Moon pies are an iconic Southern dessert that first appeared in Tennessee over 100 years ago. And they quickly became family faves.
They’re soft, sweet, and perfect for parties.
In some houses, they’re Graham Cracker cookies filled with marshmallow creme and covered in chocolate.
This famous type of cookie mostly comes from the Chattanooga Bakery, which produces about a million Moon Pies every day!
But depending on where you live, they’re also cookie sandwiches with marshmallow creme frosting in the middle.
Luckily, no matter what you call them, moon pies are out of the world!
Southern Moon Pies
Classic moon pies are soft and loaded with gooey marshmallow goodness. But there’s no shortage of flavors to choose from.
There’s the basic chocolate and vanilla, of course. But I’ve also tried salted caramel, banana, and strawberry.
And while I love the OG Graham Cracker recipe, I adore this soft, chocolatey moon pie recipe.
Also known as whoopie pies, the cookie is almost cake-like. And the filling is just the right amount of sweet and soft.
Here’s what you’ll need to make these homemade moon pies:
- Butter – for the cookies and the frosting. Use unsalted if you have it, or cut out the extra salt in the recipe if you’ve got salted butter. Also, let it soften to room temperature before using it.
- Sugars – you’ll need white sugar for the cookies and powdered for the filling.
- Eggs – to bind the ingredients in the cookies and help them rise.
- Evaporated Milk – to give the cookies a rich, indulgent flavor.
- Vanilla Extract – for another depth of warm richness. You’ll add it to the cookies and the filling.
- Flour – use all-purpose flour for the best results. The brand isn’t important; use whatever you have on hand.
- Salt – a dash of salt balances the sweetness and is a flavor enhancer.
- Unsweetened Cocoa Powder – use unsweetened cocoa powder so the cookies aren’t too sweet.
- Baking Powder & Baking Soda – this mix ensures the cookies are them nice and fluffy, not thin and flat.
- Marshmallow Creme – you want the filling to be smooth and creamy, so make sure you grab creme and not fluff!
How to Make Moon Pies
Here’s a quick overview of the steps for making homemade moon pies:
- Preheat the oven and prep a cookie sheet. These babies bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205°C), and you’ll need a lined cookie sheet ready to go.
- Make the cookie dough. Beat the softened butter with the sugar, then mix in the egg, evaporated milk, and vanilla. After that, gently stir in the dry ingredients until it’s a smooth, thick batter.
- Bake the cookies for 6-8 minutes. Use a cookie scoop to portion the dough/batter, leaving about 3 inches between each. After 6-8 minutes, take them out of the oven and let them cool on the tray.
- Make the filling. Mix the other half-cup of butter with the powdered sugar and vanilla until it’s smooth. Then stir in the marshmallow creme.
- Assemble the moon pies. Flip half of the cold cookies over, then spoon or pipe 1 to 2 tablespoons of filling onto the flat side. Then, sandwich another cookie on top, gently pressing so they stick well.
See the recipe card below for a complete list of ingredients and instructions.
Tips for the Best Moon Pies
Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind when making this moon pie recipe:
- Use a piping bag to make filling them easier. If you don’t have one, put the filling into a Ziploc bag and cut the corner off. Piping lets you control where the filling goes, and it’s less messy than using a spoon.
- Don’t overmix the cookie dough. This cookie dough is more like a batter. It’s thick but quite soft, so be careful when mixing and be sure to stop when you no longer see streaks of flour.
- Double the filling for extra-indulgent treats. I won’t say doubling the frosting is the best choice for your waistline. Even so, it sure does make these treats taste good.
- Experiment with different fillings. You don’t have to stick to the filling recipe exactly. Try fruit jam, sweetened whipped cream, or maybe even Nutella. Yum!
- No evaporated milk? No problem! Substitute an equal amount of coconut milk instead. It tastes just as good.
- Chill the filling before piping it. This is always a good idea since you’ll often use room temp ingredients. So I recommend making the filling first, then it can chill while you make and cool the cookies.
- Store moon pies in a single layer. If you stack them, they’ll likely stick together.
How to Store and Freeze
Here are your options for storing homemade moon pies:
- To store at room temperature: Put the moon pies in Ziploc bags or an airtight container. They’ll remain fresh for 1 to 2 days.
- To store in the refrigerator: To keep them for longer, put the moon pies in Ziploc bags or an airtight container and pop them in the fridge for 4 to 5 days.
- To freeze: I don’t recommend freezing assembled moon pies, as the frosting might thaw watery. But you can freeze the baked and cooled cookies.
- After they’ve cooled, leave them on the cookie sheet, and freeze until solid – about 1 to 2 hours.
- Then, transfer them to a Ziploc bag and freeze for up to a month.
- To thaw: Let frozen moon pie cookies thaw in the fridge overnight before filling and serving. Alternatively, they’ll thaw at room temperature in about 3 to 4 hours.
More Sweet Southern Desserts You’ll Love
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