Make Your Own Twinkies — Without All The Junk

by Erika W. Smith

If you’re upset about the recent news that Hostess Brands is closing (meaning no more Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Donettes, or Hostess Cupcakes, EVER), don’t fear: we’ve got your back. Lara Ferroni’s cookbook, Real Snacks: Make Your Favorite Childhood Treats Without All The Junk, has preservative-free recipes of all your favorite junk food, including Twinkies.

Ferroni wrote on her website:

Here’s what’s Wikipedia says is in a Twinkie:

Enriched wheat flour, sugar, corn syrup, niacin, water, high fructose corn syrup, vegetable and/or animal shortening – containing one or more of partially hydrogenated soybean, cottonseed and canola oil, and beef fat, dextrose, whole eggs, modified corn starch, cellulose gum, whey, leavenings (sodium acid pyrophosphate, baking soda, monocalcium phosphate), salt, cornstarch, corn flour, corn syrup, solids, mono and diglycerides, soy lecithin, polysorbate 60, dextrin, calcium caseinate, sodium stearoyl lactylate, wheat gluten, calcium sulphate, natural and artificial flavors, caramel color, yellow #5, red #40.[7]

Really, I think while most people may want to eat an occasional sugary treat, they are pretty much ok skipping the polysorbate 60 and petroleum based dyes.

To fill your Twinkie craving without any of that chemical junk, try Ferroni’s recipe for vanilla snack cakes, below — you can even add raspberry filling, coconut flakes, chocolate coating, or make them vegan or gluten-free.

Vanilla Snack Cakes

8 large snack cakes

3⁄4 cup (90 grams) white spelt or all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup (30 grams) ground millet or cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
4 egg whites
1/3 cup (66 grams) cane sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1⁄4 cup (2 ounces) water
2 tablespoons safflower oil
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 batch (about 1 cup) Snack Cake Crème (recipe below) 

Preheat the oven to 350°F and lightly grease a canoe-style snack cake pan. If you don’t have a snack cake pan, you can use 4-ounce loaf pans. Alternatively, create your own molds out of foil by shaping double thicknesses of aluminum foil around a spice bottle and setting the individual foil pieces next to each other in a cake pan.

Sift the spelt flour, ground millet flour, baking powder, and salt together and set aside.

In a dry mixer bowl with dry beaters, beat the egg whites until stiff, about 2 minutes. Transfer the beaten egg whites to a clean bowl and set aside.

In the same mixer bowl, add the sugar, honey, water, oil, egg yolks, and vanilla and beat for 1 minute. Add the flour mixture and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Fold in half of the beaten egg whites; once the first half is fully incorporated, fold in the second half.

Pour the batter into the prepared molds, filling them 2⁄3 of the way full. Bake until golden, 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking. Cool the cakes in the pan for at least 20 minutes, then remove to a wire rack and cool completely before filling with the Snack Cake Crème.

To fill the cakes, use a skewer or chopstick to poke 2 holes partially through the snack cake from the bottom, and wiggle around to hollow out some space. Use a piping bag fitted with a Bismarck (#230) tip or a very small star-shaped tip to fill the cake with the Snack Cake Crème.

To make raspberry snack cakes, make the snack cakes as directed. Coat each filled snack cake with raspberry jam and dust with shredded coconut. They will be sticky and delicious.

Or for chocolate-coated snack cakes, try dipping your snack cakes in melted chocolate.

For gluten-free Vanilla Snack Cakes, replace the white spelt flour with an equal amount of gluten-free all-purpose baking mix.



Snack Cake Crème

 About 1 cup crème

 2 tablespoons white spelt or ground millet flour
1⁄2 cup milk
1⁄2 cup (100 grams) cane sugar
1⁄2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons (1⁄2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
4 tablespoons coconut oil
Dash of salt (optional) 

Combine the flour and milk in a saucepan over medium heat to form a thin, pale paste, about 4 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Be careful not to brown the roux. Stir in the sugar and continue to cook until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Cover and refrigerate to cool completely. 

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk the butter and coconut oil until light, about 1 minute. Add the cooled flour paste and beat until creamy, about 5 minutes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days.

For gluten-free Snack Cake Crème, use the ground millet flour instead of the white spelt. 

For vegan Snack Cake Crème, replace the milk with an equal amount of rice milk and the butter with an equal amount of coconut oil.


2012 by Lara Ferroni. All rights reserved. Excerpted from REAL SNACKS: MAKE YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TREATS WITHOUT ALL THE JUNK by permission of Sasquatch Books.



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