A whoopie pie is a baked good that consists of two mound-shaped pieces of cake or cookie with a sweet filling sandwiched between them. Whoopie pies are a New England treat that have been around since the early 1900s. They got their name from the jubilant “whoopie!” some folks would exclaim when finding one of these tasty snacks in their lunch pail.
Homemade whoopie pies can be a delicious, nostalgic treat. But many people wonder just how healthy they really are. The main question is: how many calories are in a homemade whoopie pie?
What Are the Main Ingredients in a Whoopie Pie?
To determine the calorie count, we first need to look at the main ingredients that go into a homemade whoopie pie:
The cake or cookie halves that make up the outside of a whoopie pie are usually made from:
– All-purpose flour
– Butter or oil
– Baking powder
– Vanilla extract
Some recipes may also include cocoa powder for a chocolate cake or pumpkin puree for a pumpkin whoopie.
The filling sandwiched between the cakes can consist of:
– Butter or shortening
– Marshmallow cream, marshmallows, or marshmallow fluff
– Powdered sugar
– Milk, cream, or whipped cream
– Vanilla extract
Optional mix-ins may include peanut butter, nutella, or coconut.
Calories in Each Ingredient
To get an accurate calorie count, let’s break down the typical calorie amounts in each of these common whoopie pie ingredients:
|Ingredient||Calories (per tbsp, tsp, oz etc)|
|Granulated white sugar||49|
|Creamy marshmallow filling||56|
As you can see, ingredients like sugar, oil, butter, and peanut butter pack the most calories per serving. While ingredients like flour, baking powder, milk, and extracts are relatively low in calories.
This gives us an idea of which ingredients will spike the calorie counts up the most. Now let’s put it all together.
Total Calories in a Homemade Whoopie Pie
Calculating the precise calorie count of a homemade whoopie pie can be tricky. Recipes and ingredient amounts vary widely. Portion sizes also differ based on the size of the pies.
However, here is an estimate of the calorie counts in a typical homemade whoopie pie:
Many recipes call for:
– 1 cup of flour (450 calories)
– 1/2 cup of sugar (200 calories)
– 6 tbsp butter (600 calories)
– 1 egg (70 calories)
– 1 tsp baking powder (5 calories)
– 1/4 cup milk (45 calories)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract (12 calories)
That’s approximately 1,400 calories for the two cake halves.
A basic filling may contain:
– 2 tbsp butter (200 calories)
– 1/2 cup marshmallow cream (200 calories)
– 1 cup powdered sugar (480 calories)
– 2 tbsp milk (20 calories)
– 1 tsp vanilla extract (12 calories)
That’s about 900 calories of filling.
Total Homemade Whoopie Pie Calories:
Cake halves: 1,400 calories
Filling: 900 calories
Total: 2,300 calories
So a typical moderately sized homemade whoopie pie made with basic ingredients will end up having around 2,300 calories.
Of course, this number can vary quite a bit depending on the exact recipe and portions. Mini whoopie pies may have closer to 200-300 calories each. Giant pies could have over 500 calories per piece.
Adding in mix-ins like coconut, peanut butter, or chocolate can significantly increase the calorie count as well. But for a standard homemade pie, 2,300 calories is a decent ballpark estimate.
How Many Calories in a Store-Bought Whoopie Pie?
If you opt for pre-packaged whoopie pies from a bakery or grocery store rather than homemade, the calorie counts will be similar but a little different.
Here’s a look at the nutrition facts of some popular commercial whoopie pie brands:
|Little Debbie||1 pie (59g)||300|
|Amish Country||1 pie (71g)||370|
|Marcel’s Culinary Experience||1 pie (60g)||330|
|Bakery on Main||1 pie (45g)||180|
|Tastykake||1 pie (58g)||290|
As you can see, store-bought whoopie pies tend to range between 180-370 calories each depending on the brand. The average is around 300 calories per pie.
So they are often fairly comparable to a moderately sized homemade version. However, homemade pies can potentially be larger with more filling.
Ways to Make Whoopie Pies a Little Healthier
While whoopie pies aren’t exactly a diet food, there are some substitutions you can make to lighten them up a bit:
– Use apple sauce or banana instead of oil in the cake batter
– Replace some of the butter in the filling with Greek yogurt or cream cheese
– Use a sugar substitute like erythritol or stevia instead of regular sugar
– Choose cocoa powder over chocolate chips for lower fat chocolate pie
– Opt for reduced-fat or low-fat dairy products like skim milk and light whipped cream
– Reduce the amount of filling so there’s less of it than the cake
Implementing some of these tweaks can potentially shave off 200 or more calories per pie while keeping the delicious flavor.
You can also cut portion sizes into mini whoopie pies that are 100-200 calories each. And sticking to just one rather than multiple pies will help decrease the calorie intake too.
Should You Be Concerned About Whoopie Pie Calories?
How concerning the calorie count is for whoopie pies depends a lot on your overall diet and lifestyle.
A few things to consider:
– A 2,300 calorie whoopie pie is a very dense, indulgent treat. It’s easy to consume well over half your daily calories from just one pie.
– However, if you have a balanced diet full of vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains, then a high calorie dessert here and there is perfectly fine for most.
– Be cautious about portion sizes if having whoopie pies regularly, as the calories can quickly add up. Consider sharing one or freezing leftovers.
– Focus on your total daily or weekly calorie intake, rather than just a single food or meal.
– Whoopie pies can absolutely be part of an overall healthy diet when enjoyed in moderation alongside nutrient-dense foods and physical activity.
So be mindful of portions, read nutrition labels, and account for the calories. But don’t feel too guilty indulging in moderation if whoopie pies are an occasional treat that fits into your overall diet and lifestyle.
A typical homemade whoopie pie with basic ingredients ends up having around 2,300 calories per pie. Store-bought versions average 300 calories each. Ingredients like butter, oil, sugar and marshmallow fluff add the most calories.
While no one’s claiming whoopie pies are a diet food, you can make some simple swaps to reduce the calorie count. Watch your portion sizes, and enjoy these nostalgic treats in moderation as part of a balanced diet and active lifestyle.
Now that you know roughly how many calories are in a whoopie pie, you can enjoy that perfect sandwich cookie combination of tender cake and sweet filling without worrying quite so much about the calorie count! Just be mindful of portions for this delicious dessert.