sifter & whoopie pie

 

Have you ever had a whoopie pie? Whoopie pies are delightful, fluffy chocolate cake sandwiches filled with sweet filling and are considered to be one of New England’s best known comfort foods. Not all whoopie pies are created equal. If you’ve only tried a greasy cake smothered in plastic wrap or one sitting under glass and hot lights in a bakery I would argue that you’ve never tasted a whoopie pie. A real whoopie pie is fresh and soft with the right balance between filling and cake.

I had actually forgotten about whoopie pies until I saw this post by Mowielicious. Immediately upon reading the post memories of my grandmother came flooding back to me. Thanks Mowie.

 

whoopie pie collage

 

My grandmother was a very good baker and I remember waiting in eager anticipation for her visit. Occasionally she’d pull out of her bag an old-fashioned round tin full of the homemade goodies. Prying the lid off revealed layers of waxed paper with little whoopie pies hiding underneath. Even though they were small, the chocolate smell was intense and they looked huge in my 6 year old hand. I loved eating them with a huge glass of ice cold milk. Last month while unpacking, I came across her old recipe for whoopie pies hand-typed on an index card. (Anyone out there remember typing?)

 

recipe

 

My grandmother was born shortly after the turn of the century and lived to be nearly 100 years old. She lived through not one but two World Wars, raised a family during the Great Depression, saw women earn the right to vote, watched the Civil Rights and Women’s Rights movements unfold and witnessed every major innovation from a man landing on the moon to the development of the internet. It makes me wonder what we’ll experience in this lifetime.

 

whoopie pie blue collage

 

This recipe for whoopie pies is incredibly simple recipe to make and will surely please both young and old. Written in the 1930’s, it’s the real deal. Keep in mind, her recipe is made with vegetable shortening. After reading this, however, I opted to use locally made butter as a substitute.

The traditional filling is vanilla but I experimented with about ten different flavors and narrowed it down to three favorites: vanilla, chocolate and raspberry. These flavors tasted the best without altering the essence of how the whoopie pie is supposed to taste. The good news is that these little cakes also freeze and defrost beautifully so you can stock up. And of course, they’re best enjoyed while looking at beautiful spring flowers.

 

slice of whoopie pie spring flower collage

 

 

Whoopie Pies

Sift into a bowl:
1 3/4 c. flour
3/4 c. good cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup sugar

Add:
1/2 c. butter
1 egg
1 c. milk
1 tsp.vanilla

Mix well. Drop by the tablespoonful onto a silpat. Bake 8-10 minutes at 375. Baking time will vary by oven. Cake is done when it springs back at the touch of your finger or when a tooth pick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack. Once cool add desired amount of filling between two cakes and dust with powdered sugar.

Vanilla filling:

Beat for 4 minutes:
1/3 c. evaporated milk
1/3 c. softened butter
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla

Add:
1 to 2 c. powdered sugar (depending upon taste) and mix well.
The mixture should be thick and smooth enough for the two cakes to stick not slide together.

Divide the vanilla mixture into three bowls. Let one bowl be vanilla. For chocolate and raspberry, follow the directions below.

Chocolate filling:
In the second bowl of vanilla filling add cocoa powder by the tablespoonful. Mix and taste until desired flavor is achieved.

Raspberry filling:
In the third bowl of vanilla filling add crushed fresh raspberries by the tablespoonful. Mix and taste until desired flavor is achieved. You may need to increase the amount of powdered sugar to maintain consistency since raspberries are wet. You’ll only need a handful of raspberries to get the desired taste.

If you’ve never had a whoopie pie, you’ll love them. They’re delicious.

Bon Appetit!

 

SaveSave

Fresh New England

Get inspired to love & support local food. We have some great ideas sprouting up so browse our site for more delicious finds.

61 Comments
  1. yes i do remember those kind of whoopie pies wrapped in wax paper. and my great-gran used to make these pb ones. she never wrote down the recipe sadly, but boy were they good w/ her iced lemonade. i just made some whoopie pies with morning glory batter and it was so good.
    i love your photos, as always πŸ™‚ how is the new house? still good?

  2. What a wonderful ode to your grandmother! I’ve never had a whoopie pie, but I do remember a friend from Boston telling me that whoopie pies served after his little league baseball games were the only reason he played. Your grandmother must have been a meticulous woman to have typed those recipes!

  3. Awesome!! I LOVE whoopie pies. My grandmother used to make them as well but I’ve never had the recipe. I’m going to call my mom to and tell her to check this post out. Gorgeous photos El!

  4. How beautiful Sari. I never made whoopie pies, and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten one either. Maybe I should try it one day. By the way, love, love, love the photo of hydrangeas. So pretty just as pretty as you are, and your site!

  5. I had never had a Whoopie Pie until I made the pumpkin ones from the Baked cookbook last year. I definitely have been missing out! Yours look absolutely gorgeous.

  6. I’ve never made nor eaten whoopie pies, but that is a speciality I will have to bake very soon! Your look wonderful! I particularly like the chocolate filling.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  7. Never had a whoopie pie but sure I’m going to make them ASAP!! Love your story; it’s evocative. Love Mowie’s blog too, and this post reminds me of his Oma!! Food connections are what bring meaning to life. I love the different fillings… YUM!!
    We still have a lot of folk who use manual typewriters in India. I find them very charming indeed.

  8. How yum. I’ve definitely missed out. I want to hang that top picture across from my bed so that I can look at it every morning!

  9. Would you believe I’ve never ever had a whoopie pie? How can I not try one after seeing all these pictures.

  10. El, your photo essay is deeply inspirational. What a gift to open up my mail today and find myself here looking at this gorgeous work of art. I am so happy to find another post from you…
    And whoopie pies! I had NEVER heard of them until I visited my daughter in Palo Alto last summer and came upon them in San Fran. I was intrigued by the “intrigue” as they just seemed like cake with icing to me… shaped in little rounds. I really didn’t get the appeal. We were actually at Finales where we tried them. They were just “OK”… and then, in Harrod’s in London last week, there they were again on their food floor. An abundance of them – all chocolate with a myriad of flavours and florescent icing colours: minis and regular sized ones. The visual was compelling, so I again bought 3 minis to taste. Still, just didn’t get the appeal. Cake (and not good cake) with icing (and not good icing). But, after reading your post, and the comments within, I can see there is a tradition of these in families and that the memories are there. Also, it is obvious that it would be possible to have a really good cake and really good icing with these. I am still not motivated to make them. I have no frame of reference for them, and the appeal is just not there. If I want cake, it seems I would just make a cake. However, if my children were young, I would make these with them, for sure. And, I may do them with my students at school. It would be a really fun and very different item for them. I love when I come across something so intimate to another province in Canada, or a state in the US, that we in Alberta have never experienced. That is so rare in this age – and I love it!
    Warmly,
    Valerie

  11. This post is stunning. I definitely want to try to make these as I’ve never seen them before. I think my children would love this dessert!

  12. Gorgeous! My best friend’s mother made the best whoopie pies growing up. I still need to ask her for it, but your grandmother’s recipe sounds very similar. I can’t wait to try it out next time I’m in the mood for something sweet!

  13. Your pictures are so pretty, soft and inviting. I would love to bit into one of these delicate pies. How lucky you were to have a grandma who made these for you!

  14. gorgeous! and here i was just looking for something yummy to make my boys this afternoon.
    whoopies are huge up here too and one of my favorite, yet horrifying, memories of living in Maine is waiting in line at the Cabin Fever book sale at our library and listen to these vintage Mainers share the “secrets” of their Whoopies. And each one of them swore up and down on using Crisco in the filling!!!!! the horror…

  15. Whoopie pies are so good! I don’t think I’ve ever made chocolate ones, I need to get on that. Love the photo of your grandmother’s typed recipe – so nice to have things like that passed down πŸ™‚

  16. Oh MY! OH MY! OH MY!! I am seriously drooling! I have had several whoopie pies in my life. Some good, and some absolutely horrible.

    This recipe looks better than good. Looks amazing!

    This post makes me want to run into the kitchen to give this amazing recipe a try! I am even thinking that I have to bring these to school for my friends to try. Look too good!

    Great post! πŸ™‚

  17. Thanks for the breath of fresh air this morning before work. Beautiful images — oh the pink in those first shots. So delicate. And to end up in a whoopie? Excellent. What a treasure to find your grandmother’s recipe card. These sound so tasty, and are tempting me to give whoopies another go. I hear you on the Crisco — I went with a buttercream for mine last time. Love the powdered sugar finish on these. Happy Monday!

  18. Ah, of course — leave it to your extraordinary talents to make whoopie pies into something truly sublime and blessed by confectionary fairy dust magic!

  19. Such stunning photos! I especially love the raspberry and white chocolate cake you’ve made. Such a pity we don’t get fresh raspberries here..

  20. Oh I have never had a whoopie pie! It looks delicious!

    Both my grandmas are still alive. One is 95, the other one is 87. It is amazing to just think about their lives. It is so different than mine. They raise huge families, had to be with the food they produce on their farm… Wowow life has changed so much by then! Just thinking of that scares me a tiny bit.

  21. They just had a write up about whoopie pies in the Sunday Times this weekend (England). I am so eager to make them and your post is certainly inspiring. Love the story of your grandmother. Why were all grandmothers great cooks? Mine was too and I wish I had written her recipes down. Thanks for sharing!

  22. El, what a beautiful memory of your Grandmother. We have perhaps led similar lives. Well, our grandmother’s did! My grandmother was born just before the turn of the last century (the last one, too!), also lived through both wars in London, saw all the new inventions and amazing changes across the span of 1897 – 1988. Though unfortunately she was not a baker, nor a cook!

    Despite that, I will make these whoopie pies, which I lovingly remember from my five years living in Boston, and think of her. I truly do adore classic recipes that can stand the test of time.

  23. Oh, beautiful, beautiful photos! I want to have a tea party with these whoopie pies. I’ve actually never had one and have avoided buying into the whoopie pie fad because they seemed very dense, like an overly sweet cookie. Yours look soft and almost like a perfect mini-cupcake with less frosting. I’m going to try these out!

  24. This is wonderful! Amazing woman and I am amazed whenever I think of those who lived through all those years, all those changes. And lucky you to have found her recipes! (I have a couple that my brother typed for me He He!). This recipe is truly one to try! Look perfect!

  25. Okay, so I’m late but I’ve just discovered Whoopie Pies now… We don’t really have them in Europe but thanks to many American-style pastry shops in London ( i.e. Hummingbird Bakery! )I really like them now. If not because of their funny name that I don’t entirely get, hihi. Ordering a whoopie pie in Harrods simply seems kinda giggle-worthy! πŸ˜‰
    Guess I shouldn’t mention that at LCB or they’d give out to me for liking an overly sweet American “fashion” pastry… oopsy.

  26. Hi everyone, Thanks for the comments. You inspired me to make them again last night…this time w/ cocoa filling. I wrap each one in food safe paper, then plastic wrap, then a freezer bag and freeze. When we want one we just take one out and let it defrost at room temp or put it in the microwave for 25 seconds or so on defrost. Delicious. We’re addicts.

  27. I love the picture of the typed recipe card! And yes I remember typing! It must have been the summer of when I was maybe 6th grade going into 7th when my father taught me how to type.

    Besides teaching English, he was a typing teacher too. Everyday before I could anything fun, he’d give me a typing lesson. I hated it! But I was ahead of the curve when I took typing lessons in school. Funny how your post brought that back! ; )

    Oh and the whoopie pie looks yum!

  28. I’ve never made these. So exciting to have you post such a lovely recipe from so long ago. Your grandmother sounds amazing. And, your pictures are breathtaking. I want a whoopie pie right now!

  29. I’ve never tried a whoopie pie although I should coz the name cracks me up! Love the image of your grandmother’s typewritten recipe. So precious.

  30. What a delicious post this is, indeed!

    I never tasted these whoopie pies before, but these look so apart & so flavourfull!!

    Lovely!!

  31. Thank you for a beautiful post! It brought back fond memories of my own grandmother’s recipes. Looking forward to trying all three fillings.

  32. This brings back such sweet childhood memories. You’re so sweet to share this family recipe. The whoopie pie pictured here looks so much better than what I’ve seen in stores!

  33. Thank for your comment in my blog. πŸ™‚
    Your blog is amazing, and I’ve never tried whoopie pies. So I’ll try your recipe! Thanks!

  34. I’ve never heard of a whoopie pie but now that I have I want to taste them. I like the name. It sounds adventurous!

    Hope you’re having a great evening!

    Nisrine

  35. You are truly a special person. Your generosity in sharing these sweet delights coupled with your beautiful photography is a testament to the beautiful person you must be. Thank you for sharing. F

Skip to content