Whoopie pies are a dessert that consists of two cake-like cookies sandwiching a creamy, frosting-like filling. It is easy to think of them as a more portable version of a cupcake, where the frosting is inside of the cake and there is no wrapper to contend with. They’re generally thought to have originated in Pennsylvania Dutch country as an Amish dessert, but the exact origin has never reliably been determined and they are very popular all over New England. The most classic whoopie is made with chocolate cake and has a sweet cream filling, although marshmallow filling is very popular in some parts of the country.
Whoopie pies a bit of an oddity because the name has nothing to do with what the dessert actually is and, naturally, there are all kinds of stories that exist to try and explain the origin of that name. The most popular story is one in which excited Amish kids shout “whoopie!” when they discover their mother has just baked these treats for them. I wouldn’t put it past anyone to shout for joy when seeing a freshly baked whoopie pie, but the name still can’t be definitively tied to this story. Some food historians simply believe that the name is so catchy that it must have been developed commercially, by a baker or bakery pushing a new product.
The traditional whoopie might be chocolate cake with a cream filling, but whoopie pies are now available in many different flavors with a whole variety of fillings. They’re easy to make at home and, although there are special pans out there to help you shape your cake rounds, they require no special equipment. Here are a couple of great recipes to get started:
- Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- Reverse Whoopie Pies
- Red Velvet Cake Whoopie Pies
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Salted Caramel Filling
- Banana Whoopie Pies