There’s always a guest or two who doesn’t like Christmas pudding. These chocolate whoopie pies are the perfect alternative: two soft cookies, filled with buttercream, all dressed up in festive attire.
Making a Christmas pudding can be a time-consuming process, but these Christmas pudding whoopie pies are a perfect speedy alternative. You could save even more time by using a readymade buttercream for the filling.
Whoopie pies are classic American cookies, said to have been invented by Amish women – and named after their family members exclamations of delight as they tucked in.
- 125g butter or margarine, softened
- 200g caster sugar 1 large egg, beaten
- 350g plain flour
- 50g cocoa powder
- 1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 250ml low-fat buttermilk
- For the topping:
- A little icing sugar for dusting
- Red and green ready-made royal icing like Dr. Oetker Green and Red Ready to Roll Coloured Regal-Ice
- 2 sachets ready-made white icing like Dr. Oetker Fairy Cake Icing
- For the filling:
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- 225g icing sugar
- 25g cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Line 3 large baking trays with baking parchment.
First make the pies. In a mixing bowl, cream the butter or margarine and sugar together until pale and creamy then beat in the egg. Sift the flour, cocoa and bicarbonate of soda into another bowl. Gradually add spoonfuls of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture, stirring well after each addition, along with sufficient buttermilk to make a smooth, thick cake mixture – Note: you may not require the full 250ml (9fl.oz) buttermilk.
Using a 5cm (2in) diameter ice cream scoop, drop 6 scoops of the mixture on to each baking tray, spaced well apart to allow for room for spreading. Bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until risen, lightly golden and firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes on the trays before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the topping, lightly dust the work surface with icing sugar and roll out the green icing thinly. Using a small holly leaf cutter, stamp out 32 leaves and set aside to firm up. Break off tiny pieces of red icing and roll to make small holly berries. Set aside. Spread the white icing over the peaked side of half the cold pies, smoothing the icing with the back of a knife to resemble custard, and decorate each with a couple of holly leaves and berries.
For the filling, put the butter in a mixing bowl and beat until soft. Gradually sieve in the icing sugar and cocoa, beating well after each addition, to make a smooth, spreadable icing. Spread thickly over the flat sides of the remaining pie halves using a knife.
To serve, when the iced pie tops have set, carefully sandwich them on to the filled pie halves.
Top tip for making these Christmas pudding whoopie pies...
For added festive flavour, add 7.5ml (1 1/2tsp) ground cinnamon, mixed spice or finely grated orange zest to the chocolate whoopie mixture prior to baking.