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Whoopie Pies | www.tasteandtellblog.com

My husband talks about whoopie pies on a regular basis. I don’t ever remember having them growing up, but his mom made them a lot. One day last summer, we took a ride up to a nearby town in the mountains where he said they had a bakery that sold really good whoopie pies. I was looking forward to this because although I knew what they looked like, and I could imagine what they tasted like, I had never tasted one. But when we got there, the bakery was closed. So we did the next best thing – we went to a gas station that sold some of the items from the bakery. They did have some whoopie pies, but they weren’t fresh, so my husband was a bit disappointed that my first taste of a whoopie pie wasn’t the best one.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided I wanted to make something for my husband because he has been working so hard at work lately. Whoopie pies were the first thing that came to my mind. I did a search on the web, and found a website that was very informative. Because I have such limited knowledge of the whoopie pie, I learned a lot! They are a Pennsylvania Amish tradition.

“The recipe for whoopie pies has its origins with the Amish, and in Lancaster county, Pennsylvania, it is not uncommon to find roadside farm stands offering these desserts. Amish cooking is about old recipes that have fed families for generations, with no trendy or cross-cultural fusions or mixtures. These cake-like whoopie pies were considered a special treat because they were originally made from leftover batter. According to Amish legend, when children would find these treats in their lunch bags, they would shout “Whoopie!”

From History and Recipe of Whoopie Pie

They are very well known in the New England area. Whoopie pies are usually very large – about the size of a hamburger. And all of you ingredient purists turn your head, because traditionally, these cookies (although they are more cake-like) are made with vegetable shortening instead of butter. Another traditional ingredient used is Marshmallow Fluff for the filling. Since I cannot find Marshmallow Fluff where I live, marshmallow creme can be substituted.

I decided to try these out using the traditional recipe – vegetable shortening and all. I am not usually an ingredient snob, but if I thought about how much shortening was in this, I had a hard time eating them. They were quite tasty, though. My husband really liked them, but said that they were still a little different than the ones his mom made growing up. He said his mom’s had a darker chocolate cookie/cake part, and the filling was a little lighter. I will have to get her recipe from her….

My parents recently bought a new house, so I took some of these down as a housewarming. My mom wasn’t home, but called me that afternoon begging for the recipe. I guess they went over really well!!

**Just a note – the recipe says to drop the mixture by 1/4 cup onto the baking sheet. I did not want huge cookies, and I had a really hard time controlling the amount of batter for each cookie and making them into uniform circles for my first batch. I ended up putting the mixture in a piping bag and piping the batter into circles – this worked perfectly!

Whoopie Pie
recipe found here

1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 egg
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup milk
Whoopie Pie Filling (see recipe below)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease baking sheets.

In a large bowl, cream together shortening, sugar, and egg. In another bowl, combine cocoa, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a small bowl, stir the vanilla extract into the milk. Add the dry ingredients to the shortening mixture, alternating with the milk mixture; beating until smooth.

Drop batter by the 1/4 cup (to make 18 cakes) onto prepared baking sheets. With the back of a spoon, spread batter into 4-inch circles, leaving approximately 2 inches between each cake. Bake 15 minutes or until they are firm to the touch. Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

Make Whoopie Pie Filling. When the cakes are completely cool, spread the flat side (bottom) on one chocolate cake with a generous amount of filling. Top with another cake, pressing down gently to distribute the filling evenly. Repeat with all cookies to make 9 pies. Wrap whoopie pies individually in plastic wrap, or place them in a single layer on a platter (do not stack them as they tend to stick).

Makes 9 large whoopie pies

Whoopie Pie Filling:
1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
2 cups Marshmallow Fluff**
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

*Butter may be substituted for all or part of the vegetable shortening, although traditional Whoopie Pies are made with vegetable shortening only.

**Marshmallow Creme may be substituted

In a medium bowl, beat together shortening, sugar and Marshmallow Fluff; stir in vanilla extract until well blended.

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41 Responses to Whoopie Pies

  1. Sara says:

    I’ve never heard of Whoopie Pies before but man do they look good!

  2. slush says:

    I have neer made whoopie pies before. But I am extremely familiar. My family is from right outside Amish country in PA.

    Like you, I have issues with the amount of shortening. But Im looking for something special to make for my brothers birthday (His birthday is the day after my sons, and he always ends up sharing a kiddie cake.) Maybe I will whip up some whoopie pies!

  3. Abby says:

    I’ve never had a whoopie pie before, but I’ve certainly seen them around. We have moonpies in the South (a moonpie and an RC cola, to be exact), which are actually mass produced, but they have a long history and are similar … but not. Same basic construction, but ours are more of a cookie base, three layers with marshmallow, and covered in chocolate.

    I bet they’re a spinoff of whoopie pies!

  4. Mami Castaneda says:

    I am curious to know if your mother-in-law’s recipe calls for vegetable shortening as well. If she’s OK with it, I’d love to see that one too! :-)

  5. Deborah says:

    Abby – I love moonpies!! I have had many of those – chocolate, banana and strawberry!

  6. marye says:

    I make them all the time! :)
    try my recipe http://www.bakingdelights.com/2007/06/25/whoopie-pies/
    it may be closer to what you are looking for.

  7. Gabi says:

    Hi Deborah,
    Wow-I can’t wait to try those too. They look delicious!
    Though-I am not a shortening fan at all. It and I are, in fact, sworn enemies.
    I wonder if you could use butter or a canola oil/ butter combo? If all else fails I guess I could use the palm shortening that they sell at Wild Oats- at least it’s trans-fat free.
    Thanks for sharing- I’m enjoying your blog!
    Gabi

  8. Cynthia says:

    So that’s what they’re called.

  9. Anh says:

    Hummmm. I have read a lot about Whoopie Pies but never get around to try it. But it has all the ingredients I love, so perhaps I should give it a go.

  10. Deborah says:

    Gabi – the recipe says that you can substitute butter for the shortening. I was going to do this, but I thought I would make them the traditional way first. Let me know how they taste if you try them with butter!

  11. Kevin says:

    This is the first that I have heard of Whoopie Pies. They look really good.

  12. Ellie says:

    Okay, they are adorable looking things, but I’m still confused as to why they’re called a pie?

    (we don’t have ‘em here in Australia, so this is the first time I’ve ever seen or heard of the things :P)

  13. Nan says:

    Ahhh, the whoopie pie. Where I grew up in PA we lived and worked around lots of Amish. I’ve had a good many of these in my time, and your post made me try and think about the ingredients. As I recall, the filling didn’t seem to be Marshmallow fluff, but something thicker… I’ll have to ask for a recipe!

  14. Glenna says:

    Love it! I had no idea where they came from so loved the history and these kinds of pop culture-ish recipes are always my favorites. I’m going to have to make these.

  15. JennDZ - The Leftover Queen says:

    This is a classic! For some reason in my family, we make something similar, but they are smaller and we call them Gobs. I have no idea where they came from as I am pretty sure they are not Italian, but they have become a tradition on my family since my Grandmother was my age.

  16. The Cooking Ninja says:

    Never heard nor tasted whoopie pies but yours look fantastic and wish I could eat one.

  17. Happy cook says:

    Never heard about whoopi pies, but then i am not in USA.
    It was so sweet of you to make this for your husband.
    Hope he enjoyed it as much as you enjoued making for him

  18. Maryann says:

    I’ve never heard of whoopie pies either. But it was nice of you to make them for your husband.How sweet of you :)

  19. Aimée says:

    I was always curious about what went into the filling for Whoopie pies, and now I know.
    I bet these would be a huge hit with kids, too.

  20. Dee Light says:

    Now this is the kind of recipe my family will love!!! Thanks so much for sharing, I can’t wait to give the recipe a try.

  21. Belinda says:

    I wonder what differences you will find in your MIL’s recipe? These looks so cute though, and I bet your husband was thrilled that you thought to make him a special baked treat. :-)

  22. Lynnylu says:

    Looks so yummy!

  23. Kristen says:

    Yummy! Have you tried them frozen? Oh man…yum!

  24. sher says:

    Oh No You Didn’t!!!!! I’m in a swoon. Whoopie Pies are food of the gods. Great post! Really!

  25. Kelly-Jane says:

    Oh wow they look absolutley gorgeous! I’ve read about them in one of Martha’s books, and now I see them, oh yum :)

  26. Nirmala says:

    Love these pictures. These look just awesome.

  27. Caroline says:

    These whoopie pies look amazing! I’ve never had them before but I’d sure like to try.

  28. Kate says:

    what a sweet thing to do for your hubby . Must’ve made him really happy even though they were not the same. They look fantastic and i do hope you find the recipe for the one he’s longing to eat.

  29. Chantelle says:

    Whoopie Pies were on Martha Stewart today! They have officially arrived! Haha! A Maine company, Cranberry Island Kitchen was featured. Yeah for whoopie pies!

  30. Tartelette says:

    I would make them just to be able to say “whoopie pies..whoopie pies…whoopie pies…” Ok, Helen, stop!

  31. Chris says:

    I love whoopie pies! They spark great childhood memories. And, I was so stunned when I moved down here and no one new what the heck they were! Last winter I made a gingerbread whoppie pie. It was a great spin – I thought! Yum!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I have eaten whoopi pies all my life. I love the ones my mom makes and i also am around amish amd mennonites ofte. None of the whoopi pies i have eaten had marshmallow in them. here is the filling recipe we use.
    2 egg whites (which we omit, don’t like the idea of eating raw egg)
    2 tsp. vanilla
    4 tb. flour
    2 tb powdered sugar (we usually use 10x ’cause what the store has)
    4 tb. milk
    1 1/2 cups crisco

    beat all together (add a little more milk to make up for the omitted egg). then add 4 cups of powdered sugar. beat again and fill.
    i suggest not adding too much milk, it will thin out the filling. we prefer it thick. also we wrap them in saran wrap. we think they taste better after a few days wrapped up. they become more moist (at least ours do) after a few days i love ‘em that way (no air pockets in the wrap, don’t just put them in a baggie, the air in the bag drys out quicker. and for anyone who prefers a more milk chocolate flavor to the dark flavor of hersheys i use the store brand coco powder(i don’t know if all store brands a less chocolaty than hersheys)thats the way i prefer them.

  33. Kelly says:

    everyone on this site seems to have a problem with shortening… one person even suggested using “the palm shortening that they sell at Wild Oats- at least it’s trans-fat free”. Just a little FYI for you: CRISCO IS TRANS FAT FREE!

  34. Anonymous says:

    I'm with you Anonymous… I was brought up in New England eating Whoopie Pies throughout my childhood and I never had one with marshmallow in the filling.

  35. Na says:

    Marshmallow Fluff is from Massachusetts and there is a huge difference in the taste of fluff and marshmallow creme. You will not be disappointed if you make the extra effort to get some Fluff.

  36. Rose says:

    I have read about Whoopie Pies in all of the anish Fiction books I have been reading and from others on the FB site, I have never had one B4 and I was our local Dollar General yesterday and just happened to run across these “Taste N Tell” brand of Whoopie Pies.. I ate one last night, didn’t reall care for the filling that was in it and there wasn’t a lot of filling in it.. Others ahve been talking about having a Pumpkin Whoopie Pie.. Is their a recipe for a Pumpkin one?? Thanks

  37. Danielle says:

    You should try doubling the amount of chocolate and not using a mixer, his mom probably mixes it by hand and adds more cocoa powder this makes a heavier cake and is probably what he is used too. Just a tip.

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