Like many Mainers, Amy Bouchard grew up snacking on whoopie pies.
“When I was little, you could mostly buy them at mom-and-pop stores, or maybe get them from your grandma or your mom or whoever might bake one for you,” she remembers. She loved the old-fashioned pies (made by sandwiching an ample slab of frosting between two chocolate mounds of cake), but as an adult, she realized the traditional whoopie lacked texture and taste.
“The whoopie pie had a reputation for being very dry. And the filling had a reputation for being very sugary,” she says. “When I first started, that’s what helped me take off—that mine were different.” Amy’s cakes, unlike those you might find at the local gas station, are light and moist.
But the devil’s in the details, and Wicked Whoopie’s devilish good taste comes from its filling, which is fluffed for a full 45 minutes. “We make everything according to my original recipes,” she says.
She developed her recipe 22 years ago, and along the way, she’s only tweaked it to add new, unexpected flavors like orange cream and raspberry. “What’s my secret? Well, it’s fluffing it up, using good ingredients and whipping the filling for a good long time.” The whipping was good for the pies, but bad for her early mixers. “I burned through five hand mixers within two weeks before I moved on to a KitchenAid,” she remembers with a laugh. “I eventually had to get a 30-quart mixer, because within two years of starting, the business just exploded.”
Amy no longer bakes out of her house. Wicked Whoopies has grown and you can find her pies at supermarkets and specialty stores around Maine. But Amy’s still not satisfied. She plans to grow her business quite a bit further.
“We just opened a new location near L.L. Bean in Freeport this June,” she says proudly. “It’s taken our bakeshop to a whole new level.” When you walk in the door to this sugary sweet spot, you’re greeted by a 7-foot-tall tower of stacked whoopie pies—a site Mr. Willy Wonka would have doubtless adored.
“It makes you feel like a kid again,” Amy says. “Whether you are 7 years old or 70 years old.”
Katy Kelleher is a writer and editor who lives in Buxton with two dogs and one husband.