Raise your hand if you’ve eaten a Twinkie at any point in your life. I’m estimated that no less than 98% of you are raising your hands.
While the iconic snack cake was never a regular fixture in my childhood diet (truth be told, I was always more of a Little Debbie girl when allowed a treat), I’ve certainly had a few in my day. The yellow sponge cake filled with a fluffy white frosting brings back tons of nostalgic memories for a large number of people. In case you haven’t been following the news, Hostess (the company that makes Twinkies) filed for bankruptcy and will be going out of business, meaning that there will be no more Twinkies unless another company buys the brand and continues to make them. I think that’s a very real possibility, but clearly mass hysteria ensued at the news that Twinkies would be discontinued. There were empty store shelves as far as the eye could see! I didn’t buy a single package, figuring I could just as easily make them myself… whenever I wanted. This might not be such a bad thing after all! ;-)
If you can get your hands on this Norpro Cream Canoe Pan, you’ll be all set! I tried to purchase one through Amazon, but it became unavailable before it shipped and appears to be sold out everywhere. Don’t fret, though, you can easily make your own Twinkie molds with a spice bottle and some aluminum foil (see recipe below for instructions)!
This recipe is incredibly easy and the end result is a soft yellow cake that’s a little bit denser than a sponge cake, and a filling that is spot-on when it comes to replicating the actual Twinkie. While nothing can replace the original, I think a homemade Twinkie might be just what the doctor ordered for all those folks mourning the end of their favorite snack cake :) If you’re in the 2% that didn’t raise your hand at the beginning, this is a chance to see what all the fuss is about!
2. If you have a Cream Canoe Pan, spray it with non-stick cooking spray. If you do not, make your own molds as follows:
Tear off a large square of aluminum foil (about 12-inches square), then fold it in half one way, then the other, so you have a smaller square. Wrap the piece of foil around a spice bottle, closing the ends, and leaving the top open. Remove the bottle and place the foil form on a baking sheet or in a large baking pan. Repeat with 9 more pieces of foil to make 10 total molds. Spray the inside of the molds with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form; set aside.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix and water on low speed for 30 seconds, then on medium speed for an additional 2 minutes, making sure it's thoroughly blended. Using a rubber spatula, fold in ⅓ of the egg whites to lighten the batter. Then, gently fold in the remaining egg whites until completely combined.
5. Divide the batter evenly between the molds.
Bake for 30 minutes, or until the cakes are golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Using oven mitts and being careful not to get burned, turn the cakes out of the foil molds and place them right-side-up on a cooling rack. Allow to cool completely before filling.
6. Make the Filling: In a small bowl, stir together the hot water and salt until the sale has dissolved; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar and vanilla; beat on high speed until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the salt solution and beat again on medium speed for 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined.
7. Use a toothpick or skewer to poke three holes in the bottom of each cake, moving it around to create a sizable hole to fill with frosting. Use a piping bag and decorating tip or a plastic ziploc bag with a corner snipped off and pipe frosting into each of the holes, filling as much as you can without allowing the cake to crack.
Store snack cakes at room temperature in an airtight container, or wrap individually with plastic wrap.