The Hostess With the Mostest – DIY Copycat Twinkie Cupcakes

Last week, America was rocked by some troubling news: Hostess, the 80-plus-year-old company that makes Twinkies announced that it would fold in the wake of a strike by its workers. It seemed that no matter where people stood on the business or labor issue, one thing was clear: the loss of the Twinkie was going to hurt the most…at least for some people.

To be honest, I can’t remember the last Twinkie I ate, if in fact, I have ever eaten one. I’m more of a Tastykake girl, when I eat packaged baked goods, having grown up on them near Philadelphia. But, I’m here for you, so I thought I would show you how to make your own Twinkie substitute, just in case you need a Twinkie fix before they are purchased in the buy-out by another conglomerate and reintroduced to the market under a different corporate flag.

Of course, there were several recipe options on the boards, but I chose one for Twinkie cupcakes, since I thought they would be the easiest to make. The photo on Pinterest looks like this:

Photo courtesy of thedomesticrebel.com

 

Ingredients:

1 box yellow cake mix, plus ingredients on back of box
1 small box sugar free/fat free instant French vanilla pudding mix
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
2 teaspoons very hot water

 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two muffin tins with about 20 paper liners. Set aside.
2. Prepare cake mix according to package directions, stirring the box of pudding mix into the cake batter to blend. Portion batter evenly among muffin cups, about 2/3 full, and bake for approx. 15-18 mins or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely, the core out the cupcake’s middles with a sharp, small paring knife, careful not to cut through the entire cupcake. Eat or discard centers.
3. First, dissolve the salt into the hot water and allow to cool. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the marshmallow cream, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until fluffy. Beat in the salt water. Mixture should be light but not as stiff as frosting.
4. Scoop filling into a resealable plastic bag, seal tight, and snip off a corner of the bag. Pipe the filling into each cored cupcake, filling just to the top. Refrigerate cupcakes while you prepare the frosting.

Marshmallow Buttercream 

1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
2 sticks butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla extract
About 1 bag (32 oz) powdered sugar

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the fluff, butter and vanilla until combined & creamy, about 2 mins. Gradually begin adding powdered sugar in, about one cup at a time, until frosting is light and fluffy.
2. Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes, careful to cover the filled center with frosting.

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I made the filling a bit differently, and will explain that later. But first I made the cupcakes, using cake and pudding mixes.

The cupcake tins were filled with about 1/8 cup of batter

and baked for 15 minutes.

After they had cooled completely, I used a cupcake corer to remove the centers;

which left a nice place for the filling to go.

While the cakes chilled in the fridge, I made the icing, but I did not use the salt water method. Instead, I used 1/2 cup of softened butter, 1 cup of marshmallow fluff and 1/3 cup of heavy whipping cream.

To this, I gradually added about 3 cups of confectioner’s sugar, until the consistency was a little lighter than regular icing.

And then I used an icing gun to fill the holes.

I also used the same icing on top. I thought I would need to make the top icing thicker, but the marshmallow really makes it stiffen quickly, so there was no need.

They were a reasonable facsimile for Twinkies, according to the testers I had  visiting the kitchen. The kids really liked them. If I make them again though, I will take out less of the cake and only add a little bit of filling, because they were kind of fragile with the amount  of cream I put in.  The Domestic Rebel suggests serving these cold, and I would have to agree, since they tend to get sloppy as the filling gets soft.

Be sure to check back this week, because we have more Hostess/Drakes copycat recipes coming up!

Sad, but true.

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