Chocolate Cherry Cola Whoopie Pies

Chocolate Cherry Cola Whoopie Pies by BakingdomYou will read no spoilers here. Please do not share any. Thank you!!!

I watched the finale for Downton Abbey (season 3) yesterday. Finally. I didn’t watch it for a whole extra week, and somehow, I managed to sit down in all the glory of spoiler-free blissful ignorance.

I hate spoilers!

I’m River Song, when it comes to spoilers. No Spoilers!

I don’t know how I got all the way to the season finale without one single spoiler, but I did.

Yay me!

Unfortunately for me, I have been in a state of denial and rejection at what took place in said episode for the last 24 hours. I was chatting with my friend (who’d already seen the finale, and knew what was in store) at the time, and the conversation went something like this:

Me: No. No. No. No.

T: What’s happening?? I should have watched it with you.

Me: [Character name]. No. No.

T: Is it over?

Me: Yes. How could they do this?? I hate them. [Denial of what I saw]. No. I refuse. No. No. No.

T: *ad libbed to protect details: You’re cray cray, Darla.

Me: I reject your reality. Your argument is invalid. No. Lies. I hate Downton! I got dizzy. When it happened. I KNEW. I KNEW WHEN — WAS –. THE BASTARDS!! HULK SMASH!

I continued to rant in denial and anger for 20 minutes. I have very patient friends. Then I comforted myself with chocolaty-cherry-sugary goodness. And all did not end well, but at least there was chocolate.

Hemp Non Dairy BeverageI’m sure most of you know that I try to offer up vegan substitutes to some of my recipes. Sometimes, I can…and sometimes, I’m not able to work it out. Either way though, I’ve relied on Pacific Foods non dairy beverages as an option in place of milk and cream many, many times.

I usually prefer their almond or hazelnut milks, because both of them have flavors that lend themselves beautifully to baking, but I was recently contacted and asked if I’d like to try their new hemp milk in a recipe.

In most cases, substituting a non dairy beverage in for milk, it’s 1:1, so it’s easy to try these out on almost any recipe, and the hemp milk worked beautifully in my whoopie pies. In fact, I felt I was able to add a smidgen more than usual, which helped my recipes turn out softer and fluffier.

Chocolate Cherry Whoopies by BakingdomWhen I was deciding what to make for these, I had two craving: soda and fruit.

I never drink soda. Well, almost absolutely never do. I’ll have one on a rare occasion as a treat, but when I do, I try to have an all natural version. I’m about to sound all preachy, but seriously, soda is just SO. BAD. For your health, that is. So I’ve almost completely eliminated it.

It sucks. I miss it. A lot. And I miss cherry coke the most. Le sigh.

But. That’s fruit and soda, right?? Yes. So guess what kind of whoopie pies I made (Not that you have to, since I’ve already told you, like, twice, but whatever, just play along, ok)?! With some chocolate. Because chocolate.

Cherry Chocolate Cola Whoopie Pies by BakingdomI was torn between using maraschino cherries and bings, or another fresh cherry, but I couldn’t find any fresh cherries in the middle of february, so my problem was solved for me. 😉

You can use any maraschinos you like, but I really prefer the ones they sell at Whole Foods, because the juice they’re in is natural, so it tastes way more like real cherries.

Chocolate Cherry Cola Whoopie Pie by BakingdomThese turned out perfect! The soda flavor isn’t particularly strong, but it lent a lovely lift to the cookies, and since the recipe only calls for three quarters of a cup, I got to splurge. Win-win!

These are a perfect combination of rich, fragrant chocolate cookie cakes and soft, fluffy cherry filling. I love the chopped bits of cherry in the filling the most; they add a great texture to everything and an occasional sweet-tart zing.

These were so quick to make, too. You guys need these in your life.


Chocolate Cherry Cola Whoopie Pies
Makes a bakers dozen (13) medium sandwiches

*If making vegan/dairy-free, as always, be sure your individual ingredients are marked vegan and/or dairy-free.


1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cherry cola
1/4 cup milk, or non dairy milk, such as hemp, at room temperature
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy-free)
2 eggs, at room temperature (1/2 cup apple sauce for vegan/dairy-free)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (margarine for vegan/dairy-free, I prefer sticks)
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk, or non dairy milk, such as hemp
1/4 cup maraschino cherry juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup chopped maraschino cherries

To make the cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or Silpat mats; set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a one cup measuring cup, gently stir together the milk and cola; set aside.

In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined. Scrape the bowl as needed, then stir in the vanilla extract. Sprinkle 1/3 of the flour mixture over the butter mixture and beat until just combined, then add half of the milk mixture, and mix until just combined. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and milk (additions will be 1/3 of the flour, 1/2 of the milk, another 1/3 of the flour, remaining milk, then remaining flour).

Place 1 tablespoon scoops of the batter about 3-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, until the centers are no longer soft. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, then transfer the cookies to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before filling.

To make the filling: In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, whip the butter for 5 minutes on high speed, until the butter is light in color and creamy.

Add the sugar and milk and mix on low speed for 1 minute, stir in the cherry juice and vanilla. Increase mixer to medium speed and whip the mixture for another 6 minutes, until the frosting is very light and creamy.

Stir in the cherries until incorporated.

Assemble: Spread or pipe a generous amount of filling onto the bottoms of half of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies, right side up on top of the filling.

Recipe by Darla

Delish Chocolate Cherry Whoopie Pies by BakingdomAnd the winner is…

Screen-Shot-2013-03-04-at-3.14.24-PM…comment #12!

Screen-Shot-2013-03-04-at-3.06.50-PMCongratulations, AmyKB! I will contact you shortly!

If you have never tried non dairy beverages in your baking, I want you to have the chance!

Pacific Foods is giving away a mixed case of non-dairy beverages or a case of hemp milk (winner’s choice)!

To enter to win, just answer the following question in the comment section below:

“What’s your favorite way to use non dairy beverages in cooking? If you’ve never used them before, then what’s something you would like to try making with non dairy beverages?”

One answer per person, please. You must comment to be entered.

Contest ends Sunday, March 3rd, 2013 at 9pm PST, and you’re automatically entered to win!

Want an extra chance to win? Just follow @Bakingdom on twitter and tweet, “I want to win a sampling of @PacificFoods delicious non dairy beverages from @Bakingdom! #PacificBakes”

Once you’ve tweeted, return here and leave a comment saying you shared the tweet. Be sure to leave this as a separate comment; each comment is an entry.

Sorry, this giveaway is open to US readers only.

The winner will be chosen randomly at and announced Monday, March 4, 2013.

I will contact the winner, so don’t forget to add your email in the email section!

**Comments are moderated, so if you’ve never commented before, it will take some time for your comment to appear!**

Good luck with the giveaway!


For another opportunity to win a sampling of Pacific Foods non dairy beverages or hemp milk, join me tomorrow, Wednesday, February 27th, along with Nutmeg Nanny and Completely Delicious, from 1:00 to 1:45pm PST for a twitter party hosted by Pacific Foods to discuss baking with non-dairy beverages, and to answer your questions. Follow @PacificFoods and tweet along at #PacificBakes.

If you don’t already, follow me on Facebook and Twitter! You can also follow Pacific Foods on Twitter and Facebook.

Disclosure: This post is sponsered by Pacific Foods, and I also received non-dairy beverages at no cost. However, all opinions herein are 100% my own.

Leave a comment


  1. ladywild says

    I made a pie for thanksgiving using coconut milk in place of the milk in a pumpkin pie. It didn’t set well :-(, but I’m working on making it better for next year. The flavor was awesome.

  2. Rachel says

    My body doesn’t tolerate regular milk as much as I would like, so I use Vanilla flavored unsweetened Almond milk to drink, make oatmeal, or to make pancakes and waffles. I’ve never tried to actually bake with it because a lot of the baking recipes I use say that you really need the fat from the whole milk to get the right texture – and I tend to agree. So if you have any suggestions on how to get similar textures using dissimilar products, I’d appreciate it!

  3. Krystal says

    I haven’t yet used nondairy beverages in baking, but I’d love to try them out so I can make desserts that my mom can enjoy with me!

  4. Tiffany says

    I’ve started to use soy milk in a lot of my baking. It seems to give stuff a slightly sweeter hint of flavor (probably because i get vanillia soy milk) which just adds to things. My puppy Dodger agrees to. He’s fallen in love with the peanut butter treats I make him with it.

  5. says

    it might be strange, but my favorite non-dairy substitute in baking is coffee creamers! I use the amaretto flavor in cake fillings, the chocolate flavor in cakes, etc. works great!

  6. Talia says

    I’ve made smoothies and oatmeal using almond milk, usually for the added protein for my son. I’d be interested in learning additional ways to cook with non-dairy beverage; I think my husband might have a lactose sensitivity and I’d like to try to accommodate him!

  7. Theresa Sea says

    I’m lactose-sensitive, so anywhere we can substitute soy or almost milk for cow’s milk is a blessing! I love having creamy soups thickened with flour and soy creamer. SO GOOD.

  8. Caley says

    I love using coconut milk in cookies, frostings, or anything else that requires milk or cream. I love the understated coconut flavor it yields!

  9. Huiran Xaxni says

    First time commenter here but I love soy and almond milk to drink! Never thought to use it for baking but id love to try! Coconut milk to cook rice with sounds delicious! 🙂

  10. Karla G says

    I like using coconut or almond milk in oatmeal! Oh, and yes, the end of the finale of Downton sucked. I can’t believe they did it!! And you knew, just KNEW what was coming! So awful! Can’t wait for next season 😉

  11. Rosa says

    I like using non-dairy products in almost everything that requires dairy lately. It’s just something I’ve been wanting to try (changing my diet, etc.). But my favorite thing is to use it in vegan baking recipes, like cupcakes and cookies. I haven’t thought about using it in smoothies and coffee though. That is something I’d like to try!

    Also, I agree with you about Downton Abbey. As far as I’m concerned, the last 2 minutes didn’t happen. Nope. Rejected. Denied. Sorry.

    Now, I’m off to bake something from your website to make me feel better! 😉

  12. MaryB says

    I’ve never used non dairy beverages in cooking or baking but I would love to try them in cookies and maybe even ice cream. Thanks for offering the chance to win.

  13. Lisa Flores says

    I have never used it in my baking because I never thought to do so but I must try it soon. I do live almond milk and coconut milk with my cereal and sometimes coffee. My son loves to use the coconut milk in smoothies. So he is now the official smoothie maker to his younger brothers because of his “secret ingredient”. Thanks for the chance yo win.
    P.S. these cherry cola whoopie pies are on my plans to make this weekend. Yummm!

  14. says

    Those look awesome! I quit soda too and I used to looooooooove Cherry Coke.

    As for my favorite way to use non-dairy beverages in baking, it’s everywhere! I am a vegan, so I only use non-dairy beverages 🙂 I mostly use soy because my kid is allergic to tree nuts and I gave her soy first and now she only likes soy. But I like to use other dairy free milks in stuff for me so I can mix it up.

    Crap. Now I really want a whoopie pie.

  15. G.G.,as in Gaby Guillen says

    I like to use non-dairy bevereges in smoothies!!!!!!!!! One of my favorite smoothies that contains it is almond, coconut, and strawberry smoothie 😀

  16. Danielle says

    My favorite way to use non-dairy beverages is in milkshakes. I love the way coconut milk adds just a hint of coconut to my milkshake. Plus I can pretend it’s healthier! Yeah, it isn’t really, but my world is a happy world. I haven’t used it in much else besides smoothies since I’m not a milk drinker of any kind, and most of the other dairy baking excursions I go on use buttermilk. I’ve been told that I can make a buttermilk-esque potion with non-dairy by adding lemon juice or vinegar to it, just like with dairy milk, but I haven’t tried it yet. I do plan on giving it a try, but I’m always nervous about doing that in case it goes wrong.

  17. Catie says

    On Valentine’s Day I made cupcakes with a box of chocolate cake mix, two egg whites, and a bottle of Jones Soda Zilch Pomegranate, and they were delicious!

  18. Mary B. says

    I personally don’t use non dairy beverages in cooking/baking, but all three of my husband’s sisters are varying degrees of dairy intolerant. One of them is gluten intolerant, as well…if I win, I would probably give away some of it and save some to search for the perfect gf/df cinnamon roll recipe! My hubby has tried a couple recipes, and now it’s his mission to find one for his sister. 🙂

  19. Heather says

    Your reaction to the Season Finale of Downton Abby is almost EXACTLY like my reaction to The Angels Take Manhattan…. I cried for hours, and I’m still angry at Steven Moffatt! And I have tried baking with non-dairy products… I have to say, rice milk works very well! 🙂

  20. Stephanie says

    I exclusively use non-dairy beverages in cooking. My favorite is unsweetened almond milk. I use it in baking and in any receipe that calls for milk. I find that it does not scorch like cows milk can. I like that it is more nutritious and adds a little fiber.

  21. tracey hudson says

    I use hemp, hazlenut and almond milk for everything from chocolate pudding to alfredo sauce to chia smoothies. Absolutely love it & do not miss the dairy at all. Thanks for this wonderful whoopie recipe too. Cannot wait to try it!

  22. Casey says

    I use almond milk in ALL of my baking! Cookies, cakes, brownies, you name it! At my house, we really try to limit our dairy consumption. It makes fantastic ice cream! I’ll add this whoopie pie recipe to my to do list!

  23. Arielle says

    I love using non-dairy beverages in everything from breakfast to dessert. Vanilla almond milk is the perfect base for a banana, peanut butter and oatmeal smoothie.Rice milk simmered with butternut squash and chipotle makes a terrific, untraditional sauce for a baked pasta dish. And when refrigerated, full-fat coconut milk transforms into a fantastic whipped cream!

  24. Jillian_R says

    We use a LOT of almond or soy milk, mostly in our coffee and cereal. I have just recently added it to an oatmeal muffin recipe with great success. The only time we really miss the dairy is when I want to make a gravy!

  25. Katherine says

    My family has been drinking homemade almond milk for over 10 years ( my moms a health nut, lol) and I love adding it to my drinks and smoothies.

  26. Angel says

    “What’s your favorite way to use non dairy beverages in cooking? If you’ve never used them before, then what’s something you would like to try making with non dairy beverages?”

    I found a delicious recipe for a cobbler that used cake mix and sprite that I wanted to try out. I actually only recently even heard of people using soda in baking and it sounded super intriguing :).

  27. Becky says

    I’ve never used dairy substitutes, but my dear roommate is lactose intolerant. While she does happily eat the cakes, cookies, etc. I make, I feel really bad that she pops a pill beforehand! I’d love to try a nice fatty, lactose-free liquid to make cheesecake and ice-cream with, since I know she misses eating those. :3

  28. says

    I get a thrill out of using non-dairy drinks in desserts that feature the flavor…that was a nonsensical sentence but I use almond milk in almond desserts, hunt down hazelnut milk for hazelnut tarts and so on. I get excited about new milk types!

  29. Margot C says

    I use Soy Milk all of the time for baking, it’s wonderful VERY IMPORTANT buy the unsweetened kind!

    margueritecore [at] gmail [dot] com

  30. Cee says

    I like to use almond milk to make nacho “cheese,” to add to curries (coconut milk) or to jasmine rice, and I like soy milk in my ice cream recipes, since it’s so rich. If I’m baking, I tend to go with almond or soy milk. Vanilla soy milk is my favorite addition to pancakes.

  31. Cindy says

    Just an FYI that you can’t simply swap margarine for butter and call it vegan. Most margarines are still made with animal/milk products such as butter fat, whey and/or casein. You need to buy a vegan alternative such as Earth Balance.