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Random comments from emails and facebook; for additional comments and posts, visit our facebook page!
From Pam in New Sharon, Maine, September 2013
Hi, folks. Just wanted you to know that the edible beach was a huge success at my son's wedding rehearsal dinner on Cape Cod last weekend. Even the restaurant staff were amazed and impressed. The guests were delighted - it was perfect! Thanks so much.
From David Goldburg, March 2013
I was about to recycle your now-empty cake box and saw this note you wrote to my daughter. Outstanding. She's a customer for life.
From Like Water for Chocolate, February 2013
SO nice to meet you ladies this weekend! Carol, you were right... the lemon lime is to die for! I know our paths will cross again, I just know it! Big hug from DC!
From Paula Brochu, January 2013:
I popped in to Cranberry Island Kitchen on my way out of Maine. What a delightful treat! The staff was so friendly, and the goodies were heavenly. If you're ever in Portland, Maine, be sure to stop in. You won't regret it.
From Jim Atwood, just before Christmas 2012:
Understand that I do not say this lightly, or with any exaggeration:
I received an assortment of your whoppie pies, and I am positively ASTOUNDED by the taste and quality. They are magical. They are more than the sum of their parts. I don't know how you do it, but keep doing it.
From Jenna Hanks-Bernard, August 2012:
Went to Cranberry Island Kitchen for my yearly binge/ stock up on the best whoopie pies in universe and not only was the owner herself incredibly helpful and friendly BUT she kept the shop open an extra hour for us as we hit really bad traffic coming from out of town. We would have happily paid three times as much, for the product and the service. That is what Maine is all about.
From Nancy Smith, July 2012:
Your Whoopie Pies were some of the best eats in Portland, even better than the abundance of lobster!The hospitality of the young man that helped us was out of the ordinary, he even opened the store early to help us. You have sold these Floridians on Whoopie Pies forever.
From Joyce Avery, March 2012:
So, I just found this little bakery across the street from one of the properties I work at. I tried their Mexican Whoopie Pie. OMG!.. Simply.. perfect!
Our scrumptious Island
Buttermilk Cakes were featured in The New York Times!
Excerpt from The New York Times, September12, 2012:
"REAL BUTTERMILK GETS IT'S DUE"
"Ten thousand quarts of Kate's Real Buttermilk go out to stores
around the Northeast (including Whole Foods), local restaurants,
and bakeries like Cranberry Island Kitchen in Portland, which
specializes in buttermilk batter cakes... The bakery's cakes are
adapted from a traditional recipe for white, nutmeg scented "island
gingerbread" that requires no eggs or butter, but is delicious
nonetheless. A Maine classic, from the Cranberry isles on the
northern coast, it is not very sweet, making it an ideal breakfast
or snack cake, or dessert with some jammy cooked fruit."
To learn why at Cranberry Island Kitchen, we have only ever used
Real Buttermilk in our recipes (and learn why most commercially
sold buttermilk isn't real buttermilk), read the rest of this
We found these great reviews on the web, and wanted to share them:
From The New York Times on February 7, 2012:
Straight to the Heart for a Classic
Whoopie pies are the official state treat of Maine, having supposedly originated there, so why not go right to the source? They are a specialty, and deservedly so, of Cranberry Island Kitchen, which started on that isle and is now in Portland. The company makes them in the shape of hearts, in addition to rounds and other designs, including seashells. A dozen of the rich chocolate-cake hearts come with assorted fillings: champagne, Chambord liqueur, chocolate and vanilla. The company also makes a dense red velvet version that is sold exclusively at Williams-Sonoma by the dozen, filled with chocolate, vanilla and raspberry. The cakes are sent frozen, overnight, so shipping can be pricey.
Cranberry Island Kitchen whoopie pies, (207) 774-7110, cranberryislandkitchen.com, are $35.95, or $38 in a gift box with a card, plus shipping, for an assorted dozen and must be ordered by noon Thursday for Valentines Day delivery. Red velvet whoopie pies from Williams-Sonoma are $49, plus shipping, for a dozen, williams-sonoma.com, and must be ordered by Friday.
From Yelp.com: I don't like whoopie pies as a rule bc the filling is usually a gross sugar mush with no flavor. I LOVE ck whoopie pies! The cakes have wonderful flavors and the fillings are more like a traditional frosting with actual flavor and texture. Get maple anything.
From Yelp.com: SO SO SO SO GOOD. OMG. This was a stop on our Maine Foodie Tours trolley tour. The last stop, and talk about saving the best for last. I had the blueberry whoopie pie and tried a bite of my friend's lemon one. YUM!! And the little whoopie pies are only 200 calories a pop, so not nearly as much guilt as you might expect. Apparently they ship everywhere in the US too. I figure it's only a matter of time before I need to take advantage of that...
From Yelp.com: I was visiting friends in Portland and was told that this was THE place to get Whoopee Pies. That is no lie.
In 5 days, I went there 3 times, and one of those times I actually ordered a shipment of whoopee pies to be sent to my boyfriend back home so he could experience the awesome.
The pies are not as big as traditional ones (which are usually about the size of a hamburger) but they are very dense, rich, and delicious to make up for it. I tried the Cointreau, Pumpkin Maple, Chocolate Peppermint, and Chocolate Original, and was blown away by all of them. Nice and moist with lots of delicious filling. Omnomnom.
If you happen to end up in Portland, ME, definitely stop by this place. It may be the best thing that has ever happened to you.
From Yelp.com: By the time we arrived they had officially closed and the girl behind the counter was packing up the whoopie pies. Despite this, she let us in, was extremely helpful, and even gave us a few samples.
In the end we picked 6 different whoopie pies to try and they were all delicious. As an avid baker it takes a lot to impress me and I was pleasantly surprised by every flavor we chose. The whoopie pies were moist, flavorful, and had plenty of filling.
If I'm ever again in Maine I will absolutely be back, until then I will have to settle for ordering online.
We Won Our Whoopie Pie Throwdown with Bobby Flay!
Enjoy some of the Whoopie Pie whoopin' here:
Reviews from the Wedding Channel online
News Flash: Whoopie Pies go National!
News about Cranberry Island Kitchen Gourmet Whoopie Pies is spreading across the nation. As you know, we've been featured on Martha Stewart TV show, in Williams-Sonoma Magazine and won "Maine's Best Whoopie Pie." The New York Time food section recenty had an article on us and that has created even more news stories.
Karen & Carol
"Boy, were we surprised when we opened the box from Cranberry Island Kitchen... What a beautiful presentation!!! Judy and I whisked it away and took it home where we have been enjoying a new little surprise every day. We are actually using the cute little "tub", filled with gourds and fruit, as a centerpiece on our kitchen table right now."
"Everything about your product says creativity and quality."
Carol Ford, left, and Karen Haase stand behind one the gift tins sold on their Web site.
Cooking up Maine
Written by Avery Yale Kamila, lifestyle editor The Community Leader. Photo by Tim Greenway.
Because their company is based in Maine, Ford and Haase knew they needed a lobster themed product and the Lucky Lobster shortbread does the trick. A moist twist on tradition, the Maypole Mussel Whoopie Cake is based on a recipe created by Haase's mother.
Inside the cozy kitchen of a cottage on Little Cranberry Island, the idea for a unique line of pastries was born. For more than 25 years, Falmouth resident Carol Ford and her family have summered on the Maine island, and good friend Karen Haase is a frequent visitor.
During three weeks of fog-soaked days a few years ago, the two retreated to the inviting kitchen to create delectable baked goods. It was then that inspiration struck for a specialty food company. So this past June, after completing market research and perfecting their products, the pair rented space in Cumberland, where they built a commercial kitchen and opened the Cranberry Island Kitchen bakery.
Shaped like icons of the Maine coast, the company's hand-crafted desserts resemble a lobster, a clam and a mussel and come filled with natural, organic and locally-produced ingredients. "We both believe in sustainable agriculture," Ford says. "Small farms and sustainable agriculture are so important to sustaining Maine communities and preserving the environment."
This sense of responsibility translates too into the bakery's pledge to donate 10 percent of profits to charities, including The Island Institute and Doctors Without Borders. The pair worked with artist Laurie Rothrock to create the look of the lobster shortbread, which is covered in an organic lemon oil glaze tinted red to match the color of a boiled lobster.
"We wanted it to be cute and have a little personality," Haase says. "We knew the shortbread had to be a lobster, because you eat lobster with butter and lemon." L.L. Bean is selling these charming and delicious Lucky Lobsters (whose flavor bears no resemblance to the crustacean).
"People don't recognize the lobster right away as a dessert, but once they taste it they love it," Ford says. Of course, the clam and the mussel cakes don't taste like their salty inspirations either. Instead the rich flavor comes from high-quality ingredients like Maine buttermilk, free-range eggs and organic vanilla extract.
"The Crazy Clam's island buttermilk cake is a 100-year-old recipe from the island," Ford explains, and adds that on the island it's called island gingerbread, even though the recipe contains no ginger. "It's been passed down from generation to generation. I've loved it for over 20 years. I used to make it all the time on the island, in square and regular pans. Then we got the idea to make it in shell form."
The Maypole Mussel Whoopie Cake is named after a point on the island where particularly sweet-tasting mussels can be harvested. This moist twist on the traditional Maine whoopie pie comes courtesy of a recipe from Haase's mother. Haase explains that her father didn't like the dry texture of regular whoopie pies. So her mother whipped up a version based on a chocolate cake recipe. It was a hit, and today everyone can enjoy it in the shape of a Maine mussel.
Cranberry Island Kitchen recently debuted three new Maypole Mussel flavors. These include Sunrise, with espresso filling, Captain, with rum filling, and Regatta, with triple sec and orange zest filling. The creative cooks also came up with a peppermint version for the holidays.
"Because people love them, we decided we're going to offer the peppermint all the time," Haase says. The appeal of the Cranberry Island Kitchen desserts comes through even when the setting is less than perfect. Ford and Haase have been making the rounds of craft fairs and summer festivals. At a recent appearance, the skies opened and the rain fell and the pair quickly learned that their tent was defective. "It was a disaster," Haase says with a good-natured laugh, noting that everything was soaked. "The funny thing is people actually saw us there and we've been getting calls," Ford adds with amazement.
The bakery welcomes special orders, such as whoopie cakes by the dozen rather than individually packaged, and the duo also bakes traditional cakes for parties, corporate functions and weddings. These include the island buttermilk cake, a blueberry bunt cake with a glaze, and a four-layer whoopie cake torte with raspberry and triple sec or rum filling. Dessert orders can either be picked up at the Cumberland bakery or shipped.
"Senator Olympia Snowe's office ordered 65 (Lucky Lobsters) for a luncheon she had in July with other senators," Ford says. "Her staff called afterward and said everyone loved them and told us, 'Olympia is eating one right now and bringing one home to Jock (McKernan).'"
With such a stamp of approval from one of our state's most famous residents, the goodies from Cranberry Island Kitchen are sure to have a bright, and very sweet, future.