Whoopie pie

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Whoopie pie
Whoopie pie with dusting of confectioner's sugar.jpg
Alternative names Black moon, gob, black-and-white, bob, BFO, Big Fat Oreo
Type Cookie, pie, or cake
Place of origin USA
Region or state Contested
Main ingredients Chocolate, pumpkin or gingerbread cake; icing
Cookbook:Whoopie pie  Whoopie pie

The whoopie pie (alternatively called a black moon, gob (term indigenous to the Pittsburgh region), black-and-white, bob, or "BFO" for Big Fat Oreo, (Also recorded as "Devil Dogs," and "Twins" in 1835[1])) is a US baked good that may be considered either a cookie, pie, or cake. It is made of two round mound-shaped pieces of chocolate cake, or sometimes pumpkin or gingerbread cake, with a sweet, creamy filling or frosting sandwiched between them.[2]


While considered a New England phenomenon and a Pennsylvania Amish tradition,[3] they are increasingly sold throughout the United States.[2] According to food historians, Amish women would bake these desserts (known as hucklebucks, or creamy turtles at the time) and put them in farmers' lunch pails or lunch boxes. When farmers would find the treats in their lunch, they would shout "Whoopie!"[2] It is thought that the original Whoopie pies may have been made from cake batter leftovers.[4]

The whoopie pie is the official state treat of Maine[5] (not to be confused with the official state dessert, which is blueberry pie).[5]

The world's largest whoopie pie was created in South Portland, Maine on March 26, 2011, weighing in at 1,062 pounds.[6] Pieces of the giant whoopie pie were sold and the money was used to send Maine-made whoopie pies to soldiers serving overseas.[6] The previous record holder, from Pennsylvania, weighed 200 pounds.[6]

Origin controversy[edit]

Pennsylvania, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire all claim to be the birthplace of the Whoopie pie. In 2011, the Maine State Legislature considered naming the whoopie pie the official state pie. The proposal received bipartisan support. L.D. 71, officially known as "An Act to Designate the Whoopie Pie as the State Dessert", read "The whoopie pie, a baked good made of two chocolate cakes with a creamy frosting between them, is the official state dessert".[7] The Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau[8] and other observers[citation needed] in Lancaster County, PA, note that the whoopie pie comes from the area's Amish and Pennsylvania German culture – origins that are unlikely to leave an official paper trail – and has been handed down through generations.[9] Most likely, Amish groups that migrated to Maine brought the treat to the people of Maine[citation needed]. Mainers assert that Labadie's in Lewiston, Maine has been making the confectionery since 1925.[10]

The now-defunct Berwick Cake Company of Roxbury, Massachusetts was selling "Whoopee Pies" as early as the 1920s, but officially branded the Whoopee Pie in 1928 to great success. It is also claimed that the whoopie pie originated in Massachusetts and spread both north and south.[11] It appears though that German immigrants brought the predecessor of the Whoopie Pie to communities throughout the northeast.[12]

The Maine Legislature eventually decided to declare the whoopie pie the official state treat, and chose blueberry pie (made with wild Maine blueberries) as the official state dessert.[5]

Popular culture[edit]

Halloween-themed whoopie pies
  • November 5, 2010: In the second episode of The Stephen K. Amos Show, British comedian Stephen K. Amos portrayed an eccentric television interviewer whose guest Natalie Allen (a real-life baker) explained at length how she was inspired to create whoopie pies at her North London bakery Sweet Things. She said of the confection, "It's a cake/cookie. It's like a cookie sandwich, but it's soft cookie."
  • July 10, 2011: In episode 61 of Series 3 of MasterChef Australia Dani Venn made Whoopie Pies as part of the New York Week Challenge but was unable to present them because she burnt the edges of the bases.
  • February 14, 2012: On episode 556 of the Totally Rad Show the hosts made Whoopie Pies as a romantic gesture for Valentine's Day.
  • A tradition at the Penny Arcade Expo East is to give the hosts Whoopie Pies during the Q&A.
  • A peanut butter cream variation is offered at the Kutztown Folk Festival in Kutztown, Pa., Berks County held in early July.
  • The town of Clinton, New York claims to have created the "half moon pie," a treat that is identical except for its chocolate filling.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Annual Report of the State of Massachusetts Infirmary vol. 3. 1835. 92. http://books.google.com/books?id=VoVKAAAAMAAJ&q=%22whoopie+pie%22&dq=%22whoopie+pie%22&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JI91UriFH-fTsASyn4DYAw&ved=0CD8Q6AEwAQ accessed 11/2/13
  2. ^ a b c Maynard, Micheline (March 17, 2009). "Whoopie! Cookie, Pie or Cake, It's Having Its Moment". The New York Times. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ History of Whoopie pie
  4. ^ Whoopie Pies, Good Housekeeping, October 2004
  5. ^ a b c Associated Press (April 21, 2011). "It's the law: Whoopie pie official 'treat'". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  6. ^ a b c "Maine creates 1,062 pound Whoopie Pie". WHDH-TV. March 28, 2011. Retrieved April 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ Maine legislators sweet on whoopie pies Portland Press Herald, January 18, 2011
  8. ^ "Save Our Whoopie". Padutchcountry.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  9. ^ "Whoopie pies: Maine treat or Lancaster Co. delight?". Articles.philly.com. November 1, 2007. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  10. ^ February 15, 2011 (February 15, 2011). "Battle Brewing Over 'Whoopie Pies' – Portland News Story – WMTW Portland". Wmtw.com. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 
  11. ^ Stoneback, Diane W. "Which State Mad the First Whoopie Pie?". http://articles.mcall.com/2011-04-19/entertainment/mc-whoopie-pie-sidebar-history-20110419_1_whoopie-pies-amish-community-cake. Tribune Company. Retrieved 25 August 2014. 
  12. ^ "Whoopie Pie, Whoopie Pie Recipe, Gob History, How To Make Whoopie Pies, Whoopie Pie History". Whatscookingamerica.net. March 12, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-02. 

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