Adventures in Whoopie Pies

Baking, What We're Eating

This post comes to us courtesy of food writer Lee Havlicek. 


The stories are true: I did, in fact, once drive four hours (in each direction) to a whoopie pie festival.


I even managed to drag my feisty, saint of a mother along with me. It was a spectacularly beautiful day, and we needed to get out of the house. We wanted to do something different. We figured that the drive, at least, would be nice, and that the festival would be a sugar-filled, silly celebration of a good time. We were wrong.


But here’s the thing: Even eight hours of slow-moving road through less-than-gorgeous scenery, where the most impressive sight we saw was an enormous Medieval Times (thank you, strip malls of Pennsylvania), one too-short hour out of the car at an overcrowded, overheated, cheesy festival, and too many whoopie pies eaten — resulting in four hours of car nausea — could not quell my love of the whoopie pie and its perfect (and portable!) balance of cake and filling with endless flavor possibilities. What a thing of beauty. They’re perfect and personal-sized, well-loved by both kids and adults, and as such, make fantastic, unique gifts.


The best part (besides the eating): they’re incredibly easy to make. Pour the batter into a whoopie pie pan, a piece of specialized baking equipment that is absolutely worth owning for making perfectly sized and shaped cakes every time. Then bake them, schmear a little (or a lot) of frosting onto the flat side of one cake and sandwich another on top.


Whoopie! You’ve got a delightful, whimsical and delicious cake in your hand that you can eat while doing just about anything. (It’s true. I’ve tested this theory.) No carefully cutting layers, frosting a whole big to-do, or creating the right number of equally sized slices required. They’re also much easier to transport door-to-door than a traditional frosted cake, making holiday dinner travel much less stressful. For further stress alleviation, Williams-Sonoma is even selling two flavors of whoopie pie mixes from the incredible bakery Baked in Brooklyn, New York: red velvet and pumpkin.


Below you’ll find a few other fall and winter whoopie pie flavor ideas. Consider them for holiday meals and gifts or favors at parties and weddings. Mix and match these cakes and fillings however you like. Swap the cake flavor for the filling flavor or vice versa. Try different types of frosting for the filling: simple buttercream, French buttercream, Italian meringue buttercream, Swiss meringue buttercream, cream cheese frosting — you really can’t go wrong.


Happy baking! And eating!


  • Maple Cake with Ginger Frosting (try adding chopped-up pieces of candied ginger)
  • Pumpkin Cake with Maple-Bourbon Frosting
  • Sweet Potato Cake with Brown Sugar Buttercream
  • Chocolate Stout Cake with Caramel Frosting
  • Pear Cake with Brown Butter Frosting


About the author: Lee Havlicek is an active supporter of pasta, ferris wheels, outdoor: meals, movies, music, and theater, avocados, snow, whiskey, Shakespeare, sandwiches, planetariums, tomatoes, food trucks, long meals, long e-mails, short ribs, autumn days, summertimes, cake and pie (equally), Low Library Steps, full tanks of gas, full moons, full bellies, all holidays, blackberries, and New York City. She learned to cook from her mother, eat from her father, and figured out from an early age that there’s nothing better than sharing a good meal with good people. She was previously catering manager at Georgetown Cupcake, an editorial intern at Bloomsbury, and is currently a member of Empty Chair Theatre Company and a freelance contributor to Gilt Taste.

16 comments about “Adventures in Whoopie Pies

  1. angela

    Wow.. what a fun and well written article! I will certainly go on the hunt or actually try baking these delicious and yummy looking pies. How can one resist with such a tempting overview of the whoopie pie! Love it… keep up the good work.

  2. Jewel

    Though not a fan of whoopie pies, this article makes me want to rush to my local WS and purchase the specialized whoopie pan. I never considered all the benefits of baking the pint-sized cakes. Bravo!

  3. Phil Havlicek

    Whoopie! I say to the simple but delicious little pies-
    very well said.

  4. Joe Sferrazza

    My mouth was salivating, no not from the arid strip malls of The Keystone State, from your photos and vivid description of this (not) unkown for long palate (and tummy 🙂 ) pleaser. Thank you so much for sharing this, i will look into purchasing these in the very near future and certainly the kitchen implements will be under the tree for many this Christmas season. Thank you again and keep sharing your culinary insight !! Whoo Hoo for Whoopie Pies !!!!!!!!

  5. Golden

    The author has convinced me that I would save time and have a delicious treat for my family! Also, as the primary caretaker of an elderly parent who loves to eat sweets, the woopie pan is the perfect solution to hours lost baking in the kitchen! Thanks for the recommendation.

  6. Joe Sferrazza

    Thank you so much for sharing this, i will look into purchasing these in the very near future and certainly the kitchen implements will be under the tree for many this Christmas season. Thank you again and keep sharing your culinary insight !! Whoo Hoo for Whoopie Pies !!!!!!!!

  7. John

    OK…so now I gotta get me a whoopie pie pan and satisfy that huge jones I have for some of these things like NOW thanks to the author’s ruination of my diet. I think she should be forced to send us all whoopie pies as compensation for the mental anguish!

  8. Jeza's Aunt

    A nice, somewhat tidier alternative to those blasted cupcakes! Now I have to buy new pans…

  9. Margaret

    This piece gives me (and the rest of kitchenly challenged folks) hope and encouragement of making a perfectly shaped cake. Heading off to buy a whoopie pan pie. Had no idea such a thing existed. Hope sales people know what it is.

  10. Cathy

    My daughter loves whoopie pies, red velvet and cream cheese frosting sounds delicious!!

  11. golf4me

    My mouth is watering at the sight and description of the whoopie pies. It’s a delightful story about your efforts to get to the festival. The portability of such a delicious desert is very practical for dinner parties at the holiday time. They’d make a nice surprise gift to the hostess. I can’t wait to smell the chocolate aroma in my kitchen.

  12. Sarah

    This is a great idea for office holiday pot luck parties. Thanks for the inspiration to do something thats sure to be a welcomed treat.

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