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Twinkie Feast Cake

Sometimes an event comes up and you find yourself making a bunch of huge Twinkies.  At least, that is where I found myself a couple weeks ago.  November 17th marked the 24th Anniversary of the Blue Man Group production at the Astor Place Theatre.  (I work there as part of the stage management team, my day job.)  I wanted to do something special to help commemorate the anniversary and a Twinkie cake seemed the obvious choice.

If you are familiar with the show, you'll remember that about midway through the Blue Men sit down to have a feast – of Twinkies. Four Twinkies to be exact, one for each of the Blue Men and one for a guest brought up onstage. I thought it would be fun to make a large cake out of four gigantic Twinkies for our celebration. It was important to me that they not only look like Twinkies, but have a taste that reminded you of the best possible version of a Twinkie, an elevated Twinkie, a Twinkie with pizazz.

Ok, that might be taking it a bit far, but it was settled in my mind and I had an idea how I was going to make this cake a reality.  I found a lovely bunt cake recipe that I could ever so slightly adapt and bake in four 8.5x4.5 loaf pans.  It was a bit of a task getting all of the batter mixed in my 5 quart mixer, but I managed.  If I were to make this cake again, or if I were you (and certainly smarter), I would make the batter in two batches or use a bigger mixer.  I didn't (even though my mother has been trying to convince me I need the next size up for years now) so I muddled through – baking in aluminum disposable loaf pans and rotating half way through.

After taking them out of the oven, I decided to carve them so they would look a bit more like Twinkies and less like loaves. To make this easier I let them cool completely and then wrapped them and put them in the fridge overnight. The next day I rounded the edges and trimmed away the browner parts (read delicious snacks – carving is hard work!). Then I used an apple corer to drill out some holes for filling. It is a Twinkie cake after-all. Now, I admit that I went a bit crazy here. For some reason I was afraid that there wouldn't be enough of the filling so I added extra holes. On top of that I brought some of the filling with me just in case folks wanted more. Let me just say – no one even asked for more filling, the container was never opened and there was more than enough to go around. So – don't worry about the filling, three or maybe four holes if you want a smidge extra would work just fine.

​ For the filling itself, I made two different versions. The first version I made with homemade marshmallow and the second version I made with marshmallow fluff. The first thing I will say is that both versions are very similar and both are very tasty. I slightly prefer the flavor of the homemade marshmallow but the fluff version is certainly easier to make and slightly easier to handle. In this case the ease of using the fluff wins out and I included that version, but if you happen to be making marshmallows anyway, it's an easy swap to use some of the marshmallow before it sets in an even swap. Just be sure you really let the marshmallow cool to room temp and be prepared for it to be a little goopy. Even the fluff filling is a bit goopy though, so it's not changing much.

Once the filling was made I loaded it into a piping bag (which is a little tough since the filling is a smidge loose) and filled all the holes.  The many, many holes 'cause like I said, I was a little crazy.  Then I turned the cakes over on a 10"x14" cake board (which they barely fit on), added a few extra marshmallows and gumballs along the front, and a handmade printed sign and the cake was good to go.

​ Lucky for me, the cake was very well received.  It's light and not too sweet, but tastes like the best version of a Twinkie.  It was such a fun cake to make, well worth the time it took to put it all together.  If you need a Twinkie cake, this Twinkie Feast Cake is a great way to go.

Twinkie Feast Cake

Twinkie Feast Cake

Loosely adapted from Smitten Kitchen "Twinkie Bundt". Pans changed, quantities doubled, no fuss filling. This cake feeds an army, you've been warned.


serving(s)
1 Batch(es)
Preparation time
1h
Cooking time
45m
 

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups (448 grams) unsalted butter (room temp)
  • 3 1/2 cups (700 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 5 cups (600 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups buttermilk

Filling

  • 7 1/2 oz container marshmallow creme
  • 1/2 cup butter (room temp)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
Category
Specialty Cakes
Cost
Cheap
Difficulty
Easy

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease four 8.5”x4.5” loaf pans and line the bottoms with parchment paper. I like to use pan grease (link to recipe here) but butter and flour would work also. Since we are trimming the cake later, it isn’t too big of a deal if it sticks a little.

2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Stir to combine. Set aside.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl) cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scrapping down the bowl between each. Then add the egg yolks in the same manner. Add vanilla.

4. Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour. Mix until just combined.

5. Divide the batter between the four loaf pans. I found it easiest to weigh the batter first and then divide by four. (To do this: start with an empty mixing bowl and weigh it. Then weigh it again once you have all the batter prepared and subtract the weight of the empty bowl. Divide by four and you will have the weight of batter you need to put into each pan).

6. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes (turning the pans halfway through), or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Let them cool in the pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes, take them out of the pans and invert to cool completely. Once they are room temperature you can wrap them at this point and put them into the fridge to totally let them firm up, 30 min or so (I left mine in the fridge until the next day due to time constraints).

7. While the cake cools (or in my case, the following day) make the filling. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the marshmallow crème (either homemade or not), pinch of salt, and the butter until smooth. Add vanilla extract and beat until combined. Scoop/pour the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip (this will be messy).

8. As soon as the cakes are 100% cool or better, cold you can start the filling process. For more of a Twinkie look, I first carved the top. Just cut off the darker outer crust of the cake, no more than a thin layer. You don’t want to cut too deeply into the cake. (The scraps make good bribery to keep small children out of the cakes.) Then flip the cake over and scoop out three or four holes per cake. (I found an apple corer works best for this, but you could also use a melon baller, small spoon or paring knife.) Be careful not to cut through the top of the cake.

9. Fill in all of the holes in the cakes with filling. Then carefully invert your cakes onto a platter. If desired, lightly dust with powdered sugar before serving.

These cakes will keep at room temperature for up to 3 days.

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Saturday, 15 August 2020