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People in other places will tell you that whoopie pies were invented somewhere else but honestly, Maine claims it. It’s even one of the state desserts along with blueberry pie. Blueberries are native to Maine so I suppose that choice makes sense.
The whoopie pie is two pieces of cake holding sweet filling. I grew up on these treats. My mother made them often and I thank her for that.
You might own a whoopie pie pan but let me tell you, those are for wusses. Maine whoopie pies are the size of a salad plate. It takes two hands to eat a Maine whoopie pie, folks. It gets icy cold there and everyone works off the calories shoveling snow. That’s what my father said who was as skinny as a rake and could eat everything he could see. Was I fortunate enough to get those genes? No.
Every June in Dover-Foxcroft Maine, there’s the annual Whoopie Pie festival with contests for the best traditional whoopie pie, the best flavored ones and even the most creative whoopie pie name. Here’s a video of the first Maine Whoopie Pie Festival in 2010. Note some a them accents from ovah theyah. Don’t laugh too hard at the accents because that’s how I talked until I left for college.
I no longer am a young girl living in Maine. I live in Australia now (and so far from being a young girl that it hurts) and I make whoopie pies sized for humans who don’t shovel snow for hours. These were made in a whoopie pie pan. Sad, I know. I do hanker for the days when I could happily eat a plate sized whoopie pie.
This recipe comes from Downeast Magazine. It was my favorite magazine when I was a kid. It was all about Maine and I would sit there with that magazine and dream about taking off on one of the big windjammers that sail the Maine coast. It never happened.
I apologize for that really crap photo. I was dancing along just fine and then the tethering software crashed and I *assumed* the settings would be fine on the camera and didn’t look. I’ll reshoot tomorrow once I remake these. I gave them all to the nursing home before I looked at the photos. Anyone else done that? I didn’t even save one because I knew I’d eat it. I’m building room for Thanksgiving.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 1½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (or butter)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (or butter)
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 cups Marshmallow Fluff (marshmallow creme)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 400C/350F degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle, cream together the shortening and sugar.
- Add the egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Continue to mix on low speed while alternately adding the buttermilk and flour mixture. Stop to scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed.
- Spoon about ¼-cup of batter roughly 3 inches apart onto the prepared baking sheets (an ice cream scoop works well here).
- Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the tops are puffed and a toothpick inserted into the center of one of the cakes comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and using the mixer paddle, beat until smooth.
- Spread about 2 tablespoons of filling on the bottom side of one cake and top with another cake.
- Wrap individually in cling film until you're ready to eat one.
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
Ahhh yes I’ve heard all sorts of stories about how they originated! But how much fun would it be to judge one of those contests? 😀
I’m an expert whoopie pie eater, NO problem 🙂
movita beaucoup says
A WHOOPIE PIE FESTIVAL?! Can you imagine how many whoopie pies would be there? Can you imagine how many whoopie pies one could eat whilst at that festival? GAH!!! (I think the people of Maine might be MY people.)
There’s a whoopie pie eating contest next June. Maybe we should enter together. I’d let you win.
Gloria Roa Baker says
Just beautiful Maureen:))
Liz @ Floating Kitchen says
Oh how I love a real Maine whoopie pie! Wish I had one of these right now for breakfast (is that wrong?). YUM!
What a change of scenery between Maine and Australia! I have relatives down under and have only had the opportunities to visit once. Some day. Some day I’ll get to Maine and have REA whoopie pies! I have to admit, I love making flavored whoopie pies. Shhh.
Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen says
Cute video – I love that they are all so enthusiastic (although some of the kids looked like they might be hurling whoopie pie later after that wp-eating contest).
I don’t shovel much snow so I’d probably go for your snack size, Maureen, so long as I could have two.
The Squishy Monster says
Building room for Thanksgiving! I need to do that. I also need to make these delicious whoopie pies!
Wow! These whoopie pies look scrumptious! That top photo looks divine. I love the idea of a plate sized whoopie pie. 🙂
Rachel (Rachel's Kitchen NZ) says
Oh, Maureen, those are the best Whoopie Pies I have ever seen – love the smaller size too – not much snow shovelling in this part of the world!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
Butter for me, please. More flavor than shortening. I agree with Padaek — that top photo is wonderful. I’m shooting tethered these days too (using Lightroom). Can’t imagine how I possibly took photos before! Anyway, really good post & recipe. Who doesn’t like to make whoopie? Pies, that is. 😉
Tonya Green says
If it’s going to be a Maine whoopie pie it’s got to be shortening!
Sadly, shortening isn’t a thing in Australia. I can get Crisco by ordering from the USA foods website but it’s expensive.
Hi Maureen, so nice of you to bring to the nursing home, these look wonderful!! Happy Holidays to you and your husband!
I never heard about whoopie pies until I was an adult. I know … you think I had a deprived childhood but that was NOT the case. Scale it down a little and coat it in a chocolate shell and it would be similar to the Vachon Jos Louis which played a great role in the life of any Canadian child.
Marissa | Pinch and Swirl says
Whoopie Pies are one of those classic desserts that make me swoon. Yours look just perfect!
I’ve judged ice cream contests, but I would way more want to judge a whoppie pie. Yours look scrumptious and I could bite right in. I’ve never made whoopie pies, on my bucket list of baking, so I’m pinning
Shelley @ Two Healthy Kitchens says
I actually didn’t know Whoopie Pies came from Maine! I totally would have guessed somewhere in America’s deep south … probably the next town over from the birthplace of sweet potato pie! Well, regardless … they’re a true classic, and your homemade version looks fantastic! Pinning for sure! 😀
Anna (Hidden Ponies) says
I kind of accidentally bought a whoopie pan pan and have yet to use it – you reminded me I need to pull it out so I can sink my teeth into one of these! And “building room for Thanksgiving”…I like how you think 🙂
Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic says
These whoopie pies look delicious! I rarely eat them but now I am craving for one 🙂
The size of a salad plate? Wow! These look delicious and I’ve never tried a whoopie pie before. Thanksgiving is coming – do you do a turkey? I saw them at Costco last year just before the big day…
I ALWAYS have Thanksgiving. I don’t always invite 10 guests but most years I do. It’s not Thanksgiving without a turkey, ham or goose. 🙂
Those look really really good, lucky people at the nursing home!!
Chineka @ Savor The Baking says
These whoopie pies look beautiful. That cream is the middle looks so smooth.
Whoopie Pies warm the cockles of my heart on these cold and windy days of late November. They give me hope of spring and summer. 🙂
Emma @ Bake Then Eat says
Great looking whoopee pies sometimes traditional can be best 🙂 I tend to give away a lot of my bakes to get them out of the house so I don’t eat them all and yes I have given them away thinking the photos will be fine, uploaded them to my computer only to cringe at how rubbish they are!!! Its the life of a food blogger 😉
At least I’m not alone!
Lizzy (Good Things) says
Oh my, whoopie pie… now these sound fabulous Maureen! Those folks at the old people’s home sure are lucky to have you delivering these goodies… and I loved seeing the festival! Woot.
Glamorous Glutton says
For a short while you could buy these at bakers here. It was thought they’d be the new cup cake. I haven’t seen them for a while. Great to have the recipe, but I think I’m a woos and need the pan to bake them in. After a bit of internet searching I’ll be making these for tea! GG
You don’t need a pan. I grew up in northern Maine; Caribou. They weren’t the size of a salad plate up there. They were the size of my palm. Use a small ice cream scoop to place the batter on a cookie sheet allowing space between for expansion. That’s what I grew up on. I lost the recipe from my childhood, so I’m looking forward to trying this one.
I went up north only once when I was a kid. We went to Madawaska and I thought we drove through trees for 6 weeks to get there from Winslow. It was beautiful on the lake for a week and then we had to go back through the potatoes and then the trees again.
We never had a pan and my mother always made hand sized whoopie pies or we’d all have been as big as a barn door. 🙂
Yes, Caribou Maine. I spent 27+ years up there and now back in the Midwest. Everyone loves my Maine Whoopue Pies. I am trying this recipe to see how close the taste is. I use real butter, along with a tablespoon of shortening.
I live in northeastern Australia and I still miss Maine whoopie pies 🙂
Laura (Tutti Dolci) says
I don’t think I’ve ever had an old fashioned whoopie pie but now I think I’ve been missing out!
Oh golly Maureen, these beauties look glorious!
Nagi@RecipeTin Eats says
Yes yes YES!!! (Meg Ryan moment…) Why don’t we have whoopee pies here in Australia? I ate way too many of them when I was in the states. I am totally making these! Oh, and how sweet are you, giving these to a nursing home? I give me sweets to my local hospital (the patients don’t get them, the nurses do :))
OMG Maureen, I yet have to see a more fluffier and prettier whoopie pie…I would love to get a hold of a couple of them now…
Enjoy your weekend 🙂
Joanne T Ferguson says
G’day! LOVE Whoopie Pies Maureen and yours looks amazing!
Love your photos too!
A Whoopie pie pan? Is there a gadget on the planet I have missed?
Off to research one now! 🙂 Cheers! Joanne
Thanks for brightening my day!
I think this is very close to the recipe I use…marshmallow cream and all. The family adores them. Yours are so perfect without a special pan! Brava!
Lucy @ Bake Play Smile says
Haha a Maine whoopie pie sounds like exactly my kind of food!! Gotta love a cookie thats the size of a sandwich!!!!! These look incredible!
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
My goodness, I’ve been building room since I made a new year resolution! Thinking I best head to Maine to shovel though! Love these whoopie pies! I first came across them when my kids went to school in Pennsylvania. Now they seem to be in all bakeries, even in Denver. Yours look phenomenal! Have a great Thanksgiving!
Really who needs whoopie when you got pie! haha. I’d like to get my paws on these for sure. I’ve yet to make whoopie pies at home and it’s a damn shame. I’ll have to remedy that in the very near future! These look GOOD- even in that not so crap photo- it’s just artistic:) cheers… wendy
The Whoopie debate may rage on forever but I don’t really care because Whoopie Pies are so darn good I forget everything else as soon as I see one! Yours look amazing Maureen!!!
I’ve been trying to get to that festival for years. One of these days I will. How sweet to be able to recreate a childhood recipe from so far away. Kudos to you Maureen!
Thanks so much for sharing…
Choc Chip Uru says
Wow the massive size of this cookie sandwich would be enough to make me super happy! 😀
This is really fluffy and there is so much frosting, I am so hungry now!
Choc Chip Uru
Thalia @ butter and brioche says
I’ve never even tried let alone made whoppie pies. Definitely inspired to make some right now – these look delicious Maureen!
Tania @My Kitchen Stories says
I had no idea that whopie Pies atarted in maine and I have often wanted to know exactly what they are. i would live top go to Maine
One of my very favorite foods. Love it, and yours look just lovely.
Vicki Bensinger says
Wow Maureen these look perfect! I’m a huge fan of Whoopie Pies in just about any flavor and filling. These would definitely be a hit in my home and wouldn’t last long. Nice recipe that I’ll be sure to try over the holidays.
Every time I go home to Maine, I have to have a whoopee pie – don’t care where it comes from, have to have one!! I even bought one from a roadside stand one year and it was probably the best one I ever had. Also, Bangor General Hospital has great whoopee pies in their cafeteria – one of their cooks makes them at home and sells them to the hospital where they are sold to lucky families of patients. Love, Love, Love whoopee pies!!!
Never made whoopie pies.. I have to admit.. but now after seeing your perfect ones.. I really have to try them out. Looks awesome.
Hotly Spiced says
Love this story. I have never had a whoopie pie and as we’re a little short on snow-shovelling equipment here in Sydney, I’ll have to try a non-plate sized version. How lovely that you took these to the nursing home; they must love you there. I love the sound of the marshmallowy centre in these pies. I can’t wait to see what you’re cooking for Thanksgiving xx
Oh wow, look at those. Can I have one?! Or 2.. or 3?! I wouldn’t be able to stop eating those, love them! I’m feeling quite sad that I discovered them only recently. How I managed to live all my life without whoopie pies I don’t know!
There is nothing like a good homemade whoopie pie. Delicious! Recently I enjoyed a good one in Asheville at a Bed and Breakfast we stayed at-no doubt the innkeeper was from Maine 🙂
Fran @ G'day Souffle' says
Maureen, no wonder you like Whoopie Pies. As the woman in the video clip says, “Whoopie Pies remind you of ‘you know what’ when you eat them!
You’re the only one who caught that. I heard that and cracked up. I also laughed at some of the accents.
sherry mackay from sherryspickings says
yum yum maureen. these look seriously scrummy. i could just grab one off that plate right now:)
Gourmet Getaways says
Whoopie pies sound and look happy :). If I see them as big as salad plates, my eyes would grow as big as tractor tires! I bet the Whoopie Pie Festival is an anticipated amazing event!
Julie & Alesah
Gourmet Getaways xx
They look so pretty and perfect! I’d happily inhale a plate of the small sized ones, or one big plate-sized one! 😉
martha@ simple-nourished-living says
Maureen, what a delightful post. My parents both hail from the coast of Maine, so I grew up eating whoopie pies. It’s been too long since I tasted one. I can’t wait to pull out my Mom’s recipe to see how it compares to this one from Down East Magazine. Thanks so much for stirring so many happy memories 🙂
Chelsea Berry says
This makes me wish we were neighbours!!! I could eat that whole plate looks divine!
Amanda (@lambsearshoney) says
You are a good and wise woman to have taken these to the nursing home. I doubt I could have done the same with all of them. Once upon a time I could eat anything I wanted, but no more. Sigh.
InTolerant Chef says
Where do I sign up to be a judge for that competition Maureen? Yummo!
Another thing to love about Maine!! I had no idea they invented the whoopie pie! Yes shoveling snow and raking leaves and a few months of walking on beaches!! Thats what we do in the coastal states to burn off whoopie pies ;D Thanks for this loverly recipe!
I get to move palm fronds that fall off. (those suckers are HUGE) and umm.. pick up dog poop and that’s about it. We do walk on the beach a lot as it’s only 5 minutes from home. Sadly the kayaks sort of sit there looking at us, thinking, ‘get off your fat bums and drag us into the water, it’s only 5 feet away’ LOL
I’ve never seen a “Maine-sized” whoopie pie, but they sound incredible to have to hold with both hands! These would be yummy for the holidays!
amy wells says
I grew up with my mom making these. she was from maine but went kn the military so i was sadly born in arkansas. but with the tastebuds of a northerner 😉 i was talking to a friend of mine about suitable desserts for breakfast and of course i exclaimed whoopie pies! theyre good anytime! 🙂 gonna make these today lol
Amen, Amy !! I haven’t lived in Maine since I was 18 but I still have a Yankee palate. Well, I think I do but maybe not. 🙂 I LOVE whoopie pies!
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! My sister in was born and lived most of her life, as did her husband who is one my husband’s younger brothers, until they transplanted to TN about the same time we did. She makes them at least once a month and I must admit my son talked me into making red velvet pies and I made carrot cake pies for me. 🙂
Dorothy Dunton says
Hi Maureen! My typing really sucked there! I meant to say “my sister in law was born and raised in Maine”. I blame it on my age! 🙂
aimee newcomb says
I was looking for a Maine Whoopie Pie recipe as I used to make them frequently when I was a young girl in Maine (I too am a looooong way from both the State and age). My daughter (who was born in Maine) now lives in AUS too! She owns several bakeries in SA (Aldinga, McLaren Flat, Mt. Compass, Middleton)…..maybe I’ll try your recipe and convince her to add them to her line-up (tho’ I have to say, I do love the Aussie Vanilla Slice)
Hi Maureen, I live in Vermont, love to visit the state of Maine. I come across your recipe for old fashioned whoopee pies , made them and they are to die for, can’t make enough of them. Thanks for sharing !
Ronald Regnier says
OMGosh !!!! Marshmallow fluff!!!!! I cant believe it : (((( gross I grew up on Lancaster, PA whoopie pies, the filling was rich, creamy, had volume…..NEVER putting Marshmallow fluff in filling. Was looking for a good recipe to make with my daughter, have to keep searching; But it is fun to hear that Maine may have given them to the world. I thought it was the Amish or Mennonites haha
This is not the traditional recipe..that was way befpre fluff came around..making the roux is the key.. the filling is a real cream filling.. domt skimp and use fluff . My great great grandmother recipe has no fluff cauae iy waant invented yet …lol thats an altered modern version.. npt a traditional whoopie pie
Suzy Queue says
Great Recipe! I see very little comments regarding the execution of the actual recipe. I made it as directed and they are some of the best whoopies I have ever made. Being from Maine, I have had many versions. This one is a keeper! Thanks for the post and sharing.