Making Whoopie

My mother was not a great chef. She was a good cook (especially with desserts), but not a purveyor of haute cuisine (Dad wouldn’t have eaten it anyway.)

Our weekly supper routine is ingrained into my brain like a strange (yet somehow comfortable) dream. It was always the same. Simple foods that were cheap and easy: mac ‘n’ cheese, fish sticks, American chop suey… In fact, when I was 10, I was sick in the hospital for seven weeks. I called home crying one Saturday night, because I thought I could smell baked beans and hot dogs and wanted to come home.

Yet, an entry over at Brian Kane Online reminds me that no one (and I mean no one) made whoopie pies like my mother. My wife has come close at least once, but she agrees that there was something incredible about them. They were nothing like the nasty things you can buy in the store these days (assuming you’re in Maine and even know what the hell I’m talking about). The cake was brown, not black, more like chocolate cake than dark fudge. The filling was pure, evil Fluff-based goodness, not whipped sugar and egg whites. Each one was Heaven.

The news story Brian found in the Portland Press Herald has a history of the whoopie pie, including its supposed origin at a bakery in Bangor. My mother worked at a bakery, but I don’t think it was the same one. Still, the recipe they list gives me hope that we can recreate these awesome treats. I’ll give it a shot. Even while my inner child insists that they won’t be like mom used to make.

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11 Responses to Making Whoopie

  1. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Whoopie pies are indeed evil. There is something about them, I’ll agree. Lately, the best ones we’ve come across are at Fairmount Market. They also make good ones, believe it or not, at the Shop ‘n Save bakery. (oops, Hannaford. I’ll still call it shop n save, but I’ll be wrong…)
    I actually had to put a stop to my practice of grabbing one of those evil things with my lunch every day… they tend to catch up with ya… but I still occassionally bag one of those on a particularly bad day.

  2. kat says:

    mmm, maine whoppie pies. i’m snagging that recipe. i miss my moms 🙁 my mom made fried dough and home made donuts too.

  3. Ric The Schmuck says:

    Yup. My mom, too. I tried making donuts from her recipie, and they came out OK, but not like Mom’s….

  4. Maria says:

    Oh YUMMY!!!! Those sounds sooooo delicious!!! My Mom was an excellent cook, but she never made Whoopie Pies…. She is from Upstate New York, and she makes a kick ass Strawberry Cheesecake!! Baked in the oven, and sooooo rich!! ;o)

    Okay, now we’ve made me hungry….. Must go find sweets!!!! :o)

  5. Sunidesus says:

    I’ve never heard of those before, but they sound wonderful. But of course nothing is ever as good as Mom makes it. That’s the way of mommies!

  6. The closest thing I’ve seen to a whoopie pie is called a Devil Dog.

    I’m sure it’s nothing like your mom’s recipe.

  7. Solonor says:

    Actually, mom’s whoopie pies were closer to round devil dogs than the whoopies I’ve seen in stores.

  8. Brian says:

    We made the aforementioned recipe Saturday night, and you may find that this comes pretty close to what you’re looking for. The filling was PERFECT — Crisco, confectioner’s sugar, Marshmallow Fluff, and vanilla extract, and nothing else. I actually prefer the darker, fudgier cake, but this cake is pretty much like what you’ve described your mother’s recipe as being.

    I’m just about to eat the last one right now! Hope you have good results with yours.

  9. Dean's World says:

    Carnival of the Vanities

    Dean’s World is proud to host this week’s Carnival of the Vanities. What is Carnival of the Vanities, you ask?…

  10. Mmmmm… whoopie pies.

    My friend makes great ones. I used to ask for them as a birthday present.

  11. Diana says:

    Hi, believe it or not I’m making whoopie pies twice this week. Once to take pictures and once for a visual aid in class. I’m taking a speech class and my speech is on the process of making whoopie pies.

    Brain’s post was the first I’d seen that came close to my mom’s recipe. The difference in the filling is the vanilla extract, we don’t use that. As far as the pie goes I learn to just use devil’s food cake mix. It’s wonderfully moist.

    I’ve been searching the web for information and everyone seems to have a different one. I do have to say I prefer the recipes with the fluff in the filling rather than having one that is more like whipped cream. IMHO

    Anywho, if anyone know where I can find some history on the whoopie pie please email me or post it here. The first post mentioned the Portland paper, but that link is gone.

    Thanks and I’ll be thinking of all of you while I’m baking this weekend.

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