Ginger is our ingredient of the season. You can find our archive of ginger recipes here.
I love a good spice cake. In my book, there’s only one way to improve any good cake : make it portable! That must be why the whoopie pie was invented.
If you’re unfamiliar with a whoopie pie, let us introduce you. These are small treats made by sandwiching frosting between two small circular cakes. Most commonly, the cakes are chocolate and the frosting is vanilla, but I always felt lucky when I found a place selling the chocolate pies with peanut butter frosting!
Growing up in PA, it was common to see individual whoopie pies wrapped and for sale at farmer’s markets and near the cash registers of mom & pop markets. If you’re in Philly – stop into Reading Terminal and pick up a whoopie pie from the Amish stand. You can thank me later.
Today we’re sharing a recipe for ginger whoopie pies with cream cheese frosting. This recipe comes from the cookbook (appropriately named) Whoopie Pies. While this is still a fairly common whoopie pie flavor, that book is filled with a wide variety of cake and frosting options for mixing and matching.
- 4 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cloves
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 Tbsp shortening
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 3/4 cup molasses
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- Preheat the oven to 325F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Sift together the dry ingredients: all ingredients from flour through nutmeg.
- In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening, and brown sugar on low speed. Increase to high speed and beet for an additional 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the egg, beat well. Add the molasses, and again beat well.
- Add half of the dry mixture and half of the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Beat on low speed until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the remaining dry mixture and buttermilk, and beat until fully combined.
- Drop approximately 2 Tbsp scoops of batter onto the prepared baking sheets (leaving about 2 inches of space between each one).
- Bake one sheet at a time for about 10-12 minutes. The pies should spring back when pressed gently. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.
The cookbook comes with a candied ginger frosting recipe, if you want to go whole-hog with the ginger.
Personally, I love pairing these cakes with a simple cream cheese frosting. Beat together 8 oz cream cheese + 1 stick butter + 2 cups powdered sugar + 1 tsp vanilla. Spread a generous layer between two cakes.
In my opinion, these are cakes that get better with age. Give them a few hours or even a day for the flavors to meld, and you won’t be disappointed.
As I mentioned, these are super portable cakes. We had a friend over last week that packed an extra one for the slopes… pass these out on the chairlift, and you’ll become a legend.