How To Make Real Maine Whoopie Pies

Rita and Barbara in July 2009

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 while Judge Judy blared in the background was a hoot. Rita called 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 for those not from Maine. Two devil food cakes are sandwiched between a filling made of egg whites, confectionery sugar, fluff, and basically Crisco. Whoopie pies as far as I know are a Maine thing. 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.

Rita has passed away since I posted this blog in 2009. I found it in my archive and wanted to share again. She was so special to us and our family. I hope she sees this and smiles.

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.

ARCHIVED POST: ORIGINALLY POSTED JULY 2009

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.

ARCHIVED POST: ORIGINALLY POSTED JULY 2009


You can find the recipe for Whoopie Pies and more in this book.