Maple Whoopie Pies
Maple whoopie pies are a favorite dessert among my family, and I'm positive it will be for your family too. I last made these a few weeks ago, over the 2021 maple production season and one of my boys stated, "Mom, this is what it's all about! Awesome!" They are wonderfully delicious, moist, gooey, and full of real Vermont maple flavor (no artificial flavors!).
What is a Whoopie Pie?
You may have asked yourself how did something as simple as cake and frosting get a name like a Whoopie Pie? No one knows for sure, but what we do know is that it likely originated here in the Northeast.
One plausible story is from the state of Pennsylvania, that whoopie pies originated from the Amish community. As the story goes, Amish wives made small cakes with leftover batter, then frosted and wrapped up the treats to put in their husband's and children's lunch boxes. When the boxes were opened at lunchtime they exclaimed, "whoopie!" when they saw the sweet treats waiting to be eaten. That's the story you'll believe if you are from Pennsylvania, and want to take ownership of inventing the first whoopie pie. A story that is disputed by Maine.
Mainers claim that the first whoopie pie was made in Lewiston, at Labadie's Bakery, in 1925. The problem Maine has is that Pennsylvania wants proof. Sadly, there are no records due to a fire that destroyed the bakery's records. These two states have been battling for the ownership of the whoopie pie for decades, and it's quite well documented. There is a book you can purchase to learn more about this historic state battle by Nancy Griffin, titled Making Whoopies: The Official Whoopie Pie Book.
Whoopie Pie Festivals
This is something to remember if you find yourself on Jeopardy!, there is indeed a Whoopie Pie Festival, in not one, but both states. Yearly, festival goers can compete in several activities, from the largest, most creative, to best-tasting whoopie pie. The Pine Tree State will celebrate in June and the Keystone State will observe the sacred whoopie event in September.
How to Make the Whoopie Pie Cake
There is nothing easier to throw together in the baking world than the cake batter for a whoopie pie. Follow my easy directions below. The batter will be thicker than cake batter, but thinner than cookie batter.
When your oven is preheated, prepare the baking sheet and pop them in the oven for around ten to twelve minutes. Keep an eye on them, depending on the size spoon you use they may take less or more time to cook. I like to cook them until they start to brown on the bottom edges and a finger touch leaves no indentation.
I made a double batch as have the luxury of a commercial oven in the sugarhouse. Which is nice if you need to churn out a bunch, I was able to cook 24 halves in one batch.
Maple Whoopie Pie Filling
The secret weapon to the whoopie pie filling is the maple cream that's added. This is a delicious spread on its own and it's quite possible to skip the whole filling recipe and just spread on some maple cream. Be sure to store the pies in the fridge as at room temperature on its own the maple cream will whither away to syrup.
I find by far the hardest part is measuring the fluff. Something I always do to make it easier for me is to eyeball the fluff. You heard that right, Marshmallow fluff does not lend itself well to measuring. It's messy and sticky, and that's just too much mess for me. I use a clean spatula and scoop out what I think is a cup and a half. I don't consider this to be an exact science, like the baking part of this recipe.
What you are looking for at the end of whipping together your frosting is a knife to stand up in the middle. Once you achieve that, you know that your frosting will stay nicely inside your pies and have an enjoyable texture.
This recipe makes about 36-40 halves or 18-20 complete pies. My double batch left me with about 40 pies. I can assure you that they won't go to waste, and they didn't here at my house. Between my husband, my children, and my grandchildren, it was as if I didn't make enough. I might also mention that a friend stopped in to do a quick repair on a piece of maple equipment, and refused payment. However, I was happy to send him home with some syrup, and he didn't refuse a plateful of these freshly made whoopie pies for his family!
Whoopie Pie Recipe
Ingredients for Cake:
3/4 cup shortening or butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup maple syrup, preferably a darker grade
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 1/2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons salt
- Cream together shortening, sugar and eggs.
- Combine milk, maple syrup, and vanilla in a large measuring cup.
- Combine dry ingredients and toss to mix.
- Add the maple syrup mixture and the dry ingredients alternately and mix until fully incorporated.
- Drop large spoonful's on lightly greased baking sheets or use parchment paper.
- Bake 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes
- Cool before frosting.
Ingredients for the Frosting:
1 1/2 cups maple cream
1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter
- Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Generously frost a cake half and cover it with another half.