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  • Writer's pictureCulinary Cam

Twinkie Layer Cake for a Friend's 50th

Back when we were in our thirties, I asked a friend what his favorite cake was. He answered "Twinkies!" So, for a couple of years, I attempted to make him homemade Twinkies for his birthday.



They were an unmitigated disaster. Looking back at my notes, I wrote...


(In 2010) The idea of ingesting something that could theoretically survive a nuclear winter is a little unnerving, but I had to do it. Probably should not have used whole wheat flour. But then we wouldn't have laughed as hard as we did. The mascarpone cream was tasty.


(In 2011) I had grand plans for my attempt this year - I purchased a cream canoe baking pan with filling injector. First Kevin unsuccessfully attempted to inject the chestnut Twinkie with whipped cream. Then he took a bite and chewed and chewed and chewed...and asked for a glass of milk. Okay, maybe the raw sugar and chestnut flour made it a wee-bit heartier than a real Twinkie. Maybe more than a wee-bit.


To this day I don't know whether he actually likes Twinkies or was simply telling me that in order to watch me attempt to make them. Both are possible.


Flash forward to our fifties. I am a better baker. So, when I saw that his milestone birthday fell on the week of our board meeting, I claimed dinner and decided to make a Twinkie Layer Cake for dessert.



For precise baking, I use weight versus volume measurements for many of the elements. Seriously, it makes a world of difference in the quality and consistency of my cakes.


Ingredients

Yellow Cake

  • 285 grams cake flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, softened

  • 350 grams organic granulated sugar

  • 4 large egg yolks, room temperature

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla paste (or extract if you don't have paste)

  • 1 cup (240ml) buttermilk, room temperature

  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature

  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

  • Also needed: three 6-inch cake pans, parchment paper, oil for greasing the pans


Filling

  • 7 tablespoons flour

  • 1-1/2 cups whole milk

  • 3/4 cup vegetable shortening

  • 3/4 cup salted butter

  • 1-1/2 cup organic granulated sugar

  • 1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla paste (or extract if you don't have paste)

  • Also needed: sprinkles for decorating, optional


Procedure

Yellow Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line three 6-inch round cake pans with parchment paper rounds, then grease the parchment paper and the edges.


In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.


In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until lightened and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks once at a time, then beat in the vanilla paste.


Sift in about a third of the flour mixture and pour in half of the buttermilk. Beat at a low speed until combined. Repeat and finish with the final third of the flour mixture.


In a clean mixing bowl, whip the egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter, taking care not to deflate the egg whites.


Evenly divide the batter into the prepared pans. Place the pans in the preheated oven. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes. Check the cakes after 20 minutes. If they are browning too much, tent them with foil and return them to the oven. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.



Allow cakes to cool for 10 minutes before inverting on a wire rack. Cool completely, then wrap in plastic and place in the freezer overnight. When frozen, carefully slice the three cakes into three layers each with a serated knife.


Filling

In a saucepan, whisk together flour, milk, sugar, and vanilla. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Remove from the heat, spoon in to a large mixing bowl, and let cool completely.


Once cooled completely, beat in the shortening and butter until fluffy.


Assembly

Place the bottom layer on your serving plate or platter. Add a dollop of filling and spread to the edges, then place another layer on top. Repeat until all of the layers are used. Then smooth the filling over the top and along the sides. Decorate with sprinkles, if using.



Happy birthday, Kevin! I still don't know whether or not you really love Twinkies. But I had fun making this year's version.

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