BlogDid Whoopie Pies originate in Maine?
There are many fascinating symbols of the great state of Maine, from the majestic Eastern White Pine tree to the delicate flutter of the Black-capped Chickadee; perhaps the tastiest one is the iconic Whoopie pie, a true Maine delicacy. These dark, delicious sandwiches of rich cake, are filled with the perfect ratio of rich, sweet filling. There is a bit of mystery shrouding the sweet innocence of this Maine-made treat- and it primarily revolves around the actual origin of this decadent dessert. It is clear that Mainers have been enjoying the Whoopie pie for years and years- and its popularity only seems to increase over time!
Whoopie pies are found in bakeries, eateries, and trading posts widely, but its roots in Maine go back generations. This delicious and simple pastry has never quite been classified exclusively as a cookie, a pie, or a cake. The unique versatility of the Whoopie pie fits the criteria for all of these goodies, and it seems to stand in a category all its own. Despite this ambiguity, the state dubbed the Whoopie pie to be the official state treat in 2011.
Some interesting facts about this sweet staple include:
Whoopie Pies In Maine
Oddly enough, the iconic Whoopie pie has never been officially classified as a pie, cookie, or cake. A true Maine ‘whoopie’ consists of two dark-chocolate rounds, around the size of a hamburger, with a rich, dense filling sandwiched in-between. Some bakers have adapted this traditional treat to include pumpkin or gingerbread rounds, typically offered during the festive fall season. Despite how tasty these close-cousins of the original Whoopie pie may be, the deep, rich chocolate version with white, velvety filling remains a regional favorite.
The key to a perfect whoopie is when the cookie rounds are soft and dense, rich and not too sweet. The fluffy, white filling complements the whoopie pie, and traditionally is made with vegetable shortening, often called “oleo” in Maine homes, rather than butter or margarine. This results in a rich, smooth filling that provides the perfect bite in-between the soft baked layers. Legend has it that the Whoopie pie may have been conceived during a time when cooks would want to use up their leftover cake batter in a practical, prudent way. The result is a delicious, distinctive treat that remains a Maine favorite for decades.
History of the Maine Whoopie Pie
It is widely accepted that the Whoopie pie dates back to Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine, which began making these treats in 1925, and that continue to make them today. This is where many are divided, and the controversy starts. The Amish claim to have conceived the Whoopie pie, in Lancaster county in Western Pennsylvania. This population asserts that German ancestors brought the Whoopie pie to many Northeast regions, including the bakeries and shops in Massachusetts. While New England natives tend to be divided on the actual birthplace of the iconic Whoopie pie, there is is a general consensus that the whoopie is a tasty favorite. Some out-of-state bakers often make the chocolate pies a bit smaller in size, a true Maine whoopie is a hearty handful. The basic flavor balance of deep chocolate sandwiched wrapped around white confection remains fairly close to this Maine original.
The original Whoopie pie made the hallowed archives of Maine history by being dubbed the official state treat by the Governor of Maine, Paul LePage, in 2011. This should not be confused with the much-loved blueberry pie, which remains the official state dessert in Maine. On March 26th in 2011, the world’s largest Whoopie pie was created in South Portland, Maine; the monstrous whoopie weighed a little over 1,000-pounds, and fed the large crowd of celebrants participating in the event honoring the recognition of the Whoopie pie in the history of the state.
Tasty Whoopie Pie Variations
The original and most commonly made Whoopie pie is chocolate, almost a devil’s food in many recipes. Maple Whoopie pies provide another popular choice, embracing the region with pure Maine maple syrup baked into dense, moist cake, and paired with the beloved rich, white filling, for a fall sweet that is worth waiting for! Some inventive bakeries and establishments in Maine serve Whoopie pie cake which amounts to a cake-sized version of this popular regional treat, filled with the traditional white icing and left un-frosted.
Some tips for making whoopies that resemble the Maine original include quality ingredients and perfect cook time. The distinction of a whoopie pie and any sandwich-style pastry is the texture, which comes from the consistency of the batter. Maine bakers have perfected this technique to produce a cake that is dense, moist and deliciously chocolatey, while the filling has to be sweet, smooth velvet on the tongue. Wrapped in plastic when warm produces a shiny, slick surface that melts in the mouth- and on the fingers!
When you want a little taste of Maine, you may think lobster or even blueberry pie, but a true symbol of the state is the legendary Whoopie pie. Whether you love chocolate or simply have a sweet tooth, an original Maine whoopie is the perfect complement to a cup of strong coffee or a glass of ice-cold milk. Kids and parents, young and old, all love a good whoopie. Whoopie pies also make a nostalgic gift that anyone will savor and enjoy. Rich, dark chocolate cake filled to the brim with a sweet, fluffy confection- who wouldn’t love a Whoopie pie?
Box Of Maine Whoopie Pies
The Box of Maine has three different flavors of whoopie pie that you can add to your next Maine food gift creation. Traditional chocolate is always a favorite, being the standard treat every Mainer is familiar with. The other selections you can add when you send a gift box is Maine Maple and Peanut Butter. If you or your loved one is a fan of maple, you have to try one of these whoopie pies. They are literally the best we have ever tasted. Or if Whoopie pies are all you want, you can order whoopie pies in a box for yourself or to send as a gift.
Bonus Maine Whoopie Pie Recipe with Marshmallow Fluff