What in the world is a Whoopie Pie?

If you’ve never tasted a whoopie pie, you are certainly in for a treat. It’s not a pie at all, but a moist cake cookie sandwich with a sweet light filling. Traditionally, these treats are large – about the size of a hamburger. And, you’ll want a glass of milk or cup of coffee to compliment the sweetness.

Whoopie Pies are certainly a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition, but they are popular all across New England as well. Supposedly, Amish or Pennsylvania Dutch wives put these sweet sandwiches in the lunch boxes of the husbands or children. As they opened their lunches, they’d yell “whoopie!” Hence, the name Whoopie Pie.

Sometimes known as “Gobs” or “Debbie” cookies in the midwestern Amish communities, there’s nothing fancy about them. The cake “cookie” is generally not particularly sweet, but the filling makes up for that. The secret ingredient of the filling is the egg whites – it helps give the filling its light fluffy texture.

There are all sorts of flavors of whoopies pies, although chocolate is the most common. At our Der Dutchman and Dutch Valley Bakeries, the chocolate variety is made daily, but they often make different flavors as a seasonal special. Sometimes you can find oatmeal or chocolate chip whoopies. Pumpkin whoopie pies are made in the fall at most locations. You’ll even find incredible soft ginger cookie whoopies at our Walnut Creek bakery on occasion.

An Amish Whoopie Pie Recipe: Banana Whoopies

(From the Der Dutchman Walnut Creek Cookbook, 1992 edition, contributed by Wilma Miller)

2 cups brown sugar
2 cups mashed bananas
1 cup Crisco
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Cream together sugar, Crisco and eggs. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Sift flour, spices, baking powder and soda, and salt together and add to banana mixture. Drop by teaspoon onto a cookie sheet. Bake ten minutes at 400 degrees. Cool the “cookies” completely before adding the filling.

3 egg whites
3 cups powdered sugar
6 teaspoons milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups Crisco

3 thoughts on “What in the world is a Whoopie Pie?

  1. When I was young we went to Lancaster frequently because we would visit family in Reading. I loved Whoopie Pies. They were always the highlight of my visits to Lancaster. People in Baltimore had no idea what I was talking about.

    • I am from Western Pennsylvania, my Mom always made these pies but we called them “Gobs”. I wonder why? But they still taste great!

      • I have friends from Pennsylvania that also call them Gobs, although I don’t know the reason. Many local cookbooks still call them Gobs as well.

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