Unwrapped: Twinkies (recipe)

by ilene on May 6, 2011 · 3 comments

in baking, recipes, unwrapped

There is no better way to close this  2 week Unwrapped series but with the ultimate snack: TWINKIES!!!  This beloved golden cream-filled sponge cake is like an American icon and has become the universal symbol of junk food.  And you can find them everywhere- supermarkets, vending machines and gas stations- they are are ubiquitous!  I knew this was something I had to recreate!

Some fun random facts about Twinkies (found here):

  • Twinkies were invented by James A. Dewar in 1930 at the beginning of the Great Depression with  banana filling originally. But during WWII, there was a shortage on bananas so they switched to vanilla filling
  • A friend suggested to Dewar to name the shortcakes “twinkle fingers” but Dewar shortened the name to “Twinkies”
  • Hostess produces 500 million Twinkies every year. It takes 40,000 miles of plastic wrap a year to package them.
  • At 150 Calorie a piece, all those Twinkies have the energy equivalent to nearly 51,500 barrels of crude oil.
  • Residents of Chicago eat more Twinkies per capita than anywhere else, earning Chicago the title of “Twinkie Capital of the World.”
  • The White House put a Twinkie in their time capsule for the new millennium, as “an object of enduring American symbolism.”  The shelf life of a Twinkie is 25 days, pretty long for a baked product!

Anyways….. all these fun facts about Twinkies made me determined to make my own version of this all-American junk food.  And led to one discouraging failed episode in the kitchen.   Trying to deconstruct what made up the cake, I decided to make the batter using an angel food cake recipe.  The angel food cake was sweet, light and fluffy like a Twinkie, but I couldn’t get past the fact that the cake batter was too white and not yellow like a real Twinkie.  Even though the cake tasted good, it just didn’t seem right:

Then I did some googling and found this  Twinkie recipe.  It used boxed pound cake as the base of the batter and seemed simple enough. I gave it a try and brought them to an Easter dinner.  People said that they tasted better than the real thing!

Ingredients for the cake

  • Non-stick spray
  • 4 egg whites
  • One 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
  • 2/3 cup water


  • 2 teaspoons very hot water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mold Directions

First we had to create individual twinkie molds for the batter. You can actually buy a metal twinkie mold here but I didn’t want to spend $18 on a new pan. A cheap way to make your own mold is to use aluminum foil and spice bottles:

Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold:

Remove spice bottle and you should have a nice mold in the shape of a twinkie:

Make 10 of these foil molds:

Cake Directions

Disregard the directions on the box of pound cake mix. Instead, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl combine cake mix with water and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.

Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of non-stick spray. Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about 3/4 of an inch:

Bake in the  325 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool:

Cream Filling Directions

Combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool.

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.

Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.

Spoon cream into a pastry bag with a metal tip:

When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make 3 or 4 holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling:

Inject each cake with cream filling through all the holes:

Bring to a party to impress your friends!!

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1 Christine Szeto May 9, 2011 at 4:56 pm

When you move to Cali-you’ll have to come to Fremont to this gas station that sells deep fried twinkies. I have yet to try but it does exist. For the record, I think you are a little crazy–but in such a good, good way. 🙂 (btw, this is Sam/Tim’s sister).

2 SBO May 24, 2015 at 11:20 pm

Thank for recipe!

Looks like yummy.

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