Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling

June 3, 2010 · 35 comments · Print This Post

in Baked Goods, Book Reviews

Imagine it. An entire book packed from cover to cover with glorious duos of decadent cake sandwiched together with frothy icing. Whether or not you’re a fan of sweet or savory your every dessert based whim can be fulfilled with the new Whoopie Pies cookbook.

Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell have clearly outdone themselves in compiling a comprehensive guide to everything whoopie. As I hail from Maine I’m perhaps a little too familiar with the traditional chocolate version of these puffy treats, but if you grew up anywhere outside of the Maine to Pennsylvania region (where they apparently refer to Whoopie Pies as “Gobs” to which I can only say, “Um…yuck!”) you might not have had the privilege of enjoying the classic version. Of course by “classic” I’m referring to the fact that the tried and true whoopie pie filling is made with a bizarre sticky substance called Fluff and oodles of Crisco Vegetable Shortening.

I realize this sounds revolting but it tastes like rainbows. For real. This is truly the only way to go if you’re looking for authenticity. Of course, Marshmallow Fluff is hard to find for a lot of people so I’ll begrudgingly allow you to utilize some of the lovely buttercream based recipes in the book. Although, since you can also buy Fluff online I really think you should give it a whirl at least once in your life.

Speaking of recipes, The Whoopie Pies cookbook has oodles for you to choose from including pumpkin, gingerbread, and red velvet — just to name a few. The cool thing about this book is that all of the cake recipes are housed in one section and the filling recipes are located in another. This way you can mix and match to your heart’s content and really get your creative culinary mojo going. I’m particularly fascinated by the thought of whipping up a batch of the Jalapeno Cornbread Whoopie Pies with a layer of Honey Buttercream filling. Whoopie pies as an appetizer! Who would have thought?!

As for the classic version that I recreated from the book I have to be honest. The results were spot on and this recipe is probably going to replace our usual family recipe provided by the late, great Maine cookbook author Marjorie Standish. Just do me a favor and please don’t tell my grandmother. I’m absolutely sure she wouldn’t approve.

Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Marshmallow Filling

Makes 12 four-inch whoopie pies or 24 two-inch whoopie pies
Adapted from the Whoopie Pies cookbook written by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Classic Marshmallow Filling

1 1/2 cups Marshmallow Fluff (or other prepared marshmallow cream, which will do in a pinch)
1 1/4 cups vegetable shortening
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper. In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined. Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining ½ cup milk and beat until completely combined.

Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat, spacing the rounds at least 2 inches apart. (Erin’s note: For larger four-inch cakes use a medium cookie scoop to drop the batter). Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, staring on low and increasing to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

Using a knife or spoon, spread the filling onto the flat side of a cooled cake. Top with another cake, flat side down. Repeat with the remaining cakes and serve.

Please Note: A free copy of this cookbook was provided to me by the publisher.

{ 30 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Erica B. June 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

I bought this book a few weeks ago, and loved all of the fun ideas inside. I also loved that they included stuff for the vegans too.

Yours looks super yummy, makes me inspired to make my own.


2 Kate June 3, 2010 at 9:40 am

Oh Erin, those look so good! I live in Portland, ME now and even though I’m from Maryland, I’d never had one until I moved up here. I have seen the cornbread/jalepeno recipe with bacon filling- ah! And I’ve seen Marjorie Standish’s cookbook around up here; is it a good one?


3 Erin June 6, 2010 at 10:36 am

Hi Kate,

The Marjorie Standish cookbook is a Maine classic. My grandmother gifted me my copies and I’ve yet to have a recipe fail. There are some especially great bread recipes. Of course, other recipes tend to be things I’d never eat in a million years like Jello molds etc… but all-in-all it’s a nice book to have on hand. Thank you for stopping by!


4 Nick June 3, 2010 at 9:44 am

Fluff was one of my favorite childhood snacks. That with some peanut butter is a pretty solid sandwich. Add some bananas if you want to be somewhat healthy about it.

Whoopie pies though. That sounds just as good to me! Especially the rainbow bits…


5 Erin June 6, 2010 at 10:38 am

Always nice to hear from a fellow Fluff addict! My childhood Fluff usage of choice was to eat it on Ritz crackers, but your banana, PB, and Fluff sandwich sounds like something I should be eating for lunch ASAP.


6 Elle June 3, 2010 at 10:32 am

I’ve been craving whoopie pies for weeks! And hatching a plan to make some. I’d also been thinking about savory ones–have a few ideas already.

You’re absolutely right about the filling–it tastes best with that shortening and Fluff! I think I’ll have a look for this book–sounds interesting.


7 Summer June 3, 2010 at 10:47 am

Gobs? Hmmm. I grew up in PA, in Amish country where these babies originated. (I strongly stand by the theory all other origin stories are wrong. Regional loyalty, ya know.) We always called them Whoopie Pies. I have no idea who’s calling them Gobs.

However, I know I call them delicious. And I want some. Must go buy that book.


8 Erin June 6, 2010 at 10:45 am

I’m relieved to hear that other Pennsylvanians don’t refer to Whoopie Pies as “Gobs” but unfortunately it appears from comments on this post that many actually do. Bizarre, right?! As for the origin of these awesome treats I feel the same way about Maine so I suppose we’ll have to agree to disagree 😉


9 Stephanie June 3, 2010 at 1:05 pm

I LOVE whoopie pies! That is so exciting that there is an entire cookbook dedicated to them! Yours look fabulous!


10 Mags June 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm

Marshmallow fluff plus shortening equals true whoopies. All the rest are imposters, tasty as they made perhaps be. Your whoopies look wonderful!


11 Charles G Thompson June 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm

What a great cookbook. I’m a West Coaster so not that familiar with the whole whoopie pie thing. I do, however, know a displaced Pennsylvanian in San Francisco who started a Gob’s (as he does call them) business that is doing quite well.


12 Bren June 6, 2010 at 10:05 am

I love the name, love the pics, love the cookbook and yay for you for getting a freebie–love those moments…


13 Monica H June 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

I won’t tell your grammy as long as you share. ha ha!

These look like giant oreos- yum!


14 Pro-Portional Designs June 10, 2010 at 7:54 pm

I know a girl who could have really used this last year when she came to me and asked for my marshmallow fluff


15 Kerrie June 12, 2010 at 10:59 pm

Perfect timing. I have some leftover marshmallow frosting and now I know what I’ll do with it, AND I’ll have something that is “finger food” to bring to my daughter’s preschool graduation.


16 FranceRants June 24, 2011 at 4:12 pm

I made this recipe from the book. EVERYONE who tasted them, loved them. They were like a pimped up version of a Hostess Suzy-Q. The best.

I made one minor change to the filling and that was to reduce the Crisco and increase the fluff. I felt the original filling had too much of a Crisco-y taste.


17 Juni July 23, 2011 at 7:36 am

I agree… tasted too much like shortening (my personal opinion) and wish I had of done this suggested substitution. It makes a lot of filling. I used it to fill a triple layer birthday cake.


18 Jemena July 24, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Okay, so I bought this cookbook a little over a year ago. I think the cake recipes are great – always turn out good, and the non-classic marshmallow fluff-based fillings typically end up good as well.

HOWEVER, no matter how many times I have tried the classic marshmallow filling or classic-mm-based filling (the root beer one yesterday) all taste HORRENDOUS. All I taste is Crisco. I can’t even DETECT the fluff or any signs of sweetness from the powdered sugar. It’s REVOLTING. I have QUADRUPLE-checked the recipe to make sure I was measuring everything properly . . . . . . . What is going wrong? Specifically, the root beer recipe is the classic MM base (minus the vanilla), but with either 4 Tbl of root beer or 1 tsp of root beer extract. I can’t find the extract anywhere, so root beer it was. The 4 Tbl didn’t BUDGE the Crisco flavor. HALF THE BOTTLE of root beer PLUS ANOTHER CUP AND A HALF OF SUGAR AND NEARLY CUP OF MM FLUFF barely took the edge off the Crisco flavor, but the texture started to get off. I even added in 4 Tbl of Dr. Pepper SYRUP (the straight stuff from Dublin, TX). It made ZERO impact. Is this typical?

In fact, every single “flavored” version of the classic MM filling I’ve tried has had no luck. They all taste like I’m eating straight Crisco.

Other than the MM filling, I love the cookbook. I just wish I knew what was wrong with the classic filling. Am I the only one who tastes only Crisco?


19 wendy August 18, 2011 at 5:37 pm

i totally agree… made the gluten free chocolate pies and tried the rootbeer filling… tasted it — WHAT rootbeer???… yuk and more yuk, a bunch of fluffy nothing… had to throw the WHOLE batch out.. crisco, crisco, crisco… don’t get it… tried adding orange extract… still was disgusting… haven’t found a filling in this book yet that I like… i’ll go elsewhere… think i might be sorreeeey i bought this book… also, as with another’s response… print tooooo small, sarif print not good, colored print was worse… pix were nice to look at, but how did you get that nice, round, smooth cookie cause mine didn’t come out like that… i finally figured out a way to do it…. something is not right here… 🙁


20 Jemena July 24, 2011 at 9:43 pm

I read some of the later comments (just above my novel) 🙂 and saw I was not alone in thinking the classic filling was gross. Glad I haven’t gone crazy. 🙂


21 Erin July 25, 2011 at 10:02 am

The Crisco filling can be an acquired taste. I grew up eating the filling made in this manner so it doesn’t both me. If you think it will bother you then use a different recipe or substitute butter for Crisco.


22 Jemena July 25, 2011 at 10:32 pm

Yeah, but isn’t it supposed to be like the filling in a Twinkies and Ding Dongs? I’ve always thought that, but perhaps those are two totally different creatures. I guess I assumed a marshmallow filling would taste like marshmallow.

I do plan on trying other variations – less Crisco, more marshmallow, half butter half Crisco . . . . either way, do you have better luck with FLAVORING the classic filling? I have yet to find a recipe in that cookbook, that uses the classic filling as a base, that is “flavorable.” It seems no matter how much extract of whatever I put in, that flavor just doesn’t come through.

And please know that I don’t mean to offend your love of the whoopie pies (I love them too – just not the classic filling) or your special childhood memories. 🙂


23 Irene August 19, 2011 at 7:30 am

I made this recipe last night and was amazed how much the whoopie pies taste EXACTLY like the ones I was able to get back home (CT). I couldn’t even tell there was Crisco in the filling all I could taste was yumminess :). I do agree with you Erin, if you’ve never had a REAL whoopie pie, the filling definately is an acquired taste.

I live in Florida now and cannot get a good whoopie pie down here to save my life. I ordered some online a couple of years back and had them shipped to me but I can’t do that every week LOL.

I just ordered your Whoopie Pie cookbook and am so excited to start making more!Thank you so much for sharing your awesome recipe.


24 Eve October 26, 2011 at 1:27 pm

I have to eat sugar free now and I love these but can I sub Splenda for the powdered sugar? Any ideas or how to get the filling? I can do the cake just fine.


25 sam October 29, 2011 at 9:07 am



26 sam October 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

🙂 😀 :p 😮


27 Tasha October 1, 2012 at 5:45 am

I made this recipe last night. I actually found the whoopie pie recipe on and it looked so yummy. She used a peanut butter filling, which i now wished i had tried instead of the marshmallow one i got off here. I’ve made whoopie pies before in my culinary class back in highschool, but couldnt remember the filling recipe. So i tried this. Now, Im not sure if its just me, but was it supposed to taste.. burnt? It tastes like a marshmallow from the fire. Needless to say, it tasted like a smore, so i wasnt too mad. I actually added more fluff and sugar. and finally added a little bit of milk to try to dim the burnt flavor. It ended up okay, but I dont understand is it supposed to taste like that? Or am I just crazy?


28 Samantha June 14, 2013 at 10:57 pm

I made these tonight. Instead of shortening, I used butter. I couldn’t find Crisco at my local market. I allowed the cakes to cool off completely before I put the filling in them so that the filling wouldn’t melt. They look great. I can’t wait to take them to a BBQ tomorrow.


29 BJ August 7, 2015 at 11:07 am

Mine came out quite flat. Shouldn’t there be baking powder in the recipe?


30 Jeff July 3, 2018 at 3:07 pm

BJ, baking soda should work fine with the acidity of the cocoa and the brown sugar. Did you bake the cakes immediately upon mixing the batter? Baking soda starts doing its leavening thing as soon as it gets wet, so a gap between bowl and bake of more than a couple minutes could lead to flat cakes. Baking *powder*, otoh, has both acid and basic dry components, so it releases co2 bubbles both when it first gets mixed, but also when it heats up in the oven.

If this wasn’t the case, you could try subbing 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of the soda with powder and see how it works. (You can usually sub baking powder for baking soda, but it doesn’t work the other way around).


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