Sweet And Crumby

Baking, a Love Story

A Seventies Lunch Box Revival: Twinkies! {Chocolate Squared Style}


I saw these totally retro, devilishly chocolate, homemade Twinkies on Simple Math Bakery’s site last week (check Jeanne’s site out…much better photos there my friends). They immediately brought back memories of sitting in the school lunch shelter at turquoise painted picnic tables (gum stuck to the underneath of course), chatting with my friends and trading chips and cookies when someone had what you wanted.

When I broke into my lunch, I immediately had to check out the dessert action first. I have always had a very bad sweet tooth I’m afraid.

The best (and worst for you) part of any kid’s 70’s lunch, if she was worth her salt, was the Hostess surprise inside. Whether it was a semi-stale bright yellow Twinkie or the foil wrapped Devil’s food, Ding Dong, Hostess was the king of the Snack world in the 70’s…though, sadly and very gratefully, not any more.

My mom was fairly health conscious, even when it wasn’t trendy, so my lunch box didn’t have these treats very often…unless my dad had done the grocery shopping instead that week. Then our cupboards were full of the “don’ts”; Cocoa Krispies, Doritos and Hostess. As horrible as all that crap was (and is!), I would anxiously await those magical lunches when it was stuffed with “the crap”.

As I grew a little older and wiser, I learned that Twinkies, although very cute and perky, were not exactly what the package claimed them to be. They were rarely moist, suspiciously bright yellow and stayed in the same semi-fresh state for months (probably years) if you… hypothetically speaking…accidentally left one in an old lunch box and decided to give it a taste.

Thankfully, the ones here today only share the same shape…perhaps stir up a few memories, but happily taste nothing like the originals. These are rich, decadent and chocolatey, and they are Jeanne’svery own recipe. Her blog is one of my faves, and you should definitely check it out, and then you will be hooked. I used my favorite Chuao Cacao Rouge cocoa powder which I am presuming is the reason my little cakes are much darker than hers.  Either way, you will not be disappointed.

For a traditional Yellow Homemade Twinkie recipe, go here.

Simple Math Bakery’s  Very Own “Death by Chocolate” Twinkies

Feel free to make this into cupcakes so you don’t need to buy a special pan. It will work great!
For me, it made about 15 Twinkies…for Jeanne it made 20…this does not shock me, my first batch were fairly hefty.
Snack Cakes:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
4 tablespoons corn starch
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup cold water
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
7 eggs, separated

Chocolate Cream Filling
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (I used half and half)
1/4 cup cocoa powder, best quality makes a huge difference
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips (60% cacao)
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar

For the Cakes: Spray coat a “Canoe Pan” or fill cupcake pan with liners.  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a balloon whisk attachment beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Scoop out and set aside in another bowl.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, whisk together flour through salt. Add oil, water, vanilla and egg yolks. Combine, using the paddle attachment beat on medium until smooth.

Using a rubber scraper, gently fold in 1/3 of the eggwhites and repeat until combined. If you are using a canoe pan, fill half way carefully spooning your batter into the spaces. Otherwise, fill the cupcake liners 2/3 full.

For Twinkies, bake for about 15 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool in the pan for five minutes and then carefully release them and cool on a wire rack.
For cupcakes, 15-22 minutes.  Cool cupcakes similarly.

 Cakes must be COMPLETELY COOL to fill with cream.

While the cakes are baking, make your filling:  In a small saucepan, whisk together the cocoa powder and flour.  Add the milk slowly, whisking until smooth. Then heat and cook on medium, stirring constantly. From Jeanne’s instructions, “When the mixture becomes a paste (about 5 minutes), remove from heat and allow to cool for 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming, and set aside to cool completely.”

In the top portion of a double boiler, heat the chocolate chips just until they melt. Remove from heat and allow to cool until just barely warm. If you would prefer to melt the chocolate in the microwave, simply put them in a microwave proof bowl and heat for 30 seconds, stir and repeat until smooth.

“With an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat until combined. Pour in the cooled melted chocolate and beat for about 5 minutes, until smooth and creamy.”

To fill Twinkies: I used the pastry cream filler tool that came with the pan, but you can use a pastry bag fitted with either a cupcake filling tip or any regular tip will work fine too (star tip, whatever).  Hold Twinkie in one hand upside down and squirt the filling into three place in the bottom. I did not have luck with getting enough filling into the crevice. In the future, I might use  a cupcake corer to remove pieces of the cake and then fill. The filling was plenty thick to stay in though so the filling was not the problem. It was the baker.

To fill cupcakes: Core out a piece of the cupcake with a cupcake corer, apple corer or simply a paring knife and then fill with a pastry bag fitted with a tip. Frost. Use the frosting from this post; it’s the bomb and would go with the cream filling smashingly.

Enjoy your this rich and creamy retro snack and think back to your lunch table days.

30 thoughts on “A Seventies Lunch Box Revival: Twinkies! {Chocolate Squared Style}

  1. Oh yum I am a twinkly addict – at least when I went to America I was 😛
    Now I can have a continuous stash at home!
    Thanks 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru
    Latest: Fresh Fruit Tart

  2. Brilliant! Great to know that you can make homemade Twinkies, especially since Hostess went bankrupt. Looks like these took a bit of work to make, but I’m sure they were well worth it! It is kinda scary how long Twinkies stay good. Doesn’t seem right….haha

  3. I don’t think I’ve ever had a Twinkie in my life. They never appealed to me. Homemade though sounds like it would be good. Especially chocolate. Chocolate makes everything better.

  4. LOL! Twinkies! Those were totally (and still are on occasion) a guilty pleasure of mine. I don’t care what they’re really made of. Mmmmm! My friends and I used to go through boxes of those in high school and I especially liked them frozen. These chocolate ones look darn close to the real thing (well aside from being chocolate). 🙂

  5. I’ve never thought of making homemade twinkies before, but this sounds awesome and a tad better for you!

  6. They look really good, but I can’t read this recipe! I fear that I’ll then know how a Twinkie gets it’s filling and all will be lost. Santa is real too.

  7. I always thought I had all the great tools of the trade because of Hubs, but now am realizing I’m sadly missing a bunch of must-haves for baking… whoopie pie pan, canoe pan – I can see what the next several years of birthdays and Christmas’ will be filled with. 😉 I love the idea of these – and with chocolate!! (Have to be better than the originals – though I have to sadly admit that when I was preggo with my oldest, I bought a box – yes a bulk box- of twinkies at the grocery store and ate them over a weekend. Shameful, I know, but I haven’t touched them since.)

  8. What a great recipe! And so nostalgic.

  9. Yum! They look delicious! I have to try it!

  10. I loved Twinkies as a kid but I think that was because it was Forbidden Fruit. Mom never bought them for us. Yours here sound great, though, and definitely worth a try.

  11. So lovely! I can’t believe they are home made:]

  12. Oh too cute! I was a swiss roll girl myself, but I think I could go for a chocolate twinkie too 😉

  13. My mom never let me eat them as a kid either. Maybe that’s why I’m so obsessed with the homemade version now! Thanks for your kind words, Geni, and now I’m craving another batch of these twinkies! 🙂

  14. I use to eat twinkies as a kid and now that I have kids they don’t even know what it is! Omg, I have to bake these ASAP!! So darn cute! I hate to admit this but my mom bought all the hostess dessert for lunch, she was an amazing cook but not a baker so we always had store bought treats! lol

  15. Pingback: Getting to Know Me a Little {Blogger’s Unplugged} | Smart Food and Fit

  16. darn blast it all to heck and back!!!! how am i s’posed to stick to my plan when y’all are posting stuff like this!! #%&*@!!!!!!!! =) *gets out the cupcake pan and liners*

  17. Those look delicious !
    I have never had one of these before, but it seems like, it’s time to make a few.

  18. Wow a home made twinkies! I wanna have those for my lunch box.

  19. My boys would sure love these in their lunch box. (I know this is kind of over the top, but do you have any twinkies left? Have you ever tried deep fried twinkies?) Crazy I know but super yummy. BAM

  20. Gosh, awesome! I’m English so we don’t even know what Twinkies are, but I’m sooo gonna make these for my kids. Thanks so much for sharing.

  21. What a perfect alternative to the twinkie!

  22. I so wish I knew about these when my kids were little! I’d be making them all the time! I never bought those twinkies for them but they would see their friends eating them. I’d love to throw a party of retro foods and make these for sure. And, like you, I HAVE to buy the pan!!

  23. I’ve never had the pleasure of tasting a twinky but these sound fantastic!!

  24. you arre amazing. How beautiful, lovely… I should make this, no just for myself 🙂 I loved it so much. Thank you dear Geni, with my love, nia

  25. I think I just had twinkie once or twice when my son was little and from what I remember is how you described…yellowish with a white kind of cream inside…how nice would taste a homemade one…I still yet have to see this pan.
    Thanks for this treat…
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Geni 🙂

  26. Good grief, woman. You are WAY more ambitious than I am! These look unbelievably perfect and they sound about 1000x more delicious than their ancestors. 😉 I grew up in the same kind of home. Those treats rarely if ever, made an appearance in my own lunches. I remember being giddy with joy to visit Grandma’s house and eat them there!

  27. Oh WOW Geni.. okay I think you have definitely outdone yourself today. I haven’t seen Twinkies in so darn long lol. I don’t even pay attention to them at the supermarket. But these look so delicious.. yeah.. this post is not good for me LOL

  28. Now that’s a twinkie I’d eat!! Thanks for sharing on Crazy Sweet Tuesday. 🙂

  29. Great Twinkie! Chocolate! My kids loved the twinkles grandma bought them. Do you recall the chocodile? Shaped like a Twinkie but chocolate and frosted.

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