Homemade Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Fluff

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What New England kid didn’t grow up chasing down homemade whoopie pies? Often a special treat from the bakery or school bake sale, the two hamburger-sized rounds of soft, domed chocolate cookies (nearly cakes in texture) sandwiching an inch or more of pillowy vanilla filling (often made with Marshmallow Fluff) has made the whoopie pie one of the all-time favorite classic New England desserts.

Homemade Whoopie Pies

Homemade whoopie pies — a New England classic!

Aimee Seavey

So where did they come from? Whoopie pies are commonly thought to be a treat with Pennsylvania Amish roots, but a loud New England voice – heavy emphasis on the Maine accent. Food historians credit the Amish with making the first whoopie pies with leftover cake batter and tucking them into lunch pails (causing farmers and children to exclaim “Whoopie!” with delight upon their discovery), but when the treat made its way to New England it quickly grew in popularity. Labadie’s Bakery in Lewiston, Maine began making and selling whoopie pies in 1925 (and still does today), and the now-defunct Berwick Cake Company of Roxbury, MA began churning them out in 1931.

While beloved through most of New England (and ever increasingly – everywhere else), the state of Maine has a few extra claims to whoopie pie fame. In 2011 it was declared the official “state treat” of Maine, and that same year the world’s largest whoopie pie was made in South Portland, clocking in at 1,062 pounds. Profits made from selling pieces of the whopper whoopie were used to fund sending Maine-made whoopie pies to soldiers overseas.

To make homemade whoopie pies, you first need to make a batter using plenty of good cocoa powder. I used a spring-loaded ice cream scoop to get my whoopie “cookies” the exact same size every time. I also went with a size scoop that would give me whoopie pies as large as I remember from childhood – about 4 inches across – but you can certainly use a tablespoon or smaller cookie scoop to make your whoopie pies more “bite sized” (only why would you!?).

Whoopie Pie Batter

A spring-loaded ice cream scoop perfectly portions the whoopie pie batter.

Aimee Seavey

After baking, the cakes are cooled and then half are topped with a thick layer of cream filling. Traditional whoopie pie filling in New England is made with vegetable shortening, Marshmallow Fluff, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. I kept things traditional here, but there are many other versions of whoopie pie filling made like frosting with butter or even cream cheese.

Whoopie Pie Filling

Marshmallow Fluff is the classic New England ingredient in traditional whoopie pie filling.

Aimee Seavey

The remaining cakes are sandwiched on top of the filling, and voila — a tray of homemade whoopie pies. It’s best to wrap each individual whoopie pie in plastic wrap to keep it fresh, which works perfectly for bake sales and sharing. I also double-wrapped a few and froze them for future snacking.

Whoopie Pies

Homemade whoopie pies — ready to eat!

Aimee Seavey

Homemade Whoopie Pies Recipe Links
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  • 1/2 cup shortening, 2 egg whites, 2 cups confectionary sugar, 1 tsp. vanilla, pinch of salt. Beat until soft peaks form. Simple, old fashioned and the best whoopie pie filling you can make.

  • Thank you ladies for sharing your recipes on the whoopee pies and the fillings. It’ll certainly become of use to all this exciting baking I plan to do for the holidays.

  • Aimee

    Hi Chrystal. Because of the butter, it would be good to refrigerate the icing if you’re not using it immediately, but let it come back to room temperature before spreading. Thanks!

  • Jan Leddy, this is the same recipe I have been using for many years, it was passed on to me by my Mom. I feel it is the best one I have ever eaten. Thanks for sharing it…

  • Deborah

    I make the filling with Fluff, shortening, conf. sugar and vanilla. I have had others filled with various recipes but have found this to be the lightest and fluffiest. BTW a lot of the other recipes are actually for making fluff in the beginning and then all the rest. They are best eaten the day they are made and had sustained my daughter’s sports teams for over 8 yrs. (I made and brought them to every home game!) They are really great as well right out of the freezer!

  • This is the filling recipe that I have used for years. It was originally a filling for devil dogs, another chocolate cake treat.

  • Hi Shavonne. A link to the full recipe (both cakes and filling) is at the bottom of the post. Thanks!

  • Shavonne

    What do you use to make the cake part? Just plain cake batter?

  • My recipe is for the creme filling like inside the Hostess snack cakes and is very similar to yours:

    French Creme Filling (Bunny Cake Frosting)
    1 cup milk!
    4 T. flour
    2 t. vanilla
    1 cup white Crisco
    1 cup white sugar
    * I even add a teaspoon or two of almond extract.

    Combine milk and flour. Cook, stirring, over low heat until thick and smooth. Add vanilla and cool.

    Beat shortening and sugar until you can feel no granules, 15 to 20 minutes. Combine milk mixture with shortening mixture and beat at least 10 minutes. Makes enough filling for 60 cupcakes.

  • When my children were young I made whoopie pies with butter in the filling. Even though you used yellow butter, the filling came out white as can be. I don’t remember all the ingredients but they were very rich and tasted scrumptious!

  • Shirley

    Whoopie Filling the best
    Beat 4 egg whites till stiff fold in some ( 5 cups Conf.) Sugar about a cup, Cream in1 cup Crisco, add remaining conf sugar. Add 1/2 tsp salt +Vanilla

  • I make red velvet WP’s and I fill them with cream cheese frosting I also use the same filling with chocolate
    Whoopie ;pies I just don’t care for eating shortening I do combine it with butter and use it in pie crust I have a whoopie pie pan and my grandkids just love the pies.

  • A cream cheese frosting works very well! especially with pumpkin whoopie pies

  • i have a great recipe for total scratch Whoopie pies, here’s my filling recipe.
    2 egg whites unbeaten
    2 teaspoons vanilla
    4 tablespoons flour
    2 tablespoons milk
    1 1/2 cups Crisco
    Beat with mixer
    Slowly adding 1 box 10 x sugar
    = 3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cups
    I like to also add Almond extract to mine. You can also add more vanilla to your taste
    Just make sure you mix until nice and creamy.

    Someone also asked about Red Velvet Whoopie pies yes people do make them

  • This is the recipe for filling that my grandma used to make. We called them Gobs in western Pennsylvania.

  • Darlene

    Thanks everyone although I now have to live in Texas,my son who recently returned to Maine to live asked me to make him whoopie pies before he left. His favorite, chocolate with peanut butter filling.
    I had lost my mothers recipe but found it at Yankee. Thank you so much for helping to keep Maine in my heart

  • Just to let you know – I accidentally clicked on the rating stars, not expecting to have it register, but it did, and recorded only two stars. Grr! My apologies, I tried to fix it but apparently there’s no way to alter it that I can tell.

  • For my whoopie pies, I use for a filling the creamy white frosting on the back of the old Shaws Market powdered sugar bag. The recipe is no longer on the new bags. It is the old style sweet and fluffy filling I grew up with
    1 c. shortening
    1 1/2t vanilla
    1/2 t lemon, orange, or almond extract. (I like orange, it hides the shortening taste better)
    4 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
    3-6 T milk
    Beat shortening, vanilla, and extract with an electric mixer on medium speed for 30 seconds. This is where you add any food coloring.
    Slowly add 1/2 of powdered sugar, beating well.
    Add 1/2 of milk. Gradually beat in remaining sugar. Beat in enough remaining milk to make a med. thick spreading consistency.
    I use a pastry bag to make a swirly circle on one side of a whoopie pie. Cover and enjoy.

  • Stacy

    Thanks for the link!

    Maybe Yankee could work on the occasional GF recipe? Or have someone, if you’re not able to, create them for Yankee and it’s GF readers? There are so many people out there that can’t have the wheat and gluten based fun stuff, like cakes and pies and breads and cider donuts, like many people can. Just a thought.

  • Debby

    I am so happy that you acknowledged the PA Amish as the originators of whoopie pies. I live in central PA and frequent the Amish farm markets where Amish woman still use the Whoopie Pie recipe that their ancesters used. Our family has owned and summered at our very rustic camp in central Maine for over 70 years. When we are in Maine and there is a Whoopie Pie festival in a nearby town, we love to attend. Over the years we have had some very spirited conversations about the origins of the pie! Nevertheless, both states do a fabulous job baking them! And tho I am “from away”, my heart is always wishing to be in beautiful Maine.

  • susan

    Amiee- I think you are related to me – my grandmother’s mother was a Seavey I believe -I know that name was in our family- they lived in Dexter – I grew up in sangerville and I live now in North west for 38 years now.

  • susan

    i make my filling with whpped eggwhites and butter crisco and confectionary sugar- never froze them – wondering if I can? – I started making these cookies as a young teen 50 years ago – they are a big favorite as gifts for family and friends. I rarely share my recipe as i have perfected it over years.

  • Stacy

    Hey, Yankee! Could you guys include wheat and gluten free alternatives in your recipes?

  • Hi Catherine, I think the 7 minute frosting would make wounderful whoopie pie filling! It’s funny because my mom made a chocolate cake with 7 minute frostong last year and I told my my husbant this same thing!

  • Janet — thank you for posting this recipe. I am new to whoopie pie making, but this is the recipe my Mom used to frost her Red Velvet Cake and it would be awesome on whoopie pies! How about Red Velvet Whoopie pies!!!

  • Janet

    This is the filling recipe I use. This is the old-fashion recipe.

    •3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    •Dash salt
    •1 cup 2% milk
    •3/4 cup shortening
    •1-1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
    •2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    In a small saucepan, combine flour and salt. Gradually whisk in milk until smooth; cook and stir over medium-high heat until thick, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat. Cover and refrigerate until completely cool.
    • In a small bowl, cream the shortening, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add milk mixture; beat for 7 minutes or until fluffy. Spread filling on half of the cookies; top with remaining cookies. Store in the refrigerator.

  • Susan

    I’ve never tried 7 minute frosting as a filling but have used vanilla butter cream


    i can’t eat FLUFF. Has anyone ever made Whoopie pies with 7 minute frosting? (it usually goes on Coconut Layer Cakes.) i would appreciate any advice.


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