you I LOVE V-day and Love and red and pink lol These came out so wonderful thanks for sharing!

  34. I am new to your blog Annie and I have got hooked into it TOTALLY. I love all your creations and would love to produce half of what you do! I am left feeling so enthused when I read how simple to make things sound!
    Thanks for a terrific blog and I look forward to continue to visit.
    I fell in love with this valentine whoopies too and am definitely going to give them a whirl.

  35. These are ridiculously cute! I just made heart shaped pancakes and now I want your heart shaped whoopie pies 🙂 Valentine overload!

  36. These are adorable. I was born on valentine’s day, so I am a sucker for love. Hearts and romantic movies are my weakness!
    I just found your blog and love everything about it! I can’t wait to see what else you are going to be making. I just started a blog as well, and I bet some of your recipies will be on there soon! Keep the faith, Kat

  37. Looks great! I made some red velvet whoopie pies last week too! Love that you made yours into hearts!

  38. How many cookies does this recipe make? And, how big should the heart template be (inches)? I can’t wait to make these this weekend! Thanks!

    • Hi Rachel,
      See my responses in the comments above for info on the size of heart and yield. You can make the hearts any size you want.

  39. I totally agree with piping the frosting instead of spreading it. These look PERFECT!

  40. Looks great! I love that you piped them into hearts. I made some red velvet whoopie pies the other day too, but from a mix. They are so good!

  41. These look amazing! And super cute:)

  42. These are soooooooooo perfect for Valentines!! YUM!!! Thanks sooo much for the inspiration!

  43. They are so precious!

  44. These look fabulous!!

  45. These are precious and the idea is so convertible to different holidays. Thanks for the inspiration.

  46. Looks good! I imagine you can’t stop at just one?!

  47. How clever to pipe the heart out onto parchment paper! I’m going to have to try that….they came out great!

  48. obviously made with so much LOVE. Beautiful.

  49. Wow, this page really pops out! I was looking at your page early in the morning and my eyes popped on this one! Beautiful!

  50. Hi! I just made a batch of whoopie pies last night. We had a great time making these. I too went for a Valentine theme. I enjoy your blog so much! =)

  51. I love these! The red is so vibrant.

  52. These look so great! About how many pies does the recipe make?

  53. Ohhh I just have to make these, how adorable!

  54. Ooh, these are just so cute! I love them!

  55. I’m so excited to try these!

  56. I really like your technique for making the heart shapes. Have you tried these with the traditional chocolate recipe?

    • Hi Katie,
      No, I have not tried it with a chocolate batter but I’m sure it would work fine. The consistency of the batter should be similar no matter what the flavor, otherwise the consistency wouldn’t be right for a whoopie pie.

  57. I just got finished making these – so good!
    One question: the recipe does not tell when to add the food coloring…?
    Thanks for a fun recipe!

  58. Wow are these good! I made them this morning and, just, wow!!

  59. They are so very cute! And Valentines Day IS a real holiday!

  60. These are the most gorgeous whoopie pies I’ve ever seen. I’ve never made red velvet anything, or whoopie pies, but I’m going to add these to my valentine baking. They’re too pretty to pass up! Thank you!

  61. […] Red Velvet Whoopie Pies I know there are lots of cynics out there who dislike Valentine’s Day because it is a so-called “Hallmark […] […]

  62. […] Red Velvet Whoopie Pies « Annie’s Eats. […]

  63. Wow these are gorgeous and I’m so impressed with how you got them all the perfect heart shaped. All red and puffy and perfect for Valentines

  64. omg! these are the cutest! I want to make them now, but would be afraid I wouldn’t want to eat them because of their cuteness! Wait, who am I kidding ;)?

  65. I’m making these today…can’t wait!

  66. This recipe did not work for me at all. The dough was so thick it was like glue. It wouldn’t even come out of the piping bag. I had to just throw it all away. Very disappointing because they looked so cute and my husband would have loved them.

    • Hi Laura,
      Sorry the recipe didn’t work for you. I know quite a few people who have made it without issue, so I don’t know what the problem was. The dough needs to be thick though, otherwise it would spread all over the baking sheet and not be able to keep the heart shape. You might need a bigger piping tip.

  67. […] Red Velvet Whoopie Pies: What’s not to love? For starters, it’s a sandwich cookie – but not just any sandwich cookie. A super cute, heart-shaped red one that tastes just like delicious red velvet cake but in a smaller, more portable form. Recipe from Annie’s Eats. […]

  68. I love red velvet cake and when I saw these….I was so excited!!! Perfect for Valentine’s Day! Thanks for sharing.

  69. These came out perfectly. I would suggest using a piping bag with a coupler, rather than a broad tip or a smaller one. This would give you the best control for shape purposes, especially considering the top of the heart needs to be exaggerated. Thanks very much for sharing. I’m delivering them to friends tomorrow.

    Note: The batter was a perfect consistency.

  70. Annie, this is just a minor detail, but I after I printed the recipe, I noticed that the step for the addition of red food coloring was omitted.. I added it during the mixing of the flour/buttermilk mix step, but I wanted to give you a head’s up. I just made these and they look great. I didn’t have exactly 1 oz of red food coloring but they are red enough for people to know! I’m bringing them into work tomorrow. The recipe made 12 whoopie pies for me. I am definitely making this again!

  71. Annie, I posted pics of the whoopie pies and my first go at sugar cookies with royal icing on my Facebook page. I’m so proud of myself. Thanks for inspiring us all with your blog!

  72. I’m about to start these in a minute! So excited!

  73. LOVE! These are adorable and look delicious. Very impressed.

  74. Annie, did you use a tip to pipe the hearts? If so, what size? Or did you just snip a big hole in the piping bag? I tried making these tonight and I just couldn’t get my hearts to look anywhere as nice as yours! The consistency was perfect and the cookies tasted great, they just didn’t look good 😦 The dough bakes exactly as it looks, so if the piped hearts aren’t neat, the cookies won’t look as nice. I tried to use my finger to smooth the dough and the lines out but the dough is so sticky that it only made it worse. Help!

    • Hi Lindsey,
      Yes, I used a large plain round tip (it isn’t numbered) – probably has a diameter of about 1/2 to 3/4-inch. I actually thought the dough baked up pretty evenly and smoothed itself out, despite how messy I made some of them look. If you want to use something to smooth them, you could try the back of a spoon dipped in water. I bet that would work.

  75. Hi Annie 🙂 Attempt #2 at the whoopie pies was successful! However, they do not taste anything like I thought they would. I am positive I followed the recipe EXACTLY, but I don’t have anything to compare them to… I was hoping the frosting would turn out to taste more like frosting and less like cream cheese (since I am not the biggest fan of cream cheese, unless it’s on a bagel :)). I am NOT in any way insulting you, I am merely hoping that you could describe the taste to me to the best of your ability. I know somebody asked you to describe the taste in an earlier post, but I need to know if they taste the way they’re supposed to taste, that way I would know that it was just ME that doesn’t like red velvet with cream cheese frosting! LOL Help! (btw, I made the 7-layer bar. YUM. I brought them into work and they were devoured!!)

    • Hi Carissa,
      I honestly have no idea how to describe the flavor of red velvet cake. Just as I said before, I think you have to taste the cake and then you know what the flavor is. If you don’t like cream cheese, cream cheese frosting is probably not a good choice for you. Try a different frosting. This is my absolute favorite cream cheese frosting and I use it all the time but if you don’t like cream cheese, I can see why you wouldn’t like it.

  76. […] Red Velvet Whoopie Pies […]

  77. Fabulous!

  78. these were so much fun to make and so adorable! a fun departure from cupcakes. best part of valentine’s day IS the desserts so thanks for doing a 5 recipe special for it! 🙂

  79. This recipe is not the same as my regular red velvet cake recipe. Why do you have to use brown sugar instead of regular granulated sugar. It does not taste as sweet, with this recipe. Could I use my normal recipe for red velvet cake? I love the heart shaped whoopie pies. My 30 year daughter asked me to make whoopie pies for her birthday party. She will be so surprised that they are heart shaped.

    • Christine,
      No, of course it isn’t the same as red velvet cake. If it were, the batter would spread all over and not keep the shape of a cookie. You can use either type of sugar, this recipe just calls for brown sugar. Using white vs. brown sugar won’t affect the sweetness, it is the quantity of sugar that matters.

  80. LOVE these! While mine came out pretty good, I’ve got some work to do on the shape of my hearts – they weren’t nearly as perfect as yours. Love your site, keep up the awesome recipes and pictures!

  81. Hi! I just made these tonight and I should have been more prepared! I didn’t have pastry bags so I used a plastic zip-lock bag. Whoever said that works just fine didn’t know what they were talking about, haha. I had a tip but it popped right out of the bag and then there was frosting everywhere and stuck in all corners. I just ended up pushing blobs out which ended up just looking like messy circles after they were done baking. Mmmmm…. they definitely were not a pretty site but they were delicious! Thank You so much for a yummy and festival treat that I will make for years to come!!!

  82. I made these for my boys for Valentine’s Day. They LOVED them! I even got a few pictures of my 1 year old eating it and making a huge mess. With every bite he said “Mmm” it was very fun to watch. I am new to your blog and am loving it! Thanks for sharing all your creative ideas!

  83. I tried these for Valentine’s day as well. The cake batter didn’t seem as sweet to me…was yours sweet? Maybe it’s not because the filling is there for the sweetness.

    • Hi Ashley,
      I’ve never thought of red velvet cake as particularly sweet itself. The frosting provides the sweetness, as with these whoopie pies.

  84. i made these on saturday and i have to say they didn’t come out good at all. it was my first attempt at red velvet anything and they tasted awful. :o( I was really bummed because they looked really cute and I made them to take to a party on sunday. Don’t know if I missed a step along the way but I tried them twice and both times they tasted bad. I ended up making tiramisu instead.

  85. I absolutely LOVE your website, it’s awesome! I love how gorgeous all your stuff looks. I have a few questions about this recipe. Could you tell me roughly how many whoopie pies this recipe yields. Also, the heart shape that you cut out, can you give me a ball-park estimate of the width of the heart. Sometimes pictures look so deceiving, I wanted to make sure I cut the right size of heart. Thank you so much!

  86. i just tried this recipe a few days ago. sadly the cake came out dry and tasted like a muffin. BUT the FROSTING WAS AMAZING!

  87. Hi Annie,

    JUST finished these for my husband (it’s his birthday) and they turned out awesome! I didn’t have a piping bag, so I just used a ziploc with the tip cut off for the frosting and the batter. It took a minute to get the hang of it and there were some ‘mistakes’ but my daughter and I just ate those and no one was the wiser. Also, I subbed sucanat and whole wheat pastry flour (mostly to add a bit of nutrition for the kiddo). Thanks so much for sharing the recipe!!

  88. I don’t care WHAT people have to say, I truly ❤ V-day!! It's the day I started seeing my boyfriend after all 🙂 Great idea to make these heart-shaped!

  89. Made these last night and included them in a cupcake tower for a birthday girl. Extras went to co-workers–well, those that I could pry from my husband’s hands. Everyone LOVED them! Thanks Annie for sharing.

  90. LOVE LOVE LOVE these. I’m gonna have to make some pronto!! 🙂 soooo freaking cute 🙂

  91. Hey Annie! I just wanted to let you know that I made these and absolutely adored them! The post is here if you care to look!

  92. Cutest whoopie pies ever. Cutest whoopie pie picture ever too!


  93. Hi I was wondering if I could bake the cookies on aluminum foil instead of parchment paper?

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