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.

  • Yield 30-36 sandwich cookies


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)


  • 01

    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.)

  • 02

    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.

  • 03

    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.

  • 04

    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.

  • 05

    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.

  • 06

    *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.