Legend has it that whoopie pies got their name because Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, workers who found them in their lunch pails would holler, “Whoopie!” Supposedly, clever cooks started creating them in the early 20th century as a way to use leftover cake batter. The sweet treats have endured for over a century, and continue to inspire cries of delight when they arrive at the table. Here are five winning whoopie pies.
Jack’s Lobster Shack, Edgewater, New Jersey
You can’t argue with the classics. Cakey chocolate cookies bookend a fluffy filling accented with vanilla. If the one you enjoy for dessert isn’t enough, you can always order some to go. Make a reservation at Jack’s Lobster Shack.
Sardella, Clayton, Missouri
Suddenly, we feel the urge to hop in the car and set the GPS for Clayton, Missouri. That’s because pastry chef Sarah Osborn is baking up batches of winsome whoopie pies. Rounds of sweet strawberry enclose a cloud of tangy whipped passion fruit frosting. Make a reservation at Sardella.
Garbo’s, Austin, Texas
Whoopie pies change with the seasons here. For Halloween, the restaurant baked off “Spookie” whoopie pies (pictured) as tricky treats. To celebrate their birthday, they decorated the sweet circlets as birthday cakes and pumped them up with pumpkin for Thanksgiving. Make a reservation at Garbo’s.
Dirty Habit, Washington, D.C.
These remind us of autumnally accented Little Debbie’s oatmeal creme pies, a lunchbox staple since 1960. The mini oatmeal whoopies are dotted with dehydrated apple and slathered with cinnamon buttercream. There’s no shame if you order more than one, especially if you share. Make a reservation at Dirty Habit.
The Daily Dish, Silver Spring, Maryland
We’re always open to Elvis-y desserts. This whoopie was inspired by a story of the King flying his private plane from Graceland to Denver to enjoy a Fool’s Gold Loaf – bread hollowed out and filled with a jar of peanut butter, a jar of jam, and a pound of bacon. The original had 8,000 calories and cost $50; this one is much cheaper and possesses far fewer calories, but is no less tasty. Make a reservation at the Daily Dish.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.