For a famous New England treat without the shortening, this whoopie pie recipe contains a delicious marshmallow filling sandwiched between rich chocolate cake. In less than 30 minutes, this dish is ready to serve with a cool glass of milk, a White Chocolate Mocha, or a Honey Vanilla Latte.
Whoopie pies are a New England specialty, particularly in Maine. Yet it’s one of those treats that can be found at any café in the Northeast.
Think of whoopie pies as little chocolate cake hamburgers if you’ve never tried one. Who’s with me on starting a petition to rename them as such?
Is it just me? Alright, good. Now, let’s go on.
- The whoopie pie controversy
- The components of a whoopie pie
- Tips for making whoopie pies
- What do whoopie pies taste like?
- How to store whoopie pies
- Chocolate Whoopie Pies
- What is whoopie pie filling made of?
- Are Oreo Cakesters just whoopie pies?
- What is the difference between Maine and Pennsylvania whoopie pie?
- Where did chocolate whoopie pies originate?
- Can you use a muffin top pan to make whoopie pies?
- What state makes the best whoopie pies?
- Why did Oreo Cakesters get banned?
- Why did they ban Oreo Cakesters?
- What states sell whoopie pies?
- What is the number 1 pie in America?
The whoopie pie controversy
Yes, I said “controversy.” During a dessert.
Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia all claim to have invented the whoopie pie! Each state claims that they were the first to start creating them in the 1920s, but the paper trail on any of that is thin to none, thus there is no conclusive answer.
There was a cookbook produced in the 1930s by the firm that invented Marshmallow Fluff that included Fluff in the recipe, so it’s a very good case for Massachusetts as the origin (since its a company in Lynn, MA).
The components of a whoopie pie
The name is not only amusing, but also deceptive. They’re not pies at all; they’re cakes with marshmallow crème icing in the middle. Just saying. Another reason to nickname them Little Chocolate Cake Hamburgers.
Shortening is also used historically (and famously) in whoopie pie filling. I’m not a big fan of using shortening in general, and because I know there are others who are, I decided to produce a shortening-free version!
Tips for making whoopie pies
I was so anxious to shoot (and eat) this dish that I completely forgot to take process pictures. I believe I remembered just about the time I dug into my second whoopie pie (you know, for taste testing purposes).
[facepalm] I vow I’ll build them again soon and get them updated here for you.
Until then, the procedure is luckily rather simple.
Making the chocolate cakes
- The batter must be solid enough to scoop since a liquidy batter will not keep its structure during baking or supporting the filling.
- Speaking of scoops, a medium cookie scoop (aff link) is ideal for portioning dough onto a baking sheet.
- The cakes should be thin enough to bite through even when piled two high, but yet have a wonderful progressive mound in the middle.
- During baking, be sure to leave enough space between each cake for it to spread. To be safe, I wouldn’t put more than 5 on a baking sheet at a time.
- Let the cakes to cool fully before sandwiching them with the filling; otherwise, they will be sticky and difficult to deal with.
Making the marshmallow filling
- The filling should be thick enough to sustain being sandwiched between two cakes, but not so thick that it cannot be piped with a pastry bag.
- Before you call it a day, give it a taste test. If you find it too sweet, add a bit of salt, but bear in mind that it will be complimented by less-sweet cake in the end.
Assembling your whoopie pies
- I begin by turning half of the cakes over and matching their sizes with the other half that will be placed on top. These should all be around the same size, although there may be some variation worth matching up with a partner for.
- 4 along the border so that the filling has space to expand when you place the second cake half on top. I prefer to pipe it onto each cake half in a spiral form using a pastry bag with the tip cut off. Let approximately 1
What do whoopie pies taste like?
To be honest, I have trouble describing the taste of whoopie pies. I like to compare it to an inside-out chocolate cake with marshmallow fluff. Similar like Ding Dongs, if you’ve ever eaten them.
When tasting the chocolate cakes on their own, they may seem lackluster.
If you only taste the filling, you may believe it’s excessively sweet (or not sweet enough, depending on your tastes).
Yet when you combine the two, you get some kind of sweet magic.
They are really rich and satisfying, so don’t worry about consuming the whole batch in one session. If you performed well, I’d want to meet you and shake your hand when you’ve had a chance to recover.
How to store whoopie pies
Wrap each one in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight jar in the fridge for up to a week. The plastic wrap preserves them separately packaged, making them simple to grab and go, but also preventing them from adhering together.
I also find that putting these in the refrigerator makes them simpler to consume since the filling does not ooze out the edges as much as it would at room temperature.
Let them to sit out on the counter for approximately 15 minutes before eating, and then go to town.
A word of advice: If you’re going to eat them, make sure you have a mirror, a napkin, and a toothbrush on hand.
If you don’t, everyone will notice the chocolate cake in your teeth and the marshmallow cream on your face, but it’ll be worth it.
Chocolate Whoopie Pies
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- softened room temperature cupunsalted butter
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 room temperature egg
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups plain flour
- a cup of cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon baking soda
- a teaspoon of espresso powder
- 8 tsp salt (up to 1 teaspoon)
- 1 cup room temperature buttermilk
- 1 cup marshmallow cream (Fluff)
- cup softened to room temperature butter
- 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, or more if desired
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and prepare two baking pans with parchment paper or nonstick silicone mats. Set aside.
- 4 cup brown sugar, light
2 pound unsalted butter 1 1
Combine the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk on high speed until light and fluffy.
- Mix in the egg and vanilla extract.
1 egg; 1 tsp pure vanilla essence
- 2 tsp espresso powder, a generous sprinkling of salt
12 cup chocolate powder, 4 tsp baking soda 1 1
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, espresso powder, and salt.
1 cup all-purpose flour, 2 cups all-purpose flour
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet components, alternating with the buttermilk, on low speed until barely mixed.
1 quart buttermilk
- Portion dough onto prepared baking sheets with a medium cookie scoop. Make sure to leave enough space (around 2) between each cake for them to spread. To be safe, I wouldn’t put more than 5 on a baking sheet at a time.
- Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until the tops spring back when lightly pressed.
- Let to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheets before transferring to wire racks to cool fully.
- 2 cup melted butter
Combine marshmallow Fluff and butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on high speed until fully blended and creamy.
1 cup marshmallow crème, 1 teaspoon
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla essence, 2 cups powdered sugar
Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar, vanilla extract, and heavy cream until thoroughly blended. If it’s too thin, add a bit more powdered sugar at a time until you get the ideal consistency.
1 1 1
- If it’s too sweet for you, season with a touch of salt.
- Begin by turning half of the cooled cakes over and matching their sizes with the other half that will be placed on top.
- 4 along the border so that the filling has space to expand when you place the second cake half on top.
Fill a pastry bag with the tip cut off (or a plastic sandwich bag) with filling and pipe it in a spiral form onto each cake half. Let approximately 1
- Top with the other half of the cake. Serve and have fun!
- To create the chocolate cakes, you don’t need a fancy whoopie pie pan! Just line a baking pan with nonstick silicon mats or parchment paper.
- Batter: The batter should be solid enough to scoop since a liquidy batter will not keep its structure during baking or supporting the filling. To divide the batter, I prefer to use a medium cookie scoop.
- Cooling: Let the cakes to cool fully before sandwiching them with the filling; otherwise, they will be sticky and difficult to deal with.
- Cover each whoopie pie in plastic wrap and store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.