Desserts | Recipes

Whoopie Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches: Worth the Wait

I feel like I need to formally apologize.

One of the greatest things about having this online pulpit is the opportunity to give voice to the crazy ideas that run through my head, but one of the biggest drawbacks is the eventual nagging tendency to second-guess myself.

What I once considered a top-notch notion becomes, with time and expertise, something only half-baked (yes, pun intended).

I constantly want to rethink, review, revise, rehash.

Sometimes I rush myself into the kitchen and churn out the thoughts as soon as they come, sometimes I wait and force myself to cool down.

whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches
Photo: Casey Barber

The original idea for whoopie pie ice cream entered my overheated brain last summer, but in the midst of feverish book testing and unmanageable deadlines, it just had to chill out for a while until I could fully devote my attention to it.

While it waited for me to catch up, the concept morphed into something even better than my initial instinct to fold chunks of whoopie pie cake and swirl marshmallow fluff into vanilla ice cream.

If you want a simpler version of this recipe, you can still go forth and make it that way, creating a cookies and cream-style pint shot through with cake and marshmallow.

(However, I suggest halving the cake recipe or doubling the ice cream recipe if you choose this method, since you’ll end up with far more whoopie pie domes than needed.)

whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches
Photo: Casey Barber

But I think these frozen whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches are far more visually appealing and nostalgia-inducing than a bowl of ice cream could ever be, and I’m glad I didn’t jump on the idea right away.

Instead of a tall, unwieldy ice cream whoopie pie that makes you unhinge your jaw to take a full bite, these whoopies bake up round and flat.

They have the same sticky, soft texture as the white paper-wrapped ice cream sandwiches we all grew up with, a cake so soft that your teeth truly do sink into it, with cocoa-infused crumbs sticking to your fingers to be scraped off after the sandwich has disappeared.

The filling merges the best of both worlds—whipped marshmallow and cold vanilla ice cream—in one soft, fluffy package.

whoopie pie ice cream sandwich
Photo: Casey Barber

By the way, Pennsylvania and Maine continue to bicker over which state truly has the right to claim the whoopie pie as its native dessert—er, “treat,” as they’re now referring to the cake confection.

As a gob-eater from Johnstown and someone who has strong memories of the Pennsylvania Dutch cakes at bake sales and farmer’s markets, I tend to side with the Pennsylvania end of that argument.

But I would never deny anyone the right to eat and enjoy a whoopie pie.

Dare I say these adorably round whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches are even better than the version in Classic Snacks Made from Scratch? I’ll let you be the judge.

whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches

Whoopie Pie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Yield: about 1 dozen sandwiches
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 5 hours 20 minutes

Whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches look just like the classic cakey dessert but taste exactly like the paper-wrapped ice cream sandwich.

Ingredients

Cakes

  • 1/2 cup (42 grams; 1 1/2 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 2/3 cups (280 grams; 10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 cup (210 grams; 7 1/2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Ice Cream Filling

Instructions

Make the cakes:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line two large baking sheets with Silpat liners or parchment paper.
  2. Whisk the boiling water into the cocoa powder in a small bowl until no lumps of cocoa powder remain. Set aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  4. Beat the butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 2-3 minutes on medium speed until fluffy and pale beige. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the egg and vanilla, mixing until combined.
  6. Add the cocoa paste and mix until fully incorporated.
  7. Add a third of the flour, mixing just until incorporated, then add half the buttermilk.
  8. Scrape the bowl as needed and repeat with a third more flour, then the remaining buttermilk, and finally the last bit of flour.
  9. Scoop rounds of batter onto the prepared baking sheets. I use my 1 3/4-inch diameter spring-loaded ice cream scoop for consistency in shape and size, but if you don't have one, you can substitute with heaping tablespoons of batter.
  10. The cakes will puff and expand when baked, so stagger each scoop slightly on the baking sheet to leave about 1 1/2 inches between them.
  11. Bake until the cakes are domed and cooked through with a matte finish, about 10 minutes.
  12. Carefully transfer each soft cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
  13. Let the cookie sheets cool to the touch before scooping the remaining batter onto them (and using fresh parchment paper or wiping off the Silpat liners as needed). If you scoop batter onto piping-hot cookie sheets, the batter will "melt" and puddle on contact, and you'll end up with overly large and oddly shaped cakes.

Make the filling:

  1. If making homemade vanilla ice cream, prepare the ice cream base according to recipe instructions and churn in an ice cream maker.
  2. While the ice cream is churning and freezing, make the marshmallow fluff according to recipe instructions.
  3. Line a quarter sheet pan with waxed paper.
  4. Scoop the ice cream into a large bowl.
  5. Use a silicone spatula to fold and swirl the marshmallow fluff into the ice cream. It's ok if there are pockets of fluff interspersed throughout.
  6. Spread the ice cream on the prepared sheet pan and place in the freezer for 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden completely.

Assemble the whoopie pie ice cream sandwiches:

  1. Cut rounds of ice cream with a 2-inch round cookie cutter and lift them off the baking sheet with a thin spatula.
  2. Place between two cake rounds.
  3. Serve immediately or keep frozen in an airtight container for up to 1 month.

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9 Comments

  1. I love the story behind “gobs”. Gobs are all that I have known. Never a Whoppie Pie. Gobs are delicious. I bet your ice cream “Gobs” are great!

    1. Yes! For science! (That’s pretty much my excuse for eating things like salsa-flavored Cheetos too.)

  2. Paper-wrapped ice cream sandwiches are my all time favorite. I can have them any time.But, these pie sandwiches look more appealing and I am definitely going to try them.

  3. Is it possible to spread the dough in a shallow baking pan and then use a cookie cutter to make trees and then I’d use the same cutter for the filling??? Thanks

    1. Dotty, it’s totally possible to do so. I would roll the dough evenly between two sheets of parchment paper, then remove the top layer before baking. Watch carefully, as your baking time may be reduced using this method.

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