Healthy Chocolate Whoopie Pies are here! Sugar-free, gluten-free, and finger-lickin’ good.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Healthy Indulgences readers! School’s out and baking season is here. After a semester of new beginnings during which I moved back home to Florida and started my post-baccalaureate coursework, it’s time to get back in the kitchen and go on a baking spree. I’m trading in my calculator for my camera and ditching the library for the kitchen these next few weeks, bringing you holiday sweets and a couple of GIVEAWAYS!

Update: The lemon curd post and Gary Taubes summaries are on hold until the new year. We have many seasonal goodies to make over! Stay tuned…
To kickstart the baking bonanza, here are some sugar-free, gluten-free Healthy Whoopie Pies to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Gluten-Free Low Carb Whoopie Pies!

They’re all the rage, and perfect for an easy, kid-friendly holiday dessert. My version of these cakey cookie sandwiches with a sweet buttercream filling tastes every bit as good as the traditional dessert chock full of flour, sugar, and shortening! Made with ground almonds, a little oat flour, pure unsweetened cocoa powder, and natural sweeteners, you can feel good about indulging in these treats after your holiday feast. Actually, they’re wonderful any time of the year. In fact, you should make these right now. You need fuel to get through all that gift-wrapping and baking, right?!


Healthy Whoopie Pies (Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free)

Makes 8 cookies, about ~3.5″ (~9 cm) in diameter

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup blanched almond flour
1/4 cup oat flour (or other gluten-free flour*)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon aluminum-free baking powder
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter**, preferably organic
Sweetener options:
6 Tablespoons erythritol + 2 Tablespoons xylitol + 1/4 teaspoon good-tasting pure stevia extract
   OR
6 Tablespoons Truvia + 6 packets sugar-free sweetener of choice
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum***

*Millet flour works well in this recipe for a certified gluten-free safe option.
** You might be able to substitute coconut oil or organic palm shortening for dairy-free Whoopie Pies.
***Xanthan gum is required if using a gluten-free flour to keep cookies from being too crumbly.

Preparation:
Set out butter and eggs on counter to bring to room temperature. Measure cocoa powder by scooping it into measuring cup and leveling the top with a knife. Add to mixing bowl along with oat flour measured the same way. Measure almond flour by scooping it into measuring cup and gently packing it down, then sweeping the excess off the top with a knife. Whisk together cocoa powder, flours, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Powder erythritol and xylitol in a coffee grinder or Magic Bullet blender until it is finely ground. Beat erythritol and xylitol into butter, creaming the mixture for a minute or two until it is light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in vanilla and xanthan gum. Add dry ingredients and mix till batter is smooth.  Chill batter for 1-2 hours, or until firm enough to scoop. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Use an ice cream scoop to dispense 8 rounded scoops of batter on to parchment paper. The cookies spread to about 3.5″ in diameter, so you might want to draw circles on the parchment to be sure you don’t space them too closely. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with only a moist crumb. Cool cookies for 5 minutes on the pan, then move them to a wire rack with a spatula to finish cooling.
~5.3g net carbs, 148.75 calories per whoopie pie cookie (1/8 of a recipe), made with oat flour

All Natural Low Carb Whoopie Pies

I created a couple of healthy whoopie pie fillings for you to choose from. The ridiculously fast n’ easy one is the Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Crème Filling, which quickly comes together in a food processor. I got the idea for a peanut butter filling from Bakerella. The more traditional vanilla crème filling is reminiscent of a buttercream frosting since I adapted it from my cupcake frosting recipe here. I like it better than the old version since the addition of ricotta cheese cuts the greasy mouthfeel, giving this revamped Sugar-Free Vanilla Whoopie Pie Filling a luxurious yet light texture. I pureed the ricotta for about 3 minutes, stopping after each minute to give my little Cuisinart Handy Prep (<– shout out to my sister and her husband for that kitchen donation – thanks, guys!) a rest. The smoother you blend the ricotta, the better the texture of the filling. Use red and green food coloring to add a festive tint to the filling. If the food coloring separates out of the filling (i.e. looks curdled), mix some xanthan gum in with a spatula or beaters to smooth out the texture. Start with 1/16 teaspoon, then mix around and observe the filling again a couple of minutes to see if the texture has smoothed out.

Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies are fun and festive for birthday parties!
gluten-free-homemade-peanut-butter-whoopie-pies

Sugar-Free Peanut Butter Crème Filling
Makes enough for 4 whoopie Pies

Ingredients:
3 Tablespoons erythritol OR Truvia
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch sea salt
Good-tasting pure stevia extract powder, to taste (if using erythritol)

Preparation:
Process erythritol (or Truvia) in food processor a minute or so to grind it finely. Add ricotta, peanut butter, vanilla, and 1/16 teaspoon of stevia powder (if using) to start. Blend filling 2 minutes, scraping the bowl at the one minute interval. Taste the filling and add more stevia if necessary.

~20.8g net carbs per batch of filling

Sugar-Free Vanilla Crème Filling

Follow the recipe for my Sugar-Free Buttercream Frosting posted here, using 2 Tablespoons of erythritol and 2 Tablespoons of xylitol in place of the 1/4 cup of xylitol called for. Before making the buttercream frosting, puree 1/2 cup ricotta cheese along with 1 teaspoon clear vanilla extract in a food processor for at least 2 minutes, or until smooth. Add the processed ricotta to the finished buttercream frosting, whipping the mixture for another 5 minutes. Add pure stevia extract or powdered erythritol a little at a time to sweeten the filling to your liking. Using a stand mixer is recommended for this particular recipe. Otherwise, get ready to give your arms a work out!

~18.4g net carbs per batch
——————————————————————–
In celebration of the season, I’m bringing you guys a couple of exciting giveaways of healthy goodies! First up is a giveaway sponsored by NuNaturals, the company that makes my preferred brand of stevia extract. There will be FOUR prize winners, with each prize package consisting of the following:

(1) One box of NuNaturals NuStevia packets, 50 ct.
(2) One bottle of NuNaturals Vanilla Stevia Liquid, 2 oz.

This contest is open to continental U.S. residents only since the prizes are shipped directly from the company. PO Box addresses are not valid for shipment of prizes. Leave a comment with your email address (with extra spaces like this –> healthyindulgencesblog @ gmail . com <– to avoid the spambots!) for a chance to be picked as a winner. I’ll conduct a random drawing the day after December 25th to determine the winners. If you create a Facebook post or Tweet about the giveaway with a link to this blog post, and include a link to your post or Tweet about the contest in your comment below, you’ll get an extra entry in the contest. :)

Finally, I have a special coupon code for shopping on http://www.nunaturals.com for you all. Enter BLG1211 at the checkout page to receive 15% off your entire order.

Good luck, readers, and stay tuned for a giveaway from Iherb.com coming up next post!

  • Sarah M

    I am so excited that you'll be back 'n bakin' for awhile! I hope you enjoy your break. I'm almost home too!

    sarahjmcwhirter at gmail dot com

  • Anonymous

    interested in the giveaway

    hollytruitt @ yahoo . com

    Also shared on facebook.

    Holly Truitt

  • Anonymous

    I love your blog! Thank you for all that you do!
    byebye @ harbornet . com

  • Vanessa

    I've never had a Whoppie Pie, healthy or non-healthy, but they look wonderful! NuNaturals is my favorite brand of stevia as well! Love love love it!

    vanessa@healthylivinghowto.com

  • Elaine

    Looks yummy!
    elainelund @ gmail . com

  • Marisa

    Mmm…perfect for 2012.

    plannetofmars @ hotmail . com

  • Anonymous

    Eek! I hope I win!

    tarynamanda @ gmail . com

  • Anonymous

    my wife told me to enter!

    shemmyb @ gmail . com

  • Mar

    Excited to see some new recipes…Hope your break and holiday is wonderful!

    marbear5671 @ yahoo . com

  • JennM

    Oh, I'm so happy to see a new post, and these look especially delicious! :) Thank you!

    jennleighmason at gmail dot com

  • Kid Feed Mommy

    These look great!

    mrskellypinkham @ yahoo . com

  • Jessica

    These look wonderful!!! :D I'm making them for Christmas!

    ghoraladki @ gmail . com

    Also I posted a link for them on my facebook profile!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11350750124772000699 Mama's Boys

    Yea for a new post! These look really promising. I hope I get to try them out sometime soon.

    utahraptors at zookee dot org

  • Jen

    You're back! Can't wait to try the new whoopie pie recipe out, they look so festive (and delicious!).

    Definatly would love to have the extra sweetner around (I've been introducing it to tons of my bakin' buddies!).

    jenny.gonzalez @ rocketmail . com

  • crazywoman

    Sorry if this is a double post, but I posted close to an hour ago, and it didn't/hasn't show/shown up. Another which posted about that time has been on here for quite some time. So I'm assuming it didn't go thru. Now…. what did I say before? LOL
    Thanks for the giveaway chance to win.
    Glad you are back bakin' & sharin' your recipes with us again. Enjoy your time off, and your bakin'/cookin'!!

    billiecw1-google @ yahoo . com

    I posted on my Facebook page.
    https://www.facebook.com/crazywomannwy?ref=tn_tnmn
    Hope that is how I am supposed to do this.

    Thanks,
    Billie

  • Anonymous

    so so glad to see you back! I kept checking your page every day and getting disappointed by always seeing that mousse ;) I made your seven layer magic cookie bars TWICE this week and now have to stop making them before I blow up! Everything I make of yours is so excellent! The pancakes, the fried "rice", the bars. Thank you so much and please keep posting the recipes like you promised! why do you have to go to school, why can't you just bake and post blogs all day, danggit!!! :)

    endearingandhi at gmail dot com

  • MJ

    I am so excited that you are back! So is my diabetic mom!!!

  • Barbara

    Can't wait to enjoy your whoopie pie recipe!

    josie13792 @ Charter.net

  • Melissa E

    Good to see you are back! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I also posted a link on my FB page.

    intheshortrows (at) yahoo (dot) com

  • ladcraig

    These look yummy!

    Ladcraig @ hotmail . Com

  • Laura

    I would love to win either! laurasohn @ yahoo . com

  • astraystar

    Am so excited to see you back! astraystar @ gmail dot com

  • astraystar

    I just posted on twitter but have no idea how to post link for you to see since it just says twitter . com ? But my twitter is astraystar and you can look it up that way I guess :)

    I am so looking forward to trying this recipe!

  • Laurie – Autobiography of Craft

    Whoopie! My grandmother used to make these, and they are a personal favorite. I've really missed them since going low carb. Thanks for the great recipe. arcencielgal @ gmail . com

  • Jeanne

    love the blog–need to start watching my sugar the doc says so I will be trying to learn all I can about using special ingredients!

    Merry Christmas from jbatchelor49 @hotmail dot com

  • Heather

    I am so glad you are back. These whoopie pies look yummy, can't wait to make them.

    Heather500089888 @ aol dot com

  • Tesser

    I'd love to win!! I use stevia almost exclusively for my sweeteners!
    tesserific1 @ yahoo . com

  • Anonymous

    Another delicious recipe to add to my growing gluten free and sugar free recipes.. Mmmm mmmm good :)

    acm563 @ yahoo dot com

  • AK-47

    Hey there!

    Amazonann77 @ gmail . com

    I posted this on my FB as well Ann Flynn-Terrell

    So glad to see you're back in the kitchen! Can't wait to see what else you come up with!

  • Anonymous

    Love the Whoopie Pie Recipe. Don't know if I'm brave enough to try the peanut butter filling variation but I know I have friends that would love it.

    Thanks for the great giveaway!

    Katina
    kjkoukla(at hotmail ….

  • Gretchen

    Just made these…with, it turned out, more substitutions than I'd planned. I thought I had oat flour, but it turned out I don't. And I don't like the taste of almond flour…so anyway, I subbed tapioca starch for the oat flour and coconut flour for the almond flour (I halved the amount and then wound up adding an extra egg as the batter was still really thick). They turned out really well…didn't spread as much as I anticipated, so I think next time I'll smoosh them out more before I bake them…but the taste and texture are really nice. All three of my boys love them, even–and it's pretty rare for them all to agree on something :)

    kokotg @ yahoo.com

  • Robbie

    Mmmm, these look so yummy! I have not ever tried the NuNaturals stevia before, but have heard it is the best. I sure would love to give it a try on my holiday recipes. ;)
    Thank you for this giveaway

    Lordshelpr @ comcast. net

  • Gina

    I would love to win one of the products.

    I also shared your link on facebook.
    Gina Moore Tatom

    ginatatom @ gmail . com

  • itchylittleworld

    Man, these look so good and the photo is so great, I can just taste them! I'm a sucker for anything chocolate really.

    My 3-year-old son had severe eczema until he was diagnosed with food allergies a few months back. I have a blog that shares our family’s battles with eczema, allergies, and asthma (yes, lucky guy has that too).

    I think the key is to learn from one another, so the more information out there to the masses, the better. With this in mind I’ve started a blog hop for anyone dealing with allergies, eczema, or asthma, either for themselves or as a caregiver. If you’re interested in joining, please add a comment. I’d love to welcome you to the group. http://itchylittleworld.wordpress.com/blog-hop/

    Thanks.
    Jennifer

  • Kimberly

    I can't wait to make these :) thank you …I also shared them on FB & reversing diabetes group on FB

    coveredpeach328 at aol dot com

  • Erica

    These look so good! I'm going to try making them tomorrow with the peanut butter filling!

    oatsandtea@gmail.com

  • Rachel C – thinladysings

    YUMMY! Am totally trying these! I am going to try some recipes using liquid stevia in the new year.. definitely want to try flavored ones and to use NuNaturals brand.

    lyricsoprano3000 @ yahoo. com

    I'll link to your giveaway too!

  • Diane

    Boy….have I missed you!!! So glad you're back and what a great start. I made these and oh my….they were so good. I put a tad of peppermint in the vanilla creme and it was amazing….Hope you have a great holiday!

    Diane

    bdjohnson510 @ g mail . com

  • Melissa

    Much better recipe than the sugar and shortening filling I used to make. Honeybeeml @ Yahoo. Com

  • Denise

    so glad you are back! I have made so many of your recipes for my non gluten free/non sugar free family and they love them.

    uclangel422 at yahoo dot com

  • white tea

    I love your recipes. Thanks for adding a recipe for Gobs (that's what we call whoopie pies where I grew up). Can't wait to try them, although first I'm going to make some bean-based cupcakes.

    ornerg1 at peak dot org

  • Anonymous

    I'm going to make these tonight! :)

    apologies if this has been addressed, but why are the net carbs so high in the filling? is that from the ricotta?

  • Lauren

    Anon – The net carbs are from the ricotta mostly, yes.

  • Anonymous

    I'm so excited that you're back! Love your recipes!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15196102423604488559 XLBikini

    Lauren,
    made the whoopies and they are fantastic!
    I'm at 7,500 feet so added 1/4 each Bkg powder and soda and 2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk to each batch. At 8 servings they seemed very dense and heavy, at 12 much more reasonable. Had the most fun cooking them in the cake pop maker my daughter got for xmas. 1 Tbsp per pop, 6 minutes, stuffed them with a SF 7-minute frosting (lime flavored) and they are delicious.
    The first grade class (and GF teacher) went berserk over them on bday day, and want to see them again for valentines day…they'll be stuffed with pink raspberry SF frosting then.
    Thank you so much for sharing, I'm very much a “practicing” fan. Keep up the fantastic experiments.

    Ashley

  • http://coffee-cake-recipes.com/ Xean

    omg! I just so love your recipe, very healthy.. perfect for everyone, especially kids.

  • Anonymous

    I followed the trail from this sweet collection to your blog, and I'm so happy I did! I can't imagine anything better than a healthy whoopie pie! How fun! Great use of ricotta!

  • Anonymous

    Thank you for posting this recipe! Are there any substitutions that are dairy-free to replace the ricotta cheese and butter? Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    nevermind the last comment…I didn't see your note about coconut oil. Thanks!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08402150756889310297 MC

    This whoopie pie looks great! I'm intrigued by it and using the various more healthy ingredients. I can't wait to try. Thanks for sharing! –Thursdays

    http://www.thursdaynightdinner.org

  • Kami

    I love your site! I'm not ready to add oat and almond flour yet, too many nuts are an issue for me, but I wanted whoopie pies so badly after seeing this that I made a slightly modified version of your chocolate bean-cake, baked in my muffin-top pan to get whoopie pie rounds, and used the pb filling recipe on this post. They're amazing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12992918908739085132 Lauren

    Kami – Making the bean cake into Whoopie pies is a great! Thanks for sharing. :)

  • http://thesweetprimadonna.com The Sweet Prima Donna- Brooke B.

    These look fabulous! Can't wait to try! Thank you for sharing! (:

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  • Wilma

    love woopie pies! especially healthy ones!