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.