We have all heard of a Whoopie Pie, but did you know there is a multistate fight to lay claim on where the “first” Whoopie Pie was ever made? Apparently, the chocolate-cake-buttercream-and-marshmallow-fluff treat has been claimed by Maine, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. All these states claim the “original” recipe was created in their state, with a variety of evidence to back them up. Maine is “all in” on this claim and holds an annual Whoopie Pie Festival. Pennsylvania claims this is an old Amish recipe tracing back to farmers shouting “whoopee” when the saw the treat in their lunchbox. Considering marshmallow fluff was invented in 1917, the recipe can’t be older than that in its current state. I do think it’s quite possible a cake-like cookie sandwiched with vanilla cream is certainly likely to have existed for generations – there is some suggestion they evolved out of Devil Dogs of the early 19th century, but not much evidence. I don’t think I have ever actually eaten a Whoopie Pie (no love for marshmallow fluff in my house), but in all honesty, they do sound delicious. How can you go wrong with chocolate & vanilla? I’ve put a few links under the recipe for further reading on the history.
1/2 cup shortening
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa
1 1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
Cream shortening with sugar. Add egg & vanilla & beat well. Combine Flour, cocoa, soda & salt. Add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Drop by teaspoonfuls 2″ apart onto lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes, or until cookie springs back when touched. Cool. Prepare cream filling (below). Spread bottom of one cookie with 1 tbsp of filing & top with second cookie. Makes 16-18 large Whoopie Pies.
1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup shortening
1 cup marshmallow cream (or fluff)
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup confectioners sugar
Cream margarine and shortening until smooth. Gradually beat in marshmallow cream. Blend in vanilla and confectioners sugar. Beat to a spreadable consistency.
What Is A Whoopie Pie – via CapeWhopies.com
Whoopie Pies – via Wikipedia
What is a Whoopie Pie, Really? – via TasteofHome.com
In Southwestern Pennsylvania there is a version of this cookie is called a Gob (don’t know where the name came from) and the filling does not use marshmallow cream, nor is it as sweet as the Whoopie Pie filling. I much prefer a Gob over a Whoopie Pie b/c it is less sweet and much more satisfying.
I did see a story about the gob while I was reading for this post. It sounds much better to me because I don’t like the marshmallow fluff.
Mmmmm! Whoopie Pies! I confess, I didn’t have my first until 1998. They were made by a coworkers mother (he was young) and they were so good I made him get the recipe from her. Not a spec of marshmallow fluff in them! The filling is shortening and margarine and she made a note to ONLY use margarine. It would not “fluff” properly with butter. They do not need marshmallow fluff at all!
However, if the Amish version is older than Fluff, and I’m pretty sure they don’t churn their own margarine…I’m going to eliminate Pennsylvania from the running to claim the origin of the Whoopie Pie.
An excellent point on margarine. It was popularized during WWI I believe, so around the same time as the fluff. Thank the king of France for its invention in the 1860s though.
Brings back memories! Mom made these all the time when we were kids, and we loved them!
I always heard of whoopie pies and eaten a few in my day, but never made any until I started doing Vintage weddings in 2014. I decided instead of just a cake to make several varieties of whoopie pies and fillings so I made 260 of them, yes, you read right, they were a huge hit to all that came to the wedding. I did Oatmeal Spice with brown sugar frosting filling, devils food with creamy vanilla frosting (made with shortening, flour, milk, butter and vanilla; fabulous), red velvet with cream cheese frosting filling and double chocolate with peanut butter frosting filling. I continue to make these often for my own family gatherings. Always delicious. BTW, I always use butter..haven’t tried with margarine and never use Fluff for my whoopie pies only because it is just too sweet. Can’t beat a yummy whoopie pie though! Thank you for sharing your gram’s recipe. I know it’ll be delish and I’ll give the margarine a try! ;)