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)...
...or for something citrusy, try a lemon version...
...I tend to gravitate toward pumpkin (hardly shocking)...
Oh wait, these are Cakesters. Hey Oreo, the Amish called and they want their whoopie pie back.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.