Hostess has announced it’s going out of business, which means the likes of Twinkies and Wonder Bread are soon to be relegated to the pages of culinary history. (Under what chapter is anybody’s guess.)
There have been reports of people stocking up in order to have Twinkies for the rest of their lives, something in keeping with countless jokes about how the shelf-life of a Twinkie is greater than that of western civilization. Yet contrary to popular belief, the freshness date on a Twinkie is only 25 days. That’s one myth Daven Hiskey dispels in Today I Found Out: Feed Your Brain.
Well, instead of going through withdrawal pangs, you could make your own version of Twinkies at home. Amazon.com sells a Twinkie pan or you could use a ladyfinger tray, but then you’d have to do all that work of stuffing the filling into the cake. The following recipe, from allrecipes.com, captures the flavor but turns the treat into a kind of cake sandwich.
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled to lukewarm
1 cup water
1 (5.1-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 (18.25-ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, at room temperature
5 cups powdered sugar, sifted
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 teaspoon vanilla
To make the cake: Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 10-by-15-inch jelly roll pans.
Beat the eggs until combined; stir in the melted butter. Add the water, pudding mix, and yellow cake mix, stirring well to combine. The batter will be very thick. Divide the batter between the prepared pans, spreading it evenly.
Bake until the cakes spring back when pressed lightly with a finger or a tester comes out clean, 15 to 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire racks.
To make the filling: Combine the room-temperature butter, cream cheese, and confectioners’ sugar. Beat until smooth. Stir in the whipped topping and vanilla extract.
When the cakes are cool, spread the filling mixture on top of one cake layer. Place the second cake layer on top of the first, and cut into bars. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap and store in the freezer.
Makes about 25 (2-by-3-inch) cakes.