A Melbourne, London & Hong Kong dessert blog
Melbourne’s first whoopie pie specialty boutique.
What happens when you splice the genes of a macaron, a cupcake and a cookie, and mix them together? You get the best of all three sweet irresistibles! A Whoopie Pie! About three years ago, we saw the US going ga-ga for the Whoopie Pie, fifty hundred shades of flavours popping up faster than pox. On a visit last year to UK/Europe, MoMo & Coco witnessed the infiltration of this little thing to the UK too. As it is with seasonal fashion, Australia is the last frontier. We have seen it thrice in Melbourne — last year, we set out the origins of the Whoopie Pie and reviewed Whoopie Pies stocked at DJs Foodhall by the online-only patisserie Ribbon & Bows, we have tried out pre-mixed Whoopie Pie from the supermarket (does not work by the way) and have returned for a beautiful lump of one at North Melbourne bakery-cum-cafe Beatrix. Then we heard not two weeks ago, that amid the multitude of shopfronts along a busy road in the eastern, gentlemanly Melbourne suburb of Camberwell, a specialty sweet boutique dedicated entirely to Whoopie Pie had established itself. Whoopie!
Inside, the venue seems part sleek city apartment, part spell-binding bakery. At the front, dandelion-esque lighting hanging from the ceiling catches your first gaze and then to the leather couches and dark wood furniture. Further inside, a towering glass-fronted countered stacked with trays of a dozen flavours of Whoopie Pies takes centre-stage.
Priced at $4.50 for an over-sized gobstopper and $2.00 for a petite version, the Whoopie Pie Bakery’s baked beauties came packaged with great care in a clown-esque red and white striped box and ribboned bag. MoMo & Coco purchased 10 Whoopie Pies for sampling, bypassing just two of current available range (the boring-sounding Vanilla and Lemon). We felt so happy swinging this conspicuous bag to our parked cars.
Of the 10 Whoopie Pies that MoMo & Coco sampled, we loved especially the Red Velvet, Rosewater Pistachio and Chocolate Peanut Butter. The cream cheese filling gave that desirable edge to the slight cocoa flavour in the Red Velvet, the rosewater was characteristically delicate against the slightly gritty pistachio cake, and the intuitive partnering of chocolate and peanut butter did not fail to please. The next tier of favourites were the Double Choc and Salted Caramel. Half-smothered in a hardened icing casing, the Double Choc was a real mouthful. Extreme chocolate calories hit. We were divided about the Salted Caramel — one of us failed to discern any salted essence, whereas the other of us and another friend-taster located a soft saline touch at the very end. We think we might need to go back for another box for reviewing accuracy. While the remaining Whoopie Pies were still delectable, we did not find their flavours as expressive. The Tim Tam did not really live up to its name — it was more mere chocolate Whoopie Pie with a biscuit crumble on top. Apart from that biscuit crumble, it was indistinguishable in taste to the Chocolate Mocha whose alleged mocha flavour was likewise difficult to discern. The vanilla-cake-base White Chocolate Raspberry and Vanilla Strawberry were both lighter in stomach-feel than the other chocolate-cake-base Whoopie Pies and were therefore a welcome sweet reprieve. Ideal for a more gentle introduction. However, it was difficult to distinguish between the two.
Let’s consider The Whoope Pie Bakery’s goods. In comparison to our earlier review of Ribbon & Bows’ Whoopie Pies, this Camberwell store is much closer to what we remember having in the States. Texturally, the Whoopie Pies were great. Big ticks to their non-crumbly, just moist, slightly dense cake texture. They were not dry but also not oily/buttery. Let’s turn to the filling. The filling of a Whoopie Pie should be distinguishable from the icing of a cupcake — it should not be overly sugary or creamy. For the most part, it was here unfortunately. The original Whoopie Pie has a light, fluffy, marshmellow-y filling. Of course, we have tasted Whoopie Pies even in the States that were deployed on the masses with cupcake-like icing, but that isn’t really Whoopie Pie. We think less sugar, more marshmellow creme/fluff.
Last year, we predicted that Whoopie Pies would soon make a stronger presence in Australia. Just over a year later, this “new” sweet irresistible has arguably, finally arrived. Notwithstanding fillings that lack a more desirable marshmellow-y lightness to offset the density of the cake halves, the recently-opened specialist Whoopie Pie Bakery is a welcome and promising addition to Melbourne’s sweet scene. Offering an as-yet unrivalled flavour range and ideally moist and firm cake-texture, it should be a stop in your trek for Whoopie Pies in Melbourne.
- Dessert adventure checklist
- Dessert destination: The Whoopie Pie Bakery, 700 Bourke Road, Camberwell, Vic 3124.
- Budget: $.
- Sweet irresistibles: Whoopie pie.
- Must-eat: The Red Velvet, Pistachio Rosewater and Chocolate Peanut Butter whoopie pies.
- The short and sweet story: Melbourne’s first whoopie pie specialty boutique.