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Haunted by the Twinkie Cake

October 26, 2012 / By Matt

Oh, I did some unspeakable things to this cake. Horrible, horrible things. This Twinkie Cake (via the incredible Shauna Sever) was both my salvation and my undoing. It was the kind of cake that would wake me from a deep slumber at 2am and demand attention. It inspired several bouts of sleep eating – hastily ripped apart in the pitch black, crumbs flying, morning shame. But I digress…

For whatever random reason, we have been trying to develop a Twinkie cake – based on the eternal Hostess snack – for either Baked or a forthcoming cookbook or both – and yet, I always lost my way during the development stage. My versions were too twee or too cute or too elegant or too overwrought and all I really wanted was something that tasted like the real deal Twinkie (with a whole lot less artificial/chemical aftertaste).  I would sulk for a while – my kitchen littered with the remains of golden cake, sticky filling, tears and madness – and then just go buy a Twinkie.

Honestly, I am not even sure why this Twinkie Cake urge overcomes us each and every quarter, but I chalk it up to fanciful nostalgia. I haven’t gone back to the Hostess well in years, but if you don’t have some fond memory of Twinkies or Ding Dongs or Ho Hos you are either A) a cold, robot-like, evil person or B) you didn’t grow up in 80’s in the USA.

So, it is with great relief that I can report to you, that I can give up the ghost – there is no longer a need for a Baked version of the Twinkie Cake because Shauna Sever made the perfect one. And it TASTE EXACTLY LIKE A TWINKIE…it doesn’t aspire to be some high-falutin’ version of a Twinkie (thankfully), it is Twinkie incarnate.

First thing first, if you don’t own Shauna’s new book, Pure Vanilla, go get it. I have been on a veritable vanilla (lesson learned: more vanilla is better) kick ever since I received my copy…

Second, make this cake (from said book). Here goes:

Essentially, the cake is a big beautiful golden sweet Bundt (pumped full of pure vanilla extract), and it is filled with some downright homey Fluff + Butter frosting (if you can’t handle the Fluff, you could make your own).

The tricky part is filling the cake “twinkie-like”. Per the recipe, you make a few holes in the bottom of the cake then use a finger to tunnel through from one hole to the next. And do not discard those cake scraps, they taste great in Greek yogurt.

Unfortunately, I am not blessed with lithe gentle fingers, so I just created a single “well” in the cake, filled it, and glued the cake scraps back into place (figured they would be on the bottom anyway, and no one would care, right?).

Visually and technically, it sort of worked. When I went to invert the cake, it turned out beautifully, but I really should have followed Shauna’s instructions, because I did have some “leakage” on the serving plate. (One thought: maybe use a small offset to “push” the frosting to stick to the inside of the “well” or chill it before turning it out…). But, and I mean this, it doesn’t matter. It was a little messy, but it was very Twinkie-like and it was devoured in record speed. I plan on trying this as a 2 layer and 3 layer cake in the near future. Until then, thank you Shauna and Happy Hostess Twinkie to everyone.

TWINKIE BUNDT CAKE recipe from Shauna Sever’s Pure Vanilla

Cake Ingredients

3 cups cake flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup canola oil
3 lrg eggs + 4 lrg egg yolks, room temp
1 cup buttermilk, room temp

Make the Cake

Grease and lightly flour 10-12 cup Bundt pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.

In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with paddle, beat butter and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. Turn mixer to stir, and slowly pour in oil. Increase speed to medium and continue beating until light and fluffy. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl and add egg and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.

Add flour mixture, alternating with the buttermilk, in three additions – starting with flour/ending with buttermilk. Stir on lowest speed until batter is smooth and no lumps remain. Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a rubber spatula to fold any remaining flour (on the bottom/sides of the bowl) back into the batter and pour into prepared pan. Bake for 60-70 minutes (mine was perfect at the 60 minute mark) or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven, place on wire rack, and cool completely – at least 2 hours.

While the cake is still in the pan, use a paring knife or apple corer to cut 6/7/8 deep holes into bottom of cake (about 3/4 inch in diameter – careful not to cut through to the top). Reserve cake scraps for yogurt topping 🙂 Gently use your fingers to burrow a horizontal tunnel around the center of the cake, connecting the vertical holes. As mentioned, I did not do this because I have incredibly chunky fingers. I dug a well, filled it with filling, then glued some of the cake scraps back to the bottom of the cake – quick and dirty method, but not recommended if you have fine, long fingers.

Make the Filling

Beat together 1 stick of room temperature, unsalted butter and 1 jar (7.5 ounces) marshmallow creme (aka Fluff) until smooth. Add 1 teaspoon pur vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.

Assemble and Serve

Transfer filling to pastry bag fitted with large round tip. Insert tip of pastry bag into each hole and squeeze in filling, tilting pastry bag back and forth as you work to encourage filling into the horizontal tunnel through the cake. When cake is filled, use a spatula to scrape excess filling from the bottom of the cake. Quickly and carefully invert cake onto a serving platter. Dust with confectioners sugar (if you like) and serve.

 

 

About The Baking Society

The National Baking Society is dedicated to preserving American baking standards,techniques, ingredients, ideas and recipes. In less extravagant ornate prose, The National Baking Society is a blog from the folks at Baked.

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