The United States of Desserts: The Whoopie Pie

Photo by Emilly Carlin
Whoopie Pie

In this series, we examine the history and origins of famous sweets, confections, and desserts associated with certain American states.

First, I should acknowledge that the whoopie pie finds its roots in multiple states. Maine probably has the strongest claim, but there is also strong proof that the dessert originated in the Pennsylvania "German" (Amish) community. According to local lore, the whoopie pie was a treat made from leftover cake batter, and husbands, upon discovering it in their lunch boxes, shouted, "WHOOPIE!."

Furthermore, "whoopie pie" is one of many names for this dessert, others of which include the "gob," "black moon pie," and "BFO" (Big Fat Oreo). I grew up about 20 minutes from Amish Country and have spent significant time in Maine and New Hampshire and I have never heard anyone call it anything but a "whoopie pie." Readers, if you're familiar with "gobs" or "black moon pies" or whatever, chime in in the comments section.

The traditional whoopie pie is composed of two cookie-sized circles of chocolate cake that sandwich a cream, frosting, or marshmallow filling. Many variations, though, exist. Here's a few:
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Try the "ugly cake tops" at DaCapo's in the Heights. It's pretty much the same thing, made with pieces of their in-house cakes and incredible frosting.

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