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Now I’m going to tell you: my mother’s whoopie pie recipe is SO GOOD that I will often tell people that I don’t like whoopie pies at all, because I have yet to find another recipe that I actually like. Other people’s whoopie pies are too cakey, or too cookie-like, or (as is usually the case) the filling is pure frosting, which is WAY too sweet and totally the wrong texture altogether. My mom’s whoopie pies were famous in our circles, and she generously provided them whenever demanded, particularly when visiting my Uncle and Aunt in Maine for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I ate more whoopie pies in my childhood than cupcakes, brownies or cookies combined; they were a true and strong family tradition.

Antonia, a faithful reader, pointed to a NYTimes article about the Whoopie Pie and well hey, I’m not usually up to snuff on anything topical, and since I have an authentic family recipe on hand, I am suddenly compelled to showcase my (rather specialized) expertise!

A proper whoopie pie is not merely some cloying abomination of sugar and fat. No no, it is delicate in its way, the sweetness ever-present and yet subdued. Please do not compare them to a Devil Dog or Moon Pie. Please do not make them with cake mix and tub frosting. A whoopie pie is a very specific delicacy and there are rules.

The proper texture.

A proper whoopie pie “cookie” is a medium-brown shade, fairly dry (not all oily and moist like a Little Debbie’s snack), but still somewhat densely cakelike, maybe a vein or two where the scoop let go of the batter. They crack ever so slightly, but sometimes they don’t and maybe that has something to do with the barometric pressure. I dunno, they still taste right and seem to have the right texture, so aesthetics aside, it’s fine either way.

Okay, so maybe the filling is an abomination of fat and sugar.

The proper whoopie pie filling is made with Crisco (which, apparently, no longer contains trans fats), butter, whole milk, sugar, a tiny smidge of flour and a regular portion of vanilla. Did you notice that it has no Fluff in it? That’s because Fluff is for fluffernutters, not whoopie pies. You will also notice that the filling is not a frosting, but a creme. While eating, one will lose all the filling out the sides and must open the pie, collect up the creme that has splooshed out back onto the bottom piece, then recreate the sandwich, only to do it all again in the next bite or two. This is the proper way to eat a whoopie pie.

This process presented many lovely photo ops. Let’s take a look!

Where the chocolate comes in.

This one reminds me of a dusty construction site.

Cocoa construction site.

Ungreased cookie sheet...

The cookies can be removed from the cookie sheet almost immediately, but you really need to use a metal spatula and carefully scrap them off. I like the texture underneath, it gets a little crispy as it cools and it is so so satisfying to snack on the odd unmatched whoopie pie cookie before they’re frosted.

The underside.

The creme takes a convenient 10 minutes to make, which you can most likely complete between the time the first batch of cookies goes into and comes out of the oven. I’ve found it nearly impossible to make the creme without an electric mixer (stand or hand, your choice), and sometimes it takes longer than others. For the first several minutes of mixing, your creme will look like this: kinda gross.

Porridge?

And then you’ll hear a cherub giggle, and an angel wing will brush against your shoulder as suddenly the creme whips up into this glorious appearance. The texture is extremely creamy, but still looks like this.

As if by magic.

After a little assembly . . .
Mom's perfect whoopie pies.

Since I started making my own food, I’ve lived on these for days at a time. Not particularly healthy nor affluent days, but certainly enjoyable ones.

Well of COURSE I ate some as I went along.

 

 

Mom’s Famous Whoopie Pies
makes about 14 after batter & cookie sampling
brought to you by very fortunate family ties.

Blend Add
1/4 c Crisco 2 c flour
1 c milk 1/4 c + 1 tbsp cocoa
1 c sugar 1.5 tsp baking soda
1 egg 1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla  

Drop by the small tablespoonful onto an ungreased cookie sheet—a tablespoon-sized bakery scoop works best. Bake exactly 8 minutes at 375o, see if a toothpick comes out clean, and if it doesn’t, bake another 2 minutes (10 total). Upon extraction from the oven, remove from pan immediately to wire rack to cool.

 

And now the creme filling (reminder: it’s not frosting, guys)

1/2 c margarine or butter (room temp is best)
1/2 c Crisco (my mother is insistent that this MUST be Crisco and CANNOT be generic shortening, nor substituted in any way . . . but if you do get it to work with a substitution, please let me know!)
1 c sugar
1 tbsp  flour
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c warm whole milk (20 seconds in the microwave should do it)

Beat with a mixer (stand or hand, your choice) for-freakin-ever. It will start out just like, well, lumps of Crisco floating in milk, then bits will get smaller and smaller, then it’ll slosh around for a little bit, and, much like the butter making process, you’ll be wondering if this will ever become anything or if you maybe messed it up somehow. Suddenly, about five minutes later, your mix will look weird for a second, and within moments your slushy mess will turn into a glorious white creme, smooth and perfect in a way rarely seen outside the confines of uber-processed food with chemicals you can’t pronounce that are not even available to the consumer in their pure form.

 

Assembly

As soon as the whoopie cookies are cool, match each whoopie with its closest brother in size—even if yours didn’t all come out the same size, evenly matched whoopies will look much much nicer. Spread some filling on the flat side of one, then place the second on top. Repeat. This does not need to be done immediately before serving, as the filling tends to maintain its consistency surprisingly well, and some (like my mom) would argue that a day-old whoopie pie is even better than fresh. I like them all.

No need to refrigerate, sealed plastic or plastic wrap will keep them fresh.

. . . and that’s it. Congratulations! You just made the best whoopie pies known to man.

 

 

Not like it’s diet food or anything, but these are not quite as totally terrible as I thought they’d be!
Nutrition Summary (for 1 whoopie pie of yield 15): 330 calories, 17g fat, 1g fiber; 8 Weight Watchers Points

  1. mladd Said,

    Tried these very late night Holy Saturday since I could not sleep. The cookies came out a little lighter than expected and the cream seemed a little less indulgent than anticipated. That being said, the cake and cream went together great.

    My only complaint was the pancake problem mentioned in the previous post. My whoopies looked more like chocolate chip cookies than the traditional double-top-bun pie. I am living at high altitude though come from back east so adjust accordingly as your mileage my vary

  2. LNLN Said,

    I became obsessed with Whoopie Pies after hubby brought some home for Valetine’s Day (red velvet and heart shaped). My friend Grace, who grew up in Maine, coached me through my recipe selection. I would have used the recipe from Moody’s diner, BUT they include marshmallow fluff in their filling. Instead, I made this recipe and will probably never try a different one. I followed the recipe exactly and Grace said they were right on. Another friend claimed they were quite possibly the best thing she ever ate!And they are not as much work as I thought they would be. TIP: Place the filling in a zip lock bag and clip one corner, so that you have a disposable pastry bag. Much easier to fill those pies!

  3. Jess Said,

    I made these for my dad for Father’s day. He loved them! I baked one batch for 9 minutes, and one batch for about 12, and the shorter time made for delicious, more moist ‘al dente’ cookie cakes! I’m going to combine your recipe for the creme with my grandmother’s recipe (she is a fan of the marshmallow…) and i think it will be absolutely to die for!

  4. Chantelle Said,

    How much butter do you use in the whoopie pie recipe? It is not in the ingredients list though she has mentioned it further up and it is in the picture! I REALLY want to make these but fear stuffing it up with too much/not enough butter!

  5. Shelly Said,

    Im from Maine (since birth) & now live in VA & your exactly right! People down in the south are just recently hearing of our goodies & attempt at every avenue to create them & they consist of devils food cake mix & icing…blech 🙁

  6. Caitlyn Said,

    Fantastic recipe! The cream filling is especially brilliant! I thought you would be interested to know that as I live in England, and therefore cannot get hold of Crisco, I used generic vegetable shortening. The filling was still delicious, light and really fluffy. Thanks for posting!

  7. Pie fillings : Whoopie Pie Fillings Recipe Said,

    […] Definitely better than the marshmallow filling recipes I've found. Thanks for sharing! I will never go back to my old whoopie pie ways. Jess Said,… Read source webpage […]

  8. Pie fillings : Whoopie Pie Filling Without Fluff Said,

    […] The proper whoopie pie filling is made with Crisco (which … you so much for posting this recipe without the stupid Fluff. I have been looking for an authentic whoopie pie… Read source text […]

  9. Julia Said,

    How strange that I grew up thinking that everyone knew what a whoopie pie was. I’m from Massachusetts and my mom got a recipe very similar to this from a very good friend of hers and made them for us often when we were children. I’ve only recently come to realize that whoopie pies are a New England treat. How lucky are we?!!! The only difference between your recipe and mine is that the milk and flour is combined and heated in a saucepan until thick and then left to cool. When cool, it is added to the creamed butter/sugar/crisco/vanilla mixture and whipped up. It doesn’t take long; just until the granular sugar is no longer grainy. It is the lightest, creamiest filling ever. I can’t imagine eating a whoopie pie with any other kind of filling. Fluff is just wrong in so many ways. Last year I bought a “whoopie pie” at a festival for a fund raiser. The cookie/cake part was flatter and dryer than it should be, but the filling tasted like frosting. I took one bite and threw it away. I am a whoopie pie snob. I might try other cookie/cake flavors just for the heck of it; but there’s only one acceptable filling. Glad to see this recipe posted as the “authentic”. For those who are having trouble with flat cakes, you might want to be sure your rising agent is not old. And for those who are asking about the amount of butter used: it is usually equal to the amount of Crisco (vegetable shortening) called for.

  10. LeAnn Said,

    This is the most incredible recipe I have ever made! My Whoopie cookbooks are in the donate bin. There is no improving – thank you thank you!

  11. Jennifer Said,

    Could not find MY mother’s recipe until I hit your page. Every other recipe had marshmallow in it. Thank you for putting this online!!!

  12. Kelly Silke Said,

    …It’s a Maine Thang…some just don’t understand…=D
    Yummo..enjoy!

  13. Whoopie Pies. « Oven Of Happiness Said,

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  14. Heather Garcia Said,

    Greetings from Australia. Found your recipe yesterday and made it today….excellent results. As Jess said we don’t have Crisco here so I used Frymaster solid vegetable oil (yellow wrapping) available in supermarkets next to margarines etc. I grated it to get the 1/4 cup and 1/2 cup measurements right. We know the cream filling as “mock cream” and is great for any cake filling for fetes or occasions where a fresh cream filling would go off.,

  15. The Man is Trying to Kill Me « Bayou-Mama Said,

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  16. Whoopie Pies » Kitchen - Kim Anh Le Said,

    […] Omnomicon Yield: about 52 cake/cookie using 1 tablespoon […]

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    Great ideas that I have never thought of-thank you!

  18. Randy Said,

    Having grown up in Maine and Massachusetts I can tell you this filling is the real thing! I use my own recipe for the cakes but this filling is to die for. Two things: 1) I substituted 4 tbs of Bailey’s Irish Cream for 4 of the tbs of milk = decadence. 2) If people have such an aversion to Crisco they should use lard. Now THAT is tradition.

  19. Sara Said,

    Thank you thank you thank you! I am living in Vietnam and and have been craving a REAL Maine whoopie pie. My mom tried to send me my grammy’s recipe, but the image wouldn’t load. I came across your recipe and it’s awesome! I didn’t have a hand mixer, so I used a blender, but they turned out amazingly! Now I’m going to spread the whoopie pie love here in Saigon!

  20. Jo Ann Said,

    Hi!!! I made these years ago using Marcia Adams Mennonite Cookbook “Cooking from Quilt Country”. I believe she uses lard instead of the crisco…and crisco for the filling. And yes they were yummy..But I also took down this recipe…Vermont is big on whoppie pies! They are fun and easy to make!!

  21. LaGoonie Said,

    They look so good and yummy but I’ve tried making them today and they turned out super flat and tasted funny! I don’t know what went wrong! 🙁

  22. Storme Said,

    Probably the worst recipe I’ve ever made. Its like eating slightly sweet (not even chocolate cake) with whipped butter. Blah!

  23. Maureen Said,

    Thank you! My mother had an old cookbook that had a Whoopie Pie recipe in it, and I think this is it!
    Yes, the recipes with “fluff” do not stand a chance next to this filling.
    Thanks again for posting!

  24. Beatrice GRINNELL Said,

    Best filling ever. Loved it. My grandaughters favorite! I also use as a frosting on chocolate cake. Delicious not too sweet. Just right THANKS for sharing!

  25. hannah Said,

    how could i make these green for st pattys day? would the green cover the cocoa? could i substitute something for the cocoa?

  26. Suzi Said,

    THANK YOU! I lost my recipe from childhood, and I think this might be it (or really close to it).

    For Hannah above, you can just add green food coloring to the filling for St. Patrick’s Day!

    I

  27. Marilyn Said,

    I must say this is a keeper! I lived by the Amish and loved them and enjoyed their whoopee-pies.
    Now I want to take a batch of these down to them and see what they think!! Thanks, it is always fun to share!

  28. Shauna Said,

    I made these a few years ago and I just wanted to say that they are totally delicious… and that I did not use Crisco! I used Spectrum’s non-hydrogenated shortening and it still turned out great!

  29. annmarie Said,

    Hello all,
    Just wanted to give you a little tip. Crisco is no longer using trans fats in their shortening, which they did use years ago which is why moms & grandmas baking was AWESOME, lol fat = flavor! but…you can buy something called HiIGH RATIO SHORTENING. Its harder to get your hands on. You can buy it in cake/bakery supply stores or order it online. It will make such a difference! If you think they are great now, if you try them with high ratio shortening they will blow your mind.
    Also, i was told that the aurhentic amish whoopie pies are made with black onyx cocoa. I have yet to try my whoopie pies with this cocoa but i cant wait too.
    Happy Baking!

  30. Toni Said,

    I have NEVER used crisco or any other brand in any baking, I have had this filling made with crisco in the past, so I made my filling with 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup margarine (to replace crisco). And one would have to be a filling conisseur of filling to tell I omitted the crisco. I also added extra Vanilla to get more flavor. Simply lovely!I am adding to my recipe box to use on cakes!

  31. Pam Said,

    I have been looking or this recipe FOREVER!!!!!!!!
    This is the one I grew up with!!!!!! The exact one my mother & Gransmother made!
    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!!
    Now….finally…I can make these delicious pies for my sons & grandchildren!! 🙂
    Angels blessings to you!!!

  32. It’s a toss up between Sauerkraut, Pork and Dumplings and Ham Pot Pie with a Whoopie pie | Phil Harrison's Blog Said,

    […] Sour Cream in the dough.   Yeah.  You know by now I am not giving you that recipe, but here is a Whoopie Pie recipe that does it right.  And feel free to experiment with Sour Cream substitution in […]

  33. Rachelle Said,

    I made these today and they are absolutely delicious. I made mini ones and got 31 with extra filling for something else. Great recipe!

  34. Stacy Said,

    This looks a lot like the whoopie pies from the Pennsylvania Dutch side of my family. The main difference is that in the cake batter, instead of butter and or shortening, they use plain old hog lard. And they are *divine* that way.

  35. Francine Said,

    I have made this filling multiple times and it starts out looking not so great but turns out SUPERB!!!

    I NEED HELP/ADVICE though. I will be making potentially 400 for a fundraiser and can’t remember how many Whoopie Pies this filling fills??? ANY IDEA????

  36. The Best Whoopie Pies Said,

    […] on the absolutely best recipe EVER for Whoopie Pies (shared below) from a very cool blog called Omnomicon . It was then that I recalled eating Whoopie Pies as a kid growing up in New England. I guess […]

  37. Bridget Said,

    My husband grew up in Maine and has been begging me to make Whoopie pies for a while now. Finally found this recipe and they came out incredible! I used Spectrum organic non-hydrogenated shortening in lieu of Crisco, buttermilk in lieu of regular milk, Dutch processed cocoa and baking powder rather than baking soda, and confectioner’s sugar for the filling. The whoopies look and taste divine. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family recipe!

  38. Kristin B Said,

    OK these are good but even better by adding 2-3 tbls of Coco powder to filling. Omg. Orgazmic!

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