Wednesday 28 March 2012

Cookery book review : Whoopie Pie Fun – Claire Ptak

First macaroons were big news, then beautifully decorated cupcakes were top of the sweet treats list, then cake pops were all the rage … now it appears that everyone who's anyone in the kitchen is making whoopie pies. I'd never actually heard of whoopie pies but they're apparently hugely popular in the States.

So what are they exactly ? Well, the introduction to the book says : “A whoopie is not a cookie or a typical cake, and it's definitely not a pie. In fact, no one seems to know WHY it is called a pie. A whoopie pie is somewhere between a cupcake and an ice cream sandwich – a cupcake with the 'icing' in the middle.” So, kind of a cake version of a custard cream then ? I'm sold already !

The original whoopie is a chocolate cake with a marshmallow filling and that's the very first recipe in the book. From there, things get more adventurous though which such weird and wonderful combinations as mocha-orange, carrot cake with orange marscapone cream or rose pistacchio whoopies.

I love the way you get separate recipes for the whoopies and the suggested creamy fillings, which not only enables you to mix and match them to create your own combinations but also means you could convert them to make anything from butterfly cakes and Victoria sponge to muffins.

Once you've got the basic whoopie recipe sorted, you can jazz things up by working through the sections on Iced & Glazed Whoopies and Topped & Drizzled Whoopies, or use one of the Frozen & Chilled Whoopies as a deliciously different dinner party dessert. The chocolate mint whoopie with frozen mint chip cream sounds like a fabulous take on the classic after-dinner mint !

Just when you think the author, Claire Ptak, has taken whoopies as far as they can possibly go, she throws in ghoulishly decorated Halloween whoopies and Easter Egg whoopies. She even finishes off the book with a few extra traditionally American sweet treats, such as S'mores, peach cobbler and peanut butter sandwich cookies.

It's great to find a book of American-inspired recipes that use metric measurements rather than cups and that have converted all those hard-to-come-by American ingredients into British equivalents.

This is the paperback version of the best-selling The Whoopie Pie Book that has been abridged and renamed to appeal to a teenage market, but I'll be having great fun making these all by myself, even if I'm sure the girls will want to get involved too !

Jamie Oliver has said that this is “an absolutely gorgeous book by my favourite cake maker in the world” and if it's good enough for him, it's good enough for me !

I'll come back and show you my attempt when I've tried one of the recipes – I just have to decide which one to try first as there are so many that sound utterly divine !

Star rating : 5/5

RRP : £6.99
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Children (3 Nov 2011)
  • Language English
  • ISBN-10: 0857511025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857511027

Other reviews you may be interested in :


  1. I love creamy icing so I'd love a whoopie pie!

  2. Ive always wanted to make a whoopie pie but never got round to it,Will def have a go :) x

  3. this book sounds fab, have been looking for a good whoopie book :) think ill wait until your review before attempting to make one though, see if i'm capable of making them lol x


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