How to bake a 700-pound whoopie pie
Rutland is hosting its second annual Whoopie Pie Festival on Saturday from noon to five. Organizers say there will be food trucks and family-friendly activities — but the star attraction is an enormous whoopie pie.
If you've never had a whoopie pie, imagine two layers of velvety cake with a silky marshmallow filling. That’s how Megan Wagner, the owner of Dream Maker Bakers, described it.
Now imagine one that’s 700 pounds.
“It's really hard to describe how technical this really is, and how many things that we have to think about — because it really, really is an impressive feat keeping that cake in one solid piece," Wagner said.
Last year, for Rutland’s inaugural festival, she made a 542-pound whoopie pie. This year’s had to be bigger.
“So for the overall project, we use almost 100 pounds of flour, two 50-pound bags," Wagner said. "For butter, we're going to bring in 72 pounds."
She'll use 180 eggs and 72 pounds of marshmallow fluff.
“I think the most astonishing number is probably the powdered sugar that goes into the filling. There's 180 pounds of powdered sugar in the filling alone," Wagner said, laughing.
To actually bake the oversized cakes she had to have a special pan made that's four-and-a-half feet in diameter. A Killington pizzeria lets her use their five-foot-wide pizza oven.
“It's not quite big enough, as far as the depth, but we got really creative, my husband and I," Wagner said. "He made a custom-made stainless steel extender box that allows us to leave the door open, and then it encloses and keeps all of the heat in the oven.”
To make sure the cake cooks evenly, they have to rotate it several times during its two hours of baking. Then comes one of the most challenging parts of the entire process.
“Taking it out of the oven is much more scary then putting it in," Wagner said, "because at that point, you know, the whole thing is 350 degrees and 200 pounds.”
She says having to tilt the cakes to get them through doorways is also unnerving.
This year, Black River Produce is lending Wagner a refrigerated box truck, which should make transporting the dessert to Rutland easier.
Once they get there, the oversized delectable will be on display before an official weigh-in at 4 p.m. Then it'll be sliced up for the crowd to enjoy. Wagner says that’s when she’ll finally be able to say whoopie.
“Like right now, you know, I'm telling myself, 'Why did I say yes to this again?' Wagner said. "But once we get on the other side and it's Sunday morning, that feeling of joy and excitement and accomplishment just completely overrules any stress I went through to get there, and I kind of forget about it all.”
A South Portland Maine bakery created a whoopie pie that weighed over a thousand pounds in 2011. Wagner believes she can top that and hopes to try. But first, she just wants to get this one done.
Any leftovers will be boxed and frozen and delivered to food shelves all over the state.
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