Twinkie Cake

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This Twinkie Cake is a spongy yellow cake layers with a thick layer of cream filling. It will bring out your inner child with its nostalgic flavors!

There are few treats as nostalgic as the classic Hostess Twinkie. You’re never too grown-up to enjoy an actual Twinkie, but maybe you’re planning a party and want to serve something more sophisticated than snack cakes in plastic wrappers.

This is where our layered Twinkie Cake recipe comes in! The layered cake invites you to walk down memory lane. It’s a dessert that bridges the gap between being grown up and loving to bake, but still wanting the simple pleasure of childhood treats. And it’s a close cousin to our ho ho cake!

a piece of yellow layer twinkie cake on a plate with a bite out

About this Twinkie Cake Recipe:

  • Flavor: The cake is lightly sweet and buttery, which pairs nicely with the creamy vanilla filling.
  • Texture: A soft, fluffy yellow cake, split and filled with that iconic creamy filling. This is the ultimate in a soft, moist cake.
  • Method: This is a layer cake, so it bakes in 2 9″ square cake pans. The filling is unique because it is a cooked flour cream. You make a flour mixture on the stovetop, then when it cools, whip it into the butter and sugar.

Ingredients

ingredients for twinkie cake on a table

As you can see, this recipe calls for pantry staples that most people have in their house.

All cake mixes come in different sizes, but a traditional box mix that makes a 9×13″ cake will work. I’ve used Duncan Hines and Betty Crocker.

Do i have to use shortening?

Shortening is gives the filling the more traditional “twinkie cream” flavor. I add butter as well for richness and flavor. You can use all butter, but it will taste more like buttercream rather than a sweet filling. It’s just a matter of preference. You can use all shortening, too!

How to Make a Twinkie Cake

Prepare. Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit for dark pans or 350º Fahrenheit for light or glass pans. Spray the bottom of 2 9” square cake pans with cooking spray, then line the pans with parchment paper to ensure the cake comes out cleanly.

You can line the outside of the pans with aluminum foil. This helps the cake layers bake evenly.

Make the cake.

  • Mix cake mix, eggs, butter and milk in a large bowl using a mixer on medium speed. Scrape the bowl as needed. Beat for about two minutes.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the filling.

  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, cook the flour and milk together, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. (Move the mixture to another bowl and place it over a bowl of ice for it to cool more quickly.)
  • Using a mixer, cream the butter, shortening, salt and vanilla until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add in the sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the cooled flour mixture. Use a mixer and beat until the mixture becomes fluffy like whipped cream. This may take a couple of minutes.

Assemble the cake.

  • If the cakes have domes, use a large knife to level them off so they are somewhat even.
  • Place one cake layer on a plate. Spread all of the whipped frosting over the first cake layer. Then place the second cake layer on top.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.

Frosting Shortcut

For the most authentic flavor, make the cooked cream filling. But everyone needs a shortcut at some point in their lives. Make a whipped frosting using these ingredients:

  • 1 large box Jell-O Vanilla Instant Pudding Mix
  • 1 cup cold milk
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip Whipped Topping

Whisk the pudding mix and milk together, then fold in the thawed Cool Whip. No stovetop needed!

a slice of twinkie cake on a plate

Dress It Up

This cake is fabulous as it is, but you can dress it up by adding fresh fruit! Think pineapple, raspberries or bananas. Or add strawberries for a strawberry twinkie cake! Place maraschino cherries with stems on each slice or on the side when serving.

closeup of a slice of twinkie cake on a plate with a bite out
closeup of a slice of twinkie cake on a plate with a bite out

Twinkie Cake

4.86 from 14 votes
This Twinkie Cake is a spongy yellow cake layers with a thick layer of cream filling. It will bring out your inner child with its nostalgic flavors!
Servings 12
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

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Ingredients
 

For the cake:

  • 1 box yellow cake mix 15.25 ounces
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup unsalted butter melted
  • 1 ¼ cups 2% milk

For the filling:

Instructions
 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 325º Fahrenheit for dark pans or 350º Fahrenheit for light or glass pans. Spray the bottom of 2 9” square cake pans with cooking spray, then line the pans with parchment paper to ensure the cake comes out cleanly. You can also line the outside of the pans with aluminum foil. This helps the cake layers bake evenly.
  • Mix cake mix, eggs, butter and milk in a large bowl using a mixer on medium speed. Scrape the bowl as needed. Beat for about two minutes.
  • Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Make the frosting:

  • In a small saucepan over medium low heat, cook the flour and milk together, whisking constantly, until the mixture thickens to a pudding consistency.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool completely. (Move the mixture to another bowl and place it over a bowl of ice for it to cool more quickly.)
  • Using a mixer, cream the butter, shortening, salt and vanilla until smooth. Scrape the sides of the bowl as needed.
  • Add in the sugar and beat for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the cooled flour mixture. Use a mixer and beat until the mixture becomes fluffy like whipped cream. This may take a couple of minutes.

Assemble the cake:

  • If the cakes have domes, use a large knife to level them off so they are somewhat even.
  • Place one cake layer on a plate.
  • Spread all of the whipped frosting over the first cake layer.
  • Then place the second cake layer on top.
  • Dust with powdered sugar.
  • Slice and serve.
  • Store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 5 days. This cake also freezes well.

Video

Notes

The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 12 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate. **We are not dietitians and recommend you seek a nutritionist for exact nutritional information.**

Nutrition

Calories: 560kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 35g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 459mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g | Vitamin A: 844IU | Vitamin C: 0.1mg | Calcium: 161mg | Iron: 1mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 560
Keyword homemade cake, layer cake

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to ensure the cake is fully baked but not over baked?

Insert a toothpick into the center of the cake; if it comes out clean or with a few crumbs, the cake is done. The edges should also pull away slightly from the pan.

Can I substitute another type of milk in the filling?

Yes, the recipe calls for 2% milk, but you can substitute whole milk. I have not tried it with non-dairy milks. Keep in mind that different types of milk may slightly alter the taste and consistency of the filling.

How do I get the filling smooth and creamy?

For a smooth filling, make sure to sift the flour before combining with milk to remove any lumps. Then when adding the cooled paste to the butter mixture, beat well until the filling is fluffy and smooth.

About Julie Clark

I'm Julie Clark, CEO and recipe developer of Tastes of Lizzy T. With my B.A. in Education and over 30 years of cooking and baking, I want to teach YOU the best of our family recipes.

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Katherine Lareul
6 months ago

3 stars
Ok…… mixed feelings with this recipe. I made yellow cake myself, form scratch because I didn’t have a box mix. The cream however, I followed the recipe completely but it just didn’t go well. It tasted more like butter than cream and it also didn’t get as fluffy as I had expected. All in all, I liked the recipe idea but honestly either I did something wrong or its this recipe. Any tips for perfecting this cream?