Vanilla Whoopie Pies

This vanilla version of whoopie pies is a little more delicate than the chocolate version, but no less wonderful. Adding the seeds and pulp from the inside of a vanilla bean intensifies the flavor and adds a nice visual effect.

Serves: 9Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 1 hour 15 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 9


  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 1⁄4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 3 cups sugar, divided
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract, divided
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup vegetable shortening, divided
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 split vanilla beans
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1⁄4 cup half-and-half


  • Mix milk and 1⁄4 cup flour in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high, stirring in 1-minute increments until mixture becomes paste-like. Chill 30 minutes.
  • Beat 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1⁄2 cup butter, and 1⁄2 cup shortening until mixture is fluffy. Beat in cooled flour mixture; beat until mixture mounds on a spoon and is light and airy. It should double in volume. Refrigerate filling while you make the cookies.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 large baking sheets.
  • Cream 2 cups sugar, 1⁄2 cup butter, and 1⁄2 cup shortening together until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla. Scrape vanilla bean pulp into creamed mixture. Combine 4 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cream of tartar; set aside.
  • Combine vinegar, buttermilk, and half-and-half. Add to creamed mixture, alternating with flour mixture. Begin and end with flour mixture.
  • Drop by rounded tablespoons onto prepared baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes. Cool thoroughly.
  • Place a spoonful of mixture on flat side of one cookie and top with another, flat side toward filling.