When reminiscing about the sweets and desserts that delighted us in childhood, two names are bound to come up – Moon Pie and whoopie pie. Perhaps you preferred one over the other. Or maybe you enjoyed them both equally. Either way, these treats have brought joy to so many children. But, what are the differences between them, and which is better?
Today, we will take a deep dive with our nostalgia goggles and look at two classic confectionaries. I will discuss their origins, production, variations, and much more.
Comparing Whoopie Pie and Moon Pie
As you probably know, the Chattanooga bakery trademarks Moon Pies, while whoopie pies are a general name for similar types of cookies. Still, there’s more to that. Let’s see what those differences are in detail.
The story behind the inception of Moon Pie is a rather whimsical affair. Call it a folktale or true story, whichever you prefer. But it goes like this – in 1917, a traveling salesman named Earl Mitchel asked a Kentucky coal miner about the type of snack he would prefer. In response, the miner requested an “as big as the moon” snack.
Earl Mitchel took this request and reported back to Chattanooga bakery in Tennessee. The bakery responded to this request with the “moon pie” invention. Since then, the popularity of Moon Pies has only grown from strength to strength. 
Whoopie pies do not have such an amusing origin story. Rather, it is theorized that this pie gained popularity in the Amish community to using leftover batter. The pie first saw commercial distribution in 1925 in a small bakery in Lewiston, Maine.
The reason behind its naming scheme is again quite fanciful. Children who got this pie as their lunch yelled “whoopie” as soon as they opened their lunch boxes. Thus, the name “whoopie pie” was chosen.
Taste and Texture
Moon pies are two pieces of chocolate-coated graham crackers with a marshmallow filling, while whoopie pies are two layers of chocolate cakes or soft cookies with a marshmallow center.
Whoopie pies have a soft and delicate texture. It’s like a miniature cake with a marshmallow frost filling. This is also why whoopie pies tend to be larger. They have more filling and a larger, fluffier exterior.
In contrast, the exterior of a Moon Pie is crisp and firm. The graham crackers add some much-needed crunch, which balances out perfectly with the soft marshmallow center.
Additionally, the chocolate in Moon Pie is in the form of a thin, silky coat. In comparison, the whoopie pie is like a chocolate-flavored cake.
Although both feature a marshmallow center and a chocolaty exterior, Moon Pies and whoopie pies differ from each other quite a lot.
A Moon Pie consists of a marshmallow filling with two large, round pieces of graham crackers. The whole thing is then coated with a thin layer of chocolate.
In contrast, a traditional whoopie pie comprises two large, round pieces of cake or soft cookies that sandwich a marshmallow center. There is no chocolate glaze.
Whoopie pies are generally larger than Moon Pies. Some whoopie pies are manageable in one hand, while others you can cut apart like cakes. Moon Pies also tend to be flatter in appearance as they generally have less filling.
Since its inception, the Moon Pie has seen numerous variations to the original formula. You can now get a wide range of flavors, from strawberry and banana to vanilla and salted caramel. They also have a single-decker and a double-decker catalog. The double-decker utilizes 3 pieces of graham crackers for a larger Moon Pie.
Since whoopie pies are not a trademarked product, the variations are less official. Different bakeries can have their style of whoopie pies. The most common flavor profile is chocolate. But other varieties such as pumpkin or strawberries have also gained popularity.
Being a trademarked item, Moon Pies comes in an officially licensed box. The individual pies are put in a plastic wrapper. Then multiple pies are packaged in a single box and shipped to different parts of the country.
Whoopie pies can come in different packages depending on the bakery or store selling them.
Which Is Better, Whoopie Pie or Moon Pie?
Although both are Marshmallow-based desserts, whoopie pies and Moon Pies offer distinct experiences. If you want different textures in the same dessert, then Moon Pies should be your go-to. But if you want a soft cake and do not mind the homogenous texture, then whoopie pies will probably satisfy you more.
Whoopie pies are much more similar to the cake, while Moon Pies resemble a cookie or smores. Moon Pies offer some crunch to go with the soft marshmallow. This can give some much need variety to your palate. Whoopie pies are normally soft throughout.
But with whoopie pies, you get much more freedom. You can make it yourself and make it as big or small as possible.
What Chocolates Are Similar to Moon Pies?
Many other companies have produced their version of marshmallow filling sandwiched between graham crackers or something similar. Here are some examples of products that can deliver the feeling of a Moon Pie:
To conclude, both Moon Pies and whoopie pies have delighted many generations of kids and adults alike. And they are continuing to do so, adding more variations and depth to their formula as time goes on.