Lyndsay Cordell

Make This Copycat Twinkie Recipe at Home with a Cake Mix


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It's week 2 of DIY Snack Cakes! Over the next month, we are pulling out all the stops and making our favorite snack cakes at home. This week I decided to take on the ultimate Hostess snack - the Hostess Twinkie recipe. Described as "golden sponge cake with a creamy filling", this snack cake has been a favorite since 1930, when it was originally filled with a banana-flavored filling. The company switched to vanilla creme due to shortages during WWII. Since then the snack cake has been acclaimed for its marshmallow cream filling.

Today Hostess sells a variety of Twinkie flavors including pumpkin spice, mixed berry, mint chocolate, chocolate, and original. While I love the taste of store-bought Twinkies, I thought it would be fun to try to recreate it.

What is a Twinkie Made From?

Twinkies are no-means a natural dessert. Check out the ingredient list for yourself:

Bleached Enriched Wheat Flour [Wheat Flour, Niacin, Ferrous Sulfate (Iron), Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Sugar, Corn Syrup, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Animal and Vegetable Shortening (Tallow, Hydrogenated Tallow, Cottonseed Oil, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin), Eggs, Water, Dextrose, Contains 2% or Less: Calcium Carbonate, Calcium Sulfate, Agar, Disodium Phosphate, Locust Bean Gum, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Soy Lecithin, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Corn Starch, Monocalcium Phosphate, Whey, Glycerin, Salt, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sorbic Acid and Potassium Sorbate (to Retain Freshness), Xanthan Gum, Barley Malt Extract, Corn Grits, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Enzymes, Yellow 5, Red 40.

I was on a mission to make these with fewer ingredients. I didn't need them to last a lifetime so I could automatically nix all the preservatives in the real Twinkies.

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What is a Twinkie's Shelf Life?

According to an urban legend, there are two things that will survive if the world ends - cockroaches and Twinkies. According to Snopes, Twinkies have a shelf life of 25 days. This is longer than most baked goods because of the lack of dairy in the twinkie cake.

How To Make a Homemade Twinkie Recipe

First things first, grab yourself a Twinkie mold from Amazon. While you could make these as cupcakes in a cupcake tin, I highly suggest buying the Twinkie pan for this recipe to look as authentic as possible.

Twinkie Baking Pan

I followed the TopSecretRecipes.com recipe along with a few changes. If you haven't taken a peek at that site I highly suggest you head over there! We love all of Todd Wilbur's creations!

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First off, preheat your oven and prep your Twinkie pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large bowl or stand mixer whip 4 large egg whites until stiff peaks form. It'll look almost like whipped cream. Discard egg yolks or use in a custard recipe.

In a separate mixing bowl mix the cake mix with water. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter and pour into the molds, filling halfway. The cake batter will rise and you don't want little feet on your treats!

Lyndsay Cordell

Cake until the cake is golden brown and the cake bounces back when poked with a toothpick. The total time for me was around 18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from the molds, and then cool to room temperature.

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Meanwhile, prepare the filling. The original filling calls for vegetable shortening, however, I wanted to try to make it with butter. In a medium bowl, I whipped together the marshmallow fluff, butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract. I excluded salt because I used salted butter. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a tip or in a plastic bag with the tip cut off.

Lyndsay Cordell

Poke three holes in the cooled cake with a chopstick and fill the cake. I noticed it was difficult to keep the filling in the cake and some of it popped out after I removed my pastry bag, so be prepared for some mess.

How Does it Compare?

While it doesn't taste exactly like a store-bought Twinkie, it comes pretty close! And the fact that I could make them with only a handful of ingredients made me really happy. Overall I was pretty happy with the dessert.

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Lyndsay Cordell is the Managing Editor here at Wide Open Eats. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and their 5 chickens, 2 dogs & 1 cat. When not writing you can find her in the garden or hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Cake Mix Twinkie Recipe

We recreated the Hostess Twinkie recipe at home with a cake mix, marshmallow fluff, sugar, and a specialty-designed baking mold.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 18 mins
Total Time 28 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8 cakes

Ingredients
  

For the cake

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 16-oz box pound cake mix
  • 2/3 cup water

For the Filling

  • 1 7-oz jar marshmallow creme
  • 2/3 cup salted butter
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350F and prepare the Twinkie pan or cupcake pan.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer whip 4 large egg whites until stiff peaks form.
  • In a separate mixing bowl mix the cake mix with water. Fold the whipped egg whites into the batter and pour into the molds, filling halfway. Place extra batter in cupcake molds.
  • Cake until the cake is golden brown and the cake bounces back when poked with a toothpick, around 18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from the molds, and then cool to room temperature.

Make the Filling

  • In a medium bowl, whip together the marshmallow fluff, butter, confectioners sugar, and vanilla extract. Place the mixture in a piping bag with a tip or in a plastic bag with the tip cut off. Poke three holes in the cooled cake with a chopstick and fill the cake