History from a small New England town In the Kitchen

Whoopie Pies in a Cookie You Can Make Tonight

Warning: the history or whoopie pies and recipe and all the can’t-resist calories that accompany this knowledge follow below.

Whoopie pie history and recipe

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A Delicious Solution.

A few nights ago I wanted something chocolate. (Who am I kidding? That’s every night.) She wanted something decadent. But neither of us wanted to spend long in the kitchen, because we had all christened the evening “Family Game Night in Front of the Fire,” and we were eager to get the cards dealt.

Whoopie Pies came to my mind. Whoopie Pie Cookies were the delicious solution she came up with.

We mixed the dough, then set up our game and built a fire while the dough chilled. After 30 minutes, we made the cookies. Then we tried to focus on our game while the cocoa goodness baked and the delicious aroma frolicked around the room.

Whoopie Cookies you can make tonight

Yes, They Really Are Quite Easy to Make.

I reveled in the fact that there were actual Whoopie Pie Cookies in my oven.

When my family packed up decade’s worth of “stuff” and moved from the mid-atlantic area to New England, we knew there were plenty of things we’d be leaving behind.

We knew there were a few joys that we’d only experience every now and then, when we ventured “down south.”

Warm beaches. (Yes, fellow New Englanders, there is such a thing as swimming in the ocean in August and not having trouble breathing because your lungs are constricted from the frigidness.)

DuPont estates.

And Longwood Gardens water fountain displays.

Then there was all the food that we knew we’d never taste on a regular basis… Rita’s water ice. Philly cheese steaks. Capriotti subs and bobbies. Fisher’s caramel popcorn. Herr’s potato chips. . .

And Amish-made Whoopie Pies.

The first day I ventured into my little country store I was shocked to be greeted with an amazing array of whoopie pie varieties, all baked that morning and hand-wraped by the owner’s wife herself. Turns out, whoopie pies are considered to be one of New England’s best loved comfort foods. Who knew? Not this Delaware native. I still haven’t been able to figure out what caused the amazing yumminess to migrate this far north. But, hey, who am I to look a whoopie-pie horse in the mouth?

Read on for whoopie pie history and recipe below. . .

whoopie pie history and recipe

Of course Whoopie Pies are nothing like a pie at all.

I say this because–I’m just going to admit it right here in the open–I’m not a fan of pie. (Whoopie Pies are more like mini cakes with sugary icingish goodness in between.)

Why Are They Called “Whoopie Pies”?

The story goes that Amish moms in Pennsylvania made the yummy concoctions whenever they had left-over cake batter and put the treats in their husbands’ and childrens’ lunch bags. They always garnered an excited “Whoopie!” when discovered; thus the name.

Needless to say, I let out a couple “Whoopie!”s myself when I realized these delicious delicacies were one thing I didn’t have to leave behind when we left Delaware. When my daughter discovered this quick-to-make, even-better-to-devour recipe, well I was chanting “Whoopie!” till the cows came home (bringing a tall glass of milk with them).


(Like how I snuck in an allusion to the newest addition on our homestead? But more about her in another post.)

So-Easy-But-Beyond-Yummy Whoopie Cookies

“Cake” cookies

  • 1 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cream filling

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1/4 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
  • 1 and 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


Toss the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Beat the butter on high about 1 minute. Beat in the granulated sugar and brown sugar until combined. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until a dough is formed. Cover the dough tightly with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes. Don’t skip this step, as we were tempted to. It really is mandatory.

Roll the dough into balls. Press down on the balls to slightly flatten. Bake for 6-8 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the cream filling, beat the butter and shortening together until creamy. Add confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Beat on low for 1 minute, then on high until creamy.

Spread cream filling between two cooled chocolate cookies. On the crazy chance that you actually have any left over, the cookies freeze well. At least I’m sure they must. We didn’t have any left over.

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whoopie pie history and recipe

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