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My hope is to inspire you to be fearless in the kitchen, to try new things, to take the time to make things the homemade way and most importantly, to have fun doing it!

Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies Cooking View

This past weekend every last bit of my patience ran out.  I was ready to meet my baby girl and I just couldn’t take waiting a second longer.  But of course, I don’t have a ton of control over that.  And so I waited – and I may have pouted a bit.  And then I decided to bake.  The main impetus behind these whoopie pies was primarily as a method of distraction for me.  What resulted was a fluffy sandwich cookie honoring one of my very favorite flavor combinations ever, banana and caramel.  This version uses a caramel Swiss meringue buttercream for the filling (drool), but I think there are a lot of combinations that would work very well.  Since banana cake goes so well with cream cheese frosting, you could try blending some caramel sauce into a cream cheese frosting and using that.  Or, you could fill them with plain cream cheese frosting and then drizzle caramel sauce over the frosting before sandwiching the cookies together.  Whichever option you choose, they are sure to be wonderful.

I will note that if you want the nice, uniform round whoopies, piping the batter is necessary here.  I normally like to use a cookie dough scoop for whoopie pies and often they come out nice and round anyway but with this recipe, the ones from the dough scoop were misshapen and goofy.  Since I’m kind of picky about that sort of thing, I went ahead and piped the rest of them with much better results.  If you aren’t so concerned with the appearance, a dough scoop works just fine.

Banana Caramel Whoopie Pies
Yield: 30-36 sandwich cookies

Ingredients

For the caramel sauce:
½ cup sugar
½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream
¼ tsp. coarse salt
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the cookies:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ cup mashed banana (about 1-1½ bananas)
½ cup sour cream
8 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
1 large egg
½ tsp. vanilla extract

For the filling:*
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
16 tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbsp. pieces, at room temperature
½ cup caramel sauce (above)

Cooking View

Directions

  • To make the caramel sauce, spread the sugar out in an even layer in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat.  Once the sugar starts to liquefy around the edges, stir it gently with a spatula towards the center.  Continue stirring gently until all of the sugar is melted and no hard bits remain.  Once the caramel reaches a deep amber color, remove it from the heat.  (If you are using a dark pan, test a drop on a white plate or towel so you can accurately assess the color.)  Off the heat, carefully whisk in half of the cream.  The mixture will bubble and steam violently.  Stir until the cream is thoroughly combined, then whisk in the remaining cream.  Some of the sugar will likely have clumped up around the whisk.  Return the pan to medium-low heat and continue to whisk gently until everything is melted and smooth.  Stir in the salt and vanilla.  Remove from the heat and let cool.  (This sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator and reheated.)

  • To make the cookies, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; whisk to blend, and set aside.  In a small bowl, combine the mashed banana and sour cream.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the banana mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Mix each addition just until incorporated.

  • Pipe the batter using a plain round tip onto the prepared baking sheets into 1¼-inch rounds, spacing a couple of inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are just set and the bottom edges are starting to brown, about 10-12 minutes.  Let cool on the baking sheets 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • To make the filling, combine the egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water.  Heat the mixture, whisking very frequently, until the sugar is completely dissolved and reaches 160° F on an instant read thermometer.  Transfer the mixture to the clean, dry bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.  Beat on medium-high speed until the mixture holds stiff peaks.  Reduce the speed to medium low, add in the salt and begin adding the butter one piece at a time, beating well after each addition.  Stir in ½ cup of the cooled caramel sauce until well blended.

  • Once the cookies are completely cooled, match them up in pairs by size.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a plain tip with the caramel filling.  Pipe a dollop of filling onto the flat side of one cookie of each pair, and sandwich the cookies together, pushing the filling to the edges.  Store in an airtight container.

  • *This will make more filling/frosting than you actually need for this recipe (I had about 1 cup extra).  You could reduce to 2/3 or simply save for another use.

Source

  • http://warmvanillasugar.wordpress.com/ Katrina

    This is such a great combination! Love the sound of these.

  • http://www.rosas-yummy-yums.blogspot.com Rosa

    So pretty and delicious looking! That is one perfect flavor combination.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  • http://keepitsweetblog.com Lauren at Keep It Sweet

    These look delicious! Do you find that the cake is sticky at all? Sometimes with whoopie pies it gets like that where you find cake coming off on your fingers.

  • http://www.newyorkerbyheart.com Newyorkerbyheart

    Wow, they look GREAT!! I’ll put them on my to-do-list :-)

    My best,
    Birthe from Denmark

  • Maggie

    Hi Annie,

    I’m really interested in making these, however I only have a hand mixer. I know in your faq it says making swiss meringue buttercream can be done with a hand mixer, but would be difficult. Is there a specific reason why it would be difficult? Should I just expect it to take longer for the mixture to form stiff peaks?

    Thanks for any guidance you can provide! (I’m keeping my fingers crossed that someone is feeling generous this month and gets me a stand mixer for my bday :) )

    Congrats on the new baby!

  • http://willowbirdbaking.wordpress.com Julie @ Willow Bird Baking

    Yum, banana and caramel are a great combo! Hope you get to meet Baby Girl soon!!! We can’t wait to see pictures! :)

  • http://limecake.net LimeCake

    These are so adorable! Banana and caramel are just a match made in whoopie pie heaven! Yum!

  • http://www.dishesofmrsfish.com Dishes of Mrs. Fish

    I’ve only had a pumpkin whoopie pie before. I’d love to have this version!

  • http://eatgood4life.blogspot.com Eat Good 4 Life

    I have never made whoopie pies before although they are on my to do baking list. Lets see how they turn out when I make them. These ones one sure sound and look awesome :-)

  • http://fakeginger.com amanda @ fake ginger

    Mmm, looks and sounds delicious! I made banana caramel cupcakes a long time ago and they were such a hit with my boys – I’m sure they would love these too!

  • http://www.nathanandrachelatwood.blogspot.com Rachel

    Oh these look delicious!!!! I love banana and caramel together, too :)

    Sorry the baby hasn’t arrived yet! Hang in there!!

  • Annie

    Oh, she’s here :) She arrived on Tuesday morning. These posts were written earlier and scheduled through the week.

  • Annie

    Lauren,
    I sometimes find that with banana baked goods in general though not usually whoopie pies. But, I haven’t really noticed that with these. I mean, maybe a teeny bit but not what I normally expect with banana muffins, etc.

  • http://www.blueeyedbakers.com The Blue-Eyed Bakers

    Oooh yes please! Bananas and caramel? Love love love. And the cream cheese sounds like a delicious alternative too but that caramel buttercream sounds soooo amazing!

  • Annie

    Maggie,
    I think it would just take a reeeally long time, and your arm would get extremely tired from holding the mixer. It could potentially even burn out the motor. I have had batches that take upwards of 30 minutes to mix with the stand mixer, so I can’t imagine how that would work with the hand mixer. You could certainly try it, I just don’t think it will be fun. I hope you get that birthday gift!

  • http://www.tiptopshape2.blogspot.com Liz @ Tip Top Shape

    Or you could just eat the remaining buttercream. Probably what I would do, lol. The cookies look delicious, per usual!! And I saw your comment above-congratulations on your baby girl!

  • http://everydayfoodieblog.com Karen

    Love caramel, love bananas! I have to make these this weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  • http://l-mocooks.blogspot.com Lauren @ L-Mo Cooks

    Yum, yum, yum! I need to try whoopie pies soon, and this recipe is going to be at the top of the list!

  • http://theblissfulbaker.wordpress.com Justeen @ Blissful Baking

    These whoopie pies sound great – a nice change from the chocolate ones! Yum!

  • http://theavidappetite.com Rachel @ The Avid Appetite

    Yesssss these sound amazing! I’ve been sort of a banana freak lately and I would never, ever turn down a whoopie pie!

  • http://www.kitchen-concoctions.com Heather of Kitchen Concoctions

    I have a TON of over ripe bananas in my freezer that I need to get used up. I am totally going to make these!

  • http://foodfashionandflow.blogspot.com/ foodfashionandflow

    OMG!!!! Those look insanely delicious!

  • http://CookingCreation.com Celeste

    They look just perfect! Love the banana and caramel combination!

  • http://www.homewithmandy.com Home with Mandy

    I read the title in my google reader and couldn’t click over fast enough. Yum Yum Yum! So creative girl!!!

  • Cakebrain

    Gorgeous looking whoopie pies! I especially love banana flavoured treats and caramel would taste amazing with it!

  • http://lexiscafe.blogspot.com Lexi

    Congratulations on having your baby! I love whoopie pies, we have some family whoopie pie recipes. I must say, they make me feel like a little girl again.

  • Sarah H

    Congratulations on your baby! How exciting! I myself am 39 weeks pregnant and after a week of labor and some serious progression everything just stopped for the past week. It’s encouraging to hear that babies actually get born, sometimes it feels like it will NEVER HAPPEN!

    Maybe i’ll make some whoopie pies to distract myself! :) Although i’ve had my eye on the banana peanut butter muffins for a week now, they are SOO good! I want to freeze a big batch for some easy energy food after babe comes. Enjoy your little one.

  • Christy Minton

    You inspired me to make these today. They were a hit with my three girls and husband. Definitely keeping this recipe. Thanks for the inspiration to bake today!

  • Annie

    Aw, hon, hang in there. I know how miserable it gets waiting, and I was only 38+1! Good luck, you will have a baby soon!

  • http://www.thecounselormom.com Play therapist mom

    Congrats on your new baby girl!!! So exciting!! And great planning your posts ahead of time :) These pies sound great, do you store them in the fridge or room temperature?

  • Melissa

    Congrats on your baby girl Annie!! Enjoy her!

  • Annie

    That’s your call. See the FAQ page for more info. Thanks for the congrats!

  • http://www.hungrygirlporvida.com cindy

    these look amazing! congrats on your girl :) we made your basic pizza dough last night and it was so great!

  • Justin

    Hey Annie, I just got done looking over all of your main dishes you ever posted and all I can say is WOW! You have great taste in food like me lol. LOVE LOVE the your website and looking forward to cooking a lot of these recipes. As a 24 year old single male I got tired of take out and frozen foods. I grew a BIG passion for food and cooking in the past year like you wouldnt believe. Havent had fast food or frozen food in 11 months!

  • Faye

    Hi Annie! Congrats on the new baby girl!

    Quick question on this recipe– how ripe should the bananas be?

  • Annie

    The more ripe the bananas, the better the flavor.

  • Stacy

    We have chickens which have been so much fun but they also enjoy all the kitchen scraps which help with the production of beautiful eggs and less garage heading to the landfill. We love the eggs and the quality and freshness, but mostly enjoy sharing too. We also enjoy our local farmers market to buy local produce and local crafted goods, local is better any day.
    I’m new to your blog and love love love your posts, your pictures are beautiful which makes me want to bake everything I see…I’ll be baking lots if I make everything you have posted.
    Happy Easter to you and your family

  • http://cookingrookie.blogspot.com cooking rookie

    I just made your whoopie pies – yum! The only problem is their shape :-). I did pipe as you recommended, but I guess the batter was too hard, and I could not pipe nice even circles. Maybe I should use more sour cream next time? They taste great though ;-). Thanks for the recipe!

  • http://www.Bigbearswife.com Angie — Bigbearswife

    I love Banana and Caramel flavors together. I can’t wait to make these!

  • Claire

    Mmm…sounds delicious! As much as I love Williams-Sonoma, it drove me batty to see a Whoopie Pie Pan when they are so easy to make with the pastry bag technique.

  • Annie

    Me too! All those uni-tasker items really bother me. It’s just a gimmick!

  • Geisha Girl

    Hi,
    I’m becoming a bit of a whoopie queen of late but had no luck at all with these. They turned out hard and not cooked in the middle. What did I do wrong?? Is it because there is no buttermilk like most I have made or was the sour cream the substitute this time?? I was so upset, I had to throw out $8 worth of bananas!! :(

    The filling on the other hand…well I could eat that for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!

  • Annie

    Please see the FAQ page re: what went wrong. Sounds like your oven temp may be off or you overbaked them. Other readers have had success so it’s not likely an issue with the recipe. Better luck next time!

  • Rachel

    Just made these, and they came out absolutely perfect. Piping the cookies onto the sheets is brilliant. I did use cream cheese frosting, with the caramel sauce added. Mmmm. Simply delicious. The edges of the cookies have that sweet caramelized banana-ness, and melded with the caramel, creamy filling – these are a great combination. Thank you for sharing!

  • Francesca

    I used this caramel recipe in a different dessert but I didn’t quite like the flavor. I think perhaps it had a bit too much vanilla extract for my taste. Next time I’ll just reduce the amount or eliminate it. It was my first time making caramel and it was pretty awesome!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marie-Claude-Paquette/643480351 Marie-Claude Paquette

    Ack! I have tried twice now to make the caramel sauce and it always ends up with a bitter taste :(
    I can’t quite pinpoint it. I tried with two different skillet/saucepan and at a much lower setting this time but I guess I’m just out of luck and out of cream too.

    Are you using a stainless steel skillet? Maybe the heat is distributed too fast on mine.

  • Anonymous

    It sounds like your sugar is just a little too cooked, or slightly burned. Unfortunately just a few seconds can make all the difference with caramel. I do use a stainless steel pan and I think it helps a lot. A good quality pan can help a lot.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marie-Claude-Paquette/643480351 Marie-Claude Paquette

    I really do have amazing stainless steel pans, I think you’re right it’s the timing that I have wrong. I tried it a third time at a lower setting and it just turned into a big lump of hard sugar. I’ll try one last time and remove it quickly from heat this time. Thanks for your help :)

    I’m really hard headed and my ego is too big for me to quit now, hahaha!

  • mariescuisine

    I just want to let you know that I finally succeeded! These whoopie pies are so good! Thank You!

  • amanda

    Had an obscenely ripe banana so i made these today and they are delicious! first time making a swiss meringue buttercream and it turned out really well. I always love the recipes you post, especially desserts, and this one is no different. My boyfriend is always requesting banana desserts so this was a great find that I’ll definitely make again!

  • jubi

    are the resulting cookies “cake – like” ? or are they’re really like cookies?

  • annieseats

    Cake-like.