Is it a pie? Is it a cake? Is it a cookie? Opinion is divided on how exactly you define the latest craze sweeping across the US and which has now come to Harrods in London. Are they set to become as ubiquitous as the cup-cakes made famous by the Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan, as a result of the bakery’s exposure on Sex and the City?
The whoopie pie is in fact not a pie at all, but some kind of cake-sandwhich or sandwich cake, depending on which way you look at it. They are dozens of variations on the “pie”, but the most popular appears to be two chocolate rounds of cake sandwiched together by a buttercream filling. It looks pretty much like an over-sized oreo cookie.
And what of the name, which reminds me of those joke whoopie cushions if I’m honest. Well, food historians believe whoopie pies originated in Pennsylvania, where they were baked by Amish women and put in farmers’ lunchboxes. Tired from a morning’s work, the farmers purportedly would shout “Whoopie!” if they discovered one of the desserts in their lunch pails.
I am visiting the Southern States next month and will be sure to taste one if I come across them. Meanwhile, does anyone know if they have made their way across the pond to Ireland yet?