Twinkie Cake

Twinkie-cake

I am blessed with a son who doesn’t ask for elaborate cakes on his birthday. He did once, when he turned 5 and requested a How to Train Your Dragon cake. Mike and I worked all night to piece together whatever specific kind of dragon he wanted made out of cake and frosting. We were proud – but it looked like a five year old made it. When we presented it in all its green glory to the table full of kindergarteners, one (having not touched or tasted it) said, “it tastes like toothpaste”. They collectively recoiled in horror over the suggestion of a mint-flavoured cake, and despite our protests that it was just green, it didn’t taste like mint, none of them would take a bite.

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W goes for substance over appearance, which I hope translates to other things in life, which is a relief because I have very little patience for cake decorating. Also – his birthday falls on the August long weekend, and so for his entire life he’s spent his actual day in Tofino. I have even less interest in elaborate baking when I’m thisclose to fish tacos and the beach, and the days before are always a crunch between Stampede and trying to wrap up weeks of work in days in order to get away. Last year we made a chocolate monstrosity layered with Oreos and Kit Kat bars, and smothered in sprinkles. (A 10 year old’s dream, right?) This year he’s obsessed with Twinkies, and so I decided to turn one into a cake. Turns out, it was easy.

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Yes, I could have made a yellow cake from scratch, but we’re talking Twinkies here, right? I figured a Betty Crocker French Vanilla cake mix would do the trick, and taste more authentic. And for the filling, which isn’t quite marshmallow, isn’t quite cream, and isn’t quite frosting, I whipped a tub of French vanilla frosting and folded in a half a jar of Marshmallow Fluff. Bingo. An 11 year old’s dream, right?

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I mean, it isn’t going to be a Twinkie if it’s all made from scratch. Also: summertime and the living is supposed to be easy.

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There have been a few Twinkie cakes floating around the web – some are layered, some have cream injections, but I decided to bake a bundt and hollow out the middle, which I promise is far easier than it sounds. As I dug out the soft innards (and ate the pieces, natch) it occurred to me that such a cake could be filled with key lime cream, or chocolate cream, or really any kind of creamy, mousse-y thing. Key lime and blueberries. Vanilla cream and strawberries. And people thing you’re a genius for getting one kind of food into another.

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For the filling, I used a tub of frosting and a tub of marshmallow creme, which made enough for two cakes. Which come to think of it is a better idea, considering all the grown ups are actually going to want a piece of this too. (We all grew up obsessed with Twinkies, didn’t we?)

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Mike said I nailed it – “better than a Twinkie”, he said, although W thought I should have stuffed it with actual Twinkies. If you want it just a touch more authentic looking (despite the fact that I know, it isn’t shaped like a Twinkie) add a drop of yellow food colouring to the cake batter. TWINKIE CAKE!!

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Every time I say Twinkie, I think of Ghostbusters. Maybe this explains the current craze? Let’s go with it.

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The filling can be spooned into the trough, but I get so much satisfaction out of spooning things like this into a ziplock bag, snipping off a corner, then piping it out. And toss the bag. Or use the rest as toothpaste.

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Writing this, I’m now imagining soft ice cream spooned into the middle, and the cake frozen. The potential here!

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Of course you could decorate it however you like – or warm the rest of the filling and drizzle it overtop, then cover with sprinkles and let them stick where they may. But I kind of like leaving it completely naked, just like a real Twinkie.

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(Bonus: the cost of this cake was under $10. Considering how much even the most basic bakery cake costs, this is a pretty great deal. More $$ for fish tacos.)

Twinkie Cake

  

July 29, 2016

Ingredients

Cake:

1 Betty Crocker French Vanilla Cake Mix

1 cup water

1/2 cup canola oil

3 large eggs

1 drop yellow food colouring (optional)

Filling:

1/2 jar Betty Crocker French Vanilla frosting

1/2 jar Marshmallow Fluff

Directions

1Preheat the oven to 350F.

2In a large bowl, beat the cake mix with the water, oil and eggs (according to package directions) and pour into a well buttered Bundt pan. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch.

3Let cool for about 15 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely. When you're ready to assemble it, cut the top off - the part that has domed up over the top of the pan as it baked - with a serrated knife and set it aside. Using a sharp paring knife, cut a trough an inch or so deep, leaving at least half an inch on both sides. Once you've cut two circles, pull the cake out from in between. (Fingers work great for this.)

4In a large bowl, beat the frosting for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy. Fold in the marshmallow cream. If you like, spoon it into a ziplock bag, snip off one corner, and pipe the filling into the cake trough. (Otherwise, just use a spoon - it works just fine!) Return the top of the cake and carefully invert it onto a plate or serving dish.

5If you like, decorate it or warm any leftover filling to drizzle on top and cover with sprinkles. Otherwise leave it completely naked - like a Twinkie.

6Serves 8-12.

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3 comments on “Twinkie Cake

  1. ERNurseJennifer
    July 29, 2016 at 11:39 am

    This looks delicious and I love how easy it would be to make. Going in my book of recipes for sure. Thanks for the great idea!

    • Julie
      August 2, 2016 at 8:12 pm

      It was so much fun. Will definitely be making a comeback!

  2. Vivian
    October 2, 2017 at 6:13 am

    Oh Julie,

    You are so funny! “More $$$ for tacos”!! I often wake up early, can’t go back to sleep…and I find visiting your site very comforting…plus I find articles I missed…like this one! Thank you for being you and sharing your lovely take on this crazy life.

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