Homemade Yellow Snack Cakes
There are few snack cakes as iconic as the Twinkie, which is nothing more than a frosting-filled cake. Cupcake Twinkies? The best of both worlds. Stick with the classic seven-minute frosting or mix it up with your favorite frosting flavor.
Makes: 12 individual cakes
Time: About 1 hour
6 tablespoons (¾ stick) butter, softened, plus more for greasing
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
⅔ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup milk, at room temperature
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 12-cup cupcake tin and set aside.
2. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside.
3. Use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture by hand, a little at a time, alternating with the milk. Stir until just smooth, with no big lumps of flour. Do not overbeat.
4. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, about 15 minutes. Let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then invert onto a rack to finish cooling.
5. To fill the cakes, fit a piping bag or zipper bag with a small tip and add the frosting. Poke the tip directly into the bottom middle of the cupcake and pipe in some frosting. Try not to overfill the cakes or they will crack. If you can pipe with one hand and hold the cupcake upside down in your other, you can feel the icing filing up the cake and more easily gauge when to stop.
6. Eat the filled cakes the same day or the day after. If you want to extend their lives, keep the unfilled cakes for as long as 3 days, well wrapped, and fill with frosting just before serving.
Chocolate Snack Cakes: Substitute Dutch-processed cocoa powder for ⅓ cup of the flour.
Almond-Raspberry Snack Cakes: Linzer cookie meets Twinkie: Substitute almond extract for ½ teaspoon of the vanilla. Replace the Seven-Minute Frosting with a seedless raspberry jam.