Thursday, July 30, 2009

Recipe: Real Maine Whoopie Pies

rita and grammy making whoopie pies

While I was in Maine I spent one rainy afternoon making whoopie Pies with my Grammy Elliott and my cousin's grandmother, Rita. Watching them bicker and laugh while sipping some cold Pinot Grigio with Judge Judy blaring in the background was a hoot. Rita calls herself the, Whoopie Pie Queen and frankly after tasting her creations I can't deny that claim. Store bought whoopie pies are just too thick and have way too much filling. More is not necessarily better when it comes to whoopies.


Maybe I should back up and explain what a whoopie pie is. Two devil's food cakes with a creamy filling made of egg whites, confectionery sugar, fluff, and basically Crisco. Whoopie pies as far as I know are a Maine thing. The amish have their own version. You'll spot whoopies wrapped in cellophane at gas stations, sub shops, and gourmet stores all over Maine. Some claim to be the best but honestly nothing compares to homemade. Above and below photos from a fun afternoon.


Below the recipe both grandmother's having been making for years adapted from Marjorie Standish book, "Cooking Down East," (1968).


Ingredients for Cakes:

1/2 cup shortening

1 cup sugar

2 egg yolks

5 tablespoons of cocoa (rita uses 4)

2 cups sifted flour

1 teaspoon each: baking powder, baking soda, salt

1 cup milk

1 teaspoon vanilla


The sugar and shortening are creamed together, the beaten egg yolks added. The dry ingredients are sifted together, and added alternatively with the milk and vanilla. Drop the batter in equal spoonfulls onto a greased cookie sheet, leaving room for them to spread. Bake in a pre-heated 375 degrees oven for 7-10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool. When completly cool, mix filling (recipe below), spreading half the cakes with this mixture. Put them together like a sandwich.



Filling: With an electric mixer, combine 1/2 cups shortening, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 2 egg whites, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons fluff.


p.s. I've come across recipes that cook the egg whites. The grandmothers never have and nobody has ever gotten sick.




Making Whoopie Pies
Old Ladies of Waterville, Maine making Whoopie Pies
Rita Making Whoopie Pies


Checking the Whoopie Pie Recipegrammy elliott and rita making whoopie pies
Making Whoopie Pies

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17 comments:

  1. this post has touched my heart and made my day. what cute grammy's! and i LOVE whoopie pies and haven't had them in years. thanks!

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  2. OK.. these ladies are too cute!

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  3. My dad grew up eating my grandmother's whoopie pies in Northern Vermont. She passed on the recipe before she died. I make them for family events and for friends. They are always a big hit although most people around here (SE Massachusetts) have no idea what they are and have never eaten them before. Maybe it's a northern New England thing??

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  4. I LOVE these pictures! They remind me so much of my Granny. She used to make these too, only for some reason hers were called Gobs. (The rest of the world calls them Whoopie Pies)

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  5. I like this post very much but felt compelled to say that there must be something nicer than "old bats" to call your older relatives in a published piece.

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  6. I thought it was enduring. I see them as fun, jovial, sometimes silly.

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  7. I had these as a kid made by a Canadian friend. How lovely that I can now make them for my girls! Thank you - love your grannies too Hx

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  8. I love this post. Being from the South, I hadn't heard of Whoopie Pies until a few years back when I discovered a recipe in a Family Fun magazine. We've enjoyed them ever since. I always take them on camping trips. My brother in law makes everyone shout WHOOPIE! anytime they eat one. Thanks for sharing your family recipe.

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  9. I grew up in a small Pennsylvania town with a large Amish population, and whoopie pies are a major staple there as well! (Martina – some people call them Gobs where I’m from too.)

    Our local recipes don’t call for any marshmallow fluff though, and versions made with pumpkin and banana instead of devil’s food cake are also pretty popular. They are so atrocious for your health, but so delicious! In fact, I could go for one right now…

    I am vacationing in Maine in September, so I will look out for a local version to taste test. I will also have to try your family recipe to see how it compares it to our own! Thanks for sharing!

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  10. Fluff was invented by a couple of Swampscott boys and several generations of their Marblehead descendants spent their summers making Fluff at the Lynn plant.

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  11. oh my goodness, YUM! this post is SO cute. i just posted about whoopie pies today, and chelsea told me i had to look over here, of course :)...i don't know how i missed this post! you guys are adorable. xo

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  12. So sweet!

    I miss Maine. Thanks for bringing it to us.

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  13. so, so cute. will be making whoopie pies this weekend. huzzah!

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  14. Being a Maine girl I have had the wonderful pleasure of growing up with homemade Whoopie Pie's. My mother's recipe is quite similar and now I make them for my family from time to time.

    Loved all of your images and the Grammies are adorable...reminds me of my grandmother who would always make homemade cream puffs for me before I came for a long visit as a little girl. They would be sitting on top of the refrigerator with homemade cream and home made chocolate to top them off...such a special memory.

    Tricia - Avolli

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  15. Can I just state for the record, i hope to referred to as an old bat one day? Is that so wrong?

    Even better would be to be part of an old bat team. Imagine the hilarity that will ensue. I can't wait.

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  16. oh, my gosh! i love this post--all the bright colors, all the careful consulting of the recipe and placing on the cookie sheets. your photos are great, and now i'm excited to try whoopie pies myself! these ladies are so great!

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  17. Hi Katie,

    What a fun blog... I just happened to come across it while searching for a baker in Wiscasset. Look forward to reading more, and trying the Whoopie Pie recipe!

    All best,

    Jen Hazard
    cutepotato.com
    Your Guide to Everything Kid-Friendly in Maine

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