When I heard about the end of Hostess, I nearly suffered a mini-breakdown (or should I say, “cakedown”). No more Twinkies? No more Ho-Ho’s? And if that wasn’t bad enough, NO MORE SNO BALLS??? I am utterly beside myself. The Sno Ball is and has always been my all-time favorite snack cake. It’s got chocolate. It’s got marshmallow. It’s got coconut. And best of all, it’s pink. If I were a snack cake, I would be a Sno Ball.
sno no more.
In the midst of wallowing in my soon-to-be-sno ball-free existence, I had an idea – I should round up some other snack cake lovers and buy Hostess! I ran this by a few folks, and it was met with the same response every time – a raised eyebrow and a “look how funny you are” type comment. Ok, so that was not realistic. Then someone said, “why don’t you just make your own versions?”
Well, I’ll be. Now THIS was something I could do! This, in fact, may be what I was born to do. I didn’t go to pastry school to be a cake decorator (although I do dabble in it). I went to school to master the chemistry of baking. Recreating Hostess products at home, from fresh ingredients, making them possibly even slightly better for you is like my dream job. So, I decided to get started right away. I ran out that very day and purchased every hostess cake I could find. Sadly, there were no Sno Balls to be had.
farewell, old friends.
Let the fun begin. What better way to dive right in then go straight for the big guns – The Twinkie.
I don’t have a Twinkie pan, but I had something close – a small loaf pan. I decided to begin my experiment by using my standard vanilla cake recipe for my first attempt. Although they turned out a little squarer than the Twinkie we all know and love, so far, they were looking pretty good.
it’s hip to be square.
I let them cool, then turned them out onto the rack. They remained intact and unburned.
cool it down.
While they cooled on the rack, I made the cream filling. I started with a recipe I found online that claimed to be authentic Twinkie filling, but I made some tweaks to make it a little creamier, including swapping the milk with half and half.
how ’bout that awesome retro hand mixer I scored from my aunt.
I then filled them, with three holes in the bottom, just like a real Twinkie.
fill ‘er up.
After they were all filled, I had to try one, for research purposes, of course.
even better than the real thing.
So there you have it. And this is just the beginning, folks. There are binders full of Hostess Cakes I need to recreate. I’ve found my reason for living.