Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Twinkie Copycat Cupcakes by Cleo Coyle




When the news broke of Hostess going under, I raced for the grocery store, snagging one of the last boxes of Twinkies sold in New York City and possibly the United States. (No, I am not planning to resell it on eBay.) My urgency was based on culinary expediency. I’m working on a recipe for the "Billionaire Twinkie" to be published in my 2013 Coffeehouse Mystery Billionaire Blend and I needed those little golden cakes for a taste test.



Update: Billionaire Blend is now published
and a national bestseller in hardcover!
Read the first chapter by
clicking here.
See the book's featured recipe
section by clicking here.




Cleo Coyle, Twinkie curator,
is author of
The
Coffeehouse Mysteries
Soon I'll tell you more about the recipe (and my new title). In the meantime, with Hostess Twinkies off the shelves (for now, anyway), I’m happy to share my copycat recipe development thus far. 

Below you will find my easy Twinkie Copycat Cupcake. It's delicious and tastes very much like the original Hostess Twinkie. Actually, my husbandand partner in crime writingdeclared that it tastes even better. 


So let's start baking!

~ Cleo


Cleo Coyle's 
Copycat Twinkie
Cupcakes

Marc (my husband and writing partner) is a tough critic of my recipes. He always lets me know when something doesn't taste right. Well, I'm happy to report that he flipped for the final version of this recipe. I hope you like it, tooand if you make it, feel free to let me know what you think.



To download a PDF version of this recipe that you can print, save, or share, click here. 


For the free PDF
of this recipe, click here.

Makes a baker’s dozen (approximately 13 cupcakes)

Ingredients 

For the cupcakes
1 box yellow cake mix (see my note below)
1-1/4 cups water
1/3 cup canola oil
4 egg whites (room temperature is best)

For the filling 
6 cups (one 10-ounce bag) mini marshmallows 
2 tablespoons corn syrup (or vanilla flavored corn syrup)
½ cup powdered (aka confectioners’ or icing) sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract (tip: for a whiter-looking filling, use “clear vanilla” extract)

*A note on the cake mix: I used Betty Crocker yellow cake mix for this recipe (not the butter yellow, the plain yellow that lists oil in the back-of-box directions). This recipe should also work with any other brand of yellow cake mix. Be sure to pick up a mix that lists oil in the directions at the back of the box and has “pudding in the mix” as a feature on the box front. FYI – When you use oil in a cake recipe, your cake will stay fresher for a longer period of time.

Directions 

For the Golden Cupcakes: 

Step 1: First preheat your oven to 350° F. Into a large mixing bowl, combine the box of yellow cake mix, water, and oil. Beat with an electric mixer for about a minute until a smooth batter forms. (Be sure to scrape down the bowl as you mix.) Set aside in the fridge until you complete the next step.

Step 2: Into a spotlessly clean glass, metal, or ceramic bowl (not plastic, which holds grease), beat your 4 (room temperature) egg whites until soft peaks form. For a quick tutorial on how to beat egg whites properly, including a demo video, read my past post on Little Chocolate Clouds by clicking here.


Step 3: Using an electric mixer on a low speed, fold the egg whites into the cake batter. Do not overbeat—just mix enough to smoothly incorporate the egg whites. You should no longer see white, just the yellow batter.

Step 4: Coat your cupcake pans with non-stick spray. (If you prefer to use paper cupcake liners, drop them in at this time.) Do not fill your cups to the top. To create cupcakes that look like the ones in my photos, use this method...


First fill each cup with ¼ cup of batter. Then go back and add 1 tablespoon more to each cup. This should give you 12 cupcakes with a little batter left over for a 13th cupcake (if you want a baker's dozen). When you fill the cups as described, they should bake up uniformly with little golden domes. Bake in your preheated 350° F oven for 15 to 17 minutes. Transfer pans to a cooling rack and allow the cupcakes to cool in their pans.

For the filling: 

Step 1: Pour your 10-ounce bag (6 cups) of mini-marshmallows into a microwave-safe bowl. Add the 2 tablespoons of corn syrup and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds (adding 15-second increments if needed). Do not completely melt the marshmallows in the microwave. You are watching for them to become very soft. Then stir them up and...voila, you have made marshmallow crème (aka Fluff).

No Microwave? To complete this step without a microwave, simply create a double boiler by placing a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Warm the mini marshmallows and corn syrup, stirring until they've melted into something that looks like this.


Step 2: Allow the mixture to cool. Now add the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer, beat until the filling is smoothly blended. Scrape down the bowl as you mix.

Assemble the cupcakes: 

Step 1: For stability, you must fill each cooled cupcake while it rests in the cupcake pan. BUT…first be sure your cupcakes will come out of the pan easily. If you are not using cupcake liners (or silicone), gently run a knife around the outside edge of each cupcake to free it gently from the metal pan. Then place it right back into the cupcake pan. (As mentioned, you'll need the pan for stability in the next step.)

Step 2: Using a small, sharp knife, cut a cone-shaped hole into the top of each cupcake. Remove the cone and fill the hole with the copycat Twinkie filling.



The filling is very sticky so lightly coat your spoons with non-stick spray. You can also use a pastry bag for this job. Or spoon the filling into a ziplock plastic bag and use a scissors to snip off one corner, which will turn it into a pastry bag.


Step 3: Slice off the “top” of your cupcake cone and place it back on the filled cupcake. You can serve the Twinkie Cupcake as is or use some of the filling to frost the top. If you like, as an added garnish, you can crumble the extra crumbs (from the bottom of the cone) over the frosted top and (of course)...










Eat with joy! 









See more
of my
 recipes at...


CleoCoyleRecipes.com



Yes, this is me - Cleo Coyle
Learn about my books here.
Friend me on Facebook here. 

Follow me on Twitter here.
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E-newsletter here.


~ Cleo Coyle, 

New York Times
bestselling author of

The Coffeehouse Mysteries






To view the
Coffeehouse Mystery
book trailer, click here.



Free Title Checklist



The Coffeehouse Mysteries
are bestselling culinary mysteries set in a landmark Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the 13 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. To download mini summaries of each of these mysteries, click here.



-----------------------------------------------------------


Now a
National Bestseller
in Hardcover!



A Coffeehouse Mystery
by Cleo Coyle 



*Starred Review ~ Kirkus

"Top Pick" ~ RT Book Reviews


"...a highly satisfying mystery."

~ Publishers Weekly




------------------------------------------



Now a Top-10
New York Times
bestseller!






A Mystery Guild Featured
Alternate Selection


A Barnes & Noble
Holiday Mystery Pick




To order from Amazon, click here.
To order from Barnes & Noble click here.




Kirkus Reviews
“Jingle bells, beautiful displays, scrumptious treats:
Holiday season in New York City has it all, including murder…Coyle’s coffeehouse series captures the New York experience, from high-society parties to gritty back-street deals. The fine mystery is followed by some holiday recipes that will even pack the pounds on readers who are only browsing them.”



----------------------------------------




Now a National
Bestseller in Hardcover
and Paperback


(Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Nielsen Bookscan)




A Brew to a Kill:
A Coffeehouse Mystery
by Cleo Coyle


Audiobook
produced by AudioGo
(BBC America)


A Mystery Guild Featured 
Alternate Selection




"A satisfyingly 
rich mystery." ~ Kirkus





To order from Amazon, click here.
To order from Barnes & Noble click here.


"Completely entertaining!"
~ RT Book Reviews


A Brew to a Kill
also includes more than 

20 fun, delicious recipes...
To see many of them,
 click here!



-----------------------------------------------------------------





Murder by Mocha

A bestseller, now
available in paperback,
from Penguin Books

For a peek at this culinary mystery's bonus chocolate recipes, click here!

"...a tasty espresso-dark tale of
multigenerational crime and
punishment lightened by the Blend's
frothy cast of lovable eccentrics."
Publishers Weekly


To order from Amazon, click here.
To order from Barnes and Noble click here.





------------------------------------------------------------------





 Roast Mortem

Includes firehouse recipes!
To see some of this culinary mystery's featured recipes, click here.

A Reviewer’s Pick 
Favorite Book of the Year ~ 2010
Bookreporter.com

Now a national bestseller
in paperback from Penguin!

 
To order from Amazon click here.
To order from Barnes and Noble, click here.





---------------------------------------------------
 




The Ghost and
Mrs. McClure


Book #1 of 

The Haunted Bookshop
Mysteries
, which Cleo writes
under the name Alice Kimberly
To learn more, click here.


22 comments:

  1. I'm going to have to try this. My youngest son has been frantic for Twinkies after he heard that he might not be able to get them anymore. This sounds like a simple solution.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, Cleo! What timing! This is too funny. I bet a lot of people will be looking for a recipe that replaces their beloved Hostess products.

    ~ Krista

    ReplyDelete
  3. First let me say congrats to Ellery Adams for making the New York Times list and everyone else that made the list.

    Cleo you should know Logan is going to love this. The two little ones too. Looks great better do this in the am so the sugar highs can ware off :)

    Now I am going to be waiting to hear about the new title and recipe for next year. Thank you for sharing this recipe and Marc for his contribution.

    Babs Book Bistro

    ReplyDelete
  4. My brother drives a semi and he frequently drives to Canada where you can still get Twinkies. I suggested he could begin smuggling Twinkies into the US and retire a semi(ha!)rich man! I will have to try with recipe with the girls, they'll love making the marshmallow fluff! And they love cupcakes of all kinds!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I was devastated when I heard that Twinkies were no more-especially since I didn't know ahead of time and didn't stock up...or at least have one more. Thanks for this recipe. And as for Thanksgiving-cranberry sauce is a necessity...with stuffing in second.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Our family's cranberry relish is uncooked-- just cranberries, some whole lemon, whole orange, and a bit of sugar. Into the food processor and out comes stuff that looks like crushed garnets. And taste divine.
    Congratulations to all you hardworking writers!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Twinkies were my fathers favorite. I am thankful this year for the enjoyment I have gotten from this blog and your books.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I took the poll. Love this blog.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Twinkies were my father-in-law's favorite and my friend's husband is absolutely going crazy. He purchased a dozen boxes of them "just in case." I must share this with her as he is ready to buy every Twinkie left in town. I happen to love Kona coffee.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Love Twinkies though Chocolate cupcakes are my fave!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Thank you for the recipe.

    Congratulations to Ellery to making the NY Times bestseller list.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I've seen a lot of Hostess Cupcake recipes, but this is the first Twinkie recipe I've noticed. I will have to try it! I have a fondness for Twinkies, but haven't had them in ages, since the filling is made with whipped beef tallow. This recipe should be easy to veg-e-cize!

    Thanks, Cleo!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow, Cleo, just in time! What a great share. Thanks. I shared on FB and tweeted! Love this. How I remember Twinkies as a kid.

    Daryl aka Avery

    ReplyDelete
  14. From reading the recipe, these actually sound better than Twinkies. Must try after Thanksgiving or when I have 1 or 2 of my grandchildren over. Couldn't handle it with all 6 LOL. They would go great with the Kona!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds like something I could do! Thanks! Have to have Pecan Pie and/or Sweet Potato Pie.

    ReplyDelete
  16. We don't eat Twinkies, but I hear they will go back into production soon. Dee grammyd01 (at) comcast (dot) net

    ReplyDelete
  17. Never been a big Twinkie fan, but I might give this recipe a try since you said they are better than Twinkies. For Thanksgiving, I need my stuffing and gravy--yum :)

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  18. Made these today along with another popular copycat recipe using pound cake mix. This one was so so so much better! 12 people from my family helped with my little taste test and they all agreed. Thanks for posting this!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're very welcome! Thank you so much for taking the time to drop back and let me know. I appreciate it.

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter


      Delete
  19. Would the cake work if I used applesauce instead of the oil.always looking to cut calories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I can absolutely understand trying to cut calories on any recipe, but I wouldn't replace all of the fat (oil) with applesauce, only half of it; otherwise, you'll have a pretty dry end product.

      Also...The applesauce will impart a slight apple flavor to the cupcake, which is fine if you don't mind that. But for others, it may defeat the purpose of trying to copycat the flavor and texture of a Twinkie. It will change the recipe quite a bit. So if anyone out there is after a real copycat Twinkie recipe, I'd strongly advise following my recipe as written. Thanks for dropping by...

      ~ Cleo Coffeehouse Mystery.com
      Cleo Coyle on Twitter

      Delete
  20. I'm so glad I found this. It looks doable and easy. I'll be making these and I didn't know how to make the filling and the ingredients are things I usually have on hand. Thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete

 

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