In the Twink of an eye: homemade vanilla snack cakes

twinkies

When we started planning our Snack Cake Smackdown (more word on that Friday), my first thought was “Woo-hoo!” quickly followed by “I wanna do Twinkies!” Growing up in Massachusetts, we lived in the same town as a Hostess Thrift shop, and boxes of Twinkies were a favorite treat for lunchboxes and after school. With three kids and a tight budget my mom rationed them out so that we didn’t eat the whole box in one sitting, but I think we could have without too much effort. The cake was soft and fine, but ooooh, the filling!

Then, I heard through the grapevine that PJ had laid claim to Twinkies. Stomp feet, grumble under breath, sigh. I suppose I have to make something else. Isn’t that just awful? Here I am with one of the best jobs out there, baking wonderful treats and sharing them with others, and I’m fussing about it?! “Really, Mary,” as my mother would say.

So, I fiddled with a few different possibilities like re-creating the Hostess Fruit Pie. I loved the blueberry ones as a kid, and never could figure out what the square pieces of fruit were in the filling (they were pear). It sounded like a great project, but then I decided I wanted to skip frying. My husband David kept pushing for Ho-Hos, and my 14-year-old daughter Shannon was no help at all; she doesn’t eat any of the above.

Nothing sounded just right, and I just kept thinking about Twinkies…

I had finally settled on some version of Ho-ho’s when PJ sent around a reminder about the blog and said she was doing Choco-Bliss, not Twinkies. The grapevine had a kink in it this time, and Twinkies were really up for grabs – so grab them I did! I was ecstatic, and couldn’t wait to get testing.

In just about every Twinkies ad I’ve seen there’s been a reference to the sponge factor of the cake itself, so of course my first thoughts for the cake were sponge cake. But somehow I didn’t want sponge cake, I wanted chiffon cake. What’s the big difference, you ask? Let’s take a look.

Sponge cakes and chiffon cakes both rely  on the incorporation of air into eggs to lift the flour and sugar into a light and tender cake. Sponge cakes don’t contain additional fats, while chiffon cakes have oil incorporated into the batter. Sponge cakes may be made without separating the yolk and white of the egg, but chiffon cakes have the yolks in the batter, and the stiffly beaten whites are folded in later. Sponge cakes are most often associated with jelly rolls and jam filling. Chiffon cakes had their heyday in the ’50s and ’60s as light, fruity cakes with a delicate glaze for topping.

So, again, why choose a chiffon cake over a sponge cake for these Twinkie wannabes? One vivid memory I have of Twinkies is the way the cake looked inside the package. There would be a thin film coating the inside of the plastic sleeve, and small, moist pieces of cake and filling would be stuck in the creases. Those would be swiped up first on the tip of a finger to give a tiny taste of the treat to come. That moistness was what motivated me to think that chiffon cake, with its added richness from the oil, would be perfect for these cakes. Boy howdy, was THAT ever the right move!

As fellow Twinkie fans know, the filling is very hard to duplicate. It isn’t the same filling that Suzy Q’s and Hostess Cupcakes have. That filling is a bit coarse and grainy (in a good way), where Twinkie filling is smooth, oh so smooth, and more luscious than those other fillings. My first try for filling was the classic Marshmallow Fluff filling, and while it was good, it wasn’t quite right. In doing some research into creamy vanilla fillings, I came across a reference to a cooked flour filling. Now, I admit I couldn’t wrap my head around a cooked flour filling at first, but once I made a batch, it was love at first bite. Sure, I’ve tweaked it a bit since then, but take it from me: this is THE filling to use.

For those of you who read PJ’s earlier note about Banana Split Twinkies, don’t worry. I’ve included that version in the tips section of the recipe. One banana, two banana, three banana, four… Let’s make  Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes.

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Begin by separating 7 eggs. Set aside the yolks for the cake batter, and in your mixer bowl, whip the whites until very stiff. I do this in my mixer bowl first, when it’s cleanest. Any dirt or traces of fat will keep the whites from whipping properly.

Preheat the oven to 350°F and coat your filled cake pan or cupcake tins with a light layer of cooking spray.

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You’ll know the whites are stiff enough if you can pick up a piece with your finger, and it holds its shape perfectly, no sagging or drooping. Honestly, I just scooped up this piece and didn’t notice until I was editing the photo how much it looks like a tiny little bird perched on my fingertip.

Transfer the whites to another bowl while you prepare the rest of the batter.

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Place all of the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and whisk for 1 minute on low speed to aerate and incorporate the ingredients.

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Add the yolks, oil, and water, plus the flavoring. Beat on medium speed until smooth. A quick word about the flavoring. While vanilla is just fine as a flavor, the Princess Cake and Cookie flavoring makes these cakes taste like real Twinkies. It’s one of those big-time bakery secrets that you can have in your kitchen, too.

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Take about 1/3 of the whipped whites and add to the batter. Don’t worry about folding gently at this point. This first addition of whites is just mixed in to lighten the batter so it accepts the folded whites more easily.

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See? Not fancy, just blended in until there are only small lumps of white remaining.

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Add another 1/3 of the whites and fold them into the batter gently. A wide spatula is your best tool here. To fold, cut down through the center of the whites to the bottom of the bowl and lift, turning the spatula over as you come back to the surface of the batter. Give the bowl a quarter turn, and repeat until only the barest traces of whites show in the batter.

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Add the last of the whites and fold in again.

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When you’re finished folding, the batter will have increased in volume significantly and look light, airy, and full of bubbles.

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A muffin scoop is a huge help here as you fill your pans 2/3 full. These cakes have a lot of spring, but you definitely want to fill more than half way. You’ll see the comparison in a later photo. Bake the cakes for 10 to 12 minutes, slightly longer for cupcakes.

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The cakes are done when they’re golden brown at the edges, puffy in the centers, and have begun to pull away from the edge of the pan. Use a soft, flexible tool to gently coax the cakes from the pan. These mini silicone tools are perfect for the job. Cool completely on a rack while you prepare the filling.

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Remember filling the pans 2/3 full? The cake on the right was only filled 1/2 full, and you can see a definite difference. In my mind more cake is better. After all, more cake can hold more filling. Speaking of filling, let’s take the plunge into this unique cooked filling.

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In a small saucepan, combine the flour and milk and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly.

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As the filling begins to thicken, reduce the heat and continue whisking.

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When the mixture has thickened to the consistency of pudding, remove from the heat and continue to stir for 1 minute.

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Add the vanilla (and a dash of salt, if desired), and stir until well combined.

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Cover the mixture with plastic wrap, pressing the wrap down well to avoid a skin forming, and set aside to cool completely.

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In your mixer bowl cream the butter, shortening, and sugar until lightened and fluffy.

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Add the cooled flour mixture and beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, until light and creamy.

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Mmmm, creamy and delicious. Let’s get filling!

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Using a pastry bag with a wide round tip, or the plunger tool from the filled cake set, pipe the filling into the cooled cakes. Press the tip into the cake about halfway and gently squeeze in the filling. Holding the cake in one hand can be very helpful as you’ll feel the cake expand and can judge when to stop so that the filling doesn’t burst through the side of the cake.

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Ah, just right. Each bite will have soft, springy cake and creamy filling.

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To fill cupcakes you can fill from the bottom or the top; it’s baker’s choice here. For the vanilla snack cakes I filled from the bottom. Slightly rotating the tip in the cake as you fill will help distribute the filling to the sides instead of just the center of the cake.

Drum roll, please! Introducing the Banana Split Snack Cake! Few people know that the original flavor for Twinkies was a banana cake with vanilla filling. While the cakes were very popular, rationing of fruit led to today’s vanilla version.

While I was getting ready to test these cakes, I was chatting with fellow bloggers Susan and PJ and hit upon the idea of a banana cake version, but decided to take it to the next level with a trio of fillings to invoke that oh-so-delightful summer treat, the banana split sundae.

Begin by substituting 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of banana flavor for the Princess Cake flavoring in the cake. How much flavor you use depends on how much you like banana. Mix and bake as usual. For fillings I chose the creamy vanilla shown above; strawberry jam, and chocolate icing.

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Fill each of the classic three holes with a different filling. The jam is a bit trickier to pipe if it has bits of fruit in it, but makes for a more authentic sundae experience.

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Yummy, banana split cupcakes. How’s that for a bake sale special or lunchbox treat?

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Come taste-testing time, you can see that these Vanilla Snack Cakes were a big hit with our crew.

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Now it’s your turn. Please bake, rate, and review these Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes and let us know what you think! Happy baking!

MaryJane Robbins
About

MaryJane Robbins grew up in Massachusetts and moved to Vermont 20 years ago. After teaching young children for 15 years, she changed careers and joined King Arthur Flour in 2005. MaryJane began working on King Arthur Flour's baker’s hotline in 2006, and the blog team ...

comments

  1. Kim

    This is a dream come true! I’ve longed for this recipe my whole life. Thank you!
    Hi Kim,
    Wow! Helping fulfill a life long dream? Now that’s what I live for! Thanks for such an enthusiastic reply. Enjoy! ~ MaryJane
    p.s. If you have been longing for real Twinkie taste, please go for the Princess flavoring. I know it sounds like a sales pitch, but it really made all the difference to me.

    Reply
  2. Lish

    These look great! I never ate twinkies as even as a kid I didn’t like the ingredient list. I don’t think they are even baked, but only a chemical reaction. Someone once told me that they are toxic until two weeks after they are “made”. Don’t know if it is true, but never wanted to take the chance. Now these I would love to make for my husband who always loved twinkies. This filling is the exact one I make for my mom’s devil dog cookies. When my mom makes it it stays a little grainy (in a good way), but when I make this filling I beat it longer making it silky and creamy and oh so good. I think this might be the baking project for this weekend! My husband will thank you!
    Hi Lish,
    I know there have always been rumors about how Twinkies are made and their eons long shelf life. I doubt most of them are true, but it’s nice to have an alternative, isn’t it? Enjoy! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  3. Dorothy

    Will this recipe work with bleached cake flour? (Store brands or Queen Guinevere?)
    Hi Dorothy,
    I never got a chance to test the recipe with bleached cake flour, but it does work with all purpose flour. The cake is less finely grained but still delicious. If you do try bleached cake flour, please let us all know how it works out. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  4. Daria

    These look wonderful! Gotta love the Hostess products. My favorite is the Cherry Fruit Pie, followed closely by Suzy Q’s, then Twinkies. :) I just wish they weren’t so nutritionally unsound…

    I can attest to the accuracy of the cooked flour filling – it is very similar to the filling for my family’s old whoopie pie recipe. It is absolutely delicious!!

    Now I’m going to have to buy a special pan…
    Hi Daria,
    I loved all the fruit pies too. I tried one last year though, and it just wasn’t the same. My brother loved the Suzy Q’s, I was definitely a Twinkie girl. Have fun! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  5. Nicole Shugars

    It’s funny that a posting for Twinkies came up. We were apple picking with my older sister and she was APPALLED that my children had never had Twinkies, Ho-Ho’s or Ding Dongs. What can I say? I’m like your other readers and can’t get past the chemical ingredients in the “originals”. I can’t wait to forward this posting to her and make them for my kids so they are no longer deprived of what my sister considers a childhood right.

    PS The filling you use for your version of twinkies is what we’ve always called “mock whipped cream” and use to frost my favorite white cake with white frosting birthday cake.
    Hi Nicole,
    I’m glad we can help settle the family feelings. :) I’m delighted so many readers are so familiar with the cooked filling. I put some on an apple pie slice last night as we were out of ice cream, and it was FABU! Happy Baking ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  6. Carolyn

    Alright, this has got to stop. Week after week you post things that look so good they jump off the page. I have made several and every last thing tastes as good as you promise it will. If my kids see this recipe it will be the death of me trying to make enough to keep them happy. You guys really do have the best job in the world but your posts aren’t doing my waistline any favors. ;-)
    Oh Carolyn, I hear ya! Remember, each recipe is tested and re-tested and someone has to eat all those extras! Wait for a special occasion, like “The Laundry is Done Day” or “My Kids Wore Socks Today” and enjoy! Happy Baking! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  7. Regina

    Daria – It’s not really necessary to buy a new pan if you don’t want to. I made twinkies once and I made little boats out of aluminum foil. I just wrapped a piece of doubled foil around a spice jar and stood them up in a baking pan with sides. It worked pretty well. All the edges weren’t as smooth as you’d get with a pan, but they had the basic domed shape and held their filling well.
    Thanks for sharing Daria. You can certainly make these as cupcakes and they will be just as delicious. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  8. marguerite

    OMG!!! You made Twinkies and they look AMAZING!!! That was always my FAVORITE lunch box snack as a kid!!!
    Thanks Marguerite. I hope you love these cakes, and get taken back to happy times. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  9. AJ

    Oh yeah. When I was young we lived not far from a Hostess outlet
    store. Mom would buy boxes of treats to put in the freezer for Dad’s
    lunch. we found the key to the freezer and would ste…er filch them
    when she was gone. To this day, I love frozen twinkies! Does any-
    one remember the oval creme filled cakes they called “french Pastries”?
    I never had these but the name sounds intriguing. Isn’t it nice to think you can enjoy these remembered goodies made with good ingredients? Joan @ The Bakers Hotline

    Reply
  10. Audrey

    My mom bought me a Twinkie pan a couple of years ago but the recipe didn’t taste like a Twinkie. I’m so excited! Thanks KAF!!!
    Have fun Audrey! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  11. Becky

    To me, the cake was just the container for the FILLING, which was the most important part. I’ll be trying the filling recipe soon. I’ve always wanted to make something like it but none of the recipes, until now, came even close. The cake recipe looks like it could stand well on its own, too. Thanks.
    Hi Becky,
    Yes, the cake could be made as well, just a cake, but you are soooo right. It’s all about the FILLING! Have fun. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  12. vel

    truly inspired to use a chiffon cake rather than a sponge cake. My husband loves Hostess golden cupcakes with chocolate frosting and that should be an easy change with this recipe. And I’m wondering if these can be “Zinger-ized”. I love those ones with the raspberry and coconut outer layer.

    “Zingerization” coming Friday, Vel – stay tuned… PJH

    Reply
  13. Margy

    I have been using the flour/butter filling for years in red velvet cake and whoopie pies. I originally found it in a Wilton yearbook circa 1980′s-’90s (they called it “French buttercream”). Rich and delicious, almost like whipped cream in consistency. Here in the Mid-Atlantic, the snack cakes of choice were often not Hostess but Tastycakes (I think they’re made in Pa.); probably a regional item since I rember my family sending me boxes of them when I was a homesick student in California. Now if only someone would come up with a homemade Tastycake butterscotch krimpet recipe (sponge snack cake with a butterscotch frosting)!

    Here you are, Margy – our own homemade Butterscotch Krimpets. Enjoy! PJH

    Reply
  14. Kimberly D

    On the Food Network program Unwrapped they showed how Twinkies were made and they do make sponge cakes and yes they did bake them. But this brings back memories for me too when you talked about them My best friend and I on the weekends would take our allowance and we would go buy a box of either twinkies or king dongs or zinger’s. We were skinny hard to believe, for now I just got to think about them and gain weight….lol. Thanks for the memory for my best friend died 9 years ago Sept 23 of cancer, leaving behind 4 children. Anyone going to try to make king dongs? Chocolate cake with cream filling and chocolate icing…yumm!

    Funny, I was always a TableTalk gal – and I love pie to this day. King Dongs, as I recall, were a Drake’s or Hostess version of Ring Dings, which were a Drake’s or Hostess cake (i get them confused…) LOVED Ring Dings, don’t think I ever had a King Dong. Sneak preview – tomorrow is Funny Bones, Friday is Choco-Bliss. And Butterscotch Krimpets are already online… PJH

    Reply
  15. Kimberly D

    King Dongs were Hostess, for this is the first time for me to hear of Ring Dings. King Dongs were round and wrapped in foil. Also Hostess makes these snowballs, chocolate cake with coconut, marshmallow frosting. Or lets give out a shout to Lil’ Debbies cakes. Ok as a youth I ate to much sugarry snack cakes…lol!

    Ring Dings weren’t in foil, except for the little ones that came in a box – they were about 2″ across, as opposed to the normal palm-size dones. Little Debbies are MUCH cheaper and quite, quite good. I can sometimes get a whole box for 99¢. Of course, I don’t eat the WHOLE box myself… usually… PJH

    Reply
  16. Amanda

    I think you may have just completed my life. A homemade Twinkies recipe, really?! Seriously?! I am in shock and awe…it’s a blessed day when a 9-month pregnant girl’s dreams come true! Thanks so much for sharing!

    Amanda, congratulations!! And best of luck as you start this new chapter in your life. Remember – eat dessert first (right after you feed the baby, of course). :) PJH

    Happy New Baby Amanda! I remember the cravings. Mine were for egg roll and my dear hubby wasn’t into driving 10 miles every other day. At least you can make these at home, and start your little one on the baking path EARLY. :)
    All the best ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  17. Lish

    I am very happy to hear I was misinformed on the non baked portion of the twinkie myth. My sister loved them growing up. I just hope someone can come up with a knockoff of pick-m-ups which were almost flaky pastry filled with fruit and white cream, similar to this twinkie one. Does anyone else remember these?

    Lish, I think these must be similar to the Hostess fruit pies MaryJane was talking about – as I recall, they had fruit filling AND that white snack cake filling, all inside a flaky crust… Maybe if you ask MJ will blog those, too. (MJ, you KNOW you want to blog them…) PJH

    OH YES! I remember those. I was paying homage to them in the Berry Whoopie pie recipe, but would LOVE to make a real version. I think PJ’s turnover recipe for the dough is where I might start. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  18. Memoria

    YEAAA! Thanks for posting this recipe. Could you post a recipe for (Miss Debbie) Swiss Rolls? Thanks!

    Don’t have a Little Debbie Swiss Roll recipe, but bet someone out there does. Readers? Here’s a start: Take the cake from our Buche de Noel recipe, add the Twinkie filling… PJH

    That’s sort of where I was headed for the snack cake blog before I grabbed the Twinkies, so it’s on my list! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  19. Gwen

    I do believe that your filling recipe is the same thing I grew up with as frosting for red velvet cake. Haven’t dug out my recipe to compare the exact ingredient list but it’s close. That stuff is beyond yummy! It drives me nuts when people put cream cheese icing on red velvet ’cause it’s just wrong. :D
    Hi Gwen,
    Ohhh, confession time. I have never had red velvet cake. I have all the fixin’s to make it, but haven’t gotten there yet, and it isn’t a cake you see a lot of in New England. So, I don’t have a “side” to take on the icing, but I do love the cooked filling. I put some on apple pie the other night ( no ice cream in the house) and it was super! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  20. Mark Wisecarver

    This post was nothing short of amazing MJ. ;-)

    Curious…You experiment a lot so you must have tried this with Rice Flour.
    Or something similiar.
    Can you picture Rice Flour and Yogurt?
    I’m doing my best to offer my kids healthy treats.
    God’s blessings,
    Mark I don’t think we tried it with rice flour. Giive it a try and let us know how it comes out. Mary @ KAF
    Hi Mark, Mary is right and I didn’t try these with rice flour. If you do, please share the results with our readers (and us bakers too! ) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  21. Bammom

    Bah Humbug on Hostess!! Tastykakes are the best. Thanks for the Butterscotch Krumpets, my childhood favorite.

    I’d take a Krimpet or KandyKake over a Yodel anytime; although I’ll admit to occasionally falling prey to the cupcakes with the squiggle on top….Susan

    Reply
  22. Katherine

    OH man, I hope you guys do the oatmeal sandwiches :3 those were my fav growing up.

    Hi Katherine,
    Looks like we’ll have to go a few more rounds in this smackdown. Bring it on! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  23. Steve Ettlinger

    Loved seeing the reference to my book, Twinkie, Deconstructed, in which I went to see where all the ingredients (39 of ‘em!) come from. QUite a trip. I also made a ‘gourmet’ version at home, for fun, using simple whipped cream with vanilla and sugar for the filling. LOVED it! Most of mine were snapped right up by my young kids, but I put away a few for research purposes. They were green within a week. Twinkies’ shelf life is a minimum of 3 weeks. Helps to use polysorbate 60 instead of egg yolks, I guess.

    At my appearances around the country (I give lectures at colleges, mostly) people often like to make homemade versions. The best one was organic, whole wheat, low fat, low calorie, vegan–although it was brown.

    Good luck. Loved your post and the comments. Good job! Steve Ettlinger

    Steve, thank you so much for taking the time to read the post and comment. I’m very flattered. I have read bits and pieces of your book in the bookstore, and it is definitely on my birthday list this year (David, Shannon, are you listening??). Thanks for sharing the stories about the homemade versions too. I do want to try a white whole wheat version soon, as well as a “Boston Cream Pie” Twinkie. So many Twinkies, so little time. Thanks again ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  24. amy

    When hostess was on strike, the New York Times published the twinkie recipe. I cut it out. Im sure you can can find it in their archives. It was published in the Meto section on March 23, 2000 written by Tina Kelley.

    I have made it a few times through the years and they come out great. I dont use a twinkie pan nor does it call for one. I make molds out of wrapping a spice bottle 1/2 way with aluminum foil. its the perfect size and shape since it leaves you with the same flat bottom (or top depending how you think of it). I make a dozen or so molds and put it on a baking sheet.

    This recipe comes out the perfect consistency of chewy light yellow cake with a gritty filling and its so easy. I highly recommend and they are a perfect birthday gift for the sweet tooth you know.

    cake calls for:
    3 egg whites
    16 oz yellow cake mix
    2/3 cup water
    non stick spray

    filling:
    3 tab butter
    1/3 c veg shortening
    1 c confectioners sugar
    1/4 c granulated sugar
    1/3 c evaporated milk
    1 teas vanilla extract
    2 drops lemon extract

    heat oven to 325. make molds. spray molds with nonstick spray.

    beat egg whites until stiff. combine with cake mix and water and blend. fill each mold 3/4 in deep and bake 30 min

    cream butter and shortening, then slowly add sugars, evaporated milk and extracts. mix till fluffy

    when cakes are done and cooled us a toothe pick to make 3 small holes in the bottom of the filling. Using a pastry bag inject each cake with filling in all three holes.

    turn over and serve!

    WOW! Amy, thanks for sharing. I had seen the evaporated milk in other filling recipes, but haven’t had a chance to try it out. It’s great that so many folks have been innovative about making shaped molds too. I love to collect fancy pans, and have used mine for so many things. Happy Baking! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  25. Rocky-cat

    Drake’s, please. Funny Bones and Yankee Doodle recipes. OMG, did I ever love Yankee Doodles. So much better than Hostess cupcakes.

    Funny, I loved Yankee Doodles, too! They were dry and plain and not overly chocolate, but something about the filling and the dryness of the cake – and no frosting – managed to work just right, didn’t it? PJH

    Reply
  26. Carol Fithian

    I am anxious to try these. I have seen several recipes for “trinkies” and look forward to trying this one…will let you know what I think.
    I live in Massachusetts and clearly remember many local treats growing up. Have you ever heard of Dorothy Muriel and do you remember their chocolate cupcakes! Wow none better even ones I make myself! And year and years ago in the 50s they made these square shaped orange cakes with a hard shell of orange frosting! Frosting was shiny and hard and cake was slightly dense
    Thanks for this snack cake recipe
    CFe
    Hi Carol,
    I don’t remember Dorothy Muriel, but the orange cakes sound great. Once more, I’ve got something new to add to my “must bake” list. ~ MaryJane

    I remember Dorothy Muriel – MJ, hey, you didn’t have Brigham’s out there in central Mass.?! It was Brigham’s line of baked goods. Read all about it here. PJH

    Reply
  27. HUNGRY ACE

    THIS TAKES THE CAKE!! YEEEUM!!!!

    This King Arthur Twinke also takes my vote — HANDS Down — as the best of these three Delectables!!!

    Many years ago, when I staggered home after returning from the dentist (abscessed tooth AND root canal) I was DYING for a Twinkie — I made a dizzy circuit to the building’s candy machine and was delighted to see those two little oblong morsels waiting to be vended to…me!!! After I retrieved them from the machine, and hastily unwrapped them, I tried to open my (swollen) mouth, shark-style — to devour them– ALAS!! I could only open my highly sedate mouth — goldfish-like!!! How to eat these Twinkies?? Easy — I put them, one by one, in the palm of my hand and shoved them into my mouth — oh it was divine!!!!

    I can surmise that eating the King Arthur version will be a little easier (although I DO have to go back to the dentist for my crown…….)

    Hi Ace,
    Glad to get your vote here man! I’ve had 5 or 6 root canals (yes, I’ve actually lost count! ) so I know your pain. I usually want vanilla milkshakes afterwards but of course, no straws allowed. Once your teeth are back on their feet again I hope you get a chance to make a whole batch for yourself. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  28. Holly

    We had a Hostess outlet in our town too and it also carried other baked goods and bread. My mother always went there to buy the “day old” bread to save money and she always called the store the “Used Bread” store. No wonder why I didn’t really like bread growing up….. :-O!

    Love you recipes – it’s always the first place I go to look when I want to try something new!
    Holly, that is too funny! I don’t think many people would like used bread either. :) Our Hostess store was down the street from a great pizza place called The Red Checker, so the whole trip was usually fun, fun, fun for us. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  29. Gail

    These all good great. The white icing we call “Flour Paste Icing” (have had recipe for at least 30 years) and it is easy to make. The recipe does not call for shortening, just butter. It is used on chocolate cake and Red Velvet cake, and whatever else you need some icing on. Love all your blogs and pictures of the finished goods.
    Thanks Gail, it’s good to know the filling can successfully be made with all butter, as I didn’t test that version. Thanks for sharing! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  30. Jennine Quiing

    Loved he snack cake recipes. Can’t wait to make them for the state fair.
    Now if anyone could just come up with the recipie for Banana Dreams.
    In the 6o’s in Califonia they were packed two to a package and were a dark banana cake baked like the little sponge cakes sold for strberry shortcake. The indentation was filled with a “demy” banana frosting!
    Jenninel
    Those sound great! I bet you could take the Banana Split Twinkies and bake them as cupcakes, then top them with banana pudding? Sounds like a delicious experiment! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  31. Doris

    I want to bake this as a regular round cake. What size pans should I use and how long should I bake them for? I want to fill it with your filling along with marinated strawberries. Then I will frost it all over with the filling and top with fresh berries. Won’t that be good? Thank you.
    Hi Doris,
    I haven’t tried this as a round cake, but try 2 9″ rounds, at 350° for 25 minutes or so. Good luck and have fun. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  32. danielle

    Twinkies are my absolute favorite!
    I already make a peanut butter tandy cake so dont need another peanut butter/chocolate dessert recipe…and I am not really a chocolate girl….but the idea of the banana split ones is awesome – altho I probably wouldnt do banana flavoring and would leave out the chocolate filling (unless I wanted to be nice to hubby)….darn – I am glad I read this AFTER I went to the store instead of before or I probably would have had to buy some twinkies!!!
    Hi Danielle,
    Can you believe I didn’t buy a single Twinkie during all my testing? I was sorely tempted but wanted to go with my memories of Twinkies as they were, rather than as they are now (much smaller and less filling, if you ask me). You could use pineapple topping in the banana split ones, and then let your DH dip his in hot fudge. OH the fun! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  33. Erin in PA

    These are GREAT! My 3 year old daughter and I just finished making them for a picnic today – didn’t have the pan, but they made A LOT of cupcakes! 24 reg. Sized and 24 minis, plus extra batter for a mini loaf pan – I had to make extra filling, but this recipe is so easy it was no big deal. Hopefully these will make it to our picnic!
    Erin, I bet you and your daughter are going to be the belles of the ball with all those goodies. Have fun!~MaryJane

    Reply
  34. Marguerite Couvillion

    I vote for the Twinkies. They have always been my favorite, beginning in the 40′s! I think there was one with a banana-flavored filling then. I bake lots of cakes and I like Doris’ idea for making a Twinkies Cake – I know it will be a hit.

    Reply
  35. Rachel M

    They really taste like Twinkies! I halved the recipe and made it in a mini-muffin pan (24 cupcakes, with batter left over). I didn’t have princess flavor, and MaryJane suggested using a little Fiori and some vanilla. I used 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and 3 drops Fiori for the half-recipe. I’ve never tried the princess flavor, but this worked great! Now my kids can have Twinkies!

    Reply
  36. Great-grandma B.

    My folks had a neighborhood grocery store in the late 1920s to early ’40s. Supermarkets were just beginning to open in the last of the 1930s. When Twinkies first came on the market, in the mid-30s(?), the filling was banana flavored, smooooth and buttery rich. (Twinkies and a glass of cold milk – full fat, cream top, only kind available. Mmmm. Good.) Chances are an ingredient list was not a requirement then. Probably the unpronounceable junk wasn’t either. Can’t remember when I had my last Twinkie, just because of the non-home-kitchen additives.

    Well, G-G, now you can make your own! Boy, does your description sound mouthwatering… PJH

    Reply
  37. Amy

    Can I use regular cake flour instead of cake flour blend and the recipe call for 3/4 cup cold water.. how cold does it has to be ( room temperature, ice cold?) . Can’t wait to try the recipe..thanks

    Yes, cake flour should work, hopefully. We didn’t test it that way, but let us know how it does. And cold water means cold just as it comes from the tap, not ice water. Good luck – PJH

    Reply
  38. Connie

    Drakes made Ring Dings and to this day I have to avoid that aisle! Being a “Table Talk gal” must make you from New England, no? Big factory driving through Worcester? I am having to make these for a family party coming up – can’t wait to surprise them with these! Thanks!

    Indeed, MJ and I are both from Massachusetts – though I was born in Wisconsin, so do have at least a toe in the Midwest, too. I didn’t realize TableTalk was local to NE… huh. And I agree – Ring Dings RULE! :) PJH

    Connie, I grew up just outside of Worcester (Barre MA) so going by the Table Talk factory is very familiar to me. I used to love the lemon pie, but haven’t had it in ages. Oh Worcester! The Acupulco Mexican Restaurant, Weintraub’s deli, the bakery on Gold Star Blvd, and the frozen yogurt place in the Galleria. Lots of memories there ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  39. Tonia

    Had to laugh about the “used Bread” comment! I used to own a bakery and had a “Day Old” goodie basket that one of my customers, who was a car salesman, used to call the “Used” basket (NO!NO! Day Old, NOT used!) All your recipes sound fantastic and fun. . .will have to try soon
    Tee hee Tonia :). Although I bet nowadays he would call it “pre-owned” bread! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  40. June

    Aha! This recipe will be a great way to use the new KA unbleached cake flour that I picked up at Whole Foods last weekend! I had read about it on your website and when I saw it on the shelf I smiled and picked up TWO boxes, since I live two hours away from the nearest Whole Foods. I bet I know what my next order from y’all will include- the cake pan set and the special flavoring- mmmmmmm, can’t wait to try this recipe!

    And WE can’t wait for you to try our new unbleached cake flour, June – have fun! PJH

    Reply
  41. FRAN S

    The receipe for whoopie pies not too long ago tasted just like devil dogs to the cake critics who reside at my house. I tried a batch by piping the batter out through a pastry bag to make the shape of the “dogs”. I did a few like that but found it easier to just pipe out small circles, making them almost bite sized. I brought 75 to a picnic at my sons school. There were way more people there than I anticipated so I gave them to the teachers to take back to school with them to enjoy.
    Fran, I bet you were the talk of the teacher’s room that day! What a wonderful way to make those hardworking folks know they are appreciated. Thanks for sharing! ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  42. Connie

    I was wondering if I can use unsalted butter? I never buy salted and I’d hate to buy some for only 4T’s and never use the rest.

    By the way Moon Pies and Chocodiles rule!
    Hi Connie,
    Yes, unsalted butter is what was used in the recipe. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  43. GiGi

    Don’t know if any of you guys there at KAF caught it, but thought you may be interested…tonight at 11:30, the topic on the show Unwrapped on the Food Network was “Unwrapping Copycats”. I am sure it will be repeated if you’re interested. It featured a bakery where the owner/baker makes different kinds of copycats: twinkies, zingers and snowballs, etc. Here are links:

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/unwrapped/sweet-imitations/index.html

    http://www.angelfoodltd.com/site/epage/58473_723.htm

    Oh man, wish I’d seen it – only get 2 channels on the TV. But thanks for these links, Gigi – I’ll definitely check them out. PJH

    Reply
  44. Rita

    Do you have any ideas about copying the Tastykake Jelly Krimpets? These recipes reminded me of my favorite snack cake from childhood in Pa.
    HI Rita,
    Well, I’m a New England girl, so I’ve never had Tastykakes. Maybe Susan or PJ will have a hint about these? ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  45. rachel

    I created recipes for homemade chocodiles and sno-balls (posted on my blog) and they were amazing! I love making homemade snack cakes.

    I’d like to try butterscotch krimpets but the shape is tricky.

    Not so tricky, Rachel – if you ignore the curves. Try our Butterscotch Cakes. PJH

    Reply
  46. Elaine

    Well MaryJane – you were right – I LOVE this blog entry. So now I have to add the princess flavoring and cool pans to my KAH order I am putting together. The holidays are fast approaching and as always I have a sister-in-law to “one up”. :o) Now if only someone could go to work for me a couple days a week so I can stay home and bake…. any takers?

    We were all looking for a white knight, when we should have been looking for a clone to stay home (or work so we could stay home)! Happy Baking – when you have the time! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  47. Christine

    Noo! What happened to the pan set? It’s listed as “currently unavailable” on your site. Will you have it back in stock again?

    Christine – If we are getting this pan back it will not be until after the holidays. I am very sorry! However, you can make your own pan of sorts by making make molds out of wrapping a spice bottle 1/2 way with heavy duty aluminum foil. It is the perfect size and shape since it leaves you with the same flat bottom (or top depending how you think of it). You can make a dozen or so molds and put it onto a baking sheet. Elisabeth @ KAF

    Reply
  48. Cleosa

    I was so impressed with the recipe for “Twinkies.” I was all set to purchase the pan set, but it’s not available. How could you tease us with this and then not have the pan set available for purchase?

    I can’t even imagine how to use a spice bottle. Can you give us a picture or an example of what kind of bottle you’re talking about? How do you get half of a bottle to make the mold?
    I’m sorry that pan is not available. Sometimes even the best laid plans fall through.That was a comment from Amy. This is how she describes it. “I dont use a twinkie pan nor does it call for one. I make molds out of wrapping a spice bottle 1/2 way with aluminum foil. its the perfect size and shape since it leaves you with the same flat bottom (or top depending how you think of it). I make a dozen or so molds and put it on a baking sheet. ” You could also toilet paper rolls cut in half and covered with foil Mary@ KAF

    Reply
  49. Jeanine in WA

    What kind of shortening do you use specifically, something like Crisco or shortening in a bar like butter? Generally “shortening” refers to a solid vegetable product that is 100% fat. Butter isn’t 100% fat because it contains milk solids also. Mary @ KAF
    Here in the test kitchen, we use trans-fat free Crisco in the tubs. Hope that helps. :) ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  50. Anne Ardoin

    I made these today in the better baker cupcake bowl pans. They came out wonderful and are so much better than the dessert cups in the grocery store. These are my Easter dessert so instead of the filling I am using strawberries and homemade whipped cream. I do plan on making homemade Twinkies with them one day! Delish!

    Reply
  51. rohna

    I made these today and they were very good, but I think I’d actually prefer the coarser/grainer (in a good way) filling that you mentioned early in this post for Suzy Q’s. Any idea how I’d replicate that?
    Hi Rohna,
    Try the filling from our classic whoopie pies. I think that may be closer to what you are looking for. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  52. RF

    I’ve baked these using the canoe pan and they are tremendous. However, I can’t quite solve the problem of the bottoms of the “Twinkies” being too rounded. In other words, when I take them out of the pan, they roll around because they’ve baked too high.

    Seems I’ve tried a hundred different fill levels, but they either end up rounded on the bottom (and I have to cut them off, which looks unfinished), or too tiny in appearance. Any suggestions on how to flatten the bottoms and still have the cakes look fresh? Thanks.

    I’d cut off the rounded top, turn it over, and call it the bottom – no one will see its “unfinished” appearance, and it’ll sit flat. PJH

    Reply
  53. Aaron Frank

    I think with all these recipes, this a new cookbook for KAF – “Kids Cakes for Adults (and Kids)” or something like that.

    The filling looks good too and mixing and matching looks fun.

    But, as a baker, remember, some of our favorite ingredients are come from mines, like baking powder. I don’t need preservatives (even though salt and sugar play that role) because nothing lasts very long in our house.

    Thanks,

    Aaron

    Reply
  54. Karen

    Oh yeah, oh yeah!!! I have the canoe pan!! I make mine using a banana cupcake recipe because I couldn’t seem to locate a ‘real’ twinkie recipe.

    I am excited to find this recipe and am looking forward to using the pan and making these.

    THANKS once again for your great recipes.

    Karen
    karensplaceontheweb@me.com

    Reply
  55. cookies14056

    I would like to order two of the Twinkie Pans, but they are unavailable on your site. Thank you

    Loved the Recipe-plan to do it soon.

    cookies@shawneelink.net
    Jean W

    Now you’ve got us craving this treat and we can’t find the pans any more! Another alternative may be to use a mini loaf pan (the mini cake pan measures 4 1/2″ X 1 1/2″) or make them in cupcake shape as the blog shows. They’ll be delicious no matter the shape – Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  56. Jo-Marie MacDougall

    Cake was good. Filling was grity….any other sugar subs to use to eliminate the grit?
    You can use superfine sugar, that will help if your filling is gritty. Or pulse your regular sugar in the food processor a bit to make it a finer grind. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  57. Angela

    Actually, the original Twinkies had banana cream filling, not banana cake. Due to WWII, the filling was changed to vanilla since bananas were rationed. But I’m a huge banana fan so the banana cake does sound good!

    Reply
  58. ginnifarmer

    Twinkies were a very special treat when I was a kid. We didn’t get them very often, but when we did, I was in heaven! The thought of not seeing Twinkies on the grocery store shelves was really depressing. But then I stumbled across a post on Pinterest about homemade Twinkies. I wasted no time ordering the pans, the cream injector and the Princess flavoring. Yesterday I got my King Arthur order and went right to work. My hubby isn’t all that fond of Twinkies. Seems he’s not impressed with vanilla filling. So when I made up the cream filling, I added some KAF espresso powder and Vietnamese cinnamon to the flour/milk mixture. Yup, he’s a convert now! The cake part tastes exactly like the original. I did use KAF castor sugar in the filling and beat the heck out of it. I did find it difficult to inject the cream. My first attempt ended with just a little cream. So I tried again and the results were better. But be careful, I must have gone too deep in one or it split because there was a good deal of cream beneath the cooling rack! Next time I make them, I think I’ll make the cake part and add some espresso powder and cinnamon and then add cocoa to the cream. BTW, I use a version of the cream recipe to frost and decorate cakes. It’s light and not too sweet so you can actually taste the cake. Thanks so much for the recipes and helpful hints, though I might have to consider putting a treadmill in my kitchen to work off all the extra calories I’m eating!

    Reply
    1. MaryJane Robbins , post author

      A treadmill in the kitchen is brilliant! Or how about one set up to hold cookbooks on the handles so you can read and run at the same time? ~ MJ

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