Today I'm partnering with Lifeway Kefir to create wonderful strawberry kefir whoopie pies!
Just when I feel like I've tried baking a good variety of desserts, I discover one that I haven't attempted yet. Today is all about whoopie pies, or strawberry kefir whoopie pies to be exact. I knew of whoopie pies but never actually had the chance to taste any. It was time to change that. When I discovered that you could use kefir for this dessert, I jumped at the chance to use Lifeway kefir in strawberry flavor. Combine the kefir with fresh strawberries, lychee, coconut, and white chocolate for one beautiful whoopie pie!
Strawberry Kefir Whoopie Pies
Strawberry whoopie pies
- 5 ounces strawberries, fresh or frozen (about 1 cup)
- ¼ cup water (50 ml)
- ½ cup butter softened at room temperature (113 grams)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (200 grams)
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup strawberry puree (45 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour (296 grams)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup Lifeway strawberry kefir (125 ml)
Lychee coconut white chocolate filling
- ¼ cup butter softened at room temperature (57 grams)
- 4 ounces cream cheese softened at room temperature
- 1 ½ ounces white chocolate chips
- 2 tablespoons coconut cream
- 1 ½ cups powdered sugar (195 grams)
- 1-2 tablespoons lychee juice
- ½ cup toasted coconut flakes (48 grams)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Make strawberry puree. Add strawberries and water to a pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, mashing strawberries as they cook. Remove from heat and puree strawberry mixture. Let cool completely.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add egg, ¼ cup of strawberry puree, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, mixing until well combined.
- Combine flour with baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients and kefir alternatively to the cookie batter, starting and ending with flour mixture.
- Scoop cookie batter onto prepared baking sheets about 3 inches apart, about 2 tablespoons of batter per cookie. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile, make the filling. Combine white chocolate chips and coconut cream in a small heat-safe bowl. Microwave white chocolate chips in 20-second intervals until melted, stirring every interval. Let cool slightly.
- Cream together softened butter and cream cheese until well combined, about 2 minutes. Add white chocolate mixture, stirring until combined. Add powdered sugar and lychee juice alternatively, mixing until well combined. Start with 1 tablespoon lychee juice and add another if filling is too thick. Transfer filling to a piping bag.
- Flip over half of the cookies so that the bottoms are facing up. Pipe filling on flipped cookies. Stack other half cookies on top to create whoopie pies. Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes around the edges and serve.
**Helpful tips and common mistakes
If you never had a whoopie pie before, it's basically a soft cookie sandwich. The most popular flavor is chocolate whoopie pies filled with vanilla frosting. But since there are already many chocolate whoopie pie recipes, I wanted to create a completely original flavor. And so, I decided to make the cookies strawberry flavored and sandwich them with a lychee coconut white chocolate filling. Let me tell you, the flavors are truly wonderful!
Let's jump right in and start by making the strawberry cookies. To give the cookies the true berry flavor, we first have to make a puree. Simmer fresh or frozen strawberries with water, mashing the berries as they cook. If strawberries are in season, I highly recommend using fresh.
Remove the berries from heat and puree them until smooth. Cooking the strawberries also will concentrate the flavors, making the cookies berrylicious. You can also prepare the berries up to 2 days in advance.
Now we can start making the cookie batter. Cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the wet ingredients including the strawberry puree, vanilla, and egg. Then, add the dry ingredients to the batter, alternating with the strawberry kefir. If you can't find the strawberry flavor, you can use plain. However, I did find that the strawberry kefir added a touch more berry flavor.
Scoop about 2 tablespoons of the batter per cookie onto a line baking sheet, spacing the cookies 3 inches apart. The cookies will spread quite a bit in the oven so you want to give them plenty of space in between.
Bake the cookies for about 10-12 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. They should be golden brown on the bottom when done.
Let the cookies cool completely while you prepare the filling. First, melt the white chocolate chips with coconut cream in the microwave until melted. Make sure to stir the mixture every 20 seconds to avoid overheating the chocolate.
Next, cream together butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the melted chocolate mixture, then the powdered sugar and lychee juice. Start with just 1 tablespoon of the lychee juice, adding a little bit at a time until you get the right consistency. The frosting should be pipable but not too runny that it'll slide off the cookies.
Now, flip over half of the cookies and pipe the filling. I found it easiest to pipe the filling instead of just spreading it with a knife. Plus, if you pipe the filling, you get cleaner-looking whoopie pies.
Stack the cookies with the other half and sprinkle the edges with toasted coconut flakes.
I can't believe I never had a whoopie pie until now! These strawberry kefir whoopie pies were so delicious with beautifully subtle flavors. The cookies themselves are soft, almost like a cake while the filling is the perfect sweetness. Now excuse me while I help myself to another...
For more cookie inspiration check out these apple cider crinkle cookies!