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Dec 2, 2009 01:25 PM

Making Twinkies at home

I got suckered into a (home) cooking contest where everyone has to make a Hostess treat.

I got stuck with Twinkies.

I've Googled for recipes and have found a few, but was wondering if anyone makes Twinkies (or Twinkie-like treats) at home and would be willing to share any insights, tricks, tips, etc.


(By the way, two winners will be selected for a final "Sno-Balls" face off for the grand prize.)

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  1. Sounds like a fun contest!! I haven't tried this recipe, but I love Joy the Baker and have used a bunch of her recipes with good results.

    1 Reply
    1. re: i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream

      Twinkies have more of a sponge cake texture than the joythebaker recipe will give you, but I saw Twinkies being made in the Hostess Twinkie factory on an episode of Unwrapped (FN) and the Twinkies do indeed get the three hole punch.
      I suggest making a basic sponge cake batter and use the filling recipe from joy.

    2. Is the goal to actually replicate a twinkie or is it to make the best twinkie inspired baked good?

      4 Replies
      1. re: scott123

        Goal is to replicate a real Twinkie.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I can pretty much guarantee you that the sponge cake will be easier than the icing.

          In order to achieve the light, moist filling, it's going to require water- so much so, that you might run into emulsification issues. Shortening, sugar and plenty of water might whip up okay at first, but, if you let it sit, expect it to weep. Looking over the ingredients:

          Enriched Bleached Wheat Flour [Flour, Reduced Iron, B Vitamins (Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate (B1)Riboflavin (B2)Folic Acid)Corn Syrup, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable and/or Animal Shortening (Soybean, Cottonseed and/or Canola Oil, Beef Fat)Whole Eggs, Dextrose. contains 2% or Less of: Modified Corn Starch, Glucose, Leavenings (Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Baking Soda, Monocalcium Phosphate)Sweet Dairy Whey, Soy Protein Isolate, Calcium and Sodium Caseinate, Salt, Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, Soy Flour, Cornstarch, Cellulose Gum, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Sorbic Acid (to Retain Freshness)Yellow 5, Red 40.

          it seems like most of the long names are cake related (and probably related to somewhat trivial things like longer shelf and machinability). Mono and Diglycerides, Polysorbate 60, Soy Lecithin, though- those are all emulsifiers. Although the cake might have some emulsification going on, the bulk of those ingredients will be going towards emulsifying the filling.

          How long will these be stored for? If you run into emulsification issues storing them overnight, perhaps you can whip/pipe the filling right before they're judged, if that's possible.

          For the mold for the cake, google 'cream canoes' that will give you an injector as well, although you should be able to do these with a pastry bag.

          And, speaking of injecting... the best twinkies are always the ones with the most filling- a fairly rare occurrence, and, depending on your sponge recipe, a potentially difficult task. If you can figure out a way to create a bigger internal cavity, that might really impress the judges. At least, I know I'd be impressed. Perhaps blowing in some air before baking might do the trick.

          1. re: scott123

            Did you get the ingredient list online or did you run out and get yourself a Twinkie?
            Poking holes in the cake with a chopstick and piping in the filling with a plain tip will work just fine.

            1. re: bushwickgirl

              The ingredients were online (although, while doing the research, I did start jonesing for one ;) )

              I've never been a huge twinkie fan, though. I did the chocodile thing while those were around, but historically, my allegiance has always been to Ring Dings- until last year, when Hostess bought out Drakes and reformulated. That could be the saddest day of my adult life.

              My local dollar stores sells expired tastycakes for $1 (down from $4) and I eat them with milk without any complaint. Maybe eventually I'll seek out a new snack cake love, but not now. It's just too soon.

      2. Too bad you didn't get Hostess cupcakes because I've done them far too many times. I can't help with the cake but the best, or at least closest, filiing has both Crisco and Fluff, like the recipe i_eat_a_lot_of_ice_cream posted above. There are other variations, boiled frosting, cream cheese, etc. that taste better but aren't the same.

        You can shape the twinkie pans w/ heavy duty aluminum foil. There were recipes in Family Circle this past summer (I looked online and think it might be April) and they sounded like theyd be pretty close. I can look to see if I still have it. But, that odd chewy spongy texture of a Twinkie is going to be hard to replicate without all 27 ingredients in them.

        1. I seem to recall that the King Arthur Flour people have pans and/or recipes for Twinkie-like sponge cake confections.

          3 Replies
            1. re: jules1026

              There's some decent information there, especially regarding the fat in the cake- yes there's definitely fat. But the filling... I'm sure it's delicious, but that's not even in the same universe as twinkie filling.

              1. re: jules1026

                The king arthur sponge cake recipe is exactly what I'm talking about; combine that with the filling recipe from the up post joybaking link and I'd say it's a go.

            2. There's a lemon cake online where you add a package of lemon jello to a box mix. It's really moist and a bit weird. Maybe you could adapt w/ yellow cake and plain sweetened gelatin. I can't remember the last time I had a Twinkie, but I know it's very moist and sweet and definitely shortening flavor filling.
              Good luck.