Good old Hostess® Twinkes® have been around since the Great Depression era and are still going strong. These sweet spongecakes filled with a velvety cream have been a crave-worthy treat for millions of people over the years. When the company announced that this famous snack treat would be taken off the shelves in 2012, stores were flooded with Twinke fans across the globe hoping to secure their own piece of nostalgia before it was too late. Stores sold out within hours of the announcement going public.
Luckily for all those die-hard fans, Twinkes reappeared on shelves in 2013. But now, you don't have to worry about an ample supply available at your local supermarket. With our instructions and recipe, you can make these goodies at home whenever you want! You're welcome! : )
Last summer during our "Dining Through the Decades" camp, our summer campers brought some of the "oldies but goodies" to life, such as homemade Pop Tarts & Chicken Divan, but most importantly the time-honored Hostess® Twinke®...and the results were utterly delicious!
But producing a light and airy spongecake can be a little tricky if you don't follow some basic rules.
Here's a few tips to ensure your sponge cakes come out light and fluffy...
Mise en Place is extremely important ~
The first and most important element when making spongecakes is to "mise en place" ~ remember what this means (our young chefs do!)? Right! Have everything (ingredients gathered and measured, tools in place,...) in place. Also, if you're making cake molds using foil, have those ready to go once the batter is ready.
Why? Most of the lift and rise that happens when the cake is baking happens because the eggs have been whipped and increased in volume. The longer the batter sits around waiting to be baked, it loses volume and can result in a flat cake. Whahh, whahh, whaahhhh....
Whipping the eggs ~
Another very important step in mixing is to whip the eggs to the proper consistency. Warm eggs whip up much better than cold eggs. Warm the eggs up just a bit so they are slightly warmer than room temperature (around 115°F).
The whipping process takes about 5-7 minutes where the eggs will be a very pale, creamy yellow and have expanded to almost triple their original volume.
How can you be sure it's at the right consistency? Remove the bowl from the mixer and run the whip through the mixture. If the eggs mixture falls back into the bowl in ribbons and stays on the surface for about 3 seconds, then you've got it!
Be sure you use warm milk and butter ~
The milk and butter need to be close to 150°F before adding to the batter. You can heat the butter and milk together quickly in the microwave vs. the stove to save some time.
Why it's important to remove half of the batter before adding the hot milk mixture ~
This is an important step! If the hot milk is added all at once it might cook some of the eggs. We're tempering the batter by slowly introducing the colder ingredients to the hot ingredients to ensure the eggs and the hot milk get to the same temperature slowly without cooking the eggs.
(Pictured above: Young chefs, Kate, sifting the dry ingredients)
Make sure the oven is preheated and ready once the cake batter is placed in the molds! If they sit, the air will deflate just like a balloon!
Don't have time or not in the mood to make the molds? Just use a muffin pan! It may not share the same classic shape but will still have the same great taste!
So let's get baking!
With all of this said, don't let this intimidate you! It's all easy as long as you follow the basic steps! Our young chefs were in awe of their creations, and the taste was even better than the real thing! (Shhhh....don't tell Hostess...we love them but it's hard to beat homemade!)
(pictured above: Young chefs, Grace & Kate relishing the fruits of their labor...yummm...)
The picture says it all....'nuff said...Happy Twinke Day!
½ cup cake flour
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
2 Tbsp. milk
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
½ tsp vanilla
5 large eggs
12 Tbsp. sugar
¼ tsp cream of tartar
6 Tbsp. butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups powdered sugar
¾ cup Marshmallow Fluff
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Adjust the oven rack to the lower-middle position.
- To make single-use Twinkie molds, cut 12 pieces of aluminum foil 12 inches wide by 14 inches long. Fold each piece of foil in half lengthwise, then fold it in half again to create a rectangle that’s about 6 inches long and 7 inches wide. Repeat to make a dozen rectangles.
- Place one sheet of folded foil on a work surface with a standard-size spice jar on its side in the center of the foil. Bring the long sides of the foil up around the jar, folding the sides and ends as necessary to make a tight boat-shape from which the jar can be removed. Repeat to make 12 foil molds. Spray generously with nonstick spray. Place the molds on a baking sheet.
- Lay a piece of parchment on the work surface.
- Sift together the cake flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, heat the milk and butter until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla. Cover to keep warm.
- In the bowl of the stand mixer, add the eggs, sugar and cream of tartar. Whisk to combine. Place the bowl over a large pot of simmering water just to warm the egg mixture to 115°F. Eggs whip much better when they are warm.
- Sprinkle the flour mixture over the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Transfer half of the cake batter to a clean bowl and add all of the milk mixture. Whisk until combined. Transfer the batter back to the bowl of the stand mixer. Whisk to combine.
- Immediately scoop the batter in to the molds, filling each 2/3 of the way full. Bake until the cake tops are light brown and feel firm and spring back when touched, 13 to 15 minutes. Transfer the pan containing the molds to a wire rack and allow the cakes to cool in the molds.
- Using a mixer, beat together the butter, powdered sugar and Marshmallow Fluff. Add the cream and beat just until smooth.
- Just before filling the cakes, remove them from the foil. Poke three holes in the bottom of each cake using a wooden spoon then wiggle to make room for the filling without going all the way through. Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch round tip. Pipe filling into the holes in each cake, taking care not to overfill, until the cake gently expands. Serve while still slightly warm.
- These are best eaten the same day they're made.
Yield: about 12 Twinkies