Sunday, July 1, 2012


classic whoopie pies

Whoopie pies, for those of you not from the Northeast, are considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition.  Did Amish women make them first, or did New Englanders?  No one knows for sure.  Legend has it that Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks at the time) and put them in their children's lunch pails or lunch boxes. When children would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!"  Maine claims the whoopie pie as their official state treat.  

A true old-fashioned whoopie pie is made with shortening, not butter.  And many older recipes did not use commercially made marshmallow fluff for the filling.  No matter, even though this is not the original whoopie pie, it's as old fashioned as I want to be.  I'll eat butter over shortening any day of the week.  

My first batch, using 1/4 cup batter per cookie according to instructions, made ginormous cookies.  1 level tablespoonful of batter makes a better two-bite size, at least for me.   I’ll have to make these again to get a proper count, but I’m guessing the yield to be about 4 dozen cookies, or 2 dozen sandwiches.  The cookies are chocolatey, soft and velvety, not too sweet, and they go perfectly with the just-sweet-enough filling.  I’ll be making these again, for sure. 
classic whoopie pies (2)

Other soft sandwich-type cookie recipes I love:  Swoon Pies, Chocolate-Peanut Butter Whoopie Pies, and Candy Johnson’s Whoopie Pie Cookies.

Almost Old-Fashioned Whoopie Pies
Adapted from
Rating:  10 out of 10


2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder
1-1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. Diamond kosher salt
1 (5.3 oz.) container plain nonfat Greek yogurt + enough fresh coffee to yield 8 ounces
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used my homemade vanilla.) 
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 large egg

Heat oven to 350F.  Line sheet pans with parchment paper.  In a small bowl, sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt.  Resift.  In another small bowl, stir together yogurt, coffee and vanilla.

In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream together butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add egg, scraping down sides of bowl to combine.  Reduce mixer speed to low and alternately mix in dry ingredients and yogurt mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour.  Scrape down side of bowl occasionally and mix until smooth.

Using a level tablespoonful of batter, drop mounds about 2” apart on prepared pans.  Bake in middle of oven till tops are puffed and cakes spring back when touched, about 9-10 minutes, or till a toothpick inserted near center returns with just a few crumbs.  Transfer cakes to a rack to cool completely.  When cool, dollop a rounded teaspoonful of filling on flat sides of half of cakes and top with remaining cakes.  Whoopie pies can be wrapped in plastic wrap and frozen or refrigerated.  Yield:  about 48 cookies, 24 sandwiches, depending on size

FILLING: 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioner’s sugar
1 (7 oz.) jar marshmallow fluff
1 tsp. vanilla powder or pure vanilla extract (I used homemade vanilla powder.) 

Cream together butter and sugar till light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Add marshmallow fluff and vanilla and continue beating till smooth and light, about 2 more minutes.


Ocean Breezes and Country Sneezes said...

I LOVE Whoopie Pies! As I'm in Maine right now, I can personally attest to their love for this sweet hand dessert! In fact, I even know a Mainer who gave them out as wedding favors!

Your recipe looks delicious! My nana used to make these all the time and we loved them, and yes, she used shortening! I've never had them made with butter, I'll have to give them a try, I'll bet they're delicious, after all, who doesn't like butter!

Have a great day and keep cool!


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Never heard of these but they look interesting. Have a good day Diane

Valerie said...

Your whoopie pies look fabulous, Judy! I just made some myself!!
Great minds... :D

The Caked Crusader said...

Yum - these look lovely. I've just ordered some marshmallow fluff for some cupcakes, this looks like a good use for any leftover fluff!

Rebecca Subbiah said...

these look so good and love the history of the name

MelindaRD said...

Wow, these look so good! Now I wish these were on my agenda today instead of zucchini bread.

Judy said...

Melinda, there's always tomorrow....

Barbara Bakes said...

I haven't made whoopie pies before. Your version sounds especially great.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

I haven't had a whoopie pie in ages. This homemade version with marshmallow fluff sounds delicious!