Grandma’s Gobs (Chocolate Whoopie Pies)

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How to make my grandma's easy homemade gobs recipe. Family favorite chocolate whoopie pies sandwiched together with a creamy vanilla filling.

My entire extended family has both vivid and fond memories of baking these cookies. Passed down from our great grandmother, who called them chocolate cookies or chocolate sandwich cookies, they're a family favorite dessert.

stack of gobs on vintage green Texas Ware plate, on Grandma's pink apron

So much so, that if these gems show up on the holiday dessert table, you'd better get one before they're gone.

While Great Grandma used a cooked icing, my mom and I both like to sandwich them together with a simple powdered sugar icing she taught me how to make. I remember my grandma making them this way too.

Either way, I'll share both icing recipes with you, so you can choose which one you'd rather try.

The whoopie pies themselves are cake-like cookies, and they like to puff up while baking. They're easy to make, and you can probably get your kids to help you frost and sandwich them together.

WHERE CAN I FIND THE ACTUAL RECIPE CARD?

If you’d rather skip all of my baking tips, important info for this recipe, and similar recipe ideas – and get straight to the gobs recipe – just scroll down to the bottom, where you’ll find a printable recipe card.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GOBS AND WHOOPIE PIES?

There is no difference. They are one and the same dessert, just called by different names in different areas of the country.

The term gobs comes out of Western Pennsylvania. My hubby hails from PA, so he's quite familiar with the term when it comes to one of our favorite chocolate treats.

bite out of chocolate whoopie pie on vintage green Texas Ware plate, sitting on Grandma's pink apron

The term whoopie pies, on the other hand, seems to hail from both New England and the Pennsylvania Amish. They're quite popular in Maine.

There seems to be a little bit of controversy over where the cookies originally came from, but I really liked this story from the Farmers' Almanac that explains the name…

One theory is that Amish wives came up with the whoopie pie using cake batter and frosting. When Amish husbands would find the cookies in their lunch pails, they'd shout, “Whoopie!”

INGREDIENTS YOU'LL NEED:

Keep in mind, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

KITCHEN TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT YOU'LL NEED:

Electric Mixer and Large Bowl

Sifter – to sift the dry ingredients together.

Baking Sheet and Cookie Scoop – Or you can use a whoopie pie pan; I find it easier to just scoop onto my regular cookie sheet. You can use a non-stick baking mat, if preferred

Wire Rack – for cooling the cookies.

HOW TO MAKE WHOOPIE PIES FROM SCRATCH

Be sure to pre-heat the oven to 350° F. Then you'll need an ungreased cookie sheet ready to go.

Mix up the cookie dough…

  1. Cream (or mix together) the butter and sugar.
  2. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture, mixing well.
  3. In a large bowl, use a sifter to sift all the dry ingredients together, including the flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt.
  4. Then alternately with the milk, stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (Note: If the dough seems too thin, you can add a little bit of extra flour.)
  5. Scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet.
  6. Then bake the cookies at 350° F for about 10 to 12 minutes. Once the cookies are fully baked, allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
steps for how to make whoopie pies from scratch, including creaming butter and sugar, adding egg and vanilla, sifting dry ingredients, and adding dry ingredients and milk to form dough, then scooping cookie dough onto cookie sheet, and baking chocolate cookies

How to make the filling…

  1. For the creamy vanilla filling, which is basically just a simple powdered sugar icing, mix together the softened butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  2. Then add the heavy whipping cream to the mixture.
  3. Slowly add in the confectioners sugar, mixing as you add. If the icing drips off the spoon, you'll need to add a little more powdered sugar 'til it's thickened enough that it won't run off the cookies when iced.
  4. Then spread the smooth, creamy filling on the flat side or bottom of a cookie, and sandwich it together with another cookie. I usually use a regular table knife for this.
creamy powdered sugar icing, or whoopie pie filling, in green bowl with table knife, on white marble countertop

And that's it! Your gobs are all ready to eat and enjoy with a nice tall glass of ice cold milk. Yum!

Should they be refrigerated? Since they're frosted with a cream-based icing, I'd err on the side of caution and say yes, you should probably store them in the refrigerator.

pile of whoopie pies on green Texas Ware plate, with jar of milk behind

ALTERNATIVE COOKED ICING FROM GREAT GRANDMA

Now my mom shared this recipe in an old school cookbook, and she wrote a little story about my great grandma, including her favorite way to sandwich these cookies together.

Great Grandma traveled to Missouri by covered wagon in 1905. She loved to make these cookies for my mom and her sisters as an after school snack, and she'd store them in an old metal roasting pan that she kept in the pantry.

She preferred to use a cooked icing. You'll need a few ingredients for this icing, including the following:

  • Cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • Salt
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (or Milk)
  • Salted butter
  • Vanilla extract

This is how you make it…

  1. Add the sugar, salt, and cream (or milk) to a medium saucepan on the stove. She doesn't give an amount on the cream, but she does say to add enough milk to make the mixture liquid.
  2. Then cook the sugary mixture 'til it reaches soft ball stage.
  3. Add in the butter and vanilla at this point, and beat 'til it starts to thicken.
  4. Spoon a little onto the bottom side of a cookie, and place another cookie against the iced portion to form a sandwich cookie.
stack of chocolate sandwich cookies made with gobs recipe, on vintage apron and green Texas Ware plate, with more cookies and jar of milk behind

Note: If the icing gets too thick before all the cookies are iced, you can place it back on the stove. This icing tends to set up really fast.

Again, all of the ingredient amounts you’ll need are in the printable recipe card below.

CAN I MAKE WHOOPIE PIES GLUTEN-FREE?

Yes, you can. You'll need a good gluten-free flour; I prefer to use Authentic Foods Classical Blend, and I add a little bit of xanthan gum to help the cookies rise.

Be sure to check all of your ingredient labels to make sure everything is truly gluten-free, including the cocoa powder.

bite out of chocolate gob, stacked on other gobs, on green vintage Texas Ware plate

CAN GOBS BE FROZEN?

Yes, you can freeze gobs with or without the icing. Just make sure you wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and store them in an airtight container so they don't get freezer burn.

GET THE PRINTABLE RECIPE

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Grandma's Gobs Recipe

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Yield: 16

Grandma's Gobs (Chocolate Whoopie Pies)

Grandma's Gobs (Chocolate Whoopie Pies)

How to make my grandma's easy homemade gobs recipe. Family favorite chocolate whoopie pies sandwiched together with a creamy vanilla filling.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup cane sugar*
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour*
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 level tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk

Powdered Sugar Icing:

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 350° F.
  2. Cream (or mix together) the butter and sugar.
  3. Add the egg and vanilla to the butter mixture, mixing well.
  4. In a large bowl, use a sifter to sift all the dry ingredients together, including the flour, baking powder, cocoa, and salt.
  5. Then alternately with the milk, stir the dry ingredients into the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. (Note: If the dough seems too thin, you can add a little bit of extra flour.)
  6. Scoop the dough onto the cookie sheet.
  7. Then bake the cookies at 350° F for about 10 to 12 minutes. Once the cookies are fully baked, allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
  8. For the creamy vanilla filling, which is basically just a simple powdered sugar icing, mix together the softened butter, vanilla extract, and almond extract.
  9. Then add the heavy whipping cream to the mixture.
  10. Slowly add in the powdered sugar (or confectioners sugar), mixing as you add. If the icing falls off the spoon, you'll need to add a little more powdered sugar 'til it's thickened enough that it won't run off the cookies when iced.
  11. Then spread the smooth, creamy filling on the flat side or bottom of a cookie, and sandwich it together with another cookie. I usually use a regular table knife for this.
  12. Serve your chocolate sandwich cookies with a nice tall glass of cold milk.

Notes

*or granulated sugar.

*or a good gluten-free flour with xanthan gum.

Should they be refrigerated? Since they're frosted with a cream-based icing, I'd err on the side of caution and say yes, you should probably store them in the refrigerator.

ALTERNATIVE COOKED ICING FROM GREAT GRANDMA

Now my mom has shared this recipe in an old school cookbook, and she wrote a little story about my great grandma, including her favorite way to sandwich these cookies together. She preferred to use a cooked icing. You'll need a few ingredients including the following:

  • 1 cup cane sugar (or granulated sugar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (or Milk)
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

This is how you make it…

  1. Add the sugar, salt, and cream (or milk) to a medium saucepan on the stove. She doesn't give an amount on the cream, but she does say to add enough milk to make the mixture liquid.
  2. Then cook the sugary mixture 'til it reaches soft ball stage.
  3. Add in the butter and vanilla at this point, and beat 'til it starts to thicken.
  4. Spoon a little onto the bottom side of a cookie, and place another cookie against the iced portion to form a sandwich cookie.

Note: If the icing gets too thick before all the cookies are iced, you can place it back on the stove. This icing tends to set up really fast.

CAN I MAKE WHOOPIE PIES GLUTEN-FREE?

Yes, you can. You'll need a good gluten-free flour; I prefer to use Authentic Foods Classical Blend, and I add a little bit of xanthan gum to help the cookies rise.

Be sure to check all of your ingredient labels to make sure everything is truly gluten-free, including the cocoa powder.

CAN GOBS BE FROZEN?

Yes, you can freeze gobs with or without the icing. Just make sure you wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and store them in an airtight container so they don't get freezer burn.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 274Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 40mgSodium: 120mgCarbohydrates: 43gFiber: 1gSugar: 33gProtein: 2g

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