The history of whoopie pies is, like most culinary tales, a multicultural kaleidoscope of shifting geographies. Philadelphia’s proximity to one link in the dessert’s DNA chain — Lancaster County — means ample local skill in creating them. Kae Lani Palmisano tracked the source of some of the best in Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer.
The odd name for these cake-and-cream sandwiches comes from their regional history, according to What’s Cooking America.
Amish mothers made them on the farm from batter left over after creating other dishes. Their sense of practicality looked unfavorably on waste; therefore, creating a kids’ treat was better than tossing out food.
Because they were rare, when youngsters found them in sack lunches, lore has it that they celebrated: “Whoopee!”
Western Pennsylvanians enjoyed them as well, calling them “gobs,” presumably for the heaps of cream in the middle.
And they caught on in a big way in Maine. An east-coast cookbook is theorized to have brought the recipe there, with the regional variation opting for a marshmallow-based middle versus vanilla.
Here in Bucks County, according to the Inquirer, the best come from Dutch Country Bakery in the Bristol Amish Market.
Whoopie pies there are sold in regular and mini size. Flavors include the traditional chocolate and vanilla, but also red velvet and oatmeal. Filling options run the gamut from peanut butter cream cheese icing to mint.
More about the best regional whoopie pies is in The Philadelphia Inquirer.