Gobs (a.k.a. Whoopie Pies)

Gobs (a.k.a. Chocolate Whoopie Pies)

Gobs are to western Pennsylvania what whoopie pies are to most other regions. They are quite simply two chocolate cake-like cookies that sandwich a fluffy white filling. While whoopie pies come in many different flavors and variations, gobs are most assuredly always chocolate with a white creamy filling in the middle. I ate a lot more gobs when I was a kid than I tend to do now. My mom would sometimes get them as a treat from the grocery store, and at most birthday parties, someone’s mom inevitably showed up with a plate of gobs. They were just one of those things that were always around as a kid, and now as an adult, I realized that I totally took them for granted, especially in the wake of the whoopie pie craze. My mom had given me a copy of her recipe, which she received from her friend Karen umpteen years ago, but I never made them myself until recently.

Gobs (a.k.a. Whoopie Pies)

I love how incredibly easy these are to make, not to mention how fast they bake! You can certainly make them larger or smaller if you’d like; I experimented with a few different sizes and found these to be perfect in terms of my personal preference. They’re large enough that you don’t feel like you need to eat more than one to get your fill, and not so big that you feel as though you totally gorged when you’re done eating one.

Gobs (Whoopie Pies)

While I still haven’t been able to nail down the origin of the name “gobs” (it’s bugging me!), I’m so happy to have resurrected this recipe. They stirred up great memories, and reminded me that I need to make them more often! I sent a large plate of these into work with my mom, and she had more than one coworker tell her that these gobs were the best they’d ever tasted. I have no idea where my mom’s friend got the recipe, but it’s definitely a winner!

Gobs (a.k.a. Classic Whoopie Pies)

One year ago: Date Bars
Two years ago: Chocolate and Peanut Butter Popcorn [Poppy Chow]
Three years ago: Peanut Butter-Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Gobs (a.k.a. Whoopie Pies)

Yield: 18 to 24 gobs

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

A recipe for gobs, otherwise known as whoopie pies.


For the Gobs:
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup vegetable shortening
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup hot water

For the Filling:
1½ cups marshmallow fluff
1¼ cups vegetable shortening
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablepsoon vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream together the shortening and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and beat for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until completely smooth and combined. Reduce the mixer speed to low, add one-third of the flour mixture and beat until just combined. Add the buttermilk and mix again, followed by another third of the flour mixture, the hot water, and then the remaining flour mixture. Give the batter a few quick folds with a rubber spatula to ensure all of the ingredients are incorporated.

4. Drop the dough onto the parchment-lined baking sheets using a medium cookie scoop (about 1½ tablespoons of dough). Bake in the preheated oven for 5 to 6 minutes. The cookies should look puffed and completely set. Let cool on the baking sheets for about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. Make the Filling: Cream together the marshmallow fluff and shortening on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce the speed to low and add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract; mix until all of the sugar has been incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and beat for another 3 to 5 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy.

6. Assemble the Gobs: Using a pastry bag with round decorating tip, or a spoon, spread some of the filling onto the bottom side of half of the cookies. Top with the remaining cookies. The gobs can be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 5 days.


  • You can substitute marshmallow creme for the marshmallow fluff in the filling.
  • This recipe is easy doubled.
  • You can make mini gobs by using a small cookie scoop (or about 2 teaspoons of dough). Reduce the baking time by 1 to 2 minutes.


96 Responses to “Gobs (a.k.a. Whoopie Pies)”

Comment Pages 1 2
  1. amanda on February 25, 2013 at 1:12 am

    that is so funny that you mention gobs. my mom’s family is originally from pennsylvania (the johnstown area) and my grandma has a “family gobs recipe” as well. the filling for our gobs is much different though… it’s hard to explain, but i know it has vinegar and eggs in it… we have a couple other family recipes that have eggs and vinegar (sweet recipes) so i just assumed it was a “pennsylvania” thing. : P …so, while i’ve always thought gobs were similar to whoopie pies, in my mind they’re different because of the filling. fun to know someone else knows what gobs are. : )


    • Ashley on May 14th, 2013 at 11:41 am

      That is soo funny because I am from Johnstown too!! :) Our filling for the gobs sound very similar to yours with the vinegar!


    • Julia on May 28th, 2013 at 9:31 pm

      I am from that area too! The filling in this recipe didn’t seem the same as what I have had but I can’t find my filling recipe… I think it may be similar to yours because you have to cook it, as I would imagine you would with eggs.


      • Debbie on August 12th, 2014 at 2:35 pm

        I am a Johnstown native, and I must say that I have had whoopie pies and they are nothing like a true GOB. And yes, the recipe that has been in my family for generations also has a filling that has a portion of it that needs to be cooked. Nothing else tastes like i.


  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks on February 25, 2013 at 3:48 am

    Love the looks of these and Ive never had Gobs but I like how they seem a bit more substantial than a choc whoopie pie…sometimes whoopie pie cookies are just a little on the thin side for me and I like the looks of these Gobs. And oh, wow, that filling!

    As an aside, I am running a giveaway on my site right now to win 5 dozen cookies from Momofuku Milkbar and I’ve asked people to leave the link of their all-time fave cookie in order to enter…and your site and your cookies have been mentioned more than any other! :)


  3. Penny Wolf on February 25, 2013 at 7:10 am

    I have never made that kind of filling for whoopie pies, the marshmallow
    addition sounds different….
    “UMPTEEN” kills me!


  4. Little Kitchie on February 25, 2013 at 7:30 am

    YUM! I love whoopie pies… never knew they had another name! :) Yours look absolutely perfect!


  5. Nicky @ Pink Recipe Box on February 25, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Oh, my! These look incredible – kinda like Oreo Cakesters but a million times better! Pinning :)


  6. Tracey on February 25, 2013 at 8:56 am
  7. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers on February 25, 2013 at 9:38 am

    I never heard of them being called Gobs. It’s kind of cute! I’ll have to ask my Friends in PA if they ever heard of them being called that. Your Gobbs look amazing and so light and fluffy!! I can only imagine how wonderful they taste!


    • jake on February 25th, 2013 at 1:02 pm

      I’m a born and raised Western Pennsylvanian, and I’d never heard the term “whoopie pie” until I was in my late teens. I have however seen “gob” used to describe a number of different flavorings other than chocolate (although chocolate is by far the most popular around here). Pumpkin and red velvet gobs seem to be the most common of the seasonal variants.


  8. Heidi @ Bits of Sunshine on February 25, 2013 at 9:39 am

    **Melt** – these look fantastically decadent!!! I need to make these soon! Such a strange name! I think I like whoopie pie better!! hee hee


  9. Leann on February 25, 2013 at 9:44 am

    Hey I was born in Jonhstown and we call them Gobs too. We typically make them at the holidays or special occasions. Our filling is a cooked in a saucepan though.

    Mmm… I could really go for a cold one right now.



    • Staci on August 23rd, 2015 at 10:34 am

      Leann – I love ’em cold too. I individually wrap and freeze them for a cool sweet treat.


  10. Ean Arnold on February 25, 2013 at 10:17 am

    Here is what I could find on the origin of gobs I was curious of where the term came from myself. I grew up eating them and still enjoy making/ eating them to this day. I actually never knew what a whoopie pie was until a few years ago so they will always be gobs to me!!!


  11. Ean Arnold on February 25, 2013 at 10:22 am

    Here is what I found on the origin of the term gobs. I grew up eating them and never knew what a whoopie pie was until recently so they will always be gobs to me!!


  12. Marcie @ Flavor The Moments on February 25, 2013 at 10:24 am

    I’ve never heard of Gobs…that must be an East Coast thing? I’ve heard of Whoopie Pies, however, I’ve just never tried one yet. This year I’m going to have a lot of firsts, beginning with these and Nutella, for starters. These look light, fluffy, and delicious!


  13. Crystal on February 25, 2013 at 10:26 am

    We are about fifteen minutes from Johnstown, and they are called gobs here. We had friends that moved here from New England, and they called them whoopie pies. As Leann said, the filling is a mixture of milk and cornstarch that is cooked until stiff and then cooled until warm. Then a creamed mixture of shortening, sugar, and vanilla are added a little at a time and beaten on high for ten minutes. Your cookie looks yummy. Can’t wait to try your recipe.


  14. Virginie M on February 25, 2013 at 10:46 am

    Hi, I actually had those first in Maine and our family there calls them “black moons”. I am not a big fan of vegetable shortening, any possibility of substitution for butter or cream? (I am French so butter and cream are always my default baking ingredients :)).
    Thank you!


    • Michelle on February 26th, 2013 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Virginie, The shortening really does contribute to that fluffy filling, but you could certainly try butter if you’d like. The filling will have a yellowish hue to it (it won’t be pure white) and the consistency will be a bit different. You might want to try 1/2 shortening and 1/2 butter first.


  15. Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen on February 25, 2013 at 11:03 am

    These look so fluffy and delicious! I never really heard of Whoopie Pies growing up. I actually started to discover them a few years back when I began following blogs. Now I think I like them more than cupcakes!


  16. leslie on February 25, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I would take Gobs and Gobs of these in my MOUTH!!!!!!!! AMAZING!


  17. Shoba Shrinivasan on February 25, 2013 at 11:09 am


    these look so massive and much bigger than the whoopie pies that i have seen!!! Look at that filling…I could eat them all in one go!!!



  18. Nancy P.@thebittersideofsweet on February 25, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Never heard of them as Gobs before, definitely not an East Coast thing. In NC we call them whoopie pies but either way these look so amazing and so yummy!!! Can’t wait to try!


  19. Sugar Loco on February 25, 2013 at 11:31 am

    mmmmmmm’s and more mmmmm’s


  20. Elaine @ Cooking to Perfection on February 25, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I love that you call them Gobs too. :) My grandmother grew up in PA and passed the recipe down to my mom. I was raised in NC and always thought it was a southern thing (since no one else has ever heard of them), but I stand corrected! Glad to know the true origin.


  21. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen on February 25, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Yes GOBS! That’s what we called them growing up :)


  22. Sues on February 25, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    So funny- I’ve never heard of Gobs. But I do know I love whoopie pies and I also know these look awesome!


  23. Mimi @ Culinary Couture on February 25, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Yum! These look like devil dogs!


  24. Olivia on February 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    YUM. I need to use your recipe. For some reason I thought cake mix would work and it was a hot mess.


    • kathy on November 9th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      I have used cake mix the trick is to use less water and use a pkg of instant pudding. They seem to come out just fine. Light and delicious. I too, am from Pa. My Husband was from the Amish community so have his Mom’s recipe but looking up the history of whoopie pies. The Amish(PA) version uses lard as a foundation for their filling. New England also lays claim to these tasty little cakes. Either are good. I prefer the Amish Version. Fun to make and simply delicious


  25. Amber on February 25, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve been waiting patiently for you to post this recipe. Im originally from Maryland where we call them Whoopie pies. I love these things!


  26. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on February 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I never heard them referred to as “gobs” before. You learn something new every day! They look delicious!!


  27. Tracey on February 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    I love whoopie pies, they’re one of my favorite desserts ever! And while I’ve tried many, many varieties, the classic chocolate with white filling is hard to pass up. These look awesome :)


  28. veronica on February 25, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    knowing your love of peanut butter and chocolate, have you ever tried the peanut butter chocolate gobs from getgo? so yummy


    • Michelle on February 26th, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Hi Veronica, I haven’t, but I’ll have to search them out after Easter (I gave up peanut butter for Lent, ah!).


  29. Valerie on February 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I live in Western PA, but have never heard of them being called Gobs. I cannot WAIT to make these! They look so yummy :)


  30. Erin @ Dinners, Dishes, and Desserts on February 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    I have never heard of “gobs” before. But chocolate cookies and a cream filling can never be wrong!


  31. Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet on February 25, 2013 at 5:50 pm

    These look so much better than any whoopie pies I have ever seen! Now I want Gobs!


  32. Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen on February 25, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    These look awesome! I’m obsessed with the peanut butter frosting recipe that you have on here, and I’m thinking that would make an amazing filling too!


  33. Kristie on February 25, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    First off ….i have just started following you…im a huge baker and love to cook so it is nice to know i have a trusted source to go to for advice and recipes i can trust…i have heard that gobs stem from PA miners who topi them as snacks …something about piles
    of coal were called gobs…who knows…i will be making these this weekend!! Yum


  34. Vicki @ WITK on February 25, 2013 at 9:38 pm

    The frosting here looks amazing, then I scrolled down to the recipe and realized why. :) Fluff and shortening, so dangerous!


  35. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen on February 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I’ve never heard of a gob before, but it looks dang good! Sounds like a name you would call a person on the playground…


  36. Caroline @ chocolate & carrots on February 26, 2013 at 8:57 am

    They look so light and cakey! 😀 Absolutely delicious!


  37. Sarah on February 27, 2013 at 9:52 am

    I grew up eating whoopie pies as my mom is from New England. What I grew up eating resembles gobs and not the lighter/sweeter versions that everyone seems to be making now. I can’t eat any flavor other than chocolate because I don’t think its the real thing. Your recipe looks so similar to my mom’s and I think nothing goes better with these than the filling. I could definitely eat these forever!


  38. natalie@thesweetslife on February 27, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    last year my mom bought me a whole gob cookbook (http://www.amazon.com/Gobba-Hey-Gob-Cookbook/dp/1608194787) I have made a few of them and they’re all great! Yours look gorgeous!


  39. Laura Dembowski on February 28, 2013 at 8:40 am

    I have never heard these called gobs before, but whatever you call them they look scrumptious!


  40. Rebekah on March 2, 2013 at 2:40 am

    “gob” is a un-politeish British word for mouth as it “shut yer gob up” (in my part of England it is used quite a lot ….I imagine it comes from that in that one of those would fill your mouth up. Gobsmacked is another variation on the word – so socked you cannot talk!


    • Rebekah on March 2nd, 2013 at 2:41 am

      Sorry shocked not socked!!


  41. Amber on March 4, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    I just made these and I’m disappointed :( They are reAlly flat _ Not sure what happened. I followed the recipe except I used coconut milk with lemon juice as a substitue for buttermilk. I’ve done this for a lot of cakes and baking and have not had a problem. I will try it with buttermilk next time :)


    • Samantha on March 19th, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      I had the same problem. The batter was super thin and watery. I’m going to try them again and cut the liquid in half. I think that’s probably what the problem is!


      • Maria on April 14th, 2013 at 1:17 pm

        I, too, had the same problem….I doubled the recipe…the batter was soupy too. Let me know whether you figure out what works. I think I may cut the hot water and buttermilk in half too to see if that helps.


        • Mary on May 13th, 2013 at 5:44 pm

          I just made these and had the same problem. The first batch I made was very runny and turned out flat even after baking. I tried to save the rest of the batter so I added baking powder. They fluffed up some and basically look like the picture now. I’m not sure if the original recipe is suppose to have baking powder instead of soda? I don’t think they taste that great but at least they look more appetizing. Happy Baking!


    • kittentoes on June 4th, 2013 at 12:04 am

      This is a lot of liquid!


  42. Mo on March 15, 2013 at 10:40 am

    What’s vegetable shortening?


    • Michelle on March 21st, 2013 at 9:21 pm

      I’m not sure if you’re in the U.S. or not, but if you are, it’s Crisco.


  43. nicole on April 5, 2013 at 3:43 pm

    I LOVE your site and have baked so many of your incredible recipes! I am very excited about these as my family just loves them. One question–do you really bake them at 450? Thank you for sharing your amazing recipes!


    • Michelle on April 6th, 2013 at 4:34 pm

      Hi Nicole, Yep, bake at 450 for a very short time! Enjoy!


  44. Maria on April 13, 2013 at 12:20 am

    Hi, Michelle!

    I just tried this recipe, but the batter was VERY soupy and I got more flat, pancake gobs rather than any puffier gobs. I doubled the recipe….and I am not sure what went wrong. In any case, if you can tell me what I did wrong, perhaps not mixing the buttermilk and flour and hot water in the right method…but the dough was more like thin cupcake batter than thick chocolate cookie cakes. HELP!


    • Michelle on April 13th, 2013 at 12:48 pm

      Hi Maria, Did you make any changes to the ingredients or technique? I’m not sure why the batter would be so thin.


  45. Maria Rider (@Akane1) on April 13, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I added 2 tbl of ground coffee to the flour, which I didn’t think would make a difference, but I screwed up the technique in the 3rd step, but was hesitant to add in that extra cup of buttermilk and hot water. I used powdered buttermilk and added 2 cups of regular water as I was adding the hot water. Should I use regular buttermilk? I did taste them today, and they tasted fine. :) Just were very flat, moist(the cake would stick to your fingers and each other slightly) But the filling was great albeit a bit messy using the pastry bag. :) I doubled the recipe…I got about 74 whoopie pies albeit ugly ones as they spread…but they still tasted good. I baked them for 4 minutes cause I did the “mini gobs”. I will probably try the recipe again but a single batch and follow the 3rd step exactly. Can I sub unsalted butter instead of shortening or does it need to be shortening?


    • Michelle on April 14th, 2013 at 8:57 pm

      Hi Maria, I would recommend using regular buttermilk and following the recipe as written; I haven’t made them any other way so unfortunately I can’t guarantee the results when there are substitutions and such. I would stick with the shortening instead of butter; they have different properties that will affect the texture of the cookies.


      • Maria Rider (@Akane1) on April 14th, 2013 at 10:54 pm

        Alright, I will do actual buttermilk next time(which may be soon) and keep using shortening. :) Thanks, Michelle!


  46. Whitney on May 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I had the same saucy batter issue like a lot of people here. I don’t think it is an issue with me using buttermilk that I had to make from regular milk because I have been substituting real buttermilk for the one that I make myself countless times and it is never an issue. I noticed the dough turned to batter once I added the hot water though. Next time I will leave that out.


    • Whitney on May 6th, 2013 at 12:27 am

      Okay….so I salvaged the the recipe for myself and the outcome was well received by the eager mouths I was feeding. Being that the batter was more cake like I made them into cupcakes instead and kept them in the oven for about seven minutes. Then I let it cool like the directions state. Then I cut them in half and filled them with the creme. *I* have never had whoopie pies before. But two of the mouths I fed has had them before and they were very pleased with the results.

      So yes, the batter was saucy. But it was still kind a good turn out. I will probably add a buttercream filling though next time. Just a preference for me.


  47. April on May 14, 2013 at 7:10 pm

    Thank-you so much for posting this! I had never had gobs before and was trying to make them for a friend. I don’t bake much and found the recipe simple to follow and the results got rave reviews from my peers! I am so happy I stumbled upon your site and may just have to follow your posts.


  48. Christina on June 16, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I made this recipe this morning. The chocolate cookie part is awful…tastes like matza. Not sweet or chocolatey enough. I tried adding more sugar/chocolate to salvage it but after i baked it that unsweeet matza taste was back. Ending up chucking the batter and making cupcakes instead.


  49. Amanda on June 21, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I was so excited to make these, but was disappointed. The batter was very very thin and I had to dispose of it. I really wanted to make them, but it was a complete failure. I used all of the right ingredients, so I don’t know what could’ve happened?


    • Julie on June 24th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

      Looks like lots of people have had this issue too. I had the same thing happen to me. Others are cutting the liquid in half… maybe that would help. I also had trouble getting the shortening and sugar to be anything close to “light and fluffy”. Super disappointing. A lot of the other recipes on this site are great, tho.


    • Cheryl on July 20th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

      Exact same thing happened to me. I had to throw it all out. Very disappointing because usually I have very good results with BEB recipes.


  50. Claire on August 25, 2013 at 3:49 pm

    I had the same problem with the batter being too thin. I did not make any substitutions or change any of the directions. I am certain that I did not leave anything out. Unfortunately, I didn’t see the comments about reducing the liquid until it was too late. Has that worked for anyone? The cake tastes ok, not great, but it is unappealing because it is very flat – each is about an eighth of an inch thick. Has anyone been able to make this successfully?


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