Saturday, October 1, 2011

Weekend Cooking...Whoopie!!

You may have missed the news. I almost did, especially since I usually do not look at newspapers when I am on a trip. But they handed me one at a B&B I was staying at a couple of days ago and it was right there on the front page.
The Whoopie Pie has been named the official snack of the State of Maine!
"The proposal received bipartisan support. L.D. 71, officially known as "An Act to Designate the Whoopie Pie as the State Dessert", read "The whoopie pie, a baked good made of two chocolate cakes with a creamy frosting between them, is the official state dessert".
In order to do away with some confusion, it was changed to be the official "snack" because blueberry pie is the official Maine dessert. Very good blueberry pie too.
Oh, very exciting days.

But it is not without some controversy. It seems that Pennsylvania has challenged this declaration. It seems there is a whoopie pie tradition among the PA Amish. They may have a case. It seems the whoopie originated among the Amish, who may have them brought it to Maine. In fact, Massachusetts also make a claim. Oh, it is quite the battle!

So, what is a whoopie pie?
Well, it is not a pie.
In fact, not to insult Mainers, but what it most reminds me of is a Drake's Devil Dog. Two chocolate cakes with a thick layer of some sort of creamy white stuff between them. What that white center is can differ, sometimes more like icing, sometimes more like whipped cream. I think I am partial to recipes that use Marshmallow Fluff in the filling recipe. I even saw one with ice cream...which to me is now an ice cream sandwich.
And then, it get even more complicated because them now make all sort of whoopie pies beside chocolate. Pumpkin, chocolate chip, banana cakes, filled with a variety of different fillings.

The whoopie pie in my photos was purchased while I was driving in Acadia National Part on Mt. Desert Island. It was eaten at a spectacular overlook while driving the loop road. Sand Beach, Otter Cliffs..I forget, but I know it was pretty. Which, no doubt, may have effected my opinion that this was the best whoopie pie I had on the trip. A very rich, moist cake, a not overly sweet filling. And it was small, more the size of a cookie that the big round whoopies which are as big as a large hamburger.
It was a good whoopie.

I will include a recipe that I found...and there are a ton of them out there. It uses the traditional vegetable shortening, rather than butter and the filling contains the Fluff.
When I get home, I will have to make a batch.

Yields: 9 large whoopie pies
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 15 min


  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup firmly-packed brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure 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) of 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. Let finished whoopie pies completely cool before wrapping.
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).
To freeze, wrap each whoopie pie in plastic wrap. Loosely pack them in a plastic freezer container and cover. To serve, defrost the wrapped whoopie pies in the refrigerator.
Makes 9 large whoopie pies.

Whoopie Pie Filling:

Some people prefer just using the Marshmallow Fluff right out of the jar and not making the below filling. Your choice.

  • 1 cup solid vegetable shortening*
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  • 2 cups Marshmallow Fluff
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
* Butter may be substituted for all or part of the vegetable shortening, although traditional Whoopie Pies are made with vegetable shortening only.
In a medium bow, beat together shortening, sugar, and Marshmallow fluff; stir in vanilla extract until well blended.

This is my contribution this to this week's Weekend Cooking.
"Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend."
Be sure to check out the other entries this week. As always, hosted by Beth Fish Reads.


  1. Having a mom who grew up in Pa near the Amish communities, we visited there frequently (my grandma still lived there), and so I have always just assumed that Whoopie Pies were synonymous with PA, lol. I didn't even know that other states had a claim to them!

  2. Too funny. I'm in PA and my immediate thought was huh? Shouldn't Pennsylvania claim the whoopie pie? I'm not a huge whoopie pie fan but I get one every once in a while when I'm at an Amish market.

    In all the many times I've been to Maine, I can't say that I've noticed an abundance of whoopie pies, but maybe I'm just not looking. LOL.

  3. This looks soooo good. I never heard of those before. I am afraid that I can't get all the ingredients over here though. Like marshmallow fluff.

  4. I thought Amish, too, never associated those with Maine! And definitely reminds me of Devil Dog's, a favorite. Love Whoopie Pies, looks great!

  5. I also have to vote for Penn.! Maine has enough other stuff! :--) I also have to say that the filling for it is a bit scary!

  6. I just dug out my MA recipe for whoopie pies and it is quite different from yours. I'm going to e mail you my recipe. You do know that fluff is made in Lynn, MA, right??? Ergo, MA has the right to claim the whoopie pie as theirs! :)

  7. I don't think I've ever had a whoopie pie and don't think I'll be rushing out to get one - it looks too icky sweet for me.

  8. How fun, I had no idea. I do like a good whoopie pie...and I prefer them smaller, as well.

  9. As usual, this was a fun post to read. It sounds like you have a real political controversy going here. I can't say I've had enough whoopie pies to have an opinion. However, the sound of the filling - all that shortening and fluff together - I think I want to check that out first.

  10. What a fun post! I'm fond of the buttercream frosting filling. I have a recipe on my blog, if you'd like to compare notes. :<)

  11. Well, this looks delightfully sinful!

    Sneaking a peek over my computer screen my son thinks I should get up right now and whip up a batch!

    I can't imagine the state dessert competition for some desserts-like who's going to claim apple pie!

  12. If you're not into the plain vanilla/chocolate variety, there is an entire cookbook out giving the most fantastic selection of different cakes and fillings. My favorites are the pumpkin with cream cheese filling (sorta like a carrot cake) and the peanut butter filling on just about any kind of cake. I reviewed the book last here on Tutu's Two Cents

    For those with a sweet tooth, the discussion of statehood/ownership is simply a non-starter. It's the whoopies that count.

  13. Lucky me, I get to live in whoopie pie territory! And believe me, there are many kinds to choose from. My local store even has Red Velvet whoopie pies. Yum!

  14. Red Velvet...oh, I didn't see those....

  15. My SIL makes the best Whoopie Pies. This recipe (filling) is different from hers.

  16. I've heard of whoopie pies before, but have never had one. Judging by the pictures, I'd always thought they were some kind of ice cream sandwich! Now I know better. I think I'd prefer the marshmallow fluff filling.

  17. My Gram often made Whoopie Pies for us -- thanks for the sweet memories!


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