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What is a whoopie pie?

Whoopie Pies
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:

 

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5 Comments
  • Three-Cookies
    May 20, 2011

    I’ve never tried a whoopie pie and almost wondered what it really was. Thanks for the clear explanation. New to your blog, you have very interesting facts and recipes

  • Love this post! I just read an interesting book on Whoopie Pies, Whoopie Pies : Dozens of Mix ’em, Match ’em, Eat ’em Up Recipes by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell. (I have no affiliation with the book, just a reader.) Its a wonderful recipe book with lots of combinations for these pies!
    Did you know that there is an annual Whoopie Pie Festival? It is held in Pennsylvania – details here: http://www.whoopiepiefestival.com/

  • Deborah
    May 23, 2011

    These a wonderful but my dough was to wet/sticky to form into a ball by hand I used a small scoop. What did I do wrong? I’ve very precise about measuring but would over mixing cause this?

    These were made for a friend who broke her leg and she said it would heal faster if I made more of these for her.

    Thanks.

  • […] had a chocolate whoopie pie, filled with chocolate icing (which is the best part of any sort of sweet treat, in my opinion). […]

  • […] Also, if you aren’t familiar with a whoopie pie, it’s essentially a sandwich made with cake and icing, Baking Bites offers a great description here. […]

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