Difference between: moon pies and whoopie pies

Have you ever had a moon pie or a whoopie pie? I haven’t. But if presented with both in the future I’ll be able to make a really educated decision on which one I’d prefer to try.

Let’s explore the difference between moon pies and whoopie pies.

a moon pie against a white background


Moon Pie

A snack food popular in the Southern United States. A moon pie consists of a marshmallow sandwiched between two cookie-shaped graham crackers, which is then dipped in chocolate; also called marshmallow pies or scooter pies.

Whoopie Pie

A confection of two small and flat chocolate cakes with cream frosting in the middle; also called whoopee pie, black-and-white; Maine and Massachusetts are famous for whoopie pies.


Moon Pies

Moon pies hail from a bakery in Chattanooga, Tennessee circa 1919. They’re widely enjoyed in the South. They were popular with working men in the 1930s when the Great Depression was going on, because they were filling, and I imagine, fairly cheap.

Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies came from a bakery in Lewiston, Maine and were first sold in 1925. These treats can be found throughout New England and in the Pennsylvania Dutch community. Legend has it they got their name from farmers who cried out, “Whoopie!” when they found one in their lunchbox packed by their wives.

What the Difference Really Is

Moon pies consist of round graham crackers, which whoopie pies don’t have – see above picture, that’s a moon pie. The whole thing is dipped in chocolate. There’s some marshmallow fluff in the middle.

(Although the Dictionary.com definition of moon pies says “cream frosting” everything else I’ve seen, including the makers of the trademarked moon pies, says marshmallow.)

Whoopie pies are two pieces of chocolate cake. There is a whole lot of marshmallow fluff in the middle.

Moon pies are more cookie-like, while whoopie pies are more cake-lake with more filling, making them larger. Although, moon pies can have double the graham cracker, making them bigger.

Bonus Dessert: Macaroons

In case you were wondering, macaroons, which look similar to our two food items we’re examining today, are made with almond paste, egg whites, and freshly ground almonds or coconut. While moon pies are like cookies and whoopie pies like cakes, macaroons are confections.

The Verdict

Sorry New England, but moon pies sound a lot better. I bet the crunch of the graham cracker contrasts really well with the fluffiness of the marshmallow.

Discover the difference between gelatin and pectin >>