Homemade Twinkies


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 Growing up, and as an adult, there are foods that I absolutely adore and that have virtually no nutritional value, but taste amazing and that I can polish off in record time.  Twinkies are one of them.

Stacks of homemade twinkies

Others include: Girl Scout Thin Mints, Girl Scout Samoas Cookies, Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pies, Hostess Chery Pies, Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzards.  Shall I continue?

Twinkies and their spongy, yellow cakey goodness, their ability to stay fresh while wrapped in cellophane for years and years, are just amazing little logs of preservatives.

Stacks of homemade twinkies with marshmallows

And that marshmallow fluffy filling.  It’s so sweet and smooth; airy yet oddly dense.  I wish I could figure out how the Hostess people make it or at the very least, I wish I could hook up an IV drip and mainline it.

When making the homemade Twinkies, I was tempted to let them bake completely and then inject them at the end with marshmallow fluff from a pastry bag using a wide-tipped pastry tip in an effort to recreate the Hostess fluffy marshmallow filling.  However, that sounded like a lot of work, messy, and worst of all, there would be Fluff stuck to the inside of a pastry bag and wasted.  I wouldn’t want to waste a drop of that precious nectar HFCS.

Stacks of homemade twinkies with marshmallows

Strategically placing a few marshmallows down the center of each Twinkie, halfway through the baking period, seemed much more realistic for my ambition level.  As long as I was unnecessarily reinventing the wheel, I thought I’d make it as easy on myself as possible, and I just stuck with whole marshmallows, dropped in.

Stacks of homemade twinkies with marshmallows

Homemade Twinkies, anyone?

homemade twinkie with marshmallows



Homemade Twinkies (with Gluten Free Suggestion)

Makes 1 dozen

1 cup of yellow cake mix

1 large egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup vanilla or plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons white sugar, optional and to taste (the batter was a tiny bit tart after adding the Greek yogurt; taste your batter and add a bit of sugar as desired)

1 cup mini-marshmallows, reserved

Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Spray Twinkie pan with cooking spray extremely well (I used this Chicago Metallic silicone metallic dessert bar pan that I bought at Bed Bath & Beyond or order online, or try this Norpro Canoe Pan), or make the Twinkies as muffins in a 12-cavity muffin pan and either use liners or spray extremely well with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, except marshmallows, and stir by hand until smooth. The batter will be fairly thick (thicker than brownie batter or cake batter, not as thick as cookie dough) and fill each cavity half-way full with batter. I did this by taking my time and doing it with a spoon rather than bothering with a pastry bag. Do not fill the cavities more than halfway full (if making as muffins, fill only halfwa); do not overfill.

Place Twinkie pan on a cookie sheet for stability, and bake for 7 minutes, or until the surface of the Twinkies (or muffins) appears to be just setting up. If the surface has not begun to set up, cook for 1 or 2 more minutes until it has. Remove Twinkies from the oven, add 8 to 10 mini-marshmallows to each Twinkie, by lightly and carefully pressing the marshmallows into the barely-set surfaces with your fingers or by very lightly tapping them down with a fork. Return the Twinkies to the oven and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until they have risen, marshmallows have begun to barely melt, and a toothpick comes out clean from the cake part. Do not overbake as they will continue to firm up while cooling. Allow the Twinkies to cool completely and extremely well in their pan before attempting to remove them. The tops may fall and the marshmallows may fall a bit, that’s okay. Serve upon cooling and store extras in an airtight container on the countertop for up to one week or wrap them individually in plasticwrap for storage, snacks, or lunch boxes.

Tip: Don’t try to flip the pan over and invert to remove the finished Twinkies. Instead, take your finger and push up on the underside of the silicone pan to help loosen them. After my Twinkies were completely cooled, they popped out very easily using this method and none of the marshmallow on the tops was marred or wasted.

Notes: I used Greek yogurt which is thicker than regular yogurt and I don’t know how regular yogurt will work. I don’t know if soy or coconut milk yogurt will work either, since the dairy protein in cow’s milk-based yogurt likely had an effect on the finished product (same principle that pudding will not set up using soy milk and “real” cow’s milk is required); therefore I cannot confidently make suggestions for a vegan version but feel free to experiment.

You could try this with a gluten-free cake mix, and I suspect you will have good results, but I have not experimented. Take care to make sure the marshmallows are gluten-free if attempting to keep the recipe gluten free.

If making as muffins, I’d suspect the muffins would be done after approximately 18-20 minutes total, and about 9-10 minutes into baking, add the marshmallows, and complete baking them.


Gather your ingredients, all five of them, and mix the batter with a spoon in a bowl.  You don’t need to dirty a mixer for this.

Twinkie pan with ingredients in background

Spoon it carefully into your Twinkie pan which was $14.99 at Bed Bath & Beyond.  The intended usage is for biscotti but when I saw it I had Twinkies on the brain.  I also plan to use it for Rice Krispies Treats bars, No-Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars, other bar and candy-making projects.  You could also use a muffin tin.

Do not overfill the cavities; filling no more than halfway full.  I repeat, no more than halfway full, because 1. the batter will expand quite a bit and 2. after inserting the marshmallows, the “water level rises” dramatically, so to speak.

Twinkie pan with ingredients in background

Halfway through the baking process, after about 7 minutes, I carefully placed 8 to 10 marshmallows in each cavity, lightly tapping them down, and then baked for another 8 minutes.

Cooked twinkies in twinkie pan

Are these a dead ringer for Twinkies? No, not a dead ringer. Are they pretty flippin’ close?  Yes.  For a five-ingredient recipe, with no added butter or oil and a mere two optional tablespoons of added sugar, they’re really close to Twinkies.  And dare I say “healthier” than Twinkies, although that was not my intention when I embarked on this project.

Stacks of twinkies with marshmallows

I embarked on the project as a “just because”.  Just because I wanted to reinvent the wheel just to see how close I could get to factory-made Twinkies at home because I like a good kitchen challenge.

Stacks of twinkies with marshmallows

And truth be told, I wanted to surprise Skylar with these for her fifth birthday!

Scott got homemade Ho-Ho’s for his birthday.  Skylar got homemade Twinkies.  Maybe I’ll make some Ding Dong’s for mine since knockoff Hostess products on birthdays has been a trend this year.

Homemade ho-hos with cream cheese frosting

The yogurt kept them very moist and spongy, and I suspect, that’s also what gave them a bit of a dimpled appearance.  I’m sure there are ways to make these much more authentic-tasting, or professional-looking, but at that point, just go buy a box of Twinkies.

One-half dozen were inhaled seconds after the photos were completed and the other half got wrapped in plasticwrap and tossed into lunches.

Stacks of twinkies with marshmallows

For something that will definitely be a conversation piece at the dinner table or at a birthday party, make these.

For a It’s a Tuesday night and I’m going to have a party in my mouth party, make these.

Stacks of twinkies with marshmallows

They’re a 20 minute project, start to finish, and only dirty one bowl.

I love that almost as much as I love Twinkies.

twinkie with marshmallows

Do you like Twinkies?  Any childhood favorites that you loved then, or maybe still love now, completely devoid of nutrition but completely full of happy memories?

Have you re-created any store bought favorites at home?

I’ve done plenty…

Raw Vegan Girl Scout “Thin Mint”-Inspired Fudge

Krispy Kreme Donuts

Baked vanilla donuts with vanilla glaze

Samoas Bars (Vegan & GF options)

Samoas bars

Butterfinger Bars (No Bake, Vegan & GF options)

Butterfinger bars with candy corn

Ritz Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups (No Bake)

Ritz Cracker Stuffed Peanut Butter Cups

Have a great week!

Leave a Comment

Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.


  1. I know I’m late finding this but had to comment anyway! I was LOOKING and HOPING for a twinkis recipe lately. Did you know Hostess is going bankrupt? NO MORE TWINKIES?!!! I was heartbroken when I read that! Not that I have a stash, or indulge on any sort of regular basis, but the world seemed a little sadder knowing that they were going to vanish completely. Now I have a homemade version, and the Twinkie Legacy will live on….all thanks to you! :0) Thank you!

    1. I had no idea?!!! I would assume that some other company would buy them out and that Twinkies will live on, somehow. But the next time I go to the groc store, I’m going to check and see if they’re on store shelves and I’m going to buy a box for old times sake!

  2. Ok these look awesome and FUN! I’m so happy I found your site. You are hilarious btw. Off to make your Sugared almonds!

  3. What a fun recipe, so creative. You are the dessert queen and I bet Scott and Skylar loved these!

    1. BB & B, $10 bucks with a coupon. Get thee to the nearest mall. You’ll have a field day with it, too, because you can make all kinds of no-bake stuff in it, too! I am just waiting to play around with it..til I eat-down some of the stash we have around here!

  4. Holy Cow – you just make twinkies! That is impressive! I was never a huge fan of them as a kid, but I can imagine a homemade version is better!

    1. I like your idea much better of working your way through Milk. If you need a substitute, have a dropout, or need anyone else for the cook-you-way-through challenge, I’m 100% right there to help :)

  5. How fun are these? Great minds think alike… I was thinking of making homemade twinkies myself! Yours look so soft and spongy! Love them!:)

  6. Twinkies were my absolute favorite snack cake growing up. I always ate off the bottom first so I can spend a good long while swiping the frosting out with my finger. Delicious! You are truly a baking master!

  7. this is so awesome! i can’t believe you made homemade twinkies! and they’re healthier?! get out! totally love this, averie :)