Sorry. Yes I actually did just title my post “what’s the big whoop”. But one bite of these highly debated increasingly popular baked treats and you’ll understand why the corny in me just has to come out.
For us west coasters, the whole whoopie craze has only recently started to make an appearance in the pop food scene. A perfect combination of sandwich cookie and cake, the traditional version consists of dark chocolaty cake with a creamy marshmallow filling. However similar to what we saw happen with cupcakes, whoopie pies are becoming more trendy and fancy in terms of taste and flavour combinations.
It was time I discovered what all the fuss was about.
My first stop? A famous coffee shop chain which recently started selling a red velvet variety of whoopie pies. One bite of the overly sweet cardboard tasting treats and I knew my search would need to be expanded. So I headed down to Tracycakes Bakery Café. Located right on White Rock Beach in British Columbia, this is a chic and cozy café popular with locals and tourists alike. Designed to create a special experience for customers that centers around good food and good hospitality, everyone who steps into the store is made to feel warm and welcome but in an elegant way.
Known for their cupcakes (in 2009 The National Post named them the most retro delicious cupcake in Canada) Tracycakes also serves up continental breakfasts, soups, salads, sandwiches and light lunches. But the newest treat to hit their stores? Whoppie pies.
“If you can’t decide between a piece of cake or cookie, why not have both?!” reasons owner Tracy Dueck. Hard to find fault with that kind of logic!
Tracycakes started carrying whoppie pies just last month, after slaving away in their kitchens creating and tweaking recipes since October of last year.
“We wanted to make sure that we had the perfect recipe before launching our whoopie pies,” Dueck explains. “It was difficult to get the perfect consistency of cakey cookies that are not too soft but are still nice and moist.”
Current flavours available at their stores include Toasted Marshmallow, Peppermint Patty, Raspberry, Salted Caramel, Chocolate, Vanilla and (my personal favourite) Cookies n Creme.
When I asked Tracy why the sudden surge in popularity of whoopie pies, she said that one of the most common responses she gets from customers is that they are easier to eat. It’s true! Because the icing is sandwiched in the middle you don’t get that classic icing nose as with cupcakes. People who don’t like cupcakes tend to enjoy eating whoopie pies, often siting the lesser quantity of icing as one of the most appealing factors. Personally I enjoy both cupcakes and whoopie pies. What can I say?! I don’t like to play favourites.
Last year saw a number of whoopie pie specific cookbooks published (with more in the works), and Wilton has released a whoopie pie baking pan for those concerned with uniformity. This isn’t a trend that will be going away anytime soon, so why not jump on board the whoopie pie train and try them for yourself!