Showing posts with label Twinkies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twinkies. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

How to make TWINKIE RUM BABA by Cleo Coyle

This shockingly delicious dessert was made famous by the Beverly Hills Italian restaurant Domo, which it listed on the menu as "Twinkie alla Domo." Doesn't that sound elegant? My husband, and partner in crime-writing, was skeptical, until he tasted it. "I can't believe it. This is actually good!" said Marc (as he went for seconds). 

All I can say is, its level of sophistication will surprise you. The rum and vanilla in the syrup lifts the Twinkie to happy heights...while lifting your spirits. May you too...

Eat with joy!

~ Cleo

Cleo Coyle's Twinkie Rum Baba 

(Baba au Rhum)

Cleo Coyle has a partner in
crime-writing—her husband.
Learn about their books
by clicking here and here.

Readers of my Coffeehouse Mysteries may recall this unique dessert from ONCE UPON A GRIND when my amateur sleuth, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosiorders this nosh from the comfort food menu of "Babka's," a legendary New York eatery run by a barb-tongued woman, who may or may not be a ruthless killer. 

There are plenty of secrets for Clare to discover at Babka's, some shocking, some tasty. 

Today, I'm delighted to share the culinary secret behind making the perfect Twinkie Rum Baba...

Download Once Upon a Grind's
free Recipe Guide by
clicking here

For a free PDF of this recipe that you can print, save or share, click here.

Cleo Coyle's 
Twinkie Rum Baba Recipe  

The rum baba is basically a yeast or sponge cake fortified with an easy-to-make rum syrup. I grew up with an Italian version that included pastry cream in the center. That's why the Twinkie makes a great shortcut to a festive dessert, and a fun conversation piece for holiday trays.

Of course, you don't have to use Twinkies. You can always substitute thick slices of pound cake, brioche, or even challah. But don't skip the whipped cream, it's a must for full enjoyment of this dessert.

It's also delightful with coffee or tea, so it makes a wonderful after-dinner treat or midnight snack. In fact, after one Twinkie Rum Baba, I had my very own happy hour. Yes, this is one dessert that brings plenty of joy! ~ Cleo 

* * * 

Makes 10 Twinkies (there are 10 to a box)


3/4 cup water
1/2 cup white, granulated sugar
1/3 cup good dark rum
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
10 Twinkies (1 box of Twinkies, regular or banana flavored)
Homemade Whipped Cream or Coconut Cream (recipes follow)


Step 1 - Make the rum syrup: Place water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Continue boiling for 5 full minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 full minutes. Stir in 1/3 cup good dark rum and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. This will yield a little over 3/4 cup of syrup.

Step 2 - Brush with patience: Cover plates with plastic wrap. Place 10 regular Twinkies (or banana Twinkies) on the plates leaving a bit of room between each. 

Use a pastry brush to generously brush the top and sides of the golden cakes. Repeat the brushing. Then set your timer for 5 minutes and wait for the syrup to be absorbed by the cake. Repeat this a few more times until most of the syrup is used up. This process may take as long as 20 minutes, but be patient! You want to give the cake time to absorb the liquid without losing its shape or integrity.

Step 3 - Chill, baby: Place the plates in your refrigerator for 1 hour or your freezer for about 20 minutes. This chilling will allow the cake to regain its solidity and allow you to gently transfer it to serving plates. Serve with whipped cream (recipe below) and, if you like, a few fresh raspberries or blackberries. 


Into a chilled metal, glass, or ceramic bowl, pour 1 cup very cold heavy cream (aka whipping cream). Add 2 tablespoons white, granulated sugar and about 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Using an electric mixer with chilled beaters, whip until stiff peaks form. To store one or two days, dollop into a plastic container, cover, and refrigerate.

(Dairy-Free) COCONUT CREAM - For the free recipe PDF, click here.

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Includes Wicked Good Recipes!

During a Fairy Tale Festival in New York's legendary Central Park, coffeehouse manager Clare Cosi discovers a young model's body in the park's woods.

The police dismiss "sleeping beauty" as the victim of a drug overdose. Then Clare uncovers evidence that points to a list of suspects--from a New York Giant to quite a few wicked witches--and a cold case murder that reaches back to the Cold War. Now Clare is really in the woods with a dangerous predator on her heels and an investigation that leads from a secret Prince Charming Club right back to her own NYPD detective boyfriend. If she doesn't solve this mystery, those magic beans predict an unhappy ending.

Learn more or buy at  

Amazon * B&N * BAM * IndieBound

Click here for the free
recipe PDF, and...

Eat (and read) with Joy!

~ Cleo Coyle

New York Times bestselling author of  
The Coffeehouse Mysteries

Friend me on facebook here. * Follow me on twitter here
Learn about my books here

* * *

See Once Upon a Grind's 
Free Recipe Guide by

* * * 

*Starred Review 
~ Kirkus

A Coffeehouse Mystery 

"Top Pick" -RT Book Reviews

"...a highly satisfying mystery."
-Publishers Weekly

* * * * * * 

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
14 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Marc and I also write
The Haunted Bookshop Mysteries

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with mini plot summaries, 

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books and meet Jack Shepard, 
our PI ghost by clicking here.

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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, the bestselling
is now a bestseller in paperback!

Read the first chapter by clicking here

See the book's featured recipe
section by clicking here.

Cleo Coyle, Twinkie curator,
is author of
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

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 free 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)


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.


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...

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

Follow me on Twitter here.
Sign up for my free
E-newsletter here.

~ Cleo Coyle, 

New York Times
bestselling author of

The Coffeehouse Mysteries

The Coffeehouse Mysteries are bestselling
works of amateur sleuth fiction set in a landmark
Greenwich Village coffeehouse, and each of the
15 titles includes the added bonus of recipes. 

(with mini plot summaries)

* * * 

Haunted Bookshop 

Get a free title checklist, with 
mini plot summaries, by clicking here.

Or learn more about the books
and meet Jack Shepard,
our PI ghost by clicking here.

* * * * * *

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