A few months back I stumbled upon a recipe for a treat I hadn’t quite heard of – whoopie pies. I was so enamored by the results that I decided to write a post about my experiences, and give my readers as much background as I could find on this mysterious cookie/cake/frosting goodness.
The last few months have proven to me that these treats are much more well known that I was aware of! After some food blog stumbling I came across a company called Gobba Gobba Hey. Gobba Gobba Hey was founded a little over a year ago by an East Coast native named Steven (I think). Steven sells ‘gobs’ (which is what the East Coasters call whoopie pies) in all sorts of incredible flavors. I decided to follow him on Twitter and have since learned a great deal more about his business (& about food entrepreneurship in general). According to his Tweets and his Yelp page, Gobba Gobba Hey is booming and people definitely LOVE his product!
Secondly… when I was in Chicago last month I stumbled across this treasure:
After skimming through the book it was painfully obvious to me that I was not going to be able to leave without it becoming my possession. Sigh… another cookbook to add to the collection. I quickly came to terms with this realization, parted ways with my $18 dollars and skipped gleefully down the street. 🙂
The authors of this cookbook are originally from the East Coast, but are currently based in SF. The book is chocked full of both traditional & non-traditional flavors… Pistachio-cardamom or jalapeno-cornbread, anyone?? The book is organized in 3 sections: Makin’ Whoopie, The Cakes, and The Creamy Fillings, making it super easy to get creative and mix and match! Plus, they also offer both vegan and gluten-free recipes of their vanilla and chocolate cakes so that everyone can enjoy their whoopie.
One of the things I personally love about whoopie pies is they’re GREAT for warm weather events! Like any filled dessert, you won’t want to store them in direct sunlight, but you have less to worry about if things do warm up. Unlike cupcakes, you won’t see drooping fondant or melted buttercream decorations. Earlier this summer I was asked to bring a treat to a friend’s 4th of July BBQ. I didn’t want to deal with anything melting or spoiling in the sun, so I opted to bring whoopie pies. And let me tell you friends… they were a SSSSMASHHHH!
I’ve made full sized whoopies once, and though they tasted good I personally felt like it was just too much. I want people to enjoy treats, and not feel overwhelmed by them! That said, my personal spin on these dessert classics is to make them miniature sized. Depending on how many people I am baking for, I’ll usually half a recipe and then scoop the pies out with the smallest scoop I have. This scoop is usually reserved for making truffles, but it really does make the perfect sized pie. When halving a recipe, I can usually get 25-30 complete pies from the batch.
I really enjoyed this flavor combination! The filling was sweet, but very light and it didn’t weigh you down in the same ways that buttercream can. The cakes were moist, and the sweetness of the filling complemented the bitterness of the chocolate beautifully. These puppies were a huge success and will definitely be on my menu for the foreseeable future. A word of advice for all you bakers out there: if you’re planning on making whoopie pies for an event make sure to take the time to pipe the filling as opposed to spreading it on with a knife. It might take an extra second, but the final presentation will be well worth it!
The second batch of whoopies that I made this summer were a banana cake filled with cream cheese frosting. I used Martha’s banana cake recipe, and my own cream cheese recipe for the filling (recipe at the end of this post). The best part about making these pies was that I was teaching my friend Betsy how to bake at the same time. 🙂 Things definitely got messy, but the end result was worth it. Everyone we shared these treats with loved them! They were sweet without being overly so, and the banana was a comforting flavor that most people weren’t expecting.
Though we filled them with plain cream cheese filling, you could definitely add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the filling to give them an extra kick. 🙂 A little cinnamon or nutmeg in the filling would have upped these cuties to the next level!
Caty’s Cream Cheese Frosting
2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
3-4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Beat the butter and cream cheese together until it is combined and somewhat fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar until the frosting is as sweet as you want it. Beat in the vanilla extract. Frosting can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Note: Feel free to experiment with flavors! Add a teaspoon of cinnamon or nutmeg for a spicy kick, or a bit of rum if you’re feeling up to the challenge. 🙂