Australia Day is not too far away (January 26th) and the most iconic desserts that are usually served are Lamingtons and Pavlova. For those of you who are not familiar with the Lamington, it is a vanilla sponge cake, cut into squares or sometimes rectangles, which are coated in a chocolate sauce and rolled in desiccated coconut. They can be cut in half and layered with jam and cream, or just simply with cream. Traditionally, the Lamington has a chocolate coating. However, they can also come in a variety of different flavours, such as strawberry, lemon and even caramel. The Lamington even has it’s own National Day, which is July 21st. If you would like to learn more about the history of this cake, you can read more here.
I wanted to create a different spin on the traditional Lamington, so I started researching “Lamingtons with a twist” to get some inspiration. There were recipes for cupcakes, large cakes, biscuits (cookies), bliss balls and even a trifle! But what caught my eye was the Lamington whoopie pie. Now this looked very intriguing to me, as I’ve heard of Whoopie Pies, but had never eaten or tried baking them before. I’ve owned a Whoopie Pie pan for a couple of years now, but the funny thing is, I’ve never actually used it for baking. The only thing that I used it for in the past was to make my Raw Almond, Apricot & Ginger Rounds. That is, until now! So before I started recipe developing, I had to do some research to understand what kind of texture it was supposed to have.
The original Whoopie Pie consists of two soft chocolate cake-like cookies filled with a fluffy, sweet marshmallow frosting. However, there are also many other flavour variations too. These baked treats are a classic New England and Pennsylvania Amish tradition, but they are also sold throughout the United States. There is apparently some controversy about the exact origin, as several States claim to be the birthplace. During my research, I discovered that Maine has been hosting an annual Whoopie Pie Festival since 2008, which is held on June 25th, because that is National Whoopie Pie Day. In 2001, they also declared the Whoopie Pie was the official treat of Maine. If you would like to learn more about the Whoopie Pie, then you can read more here and here. I find learning about different foods so interesting.
I decided up on a vanilla flavoured sponge for my recipe. Now, although my sponge is still light, it isn’t doesn’t have that feathery light texture that most do. This is because I still needed the cake to have a little structure to it, so that it wouldn’t crumble and fall apart while you’re trying to eat it. The tops are generously spread with a thick rich chocolate coating and then dipped into coconut. To finish off these scrumptious little cakes, they’re filled with raspberry jam and mock cream, which is still sweet without being too sickly.
They make the perfect treat for entertaining. So, Happy Australia Day everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day celebrating with family and friends.
For accurate cup measurements, I sift the potato starch, icing sugar and the cocoa powder before measuring, so that there are no lumps/clumps. All cup measurements are firmly packed.
Makes 9 filled pies
64g (2.3 ounces or ½ cup) superfine white rice flour
24g (0.8 ounces or 3 tablespoons) tapioca starch
22g (0.8 ounces or 2 tablespoons) potato starch
21g (0.7 ounces or 3 tablespoons) corn starch
1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
¼ teaspoon (1.25ml) xanthan gum
⅛ teaspoon (0.625ml) salt
96g (3.4 ounces or ½ cup) raw/golden caster sugar or superfine white sugar (I use this brand)
2 large egg yolks, at room temperature
½ teaspoon (2.5ml) pure vanilla extract
70g (2.4 ounces or ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon) gluten and dairy free butter
80ml (⅓ cup) dairy free milk of choice, at room temperature
144g (5.1 ounces or 1 cup) soft icing sugar (I use this brand)
10g (0.4 ounces or 2 tablespoons) cocoa powder, sifted before measuring
45ml (3 tablespoons) dairy free milk of choice
56g (2.0 ounces) dark chocolate
1 teaspoon (5ml) coconut oil
68g (2.4 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 2 tablespoons) soft icing sugar (I use this brand)
56g (2.0 ounces or ¼ cup) gluten and dairy free butter
1 tablespoon (15ml) cold water from the refrigerator
¾ teaspoon (3.75ml) pure vanilla extract
100g (3.5 ounces or approx. ⅓ cup) raspberry jam (I use this brand)
39g (1.4 ounces or ⅓ cup plus 1 tablespoon) desiccated coconut (I use this brand)
Preheat the oven to 160C, then grease and lightly flour 2 whoopie pie pans, if you have them. I only have the one, so had to do mine in two batches. Either way, there will only be enough batter to fill a further 6 wells in your second batch/pan. So only grease and lightly flour 6 wells, then fill any empty wells with about 1 tablespoon (15ml) of water, just to ensure even baking.
Now sift all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and then set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, use a handheld beater and beat the egg yolks with the sugar and vanilla, until creamy and pale in colour. Then set aside.
Next, add the butter and milk to the dry ingredients. Then beat it all together on a low speed, until combined, before turning the speed up to medium-low and continue beating until smooth. I didn’t bother washing the beaters after beating the egg yolk mixture, so you can be lazy here too if you wish!
Now add in the egg yolk mixture and beat using a medium-low speed, until smooth and well combined. But do not over mix, as this will incorporate too much air in the batter. This will then cause the cakes to be dense and collapse slightly upon cooling.
Fill the wells of your whoopie pie pan with 1½ tablespoons of batter. Then use a small palette knife to evenly spread the batter around the well. If you only have 1 whoopie pie pan, then you will need to cover the bowl with the remaining batter with plastic wrap and set aside to do your second batch later.
Bake for 13 minutes, they will be ever so lightly golden in colour. Let them cool in the pan for 5 minutes, before using a small palette knife to loosen the cakes from the pan and then transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you only have one pan like me, you will need to wash it thoroughly and dry it first, before greasing and lightly flouring 6 wells for your next batch. Again, just remember to fill any empty spaces with about 1 tablespoon (15ml) of water to ensure even baking.
To make the chocolate coating, place all the ingredients into a heatproof bowl. Then gently whisk together over a pan of gently simmering water, until smooth (making sure the base of the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Once everything is nicely combined, remove the pan from the heat. I leave the bowl over the pan, to keep it smooth and pliable, otherwise it can set too quickly.
Next, place the desiccated coconut in a small bowl. Then take 2 level teaspoons of the chocolate and use a small palette knife to spread it evenly over the top of the whoopie pie, stopping about half a centimetre before the edge. You will need to give the chocolate mixture a stir occasionally, as it will develop a thin crust upon sitting for any length of time.
Now carefully pick it up and lightly press it into the coconut. As you press, the chocolate coating will move towards the edge.
Return to the wire rack to dry and repeat this process with the remaining whoopie pies.
While the chocolate is drying, add the raspberry jam to a small saucepan and bring to the boil, before taking it off the heat. Then strain the jam through a sieve into a small bowl, to remove the seeds, before allowing it to cool completely before use.
To make the mock cream, add the icing sugar and butter to a bowl. Use a handheld mixer on a low speed to combine, scraping down the sides when necessary. Once combined, turn the speed up to medium-high and continue beating for about 3 minutes, until it is pale and fluffy.
Next, add the cold water and continue beating on a medium speed until, well combined. Now add the vanilla and continue beating, until thoroughly mixed. Once the vanilla is fully incorporated, turn the speed up to high. The mixture is ready when it is very fluffy and resembles a whipped cream texture. Transfer the mock cream to a piping bag fitted with a Wilton 1M piping nozzle.
To assemble, spread 1 level teaspoon of the jam over one pie half, stopping just before the edge. To begin piping on the other pie, first hold the bag in a vertical position above the pie. Then applying constant and even pressure, you want to start piping along the inside edge, move in one fluid motion as you pipe a circle around the border of the pie. As you near the point where you started, continue to move towards the centre and then release the pressure on the bag before you lift up. Alternatively, you can use a palette knife to spread approximately 1½ tablespoons of the cream. Now gently sandwich the two halves together and allow the whoopie pies to stand for approximately 1 hour, so that the cream can firm up slightly before serving.
Although the whoopie pies are best eaten fresh on the day they’re made, they will still be enjoyable the next day. Just store any leftovers in an airtight container in the pantry.
Recipe by: The Gluten & Dairy Free Bakehouse
Note: all recipe oven temperatures shown are for a fan forced electric oven. Please refer to the below guide to help you adjust your oven accordingly. This recipe is shown in bold.
Oven Temperatures Chart
120 °C = 100 °C Fan = 250 °F = Gas Mark ½
140 °C = 120 °C Fan = 275 °F = Gas Mark 1
150 °C = 130 °C Fan = 300 °F = Gas Mark 2
265 °C = 245 °C Fan = 325 °F = Gas Mark 3
180 °C = 160 °C Fan = 350 °F = Gas Mark 4
190 °C = 170 °C Fan = 375 °F = Gas Mark 5
200 °C = 180 °C Fan = 400 °F = Gas Mark 6
220 °C = 200 °C Fan = 425 °F = Gas Mark 7
230 °C = 210 °C Fan = 450 °F = Gas Mark 8
240 °C = 220 °C Fan = 475 °F = Gas Mark 9
250 °C = 230 °C Fan = 500 °F = Gas Mark 10