So, it turns out I’ve never had a Twinkie. How is this possible? Well, I am Canadian after all but that’s still no excuse. With the latest buzz about the Hostess trouble and potential Twinkie production coming to a halt in the U.S., I suppose we Canadians should be excited about the fact that they will continue to be manufactured and distributed here, from what I’ve read. (Isn’t it ironic?) So even though they are available in Canada, I still think of them as an all-American snack.
But really, to have one might just be to say I’ve had one. The truth is I think I’d take homemade Twinkie-ness over the store-bought variety, any day. What I do have fond memories of, however, are Canada’s answer to the Twinkie: Vachon’s 1/2 Moon Cakes (and incidentally, this is the same company who manufactures Twinkies here in Canada). My mom used to buy 1/2 Moons for me, along with a few other Canadian gems, such as Jos Louis cakes (red velvet cakes sandwiching vanilla cream filling and dipped in milk chocolate) and Passion Flakies (flaky pastry filled with cream and fruit filling). There was something about the vanilla-vanilla 1/2 Moons, though, that had my heart. And Twinkie or 1/2 Moons–no matter what you call these treats, the appeal is the same: moist golden vanilla cake sandwiching sweet white vanilla filling. Essentially what childhood dreams are made of. But still, the thought of all of those chemicals and preservatives make me shudder . . .
So when I excitedly opened Shauna Sever’s latest book, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, and saw her recipe for Twinkie Bundt Cake, I knew that everything was going to be alright with the world again. And if that wasn’t enough, her book boasts countless vanilla recipes supreme, along with a ton of history about and techniques for working with this beloved bean. When it was time to choose a recipe from her book to share with you, I was completely perplexed because I was intrigued by each and every one of them.
In the first week I had the book I made her Big, Soft Frosted Vanilla Cookies, Honey-Vanilla Granola Clusters, Heirloom Vanilla Sugar Cookies and Lemon-Vanilla Dream Bars. I literally couldn’t stop. They were all incredible and the recipes were, in true Shauna style, all winners. (And let us not forget the delightful Vanilla Bean Marshmallows I made from her first book when I blogged about my Homemade Puffy Cloud S’mores.) Then when I made this Twinkie Bundt Cake, I truly couldn’t wait to share it with you.
So what exactly is a Twinkie Bundt Cake? It’s a from-scratch, moist, golden, super-vanilla, cream-filled cake–essentially one big homemade Twinkie. While the flavours are classic, the hit of marshmallow creme in the filling bumps the sweetness of this cake just enough to make it a complete throwback to childhood. What I found most surprising about this cake was that it was so easy to make and fill, it stayed gloriously moist for days, and had so much true vanilla flavour. Shauna pulled the Twinkie-factor off in a big, huge, vanilla parade kind of way.
So here is the recipe just as it is in the book, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques, with my addition of ingredient weights whenever possible:
From the book, Pure Vanilla: Irresistible Recipes and Essential Techniques by Shauna Sever. Shauna says, "This cake is essentially an enormous from-scratch version of the iconic American snack cake, with the vanilla flavor amplified and made with pronounceable ingredients. It's golden and terrifically moist, and its cream-filled cross-section is an instant joy-inducer."
- 3 cups (345 g) cake flour
- 1 tablespoon (15 g) baking powder
- 3/4 teaspoon (6 g) salt
- 6 tablespoons (90 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (118 ml) vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs plus 4 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 1 cup (237 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 (7.5 ounce) jar marshmallow creme
- 1/2 cup (1 stick)(114 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)
- Position rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat overn to 325°F. Coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with nonstick cooking spray and dust it lightly with flour.
- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and vanilla extract on medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and beat until evenly mixed, about 1 minute. Slowly pour in oil. Beat until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating thoroughly after each addition.
- Reduce mixer speed to low. Stir in flour mixture and buttermilk in three alternating additions, ending with the buttermilk, and continue to mix on low speed until the batter is smooth and no lumps remain. Turn off mixer and fold batter several times by hand to ensure everything is well incorporated, and then pour into prepared pan.
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, until the cake is golden, the top springs back when lightly pressed, and a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Place pan on a wire rack and let cool completely, about 2 hours.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together marshmallow creme and butter until smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a large round tip.
- With the cake still in the pan, use a paring knife or apple corer to cut 6 or 7 deep holes into the bottom of the cake, each about 3/4 inch in diameter; be careful not to cut through top of cake. Discard (i.e., nibble) cake scraps. With your fingers, gently burrow a horizontal tunnel around the center of the cake, connecting the vertical holes.
- Insert the tip of the pastry bag into each hold 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 away excess filling from the bottom of the cake. Quickly and carefully invert cake onto serving platter. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired, and serve.
Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends!
Good luck & enjoy!