Salted-Caramel Whoopie Pies

salted caramel whoopie pies served in a blue dish
Photo: Lennart Weibull

For the velvety filling in these cinnamon-and-allspice whoopie pies, a caramel sauce is folded into buttercream. A rim of pink rock salt brings it all together so every bite has a delicate balance of sweet and salty. This recipe appears in our cookbook "Martha Stewart's Cookie Perfection" (Clarkson Potter).



  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • ½ cup granulated sugar

  • ½ cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1 large egg, room temperature


  • cup granulated sugar

  • Pinch of kosher salt

  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter


  • 1 ¼ cups confectioners' sugar

  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 2 tablespoons coarse sanding sugar

  • ¾ teaspoon pink rock salt, such as Himalayan


  1. Cookies: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together flour, baking powder, kosher salt, cinnamon, and allspice. In another bowl, combine milk and vanilla.

  2. In a large bowl, beat butter with granulated and brown sugar on high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and beat in flour mixture in two batches, alternating with milk mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until just combined, about 10 seconds. Transfer mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a 5/8-inch round tip (such as Ateco #808).

  3. Pipe 2 1/2-inch-diameter mounds onto 3 parchment-lined baking sheets, spaced about 3 inches apart (no more than 8 per sheet). Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until cookies spring back when lightly pressed, 12 to 14 minutes. Transfer sheets to wire racks; let cool completely.

  4. Caramel: In a small high-sided saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar, salt, and 2 tablespoons water, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Continue to cook, without stirring, and washing down sides of pan with a wet pastry brush to prevent crystals from forming, until caramel is a deep amber, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  5. Carefully whisk in cream (it will spatter), then butter, until combined. Let cool completely, about 45 minutes.

  6. Buttercream: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium; add sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, beating after each addition, until combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla.

  7. Beat caramel into buttercream on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary, until smooth, about 3 minutes. Makes 2 cups.

  8. Put buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with the 5/8-inch round tip. Pipe 2 tablespoons onto flat sides of half of cookies, then sandwich with remaining cookies. Refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

  9. In a small bowl, stir together rock salt and sanding sugar. Roll edges of sandwiches in sugar-salt mixture. (Whoopie pies can be refrigerated in airtight containers up to 3 days.)

Cook's Notes

Recipe reprinted from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Perfection: 100+ Recipes to Take Your Treats to the Next Level, From the Kitchens of Martha Stewart Living. Copyright © 2019 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC.

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