When my husband and I got married, there was one thing we were certain about: We didn’t want a traditional wedding reception. Arrive in a limo? Not our thing. Play the garter game? No way! Force the thirtysomething single ladies to line up to catch — and possibly destroy — my bouquet? Not a chance! Indulge in a fancy, overpriced, multitiered wedding cake? Overpriced, no, but maybe something unexpected like a whoopie pie cake.
We were fortunate to have people in our lives who volunteered their time and creativity to make our celebration unique. All of the flower arrangements were done by my longtime friend Elie, a former florist; Jim’s friend Pomie, an ad-agency art director, customized the graphics for our seating cards and displays. But perhaps the biggest contribution of time and effort came from my sister Beth, a phenomenal baker, who envisioned an elaborate dessert table in lieu of the customary cake I was dead set against having. And what a dessert table it was. She worked tirelessly, spending days upon days baking piles of cookies and pastries — enough to feed five receptions’ worth of guests. And then I wavered on my decision not to have a wedding cake.
Despite all the baking she’d already done, Beth quickly came up with the perfect solution for my wedding-cake dilemma. She could’ve made a cake to rival those from a high-end bakery, but she inherently understood our desire for something different: something that reflected both our personalities and our love of Maine, where we were living at the time.
And that’s how we ended up with a beautifully crafted, one-of-a-kind, and totally nontraditional whoopie-pie wedding cake. At least that’s what it was in 2004. As it turns out, whoopie-pie wedding cakes and favors are now an emerging trend — extending beyond New England this year — expected to edge out even the cupcake craze of previous years.
Whether it was sparked by Maine’s debate over what to choose for the official state dessert –- blueberry pie or the whoopie — or the subsequent controversy between Maine and Pennsylvania as to where the whoopie pie originated, this is one trend that New Englanders can embrace whole-heartedly for its simplicity and style. Be advised, though: Not all whoopie pies are created equal, so you’ll definitely want to try samples before committing to a bakery. And if you can’t find one that’s worthy of your special day, I suggest trying our recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies from our brand-new cookbook, Best of New England: Homemade Favorites for Every Season.