Since the beginning of time, man has been obsessed with Makin’ Whoopie…Pies that is. Whoopie pies are the sweet dessert that seems to be going through an identity crisis. It refers to itself as pie, yet the outside is in the form of two cakes with sweet icing stuffed between them and it looks like a giant soft cookie.
These mouth watering, hand-sized desserts wrapped in clear cellophane, can be found at almost every bakery, roadside stand, and farmers market in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Hundreds of unique flavors can be found around the county, including the traditional chocolate cake with a white whipped cream filling to pumpkin, red velvet, or the ever personal favorite peanut butter.
Whoopie pie groupies flock to the Whoopie Pie Festival in September for an entire day of wonderful Whoopie activities. Lancaster County is also home of the one-of-a-kind Whoopie Pie race series known as the Makin’ Whoopie Challenge. This series takes participants on a hilarious three town adventure with races located in Blue Ball, Intercourse, and Paradise in order to claim the exclusive and unique race medals and prizes from many locally owned businesses.
Now, when it comes to the history of the Whoopie Pie, facts tend to get a tad blurry. A Confectionery Sugar War is being fought between Lancaster County, PA, and the entire state of Maine. Both lay claim to inventing the Whoopie Pie.
One historic theory claims that frugal Pennsylvania Dutch women would use their leftover cake batter to create the half-moon outsides and fill them with a sweet cream icing. Legend has it that school children and happy husbands shouted ‘Whoopie’ when they found the sweet treats in their lunch pails.
Maine claims that they have been selling the delicious desserts since the 1920’s and even went as far as declaring the whoopie pie the official state treat in 2011.
A clue into how the “possibly Amish” dessert got to be so popular in New England can be found in a 1930’s cookbook called Yummy Book by the Durkee Mower Company, the manufacturer of Marshmallow Fluff. In this New England cookbook, a recipe for “Amish Whoopie Pie” was featured using Marshmallow Fluff in the filling. Note the title: “Amish Whoopie Pie”. Hmmm…sounds like an open and closed case, Maine.
*cue patriotic music*
When all’s said and done, the one thing we can all agree upon is that Whoopie is both delicious and satisfying, no matter where in the world it comes from. Let’s look past our differences and embrace each other for our common love for the mouth watering dessert.
Make Whoopie, not war, my friends!