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The Humble Origins of the MoonPie

Few snacks bring us as much joy as the all-American MoonPie. 

A Tennessee bakery began making these tasty treats for miners over 100 years ago. Today you’ll find these portable desserts in grocery stores across the country. 

We wanted to take a closer look at the origins of this snack and how it came to be loved by millions of Americans.

Let’s dig in!

What Is a MoonPie?

What snack would you have if you combined graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate? If you said s’mores, you’re probably not from the South! 

MoonPies have a marshmallow neatly tucked between two graham-cracker-like cookies. Traditionally, the sandwich comes dipped in chocolate. In recent years, the manufacturers have added a plethora of coating flavors, including strawberry, banana, and salted caramel.  

The History of MoonPies

In 1902, the Mountain City Flour Mill had a problem. They had extra flour but nothing to do with it. They decided to open Chattanooga Bakery to make cookies and other treats. 

Chattanooga Bakery has been making this delicious treat for over 100 years. They started making MoonPies in 1917 and never looked back. Today, they still use the same recipe they developed way back then. 

Originally, Chattanooga Bakery only sold their goods locally, but later they began nationwide distribution. During the Great Depression, MoonPies sold for just a nickel and became a popular lunch. This snack got its most significant boost in business during the baby boom. Parents needed cheap, filling snacks for their kids and looked to the Chattanooga Bakery to get them. 

To celebrate its centennial in 2017, the company purchased a Winnebago, wrapped it in MoonPie swag, and sent it on a cross-country road trip. We especially loved this idea!

Interior of MoonPie
Treat yourself to a sweet treat and buy a MoonPie.

Why Are They Called MoonPies?

In 1917, a Tennessee baker asked a Kentucky coal miner what kind of snack he would enjoy at work. The miner replied that something with graham crackers and marshmallows might be good to munch on.

When asked how big it should be, the miner said, “as big as the moon,” inspiring the name for the iconic snack. Other accounts suggest the miner even framed the moon with his hands, giving a visual representation for a serving-size suggestion.

Are MoonPies Healthy?

As much as we love this dessert, we can’t really call it a healthy food. We recently saw this beloved snack featured on a list of America’s unhealthiest snacks. Other desserts like Twinkies and Cosmic Brownies made the list too. 

A MoonPie has 220 calories. With 20 grams of sugar, it has more than half the suggested daily sugar intake for an adult male. The Chattanooga Bakery has also recently released a double-decker version of this treat, clocking in an impressive 27 grams of sugar. We love to grab one of these portable pies occasionally. But if you’ve been watching your sugar intake, this may not be the right snack. 

Pro Tip: Are you a Twinkies fan? We took a closer look to uncover What is the Real Shelf Life of Twinkies?

MoonPies on pkate
MoonPies come in many different flavors.

Flavors of MoonPies

You could only get this snack with a chocolate coating back in the day. But today, you have several options. Not only can you purchase the dessert in single or double-decker form, but you can also find miniature versions of the South’s favorite treat. However, the most important decision is what flavor to choose. 


This flavor has a special place in our hearts. We love the original version of this snack. The thin layer of chocolate coating the marshmallow sandwich soothes the soul. If you’ve been looking for some comfort food, look no further.

The classic chocolate MoonPie will probably be your most nostalgic treat all week. Pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds, or dip it in a glass of milk to bring your snack game to a whole new level.


If you’re feeling adventurous, maybe you should try a newer flavor, like banana. We had our suspicions about the combination, but it makes for a delicious snack! The bright yellow coating had us thinking the taste might be overwhelming, but this twist on a delicious classic provides just a hint of tropical fruit. 

Salted Caramel

Salted caramel MoonPies can be hard to find, but customers have good experiences ordering them online. We suggest trying the miniature-sized pies for this flavor. The minis have a bigger proportion of marshmallow creme, which pairs exceptionally well with caramel. If you love caramel, don’t skip this flavor.


Like the banana flavoring, we had a pleasant surprise with the subtlety of the strawberry flavoring. The double-decker spreads the strawberry flavor a little too thin for us. But the pink color of this snack caught our eye, and we think you should try it too. We recommend trying this flavor in the original size or the mini. 


The opposite of the original flavor, vanilla, has quickly become very popular. If you don’t love chocolate, then this might be the perfect version of MoonPie for you.

Like the caramel flavor, we recommend trying the minis in vanilla. They’re really easy to transport. These treats also make great snacks for kids, and their vanilla flavoring is the perfect complement.

Cut open MoonPies
Get your sugar kick by enjoying a MoonPie.

Are Whoopie Pies the Same As MoonPies?

Sometimes we mix up our nostalgic treats. Let’s go over the difference between these yummy southern treats. 

MoonPies originated in 1917, and Whoopie Pies didn’t hit the shelves until 1925. Whoopie Pies originated in Amish communities. The leftover batter would be used to make cake-like snacks. Typically the size of a hamburger, they have two cake buns with icing in between.

In other words, if you can see the middle of your pastry, you have a Whoopie Pie. If your treat is candy-coated, then you have a MoonPie.

Pro Tip: Grab a MoonPie to fuel up for your adventures to these 7 Amazing Waterfalls in Tennessee.

Are MoonPies Worth Trying?

If you’ve made it to the end of this article without running to the store to grab one of these treats, we commend your self-control. We love this sweet, nostalgic snack and even the newer varieties of the classic.

While they aren’t the healthiest option, some occasions call for a bit of decadence. If you need a sugar rush, it’s hard to beat this nostalgic treat.

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