Whoopie [sic] for Devil Dogs

I lost a bet.  It had to do with a football game between the college I went to and the college where I work.  And, unlike a certain coach who not only allowed—but celebrated a very un-sportsman-like play in the last 44 seconds of said game, I am always a good sport.

Of course, the wager was for baked goods.  With the veritable deluge of work-related holiday parties, potlucks and general food-related merriment, it was decided that I would not pay up until the actual week of Christmas.  My original plan was to bring in red velvet cupcakes.  However, I’d already made several batches for other events by the time it came to pay up and though I never I’d say this, I was red-velvetted out.

In looking through my very ratty book of recipes for something “new,” I came across a childhood favorite that just felt like the perfect pay-off for my ill-fated bet.

The Devil Dog.  At least that’s what they are called where I come from.

Until this blog post, I had no idea where the name “devil dog” came from.  Though, I’ve always had a romantic notion that they were named after a fierce yet amiable squad of WWII bombers who ate them for good luck before each mission.

A quick Google search revealed a significantly less interesting explanation.  There is a snack cake company in New Jersey called Drakes Cakes; maker of the original yodel and ring ding.  According to its website Drakes Cakes has been giving Little Debbie, Hostess and even Tastykake a run for their money for over 100 years.  Drake happens to make a treat called a devil dog (which coincidentally also looks a lot like a Suzy Q).

So, I’m guessing that the recipe I have must have originally been a homemade version of the Drakes Cake devil dog.  However, somewhere along the way something must have gotten lost in translation because while the original devil dog was meant to look like a hot dog, the ones we grew up with look a lot more like hamburgers.

This recipe is very similar to an array of whoopee pie and giant oreo recipes I’ve seen floating around.  The truth is, it really doesn’t matter what they are called because what they are is pretty darned delicious.

Yes, this recipe calls for marshmallow fluff.  It’s creepy and yet invitingly soothing at the same time.

The cake will rise to look like little burger buns.

Once the cakes are cool and the filling is made, match up the halves and give half of the halves a hearty dollop of filling.  Watch out–this stuff is sticky.  Super sticky.  I despise sticky stuff and so used my trusty scooper to minimize having to touch the bionic super fluff.

Top each half with its mate and you have a devil dog. Or a whoopie pie.  Or a giant oreo.

Devil Dogs

This recipe is adapted from my original since the original calls for…gasp…boxed cake mix.  The recipe below is a mash-up between my original and a July 2009 Gourmet Magazine recipe for whoopie pies.  Also, the original recipe calls for each half to be made from ¼ C of batter.  This yields a ginormous “dog” that really is too big to eat as a snack.  I prefer to use my handy one-ounce scooper.  Even then, this resultant has about as much cake and “frosting” as a regular-sized cup cake.

Makes 20 if using 1 ounce scooper, 10 if using ¼ C

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

For the Dog (cakes)

  • ½ C unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 C packed golden brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temp.
  • 2 C sifted all-purpose flour
  • ½ C cocoa powder (man-up and use the good stuff)
  • 1 t kosher salt
  • 1 C room temp. dairy (you can use buttermilk, whole milk…or even egg nog as I used for the bet)
  • 1 t vanilla

For the Devil (filling)

  • ½ C unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1 ¼ C confectioners sugar, sifted
  • 1 14oz container marshmallow fluff
  • 1 t vanilla

Sift together dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, cream butter and brown sugar with standing or electric mixer until light and fluffy (3-5 minutes).  Beat-in egg and vanilla.  Reduce speed to low and add dry ingredients and buttermilk in alternating batches (start and end with dry ingredients).  Mix until smooth, scraping down sides along the way.

Using 1-ounce scooper or ¼ C., scoop level amounts of batter onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, 1-2 inches apart.  Bake until tops are puffed and spring back when touched (10-15 minutes).

For filling, beat together butter, sugar, marshmallow fluff and vanilla in standing mixer or with hand-held mixer until smooth.

Note, the filling is very, very sticky you may want to refrigerate the filling for half an hour before putting the dogs together.  If you are working in a warm kitchen, you may also want to stick the completed batch in the fridge to firm up.