Gobs {aka Whoopie Pies}

gobs whoopie pies

The part of Pennsylvania I’m from is known for coal-mining, odd language {for instance, saying “you’uns” instead of “you” or “y’all”}, and for Gobs.

There is an ongoing feud between Maine and Pennsylvania about who created these tasty treats. {The Pennsylvania Amish have my vote.} But they’re only called Gobs in the southwestern corner of Pennsylvania.

Ask for a Gob outside of the Pittsburgh area and you’re likely to be met with stares. “Hey! What are you’uns lookin’ at? Haven’t you ever had a gob before?!”  Well no, they probably haven’tthe rest of the world calls them Whoopie Pies.

What in the world is a “gob”? A folklorist with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Heritage Preservation Committee said, “I’m convinced that the name gob is related to the coal mines. Lumps of coal refuse were called gob piles. These working people adapted the name to the dessert.” If you’ve seen a gob pile, you’ll agree.

It’s only been recently that these have been showing up in the midwest. In fact, when a friend entered Red Velvet Whoopie Pies in an annual Christmas cookie contest I was judging, I was so excited to see them again that I declared him the winner, if only for nostalgic reasons.

This version – chocolate cake-like cookies connected by a marshmallow cream filling, most resembles the original {Amish!} concept, but these days you’ll find any number of variations. Chocolate with chocolate filling. Pumpkin. Carrot & Walnut. Coconut & Lemon Curd…. the possibilities are endless. Personally, I think Gobs {or Whoopie Pies} are the new cupcake!

I was originally introduced to Gobs by a babysitter named Betsy. I hunted her down while writing this post and found her on Facebook. I was pleased to find out she’s still making Gobs – and continues to introduce them to new converts.

This recipe is the one she shared with our family in Pennsylvania over 40 years ago.

4.0 from 1 reviews
Gobs {aka Whoopie Pies}
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup cocoa
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream
  • ½ cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3½ teaspoons milk
  1. Cream butter and sugar; add vanilla and egg. Add sifted dry ingredients alternately with milk.
  2. Drop onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350º for about 10 minutes. (Makes 40 large cookies, 20 sandwiches) Cool completely.
  3. Mix filling ingredients together and make sandwiches.




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6 Responses to Gobs {aka Whoopie Pies}

  1. Sharmin August 3, 2015 at 11:24 am #

    This recipe looks awesome, does this recipe freeze well?

    • Morgan Wood August 5, 2015 at 7:03 pm #

      Hi Sharmin! Thanks for stopping by. While I think they are best right after they are assembled, I have frozen them and they are fine. You’ll want to save them in a single layer, perhaps on a sheet of waxed paper because they can become a little “sticky” as they thaw. I have kept a batch in the fridge for several days and they’re terrific cold or at room temp.

  2. TIM FERGUSON January 31, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

    Gobs are completely different. A Gob must use soured milk. That is the key difference. In Western Pennsylvania you better not ever call it a Whoopie Pie nor say they are the same.

    • Morgan Wood January 31, 2017 at 1:00 pm #

      Tim, thanks! I wasn’t aware of the distinction :) When I lived in Western PA the terms were used interchangeably among our small circle of friends – but then, I was 10 and didn’t question it! Thanks for your info!

  3. AK March 7, 2019 at 1:56 pm #

    I live in western PA and the two terms are used interchangeably. But the filling isn’t marshmallow…it’s a light whipped cream thing–not as heavy as frosting, but stiffer than whipped cream. Delish!

    • Morgan Wood March 7, 2019 at 4:30 pm #

      Thanks, AK! Hmmmm, I’ve always had some sort of marshmallow cream in the filling, but will look for alternatives!!

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