‘Homemade’ Twinkies


It’s not often that I choose to use a box mix over ‘from scratch ingredients’ when baking, but I thought it would be best to use a box mix to replicate the processed flavor of a Twinkie. Plus I read a couple reviews for “homemade” Twinkies from scratch and lots of reviewers commented that although the Twinkie was good, they weren’t comparable to the Hostess variety.

**This recipe is adapted from Todd Wilbur’s recipe for Hostess Twinkie clones.

twinkie ingredients.

  • Non-stick spray
  • 10 egg whites
  • 1 16-oz box Betty Crocker Pound Cake mix
  • 1 18.25-oz box Duncan Hines Butter Golden cake mix
  • 1 c. (2 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/3 c. water
  • 1/3 c. whole milk
  • yellow food coloring (optional)

twinkie directions.

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Fold twenty 12 x 14 inch pieces of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around a spice bottle (the approximate size of a Twinkie) to create a mold. Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Arrange the molds on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of non-stick spray. OR spray the insides of mini-loaf pans with cooking spray.
  3. Beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake mix with water and butter and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.
  4. Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.
  5. When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling.

filling ingredients.

  • 4 tsp. very hot water
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 4 c. marshmallow creme (two 7-oz jars)
  • 1 c. shortening
  • 2/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

filling directions.

  1. Combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let cool.
  2. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.
  3. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.
  4. Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes.

When I lived in Huntington Beach, Calif., I purchased these teeny tiny loaf pans at Cost Plus World Market after which I almost immediately experienced buyer’s remorse. I mean, really – how often (and for what purpose) do you need a mini-loaf pan? I decided to give them a whirl in my first go-round of making Twinkies – mainly out of laziness. The idea of fashioning mini Twinkie tins out of tin foil and a spice jar was not at all appealing to me. After seeing the  Twinkies puff in the oven I decided my mini-loaf Twinkies were way too big/wide and fashioned a few tinfoil molds for the remaining batter. What I didn’t know was that the cakes shrink when they cool. My once honking Twinkie loaves shrunk to nice neat small loaves, which looked a lot better than the loaves baked in the makeshift tin molds.

A word of warning: it’s not easy to gauge the inside of a Twinkie out in order to make room for filling. Don’t concentrate too hard on trying to gouge the inside as injecting the filling into the Twinkie works pretty well to fill it. The Twinkie seemed to expand as I piped the filling inside.

I was using a clear plastic ‘reusable’ pastry bag that I tossed after the first use and incidentally would not recommend for baking/decorating as it wasn’t a nonporous bag. If you’re going to use a pastry bag it’s worth it to invest in a sturdy one.

So here’s the verdict: If you’re intent on having a homemade Twinkie that completely replicates the taste of a Hostess Twinkie, I’m not sure you’ll ever find a recipe to satisfy you, and this recipe is not for you. If you’re looking for a filled-cake that tastes a bit like a Twinkie you’ll be satisfied by these cakes.

Recipe rating: 1/2



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