Whoopie pies tend to show up more frequently on food blogs and in magazines this time of year because, for some reason, pumpkin ones are a popular variation. If you're not familiar with the whoopie pie or just want to know more about where they came from, read on...
Whoopie pies are made from two flat-ish mounds of cake, about the size of a hamburger, with whipped frosting in between. They are most commonly found in New England and Pennsylvania.
Some people say they were first made by the Amish as a way to use up extra cake batter, and they are sold all over Pennsylvania Dutch country at bakeries and roadside stands (they are sometimes called "gobs"). We've read that whoopie pies were first sold commercially by a company in Boston. As for the name, it's no mystery: kids yelled "Whoopie!" when they spotted one.
The filling can be any number of things, but it should be stiff enough that the two cake halves don't collapse on each other. Many recipes call for shortening or marshmallow fluff in the frosting. Traditional whoopie pies are chocolate with a white filling, but we do start seeing a bunch of pumpkin cakes and pumpkin fillings this time of year.
Check out these recipes:
And this article from Serious Eats claims whoopie pies will replace cupcakes as the handheld dessert of choice: Forget Cupcakes: Whoopie Pies are Gonna Be Big
Related: Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cake
(Flickr member beebrisk, licensed under Creative Commons)