I know this is terrible, I really do, but I thought a lot of us might be looking for snack cake recipes these days. I mean, Hostess is dead – and no one should be eating Twinkies anyway, we know they're bad! Yeah, they're delicious, but they're so processed! So … what if you got your hands on your own snack cake recipes and made them yourself? You could treat yourself, your friends, or your kids but you'll know exactly what went into them. Some of these recipes mimic standard favorites but some of them are brand new, so pick your favorite or add your own recipes!
1. Homemade Hostess Twinkie Recipe
Well, this wouldn't be a proper list of snack cake recipes without a Twinkie recipe. I asked several people what sorts of snack cakes they'd like to make, and this was by far the most popular answer, so I aim to please. Honestly, they look delicious – and unlike their commercial counterparts, they're much too fresh to withstand an apocalypse.
16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
4 egg whites, beaten until stiff
2/3 cup (160mL) water
1/4 cup (57g) non-hydrogenated shortening or coconut oil
1/4 cup (57g) margarine
1 cup (125g) powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Twinkie Molds (aluminum foil will do in a pinch)
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 325F (160C)
Whip egg whites on high until stiff.
Add cake mix and water, and beat on medium speed until completely blended, about 2 minutes.
Divide batter evenly among the baking pan wells and bake at 325F (160C) until cakes spring back when touched, a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, and cakes are golden brown, about 20 to 22 minutes.
Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes; then loosen from the sides by running a knife along the edge of the pan. Invert onto a rack, remove cakes, and cool completely.
Beat together the shortening and margarine with mixer until well combined and creamy.
Add the powdered sugar and beat until completely light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Add the vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.
Once cakes are cool, flip each over, and with a straw or a skewer, make two incisions running the length of the cake (three for full sized Twinkies).
Scoop filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain tip (or snip the corner off of a small plastic bag).
Place the tip into each incision, and press cream into the incisions until full. When cakes are completely full, turn them back over and serve.
Store any leftovers (as if) in an airtight container.
2. Faux Hostess Cupcakes
I admit, I was a big fan of Hostess cupcakes. I know, shock, gasp! But really, when you think about it, they were a little dry, there was never enough cream, and I always thought I could do better on the cake. So, here's my chance to try – yours too, if you want a homemade Hostess cupcake yourself!
1¼ cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1¼ cups granulated sugar
1 cup water
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
½ cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 Tbsp. butter, softened
1 Tbsp. milk
1 cup powdered sugar
¼ tsp. vanilla
Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.
Spray muffin tins (18-20 muffins) with non-stick bakers spray (or line with paper liners).
MAKE THE CUPCAKES: Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl. Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
Place the chocolate mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs, beating on medium speed until well combined, then mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Fill each muffin about ½ way (about ¼ cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will sink in the middle slightly. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.
MAKE THE FILLING. While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in ½ cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining ½ cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.
MAKE THE GANACHE. Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 tsp. vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.
FILL THE CUPCAKES. Put the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It’s OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.
FROST THE CUPCAKES. When the ganache has cooled enough to work with, spoon a Tbsp. of ganache onto each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
PREPARE THE ICING. Using a mixer, beat the remaining 4 Tbsp. butter, ¼ teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe the trademark curly-q’s onto the cupcakes to decorate.
Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.
3. Homemade Mini Doughnuts
Lots of companies make miniature doughnuts, marketed under a variety of names. However, none of them are as good as these moist, amazing little bites. The best part is that you can make just about any flavor you want with a few quick changes, but this recipe is wonderful as is!
1 1/4 C cake flour, sifted
1/2 C granulated sugar
1 1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. nutmeg (I don't add this in--unless you're doing some sort of spice cake I really don't think this is necessary).
3/4 tsp. salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 1/2 Tbs. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. I use a pastry brush to coat the doughnut tin with melted butter. Works so much better than your fingers (I did this the fist time). Or you could use spray but you wants all those chemicals??
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add buttermilk, egg, and butter and stir until just combined. Fill each doughnut cup approximately 1/2 full. I pipe it in using a large tip. Makes for even sizing and is far less messy. Bake 4-6 minutes (for my oven, 5 min is perfect) or until the top of the doughnuts spring back when touched. 5 minutes doesn't allow for a browning of the doughnuts, instead it makes them soft and pillowy and since your coating them in a glaze etc. who needs them to be golden brown? Let cool in a pan for 4-5 minutes (again, 5 minutes is perfect) before removing. Finish doughnuts with glaze or sprinkles (mmm sprinkles, why had I never thought of you?! Next time. Next time). Makes 24 doughnuts.
4. Fruit Pies
I'm sort of ashamed to admit that I loved fruit pies when I was a kid. Fortunately, I've grown out of that strange love – but making my own handy dandy miniature fruit pies? I can get behind that. The filling won't be basically oozing sugar, after all, and the crust won't be strangely chewy and slightly stale. Plus, my favorite flavors will never, ever be out of stock.
Enough pastry for a double-crust 9-inch pie (homemade or store-bought)
Cherry pie filling
Lemon pie filling
1 cup powdered sugar
1 ½ to 2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Working with ¼ of the dough at a time, roll it out to a 12 to 14-inch circle. Place a 4 to 5-inch cutter (I used a ramekin that was 4.75” diameter) on the dough and run a sharp knife around the perimeter of the cutter. You should be able to cut 3 rounds out of each quarter of the pastry dough.
Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in the center of each round. Dip your finger in a little water and moisten the edges of the dough. Fold in half to form a crescent. Dip a fork in flour and press the edges together to create a tight seal. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough.
Cut a little slit in the top of each pie and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Remove from the oven and place on a rack. While still warm, drizzle or brush each pie with the powdered sugar glaze and let cool.
5. Homemade Sno-Balls
I love coconut, so I'm all over these. They're pretty involved, but the end results are wonderful. Seriously, these even top the Hostess treats they mimic, and they taste so fresh! The best part is that, again, you can use whatever flavors you like!
½ c plus 1 Tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ c cake flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 ½ c sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ c brewed coffee
½ c milk
1 lb sweetened, shredded coconut
Pink gel food coloring (if desired)
1 ½ packets of unflavored powder gelatin (about 9 grams)
¼ c cold water
1 c sugar
⅓ c corn syrup
2 Tbs water
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp warm water
Dash of salt
Half of a 7 oz. jar of marshmallow fluff
¼ c shortening
2 Tbs powdered sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
For the cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour the wells of 2 mini-rounded cake pans.
Sift the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl, combine the coffee and milk. Stir half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Stir in the coffee/milk mixture. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir to blend. Pour batter into prepared cake pans until ⅔ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, about 18 minutes. Let cakes cool completely before turning the pan over to remove them.
For the marshmallow coating: Pour coconut into a bowl. Mix with a teeny bit of food coloring. Mix well to evenly tint the coconut. Set aside.
Place the ¼ c of cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let set. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2 Tbs water. Bring to a rolling boil. Fit the whisk attachment to the stand mixer, and turn to low to break up the gelatin. Pour the corn syrup mixture into the stand mixer with the gelatin and beat on high for 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the salt and vanilla. Continue beating on high for another 6-8 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer.
Using a fork or spoon, dip the rounded side of the cakes into the marshmallow. Quickly roll the marshmallow-coated cake in the coconut, making sure to cover the entire marshmallow surface. Place uncoated side down on a sheet to set.
For the creme filling: Combine salt and water in a small bowl. With a mixer, combine fluff, shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Add the salt mixture, and beat until combined.
Using a large plain decorator’s tip, pipe the filling into the center of each cake, from the bottom.
There's something just horribly delicious about a cream slathered cake. I know, that's awful – but when you make it yourself, you turn it into a decadent gourmet treat, ideal as a dessert for a fancy or special meal. Of course, these cakes are also a perfect weekend treat, just so you know.
1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
⅔ cups unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup milk
½ cup (1 stick) butter
½ cup (1 stick) butter
1¼ cups confectioners’ sugar
1¼ cups marshmallow fluff
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking soda in a medium-sized bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together the milk, eggs and softened butter.
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat on low speed until combined.
Increase speed to high and beat for three minutes until the batter is smooth and increased in volume.
Pour the dough into a greased 9 x 13 cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 – 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
While the cake cools, make the filling.
Beat together the butter, confectioners’ sugar, marshmallow fluff and vanilla at high speed until light and fluffy.
Cut the cooled cake into rectangles of desired size.
Spread filling over half of the rectangles and cover with the remaining rectangles.
7. Chocolate Chip Snack Cakes
You don't always need tons of icing to make a delicious snack cake. You don't always need to copy or experiment with an existing recipe. Just play around yourself, choose the flavors you like, things that complement each other, and get to baking – you might come up with something like this!
½ box Betty Crocker® SuperMoist® yellow cake mix (about 1 2/3 cups)
1/3 cup water
¼ cup sour cream
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
1 ¼ cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
½ teaspoon vegetable oil
Heat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark or nonstick pan). Spray bottom and sides of 9- or 8-inch square pan with baking spray with flour.
In large bowl, beat cake mix, water, sour cream, butter and egg with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips. Spread in pan.
Bake 9-inch pan 22 to 28 minutes, 8-inch pan 27 to 33 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
In small microwavable bowl, microwave 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips and the oil uncovered on High 45 seconds, stirring every 15 seconds, until melted. Place in small resealable food-storage plastic bag; cut off tiny corner of bag. Drizzle over top of cake. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Store loosely covered.
If you want to enjoy a snack cake in the evening or pack one in your child's lunchbox, you can – but you don't have to buy any processed foods. If you have a sweet tooth but don't want to feel as guilty, get to your oven! Just remember, moderation – but lick the bowl when the opportunity presents itself! Do you have any homemade snack cakes to share?