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:
- Whoopie Pies, from Gourmet
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies, from Rachael Ray magazine
- Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Cream Cheese Filling, from Martha Stewart
- Red Velvet Whoopie Pies, from Food Buzz
Related: Recipe: Dark Chocolate Cake