Twinkie Cupcakes

Homemade Twinkies

Prep Time: 30-35 minutes

Bake Time: 15-18 minutes

Yield: 20-22 filled Twinkie cupcakes

Recipe inspired by: King Arthur Flour and Gourmet Today

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about childhood and all the thrills of experiencing something for the first time. It seems just about everyone I meet has one particular food they remember most from their childhood. For me, it is a good ol’ fashioned Twinkie. You see, there was a Hostess outlet not too far from my house when I was little and we would always stop there on our way home from the park. I looking at all the gleaming rows of snack cakes, pocket pies and all kinds of other Hostessy goodness as a kid. My mom would only ever let me choose one treat so I knew I had to choose wisely.

Thankfully, I’m a little older now and don’t have to abide by the rule of “you only get to choose one.” So fellow foodies, in honor of all the days where I could only choose one but yearned for several, I have set out on the Great Hostess Bake-Off. My Hostess Odyssey begins today with homemade Twinkies. In the next few weeks, you can also look forward to making Suzy Q’s, Ding Dongs, Ho-Ho’s and Sno Balls..

Light, fluffy and spongy…these Twinkie cupcakes taste like everything a preservative and chemical-free Twinkie yearns to be. If you have a canoe pan, you can make authentic Twinkies at home. However, if you (like me) don’t have a fancy canoe pan you can also use cupcake pans and make Twinkie cupcakes.

The cupcakes are filled with frosting but not covered with anything on the outside. Don’t worry about the cake drying out though, because the filling keeps everything moist and happy. Unlike most cupcakes, Twinkie cupcakes are actually better the next day because the cake and filling flavors have time to work their snack cakey goodness.

Ingredients:

Twinkie Cupcakes
2 cups cake flour
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup cold water
7 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
7 egg whites

Twinkie Filling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons salted butter, cold
4 tablespoons shortening, cold
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Directions for Twinkie Cupcakes:


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Preparing the cupcakes. Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray two cupcake pans with nonstick cooking spray. Place egg whites in a medium bowl and beat with an electric mixer until very stiff.

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Place all cupcake ingredients except for the egg whites in a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer). Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Working in thirds, gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Be careful to not deflate the batter as you fold.

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Using a small pitcher, fill each section of the prepared pans 3/4 full. The cakes will puff up quite a bit during baking but will shrink while cooling. Bake cupcakes in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.

Remove pans from the oven and let baked cupcakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Using a small spatula or knife, gently remove each cupcake and allow them to completely cool on a wire rack.

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Preparing the Twinkie Cupcake Filling. In a small saucepan, cook flour and milk over medium heat until they form a paste. Stir constantly and don’t let the mixture turn brown. Remove from heat and allow flour mixture to cool for 1 minute. Add vanilla extract and stir until smooth. Gently press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the frosting paste to prevent it from forming a skin.

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In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), beat butter, shortening and sugar until fluffy. Scrape sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula and add the cooled flour mixture. Continue to mix on medium-high for 5 minutes, or until smooth and creamy.

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Filling the Twinkie Cupcakes. Place the prepared frosting into a small zip-top storage bag or pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tip. Gently insert the tip into the underside of each cupcake, about halfway through the cake. Gently squeeze a small amount of filling into the cupcake. You should feel the cake expand under your fingers. Don’t overfill the cake or the frosting will burst through the top. Store cupcakes tightly covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

27 thoughts on “Twinkie Cupcakes

  1. I have flovar for your next twinkies cake birthday sprinkle is yellow cake on the outside and sprinkle in the fill and one more idea. Is rainbow twinkies cake with cherry, green apple, grape, orange, one more idea candy apple twinkie cake one more idea strawberrycheesecake twinkie cake. That some of my ideas for twinkies cake. By barbara howard thank you.

  2. Holy crab apples. Awesome. Do you think using all butter, rather than shortening and butter, would make much of a difference in the filling (other than maybe the texture)?

    • You could definitely use all butter instead of a shortening butter blend. The real difference would be texture but the consistency of the filling would also be affected. I added the shortening to give the cupcakes a little shelf stability. Similar to making a true buttercream frosting, if you use all butter you would want to refrigerate the cupcakes if they are not going to be eaten within a day or two.

    • Thanks! The cupcakes were pretty awesome. Just be careful to not overfill the cupcakes. They go from not full to blowing filling out the sides pretty easily.

  3. I’m totally sold on these. I remember twinkies for yore, but I’m always afraid to take the leap and buy one. Thank you for giving everyone a tasty, preservative-free piece of the past. I’m really excited to see all the other hostess creations you come up with!

    • Thanks! It’s amazing just how closely the day old cupcakes taste like the real deal. Stay tuned next week for Suzie Q’s and Ding Dongs.

  4. I just made this recipe and I’ve got a question… it says the yield is 20-22 filled cupcakes… well, I currently have 4 dozen cupcakes in my oven. What happened? Is it supposed to be that much cupcake but the filling will only handle half that? Should I double the filling recipe?

    • Wow! Talk about batter gone wild. I’ve only ever had this recipe make 26 cupcakes at most. I definitely suggest doubling the filling because it really only makes enough for about 24 regular size cupcakes.

  5. When I saw the word Twinkie in the title – I had to check these out. I am definitely making these. My husband will be thanking you profusely soon!!
    Oh, and if you have time, pop on over to my blog. I’m having a gift basket giveaway if you’d like to enter :)

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