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Keep Houston Press Free
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The United States of Desserts: The 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: This article continues on the next page.

There's chocolate peanut butter, creamsicle, red velvet, and lemon-ginger (with green tea filling)...

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...or for something citrusy, try a lemon version...

...I tend to gravitate toward pumpkin (hardly shocking)...

...finally, vanilla.

Oh wait, these are Cakesters. Hey Oreo, the Amish called and they want their whoopie pie back.

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