A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 18, 2009
Whoopie Pie (Whoopee Pie)

Whoopie pies (also spelled “whoopee") are often claimed to be a Pennsylvania Dutch treat, but dessert cookbook author Nancy Baggett found recipes in Pennsylvania cookbooks since only the 1960s. Whoopie pies are very popular in the state of Maine and the Labadie Bakery (Lewiston, ME) claims to have made them since 1925, but documentation is lacking.

The Berwick Cake Company of Roxbury, Massachusetts, has manufactured “Whoopee pies” since at least 1931 (when it is cited in print), although some think that Berwick’s pies date to 1927. Berwick widely distributed its Whoopee pies throughout the Northeast. It is not clear why the name “Whoopee” was used, but this slang term was popular in the 1920s to mean something exciting. Berwick closed its Roxbury plant in 1977.

Whoopie pies are not really pies, but are more like cookies. Between two circular devil’s food-type cakes is a cream filling. Berwick’s Whoopee Pies were similar to Drake’s Devil Dogs (a product trademarked from 1926)—although Devil Dogs have a “hot dog” shape. A 1931 Berwick Whoopee Pie ad stated: “THE LARGEST SELLING 5c CAKE..GREATEST VARIETY OF OTHER CAKES INCLUDING FAMOUS DEVIL DOGS.”

A March 18, 2009 article in the New York (NY) Times described the renewed popularity of whoopie pies, in New York City and elsewhere.


Wikipedia: Whoopie pie
A whoopie pie, sometimes alternatively called a gob, black-and-white, or bob is a baked good traditional to the Pennsylvania Dutch culture as well as New England, made of two small, chocolate, disk-shaped cakes with a sweet, creamy frosting sandwiched between them. In Western Pennsylvania they are known as “gobs”.

They are popular both as a simple dessert or as a snack food. They can be purchased wrapped in plastic at Amish farmers’ markets throughout Pennsylvania, Indiana, Virginia, West Virginia, and Ohio and are often found in restaurants and gift shops throughout Pennsylvania Dutch Country. They can also be found in most convenience stores and supermarkets throughout New England, most commonly in the states of Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and in some convenience marts and supermarkets in New York as well as in Quincy Market located in Boston, Massachusetts. As one of the most common delicacies of the cuisine, recipes for whoopie pies are almost always included in Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks. They can be found elsewhere throughout in the United States in various restaurants and bakeries, although uncommon. Whoopie pies can also be found throughout Atlantic Canada.

MSN Encarta
whoop·ie pe [wooppee pi, woopee pi, hwooppee pi, hwoopee pi] (plural whoop·ie pies)
noun
Definition:
two-layer filled cake: a cake consisting of two layers with a moist filling
[< variant of whoopee]

Dictionary.com
Main Entry: whoopie pie
Part of Speech: n
Definition: a confection of two small and flat chocolate cakes with cream frosting in the middle; also called whoopee pie, black-and-white
Example: Maine and Massachusetts are famous for whoopie pies.
Etymology: 1931
Webster’s New Millennium™ Dictionary of English, Preview Edition (v 0.9.7)

Labadie’s Bakery (Lewiston, ME)
WhoopiePies.com
“The original Maine Whoopie Pie since 1925!”
Labadie’s Bakery
has been in the same location since 1925. Back when this area of Maine was booming with shoe manufacturers, and textile mills. Lincoln Street, where the bakery is located, is part of what the locals call “little Canada”. This area had many jobs and thousands of French Canadians came south to work and prosper. Because of language barriers, many of them moved in with family and eventually formed the small French speaking community within Lewiston.

Over the years Labadie’s Bakery has grown and become a 24 hour operation. We now supply fresh baked pastry to most retail outlets, vending services, and Independent Grocers. People from Canada to Florida have enjoyed the delicious taste of our fresh baked pastries.

Wikipedia: Drake’s
Devil Dogs
A devil’s food creme sandwich with round edged cake wafers resembling a hot dog.

6 June 1931, Syracuse (NY) Herald, pg. 5, col. 8 ad:
Distributors for
BERWICK
WHOOPEE
PIE
THE LARGEST SELLING
5c CAKE..GREATEST
VARIETY OF OTHER CAKES
INCLUDING FAMOUS
DEVIL DOGS
VERY PROFITABLE OFFER
BERWICK CAKE CO.
26 PALMER ST. ROXBURY, MASS.

29 April 1932, Bedford (PA) Gazette, pg. 6, col. 4 ad:
WHOOPEE
We are now baking the latest in good things to eat—the new delicious
WHOOPEE PIE
a chocolate cake sandwich with a tasty butter-cream filling, a combination that will please the mnost fastidious taste.
You may sample the new
WHOOPEE PIE
at either of our stored tomorrow, Saturday, April 30.
THERE’S A THRILL IN EVERY BITE
WASHINGTON BAKERY

Google Books
The All-American Cookie Book
By Nancy Baggett
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2001
Pg. 117:
Though the plump cookie sandwiches are occasionally prepared in home kitchens nowadays, they most likely began as a commercial bakery product. Peter Schlichting, a Dover, New Hampshire, dietitian whose hobby is sleuthing out whoope-pie history, has traced the cookies back to the Depression era in several different states. he thinks there’s a good chance that they originated in New England ratherthan Pennsylvania. He says that the Berwick Cake Company, located in the Roxbury section of Boston until it closed in 1977, seems to have been the first to make them; a retired employee has recalled that the firm began whoopie-pie production in 1926.

Google Books
The All-American Dessert Book
By Nancy Baggett
Photographs by Alan Richardson
Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2005
Pg. 253:
WHOOPIE HISTORY
Pennsylvanians often say that the whoopie pie originated with early Amish cooks, but my fairly thorough search through late-nineteenth- and early-twentieth-century Pennsylvania Dutch cookbooks failed to turn up a single one—or anything similar. In fact, I’ve only found whoopie pie recipes in Pennsylvania community cookbooks published during the past three or four decades.

In Massachusetts, the now defunct Berwick Cake Company, which was located in the Roxbury section of Boston and closed in 1977, boasted of having invented the sweet in 1926 or 1927. Although I haven’t verified those dates, the original building still stands in Roxbury’s Dudley Square, and the words “Whoopee! Pies” are readable on the side. Longtime whoopie pie fan, Frank Broderick, who grew up in West Roxbury and now lives in West Newton, Massachusetts, remembers buying them from the company in the 1940s. “I support the contention that Berwick originated whoopie pies, and I have a high cholesterol level to prove it!” he wrote to me.

Serious Eats
Forget Cupcakes: Whoopie Pies Are Gonna Be Big
Posted by Erin Zimmer, March 27, 2008 at 11:00 AM
While in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, this weekend, whoopie pie flavor exploration became the number-one priority. The Central Market downtown was the best playground, where four flavors sat behind a glass counter: red velvet with white cream filling, chocolate with peanut butter filling, pumpkin with buttercream filling and chocolate chip cookies (harder texture, not puffy like the others) with white cream filling.
(...)
Are whoopie pies the next cupcakes, with flavors leaving black-and-white vision? Will they grow as imaginative as bubblegum and chai latte? How does this make the Pennsylvania Dutch feel?

New York (NY) Times
Whoopie Pies Are Having Their Moment
By MICHELINE MAYNARD
Published: March 17, 2009
FOR generations, vacationers in Maine and visitors to Pennsylvania’s Amish country have found a simple black and white snack in restaurants and convenience shops and on nearly every gas station counter: whoopie pies.

They were found in other pockets of the country, too, from New England to Ohio. But in most of the United States, people could be forgiven for not knowing that the whoopie pie is not, in fact, a pie at all. (It is sometimes described as a cookie, but that is not quite right, either. The closest description may be a cake-like sandwich, or perhaps a sandwich-like cake.)

Now whoopie pies are migrating across the country, often appearing in the same specialty shops and grocery aisles that recently made room for cupcakes. Last fall, they even cracked the lineup at Magnolia Bakery in Manhattan, which helped turn cupcakes into a national craze thanks to the bakery’s exposure on “Sex and the City.” Under the name “sweetie pies,” heart-shaped whoopie pies showed up in the February catalog from Williams-Sonoma. Baked in Maine with local butter and organic eggs, they sell for $49 a dozen.
(...)
In parts of Pennsylvania, whoopie pies remain a celebrated sweet. The annual Whoopie Pie Festival at the Hershey Farm and Inn in Strasburg, Pa., features a whoopie pie eating contest and the coronation of the Whoopie Pie Queen.

The whoopie pie would probably be Maine’s state dessert, if the state had one. The filling is generally of one of two types: a thick, sweet frosting made from Crisco shortening combined with confectioners’ sugar, or, more conveniently, a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff.

(Trademark)
Word Mark DEVIL DOGS
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: CAKES. FIRST USE: 19260615. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 19260615
Mark Drawing Code (5) WORDS, LETTERS, AND/OR NUMBERS IN STYLIZED FORM
Serial Number 71238965
Filing Date October 21, 1926
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1A
Published for Opposition January 25, 1927
Registration Number 0226218
Registration Date April 5, 1927
Owner (REGISTRANT) S. GUMPERT CO., INC. CORPORATION NEW YORK NO. 220 36TH ST. BROOKLYN NEW YORK
(LAST LISTED OWNER) INTERSTATE BAKERIES CORPORATION CORPORATION DELAWARE 12 E. ARMOUR BLVD. KANSAS CITY MISSOURI 64111
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record ALPHEUS E. FORSMAN
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Affidavit Text SECT 12C. SECT 15.
Renewal 3RD RENEWAL 19870405
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

(Trademark)
Word Mark MAKIN’ WHOOPIE PIE
Goods and Services IC 030. US 046. G & S: ice cream. FIRST USE: 20020107. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20020107
Mark Drawing Code (1) TYPED DRAWING
Serial Number 78070151
Filing Date June 20, 2001
Current Filing Basis 1A
Original Filing Basis 1B
Published for Opposition January 8, 2002
Registration Number 2735620
Registration Date July 8, 2003
Owner (REGISTRANT) Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Holdings, Inc. CORPORATION VERMONT 7 Burlington Square, P.O. Box 530 Burlington VERMONT 054020530
(LAST LISTED OWNER) BEN & JERRY’S HOMEMADE, INC. CORPORATION VERMONT 7 BURLINGTON SQUARE P.O. BOX 530 BURLINGTON VERMONT 054020530
Assignment Recorded ASSIGNMENT RECORDED
Attorney of Record Lisa W. Rosaya, Esq.
Type of Mark TRADEMARK
Register PRINCIPAL
Live/Dead Indicator LIVE

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, March 18, 2009 • Permalink