Paleo Red Velvet Whoopie Pies

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This recipe is an ode to all the singles out there on Valentine’s Day. No one thinks about you guys during this ‘holiday’, I’d imagine a lot of you dub it a ‘helladay’. Well, there’s no longer any need for that. It’s time to start thinking about things a little differently. How about this…all the couples have to share this recipe and you don’t. How awesome is that? But, if you are currently attached… this is definitely the only way you can 100% guarantee you’ll be gettin’ some whoopee this Valentine’s Day.

Yield: About 24 cookies or 12 cookie sandwiches


For the Cookies

  • 2 c almond flour*
  • 1/4 c cocoa powder
  • 1/2 c full fat, canned coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/2 t baking powder
  • red food coloring (You choose what you want to use. Beet juice is the hippie way, otherwise just use liquid or gel, until you like the color you see.)

For the Filling

  • 3/4 c palm shortening**
  • 3 T coconut oil
  • 1 t vanilla extract
  • 3 T powdered sugar, or any liquid sweetener***


Set your oven to 350ºF. Whisk together all the cookie ingredients. Use a cookie scoop to dollop the batter in uniform sizes (important for the art of sandwich cookie making), onto a parchment or silicone lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of your cookie/baking sheet, this took two batches. Bake for about 15 minutes.

For the filling

Beat all ingredients together in a mixer. It may appear crumbly at first, but give it some time and eventually the shortening will start to get fluffy like butter. This should take about 3-5 minutes.

Once the cookies are 100% cool (Do not rush this, unless you enjoy wasting things.), use a small off-set spatula, or a spoon, to scoop some filling onto one of the cookies. Spread the filling around the surface of the cookie, top with another cookie and immediately put it into your mouth.

The filling does get hard in the refrigerator, so it’d be best to fill the cookies right before you plan to eat/serve. You could, of course heat the refrigerated cookie sandwiches in the microwave for a few seconds to soften everything up a bit.

*We just re-ordered some Honeyville almond flour. They’ve milled it down finer than previous batches we’ve purchased. Hands down, way better than before and way better than (and cheaper than) Bob’s Red Mill. These cookies really, truly had a baked texture similar to what you’d get with flour. Highly recommend this almond flour!

**Palm shortening is a tropical, non-hydrogenated, trans-fat free, flavorless, similar to butter, budget friendly fat source. They sell it at most health food stores.

***Why liquid if you don’t use powdered sugar? Granulated sugar didn’t dissolve when we made these, so the texture was oddly crunchy…definitely still edible, just crunchy.

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  • Reply
    Liz N
    February 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    Oh how I have waited for this! Thank you Megan, thank you! Bless you! I am making this for my hubby this weekend. They look amazing! Can you sense my excitement over this?!

  • Reply
    Liz N
    February 11, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Oh, and I totally agree about the Honeyville almond flour. We have it and have used recipes from Elana’s Pantry. I Honeyville’s almond flour!

  • Reply
    February 11, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Would the cookie dough be able to be formed…in a heart shape perhaps? Or is it too gooey? This looks amazing! I am always staring longingly at the whoopee pies at TJ’s. A little intimidated by the palm oil…it reminds me so much of shortening –> which makes me super ill. Shall I assume the two only share a likeness as far as consistency is concerned?

  • Reply
    More paleo than you
    February 12, 2011 at 1:42 pm


  • Reply
    Trey Crowe
    February 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    Did you know that Agave Nectar is 75% Fructose, while High Fructose Corn Sugar (HFCS) is only 55% Fructose. Gasp! Also, there is little evidence to support Agave’s claim of a lower glycemic index. 1 gram of sugar has 4 calories, whether it is table sugar, Agave, or HFCS. Also, your body metabolizes sugar the exact same way no matter what the source.

    When living a paleo/primal diet, sugar should of course be consumed in very small quantities. So small in fact, that I would say the source hardly matters.

  • Reply
    February 12, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    HA – Liz, I was just about to send this to you. Guess I don’t need to. 😉

  • Reply
    megan keatley
    February 12, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    hahaha!!! glad we could help ya out liz!

    emily, i don’t think these would hold the shape of a heart, since it’s more of a cake batter, than a cookie one. the shortening is truly just for the fillings consistency’s sake. it is flavorless, and not quite the same texture or look as regular old crisco. i’d recommend trying it out.

    • Reply
      Leah Brennan
      December 26, 2014 at 8:49 pm

      I found the palm shortening to be softer than regular crisco. These were amazing I just made them! Thank you Thank you for this recipe!!

  • Reply
    Rachel C-
    February 13, 2011 at 7:18 am

    These look great! I think sugar can be easily replaced as well with subs for those who don’t eat sugar (I would use erythritol/xylitol but not sure if that’s Paleo, my diet is close but not the same, I also eat raw dairy).
    But tell me, have you ever gotten beet juice or “natural” food coloring (usually beet juice as well) to work with red velvet cake? Mine always bakes out!! Of course, I have never tried Whoopie Pies… I’ve been meaning to convert my RVC whoopie pie recipe for years, thanks for saving me the trouble! I also <3 Honeyville Almond Flour, it's what I use.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      February 15, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      i have actually never used beet juice rachel. you could just omit the coloring all’s not like it adds any flavor anyway…ya know?

  • Reply
    February 13, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    oh hell ya megan and brandon, hell ya. you guys seem to surprise me with every new recipe!! i made some valentines day health-bent carrot cake cupcakes as well as some nut butter cups from elana’s pantry. sooo good :) hope you two have a wonderful vday! keep the recipes coming!

  • Reply
    February 14, 2011 at 10:06 am

    OK I’m all over this one. Can I use butter instead of palm shortening. Trying to use what I’ve got….

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      February 14, 2011 at 10:50 am

      i think something similar to a cream cheese frosting (a 1/2 butter, 1/2 cream cheese mixture) would work better than straight up butter.

      thanks juli!

  • Reply
    February 15, 2011 at 8:14 am

    I agree with Megan. I tried with butter and it’s just not the right consistency for the middle. It’s also kinda yellow. I cut the sugar in half for the cookies and they were plenty sweet with the sugar in the frosting for my taste. Another good one Megan!

  • Reply
    Rich M
    February 15, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Trey, I’m not a doctor, but I’m sure the body does not metabolize the different sugars you mentioned in the same way. Once it hits the kidneys, glucose and fructose are very different… check this out:

    Long but awesome

  • Reply
    Brandon Keatley
    February 15, 2011 at 10:39 pm

    you’re right rich. they are different, and this is where the “sugar is sugar” saying falls a little flat. fructose is metabolized differently and is thought to be the dangerous one.

  • Reply
    Trey Crowe
    February 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I was in error regarding that statement and I definitely retract it.

    Thanks for correcting on that Rich. I would have to say raw honey is definitely my favorite sweetener of choice. It has a low glycemic index and has generous amounts of minerals and antioxidants.

    I still definitely would not use Agave instead of Sucrose.

  • Reply
    Kris @ Health Blog
    March 18, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    These look pretty good, although I have a hard time linking the word “paleo” to them. I’m sure they’re much healthier than the junk cakes you would buy at stores and look sensible for an occasional treat :)

  • Reply
    March 29, 2011 at 11:32 am

    The only paleo friendly sweetener is raw honey, which would have only been enjoyed sparingly. Agave and sugar are not paleo. Another sub could be dates.

  • Reply
    Molly Maloof
    July 31, 2011 at 5:12 pm

    I am an M.D., and have 2 biochemistry courses, 1 organic chemistry, and around 6 basic chemistry courses behind me. I also have had a very extensive physiology and pathophysiology background. Here is the biochemical background on how our LIVER digests sugar.

    “In the liver which contains mostly glucokinase, which is specific for glucose as its substrate, requires the function of additional enzymes to utilize fructose in glycolysis.”

    Glucose can be absorbed and digested immediately upon arriving to the instestines. On the other hand, fructose pases through the intestinal wall through a different transported than glucose. Once it arrives at the liver,
    the liver must first convert fructose to glucose before it can be used for energy. So, basically, the liver preferentially uses glucose before fructose. The end result is that fructose technically is lower on the glycemic index but only through the perspective that it just takes longer to digest. You still get the same amount of calories, but you don’t get the blood sugar spike because of the processing time.

    Does this help you understand the difference?
    -Molly Maloof, M.D.

  • Reply
    September 3, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    Are you sure those measurements are correct? My girlfriend and I have tried baking these twice now and both times we end up with a huge pile of powder, nothing even close to the right consistency. Help???!?

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      September 7, 2011 at 12:13 pm

      are you sure you’ve prepared them correctly? sometimes forgetting just 1 ingredients will through the whole lot off. sounds like you may have forgotten the eggs or perhaps your almond flour isn’t a fine enough texture?

      • Reply
        September 8, 2011 at 10:17 pm

        We tried it twice we sifted the almond flour too and not luck. We ended up doubling up on all the “wet” ingredients and it sort of worked although they came out a little broken apart. Gotta look into better almond flour I guess?

  • Reply
    September 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    Oh. Holy. God. I think this is the best thing I’ve ever seen

  • Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 11:47 am

    Can coconut oil be substituted for the palm shortening?? Coconut oil is solid until melted & I’d rather use that if possible??

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      October 21, 2011 at 1:58 pm

      i think it would work out alright…but they’re definitely not the same in texture. i’d be interested in hearing how it turned out if you decide to use coconut.

  • Reply
    October 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm


    • Reply
      megan keatley
      October 21, 2011 at 1:55 pm

      don’t know them off had kelsey, but there are a few websites (don’t know those offhand either) you can google to find the info.

    • Reply
      May 13, 2013 at 9:22 am

      About 300 cals each (2 cookies and filling). I did not calculate the whole amount of palm oil since I had so much left in the bowl after making these. I also found that the greasy-ness of the palm oil was a bit off-putting but the cookies came out DELICIOUS! I am going to try adding cream cheese to the filling for a bit more flavor and less greasy.

  • Reply
    December 2, 2011 at 2:39 pm

    Is there an alternative ingredient I can use for sugar? Really don’t want to use any. And for palm shortening, can I replace with grassfed butter?

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      December 5, 2011 at 1:38 pm

      tough questions ryn.

      by sugar, do you mean white sugar or all sugar? most people sub honey, but’s it’s pretty much the same, chemically, as white, turbinado, and demerara sugar. if you need a hit of sweet, i suppose stevia would work well, but i don’t have much experience with it.

      if you’re going to use butter, i would highly recommend whipping it with a whip attachment on a stand mixer or hand mixer…it almost NEEDS sugar, minus the boring science-y stuff, the sugar makes the butter fluffy…so without it, it’ll probably be very, very rich–and more like smearing butter on a piece of cake…which i guess could be pretty decent.

      • Reply
        December 17, 2011 at 9:45 am

        I use liquid stevia extract from NuNaturals in all my baking. I especially love the vanilla alcohol free stevia extract. It have great subtle sweet flavor is you portion it correctly and requires very little fussing to the original recipe. If the sugar is dry, as in this one, no need to add anything else but for some of Elana’s where she uses wet (agave/honey) then I usually either 1)use an extra egg or 2) use unsweetened applesauce or coconut milk to make up for the liquid lost.

  • Reply
    Nissa Madrigal
    February 1, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. This is the Best paleo treat! My son’s Bday is tomorrow and I made these tonight for him to take to school. He tried one tonight and was just so happy, he is sure his friends will not even know the difference. Your recipes are always hits at our house.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      February 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm

      thank you so much nissa! glad we could help with the bday.

  • Reply
    February 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    I had never heard of palm shortening until i read this recipe. Thanks for the tip. I used it to make your vanilla filling recipe only I made it like chocolate frosting for some tiny flourless chocolate tortes.

  • Reply
    February 10, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    This recipe looks great! Do you think there is any way to turn this recipe into cupcakes instead? could i just pour this batter into a cupcake pan?

  • Reply
    Sandra Brigham
    February 11, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Really want to try these. However, WF does not cary palm shortening. Bummer. I will try it with butter and whip it as you suggest. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      February 15, 2012 at 3:38 pm

      that should work great! that’s the classic way to make american style buttercream…you’ll be golden!

  • Reply
    March 15, 2012 at 11:08 pm

    My stupid candida does not allow for such sweets. But these look absolutely beautiful. I’ve never had a whoopee pie before.

    One day dammit. ONE DAY.

    • Reply
      brandon keatley
      March 16, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      nooooooooo. sorry for the temptation. you on specific carbohydrate or something?

      you could try making these with stevia?

  • Reply
    April 19, 2013 at 10:26 pm

    Oh. These look great! I’m gonna try these! I will however change the sugar to coconut sugar and use honey for my cream filling to keep it 100% paleo. Thanks for posting this treat

  • Reply
    April 20, 2013 at 1:40 am

    Oh yes and I forgot to mention these could be filled with coconut butter cream. Coconut butter sweetened with raw honey and some vanilla extract. I dont have any shortening on hand and im eager to make these and i do have home made coconut butter on hand =a

  • Reply
    April 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Hi! Wondering if the filling recipe would work as a frosting to pipe on cupcakes as well? Thanks and great recipe!

  • Reply
    July 16, 2013 at 6:53 pm

    UGH! Frustrating, this is NOT paleo! It may be gluten free, but paleo you do not use sugar or food coloring (though I know it says you can sub beet juice but even that is questionable) Change it to gluten free that would be a more accurate description.

    • Reply
      megan keatley
      July 16, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      so what should i use to fit your definition of paleo? dates, honey, maple syrup, fruit? those all have sugar in them too. don’t like food coloring? fine, leave it out.

      if this isn’t your idea of paleo, then don’t make this recipe. we’re not forcing this down anyones throat. this is what we eat, and we provide the recipe gratis–and you can take it or leave it.

      what lead you to this specific recipe on our website anyway? looking for whoopie pies made out of meat, or gobs of dates? or did you just feel like harassing us?

  • Reply
    October 20, 2013 at 11:07 am

    what is I don’t have baking soda?

  • Reply
    August 18, 2015 at 3:35 am

    I’m new to the whole Paleo Baking thing. I thought i’d try these out for my kids. I just made these but instead of using sugar i used maple sugar. I made a few mistakes so they are a bit of a fail on my behalf… my woopie biscuits didn’t turn out looking as smooth as the picture and mine were huge haha! :-(…. not sure if thats the brand of almond flour i used or if thats an indication i needed a little more liquid or maybe i needed to use a stand mixer and kind of beat it… i just mixed it with a whisk. Also i found the biscuits were a bit too strong in bicarb for my liking so next time ill lower the amount mentioned. I also found maybe just a lacking in a bit of sweetness, but thats probably as i used the maple sugar, or the bicarb was over powering it. But on a high note the texture of the biscuits inside were moist and Beautiful. Such a shame i didn’t just follow the recipe exactly the first time to test… I wasted all that beautiful almond Flour. Anyway thanks for this recipe i will have fun trying to get these right :-)

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