Moon pie

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Moon pie
Alternative namesMoonPie
Place of originUnited States of America
InventedApril 29, 1917
Main ingredientsGraham cracker cookies, marshmallow, chocolate

A moon pie, stylized as MoonPie,[1] is an American confection, popular across much of the United States, which consists of two round graham cracker cookies, with marshmallow filling in the center, dipped in a flavored coating. The snack is often associated with the cuisine of the American South, where they are traditionally accompanied by an RC Cola.[2] Today, Moonpies are made by Chattanooga Bakery, Inc. in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

The traditional pie is approximately 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. A smaller version exists (mini moon pie) that is approximately half the size, and a double-decker moon pie of the traditional diameter features a third cookie and attendant layer of marshmallow. The five main flavors are chocolate, vanilla, banana, strawberry, and salted caramel. Orange and coconut make seasonal appearances during the Mardi Gras parading season.


A double-decker moon pie split in half

Moon pies have been made daily at the Chattanooga Bakery since the brand's inception on April 29, 1917. Earl Mitchell Junior said his father came up with the idea for moon pies when he asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he would like to eat, and the miner requested something with graham cracker and marshmallow. Popular folklore, repeated and encouraged by Chattanooga Bakery itself, states the miner then asked the snack be "as big as the moon",[1] which inspired the name "moon pie".

There is a custom for eating moon pies with RC Cola, although the origin of this is unknown.[2] It is likely that their inexpensive prices, combined with their larger serving sizes, contributed to establishing this combination as the "working man's lunch". The popularity of this combination was celebrated in a popular song of the 1950s by Big Bill Lister titled "Gimmee an RC Cola and a Moon Pie".[1] In 1973, NRBQ had a minor hit with the song "An RC Cola and a Moon Pie".

Since New Year's Eve 2008, the city of Mobile, Alabama has been lowering a 12-foot-tall (3.7 m) lighted mechanical moon pie to celebrate the coming of the new year. The giant moon pie descends the 34 story RSA BankTrust building at the strike of midnight.[3] Every NYE, the world's largest moon pie is cut and served to the public as part of the festivities. It weighs 55 pounds (25 kg) and contains 45,000 calories (190 kJ).[4]

An annual RC Cola and Moon Pie Festival is celebrated in Bell Buckle, Tennessee, and a moon pie eating contest is held in Bessemer, Alabama.

On October 14, 2017, Matt Stonie, a competitive eater famous in national eating contests, ate 73 single-decker moon pies in eight minutes at the Bass Pro Shops store in Memphis, TN.

Newport, Tennessee held its first annual Moon Pie Festival in May 2012.

The company is celebrating its centennial anniversary with a "My Favorite MoonPie Memory" contest. The grand prize winner gets a 100-year supply of moon pies. A military Veteran, Christopher Priest from Rockford, Michigan, won the contest. It's also taking a wrapped Winnebago across the country in the Fall, thanking its top customers and attending various sporting events and festivals.

In September 2017, as part of its centennial, Moon Pie returned to the original recipe, replacing high-fructose corn syrup with sugar and removing preservatives and artificial colors and flavors.

Mardi Gras tradition[edit]

The moon pie became a traditional "throw" (an item thrown from a parade float into the crowd) of Mardi Gras "krewes" (parade participants) in Mobile, Alabama during 1956,[5][6] followed by other communities along the Northwest Florida and Mississippi Gulf Coast. The westernmost outpost of the MoonPie as an important Carnival throw is Slidell, Louisiana, which has a parade by "The Krewe of Mona Lisa and MoonPie". Also, in the town of Oneonta, Alabama, there is a MoonPie eating contest started by Wal-Mart employee John Love when he inadvertently ordered too many. This anecdote was featured in Sam Walton's autobiography, Made in America.[7]

Nutrition facts[edit]

Moon pie
Nutritional value per 100g
Energy385 kcal (1,610 kJ)
Dietary fiber1.3g
Saturated6.41 g
MineralsQuantity %DV
1.85 mg
295 mg

Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient Database

A moon pie is made with marshmallow, which is a low-fat but high-sugar food. The ingredients are as follows: enriched wheat flour (niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), corn syrup, sugar, vegetable shortening (contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil and/or cottonseed oil and/or coconut oil and/or palm kernel oil and/or palm oil), soy flour, dutched cocoa (processed with alkali), cocoa, kosher gelatin, baking soda, lecithin, salt, artificial flavoring, sodium sulfite.[8]

Other flavors (such as banana, vanilla, strawberry, or orange) might have different nutritional content.



  • Salted Caramel
  • Banana
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate


  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Chocolate
  • Lemon
  • Orange
  • Vanilla


  • Salted Caramel
  • Strawberry
  • Banana
  • Vanilla
  • Chocolate
  • Coconut

Moon Pie Crunch

  • Peanut Butter
  • Mint

Similar products[edit]

Wagon Wheels are similar to moon pies and are found in the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada

In the northern areas of the U.S., a similar product is called a "Scooter Pie" and there is also a single-cracker marshmallow cookie called "Mallomars". Little Debbie also makes what they call "Marshmallow Pies" which are nearly identical to the moon pies. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada a similar product is called "Wagon Wheels". In South Korea, the very similar "Choco Pie" is produced by several companies. In Japan, there is the smaller-sized "Angel Pies" by Morinaga as well as a brand of "Choco Pie".

"Choco pies" produced by Lotte Confectionery in South Korea are similar, as are "Mamut" (Spanish for "Mammoth", sold by Gamesa), and "Rocko" (marketed by Marinela) in Mexico, and there are there are several other minor brands as well. The "Halley" and "Bimbo" pies sold in Turkey and Egypt respectively are also similar. In Argentina a similar treat is "Alfajor", and more than 20 brands marketed as "alfajores" are very popular.

In popular culture[edit]

In The Simpsons, the product is seen for able at Kwik-E-Mart. When Jasper thought he was in the future, he discovered that the product existed.

ABC-TV's Good Morning America featured "The Moon Pie Song" by Charles Ghigna (Father Goose) during its tour of the Chattanooga Bakery Company in 1991.

In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 2 Episode 15 ("Phases"), Xander states that although the full moon can bring out the worst qualities of mankind, it "ironically also led to the invention of the Moon Pie". Giles finds this hilarious.

In the CBS sitcom The Big Bang Theory and its prequel series Young Sheldon, Sheldon calls his grandmother Meemaw, and she in turn calls him Moon Pie.[9]

In The Cannonball Run (1981), JJ McClure (Burt Reynolds) refers to Victor Prinzi (Dom DeLuise) as a "round orange moonpie with a white hat on".

The brand is known for its off-kilter Twitter presence.[10]

In The Green Mile (1999), the prisoner Wild Bill (Sam Rockwell) chews up a moonpie and spits it in a guard's face (David Morse).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "About Us – MoonPie". MoonPie. Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Heavenly Appeal of MoonPies". Retrieved June 15, 2018.
  3. ^ "Mobile's Moon Pie rising". Press-Register. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  4. ^ "Giant MoonPie taking shape for New Year's celebration". Press-Register. Archived from the original on June 9, 2011. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  5. ^ "Carnival/Mobile Mardi Gras Timeline" (list of events by year), Museum of Mobile, 2001, webpage:MoM: states: 1917 – The Chattanooga Bakery company introduces the popular marshmallow cookie "moon pie"; and, 1956 – The first "MoonPies" are thrown from a Mobile Mardi Gras float.
  6. ^ "Mobile's Moonpies made their debut in 1974!". Archived from the original on October 3, 2008. Retrieved September 1, 2008.
  7. ^ Walton, Sam; John Huey (1992). Made in America. Doubleday. ISBN 978-0-385-46860-2.
  8. ^ "Chocolate MoonPie nutrition information" (label),, September 7, 2004 (letter from bakery), webpage: DF-MoonPie (nutrition facts of full-size chocolate MoonPie).
  9. ^ "The Big Bang Theory – The Terminator Decoupling Quotes". Retrieved January 26, 2017.
  10. ^ "This Is Who's Behind MoonPie's Hysterically Weird Twitter Account". BuzzFeed. Retrieved December 27, 2018.

External links[edit]