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Healthy Twinkies – Homemade Recipe

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Healthy Twinkies?????

Homemade Twinkies - The Healthy Version!  Healthy Twinkies with healthy cream filling

What comes to mind when you think of unhealthy foods?

Right away, I picture two things: Big Macs and Twinkies. While the latter is certainly not the most unhealthy food in existence (Hello double doughnut bacon cheeseburgers!), Twinkies have earned a bad rap thanks to their high sugar content, long list of artificial ingredients, and their creepy ability to stay fresh for 100 years.

Homemade Twinkies

(As it turns out, that last point is just an urban legend. Twinkies don’t really last 100 years.)

During the Great Twinkie Shortage of 2012 (It has a name… Who knew!), when Hostess declared bankruptcy and stopped producing Twinkies, I thought it might be fun to create a healthier recipe for homemade Twinkies. Paying homage to the original Twinkies—which were filled with banana cream until the US rationed bananas during WWII—I’ve opted for a banana-flavored filling in these homemade and healthy Twinkies.

You can easily make them banana-free if you prefer.

Homemade & Healthy Twinkies

Homemade Healthy Twinkies

(makes 8)

  • 1 cup spelt or all-purpose flour (130g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup xylitol or sugar of choice (60g)
  • 1/16 tsp pure stevia, or 2 extra tbsp sugar of choice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or coconut oil (30g)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp white or apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup milk of choice (160g)

Homemade Healthy Twinkies Recipe: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F, and grease a canoe pan if you have one. (For Twinkies without a canoe pan: Shape tin foil, double folded for sturdiness, into 8 canoe-shaped wells. Lightly grease the insides of each well, and position on a baking tray.) In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir very well. Whisk all liquid ingredients in a separate bowl, then pour wet into dry and stir until just evenly mixed. Immediately portion into the molds. Bake 16 minutes, then take out of the oven and let sit 5 minutes before removing from the molds. Let cool completely before filling.

Filling: (Feel free to fill with something else, such as Suzanne’s Ricemellow Crème, if you can’t have nuts.)

  • 1 cup raw cashews or macadamia nuts (120g)
  • 1 banana (omit for a banana-free version)
  • pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • pinch stevia extract, or 2 tbsp sweetener of choice (liquid or granulated both work here)
  • milk of choice as needed, to achieve a pastry-cream texture

In a cereal bowl, cover the nuts with water and let sit at least 3 hours (no longer than 8). Drain completely, then combine all ingredients in a Vita-Mix or a good food processor (adding a little milk of choice until the correct consistency is reached – you’ll need more if omitting the banana and/or if using a dry sweetener). Blend until very smooth and creamy, occasionally scraping down the sides if using a food processor. To fill the homemade Twinkies, poke three holes in the bottom of each, using a chopstick or the non-pronged end of a fork, and move the instrument around inside the pastry to make room for the filling. Pipe filling into the healthy Twinkies with a pastry bag, or a plastic bag with a tiny portion of one of the edges cut off, or the filling injector that comes with a canoe pan.

View Healthy Twinkies Calories and Nutrition

Homemade Twinkie Recipe  (Healthy) Homemade Twinkies with cream filling

Question of the Day:

What are some of the unhealthiest foods you can think of?

There are always Cheesecake Factory desserts… and the Wendy’s Triple Baconator (as scary as the name implies)… There’s also a casserole recipe making the rounds on Pinterest that consists of nothing more than tater tots, ground beef, bacon, cream of something soup, and three different types of cheese. Not a green vegetable in sight. You look at something like that and it’s no wonder modern society is plagued with so many health problems.

Link Of The Day:

chocolate fudgsicles recipe
….Homemade Chocolate Fudgsicles

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Katie is the baker, photographer, and author of the popular blog Chocolate-Covered Katie. Her favorite food is chocolate, and she believes in eating a balanced diet that includes dessert every single day. More about Katie—> 
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  1. As always, this sounds and looks delicious! My mom never bought Twinkies, but I got to try one once or twice. I loved them. I had a friend who made homemade Twinkies and they probably weren’t as healthy as this, but they were still delicious!
    In your post, it sounds like you’re making meat the “enemy”. Or maybe saturated fat? I can assure you, saturated fat is definitely not the enemy. There are worse things you can eat than cheese, ground beef, and bacon (hello refined sugars and flours and other artificial ingredients). In fact, saturated fat is very important to your body. And, good news, it doesn’t actually make you fat! For more information on the importance of saturated fat, read this: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/healthy-eating/nutrition/good-and-bad-fats/

    1. Sarah says:

      Seriously, you think that casserole sounds like a good and healthy idea? 😕 Maybe a *little* saturated fat is fine, but in that amount? And with all the cholesterol to clog your arteries? Sorry, but I’ll stick with my steel-cut oatmeal, strawberries, and chia seeds. I’m pretty sure my heart will be healthier in the long run!

      1. No, not healthy, but not the worst thing you can eat either. There have also been studies done that prove cholesterol *doesn’t* really clog your arteries. It also doesn’t cause heart disease. I’m not saying it’s a good idea to eat tons and tons of saturated fat, but in moderation is a good idea.

      2. Jessabelle says:

        I really hate having to read this arguments from both sides. We all just want to be the healthiest that we can be; it’s just that everyone has different opinions on how to get there. It’s been proven that cholesterol in food does not greatly impact your body’s cholesterol levels, just like it’s been proven that saturated fat can actually be good (and in some cases better!) for your body than unsaturated fat– it’s the whole omega 6 vs. 3 balance.

        1. Olivia@ OmNom Love says:

          I completely agree!

    2. Michelle says:

      I sincerely doubt that Katie would argue that refined sugars and flours are also unhealthy, but to argue that saturated fat is good for you? This from Harvard: “Saturated fats. There are about 24 different saturated fats. Not all of them are equally bad for your health. The saturated fat found in butter, whole milk, cheese, and other dairy products increases LDL levels the most, followed by the saturated fat in beef. Curiously, the saturated fat called stearic acid, found in pure chocolate, is more like unsaturated fat in that it lowers LDL levels. Even some vegetable oils, such as palm oil and coconut oil, contain saturated fat.”
      Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Truth-about-fats.shtml
      So its true that not all saturated fats are as bad as others but the ones in the foods you mentioned are actually the worst. Also, as a dedicated vegan, I think Katie’s take on animal products and her own personal health is clear, but I’ve never read a post from her that was anything but respectful of the fact that other peoples nutritional choices are their own, and also that indulging once in a while in something “unhealthy” is perfectly fine!

      1. Yes, I know Katie doesn’t think refined sugars and flours are healthy either, and I think she is an awesome blogger and I respect her opinions! Saturated fat in moderation is good for you. The human body cannot survive on any one food group alone. Too much protein is a bad idea, too many carbs is bad, and so is too much fat. However, today’s society makes it seem like saturated fat is the bad guy and lots of people try to cut it out of their diets completely! I urge you to read this about saturated fat- it really changed my view on fat!
        I completely respect vegans and vegetarians (my close friend is a vegetarian) and Katie is one of my favorite bloggers in the blogging world! I also think it’s important to let people know the truth (if there is such a thing as truth in today’s culture) about animal products and if others don’t agree with me I’m perfectly fine with that!

        1. Caroline says:

          Olivia, I don’t feel like starting an argument, but just to give people more than one source of information on which to base their opinions of the truth 🙂 http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/what-should-you-eat/
          (People might also be interested in checking out Plant Positive/FOK/etc., but I just wanted to provide a source which seems less biased.)

      2. shalom says:

        Saturated fat DOES NOT increase LDL. Since I got diabetes (due to the low fat diet laden with chemicals, hidden sugars, and starches) my cholesterol has lowered. I no longer eat the dangerous and toxic canola oil and avoid other polyunsaturated fats as much as possible. I now eat more fat, almost exclusively saturated fats from animals and coconut oil. I have also lost weight while eating more fat than I did before. I control my diabetes with diet and have done a lot of study to help me find the right foods to control my blood sugar. My last A1C said I am now in the pre-diabetic range (it was 215). Though my goal wasn’t to lower my cholesterol, my low carb high fat diet did have the effect of lowering it. New studies show that inflammation, not cholesterol, is the cause of heart disease. Several months ago a heart surgeon publicly confirmed it. There are people who have low cholesterol yet they had heart attacks due to inflammation. Polyunsaturated fat and the low fat diet are among the causes of inflammation. BTW, the man who created the low fat diet stated that it is a bad diet and that they have always known it was bad.

    3. Okay, I reread my original comment and realized how mean and harsh it sounded. Trust me, that was not my intention at all! My only motive was to clear saturated fats’ bad name. I apologize to anyone who might’ve been offended by this or thought I was only commenting to start an argument. As a part of the Paleo/Primal community, I get a little… *upset* whenever saturated fat is degraded. I’m very sorry if I came across as disrespectful.

    4. Debbie says:

      This blogger is vegan…seriously, come on! What did you expect? Respect her views please. You came to HER site, remember?

      1. I do respect her views! I know she is vegan and think her recipes are super creative and amazing.

    5. michelle says:

      i didnt think she was making meat out to be bad. more like the whole idea of that casserole is unhealthy. because it is….

  2. Jaime says:

    Ew that casserole sounds terrible.

    Unhealthy foods? Deep-fried twinkies/Oreos/bacon (seriously, eww)/what have you.

    Wendy’s Baconator as you said.

    Any of the “Fat Sandwiches” from Grease Trucks (in New Jersey, by the Rutger’s New Brunswick campus)

  3. They look so fluffy. We don’t have twinkies here in the UK, not that I’ve seen. Always wondered what they were.

  4. Trajayjay says:

    Usually I think of commercial frosting=refined sugar + trans fat = automatically, the worst food one could consume for unhealthy. Also, Bisquick baking mix=refined carbs+transfat+high in sodium=also awful for you.

    I’ve always been scared to try twinkies, I’d feel like I were inhaling a new drug developed in a lab. I will have to try these fresh baked ones though. I have all the ingredients.

    But I also know that some foods do unfairly get a bad rap, and some people call potatoes the worst thing for your health, some say that it’s even worse than pure sugar, if you are trying to watch your weight. This is simply untrue, and Katie, I would appreciate it if you could make a post straightening this mess out, like you did with bananas, thanks.

  5. A. Cook says:

    These look awesome! I can’t wait to make them for my husband, a lifelong fan of the Hostess version.
    Sometimes I am truly appalled by the things that people consider acceptable to eat. I’m all for occasional indulgence but a “meal” like the one you described (ground beef, bacon, tater tots, etc.) seems like it’s going for shock value just for the sake of doing so.

    1. Maggie says:

      Agreed! So many foods seem to exist solely to top other disgusting foods and shock people. Gross from a health standpoint, and when you think about the fact that some people are starving while others treat food like a joke or a dare.

  6. Ronn says:

    Katie, I used to work at the cheesecake factory and its disgusting how unhealthy their desserts are! How can someone create a piece of cheesecake with over 1400 calories and close to 200% the daily recommended fat intake? The nutritional information of their desserts is insane.

  7. I love this! Now to find canoe wells so I can make them… Also, for a more traditional twinkie flavor you can use 1 box yellow cake mix plus one box french vanilla pudding, mix together and bake according to box directions, then fill with a mixture of fluff, butter, and powdered sugar. It’s less natural, but it starves off a craving if you are missing the real thing. Glad to have the healthy alternative though!

  8. Melissa says:

    Hi Katie! Can you try to make a healthy version of the Speculoos/Cookie Butter spread? Have you tried that stuff? It’s amazing! And I want to be able to eat it guilt free! Thanks!

    1. Olivia@ OmNom Love says:

      I support this 100%! I’ve never been able to try the cookie butter because it contains gluten. 🙁 If you could make a gluten free and healthier version that would be fabulous! 😀

  9. Tina says:

    Hi Katie! I would LOVE to make these for my hubby tonight (I am slowly winning him over to CCK desserts! He isn’t a big fan of healthy, but so far there has been not one thing I have made for him from your site that he has not loved, and asked me to make again!) anyway, I have almonds or walnuts, but no cashews. 🙁 would it taste totally wrong if I were to sub almonds or walnuts for the cashews? I know almonds have a pretty powerful taste and don’t want to ruin my track record with great CCK desserts!

  10. Shannon says:

    There is also some type of “casserole” on Pinterest that has DORITOS as an ingredient! Just ’cause you can eat something doesn’t mean it’s food LOL

    1. Maya says:

      There’s also recipes for crockpot dishes that call for Coke/Sprite/etc.! Pretty crazy.

  11. It’s like you read my mind sometimes Katie 😉 I was seriously just thinking about Twinkies the other day. I’ve never eaten one personally, but I was curious to see what homemade recipes involved. Most of them included ingredients that most people wouldn’t have on hand on a regular basis– like marshmallow creme, condensed milk, etc. I love how I can always count on having all of the ingredients in my cupboard for yours!

  12. Kaira says:

    We usually eat very healthfully and don’t like the really sugary things. One time my Daddy said we should try a Twinkie sometime, for the cultural experience! Maybe I could make these.

  13. Rebeka says:

    When I look at pinterest it makes me realize why America is so overweight, almost all of the recipes are really unhealthy. Crazy. How do people think it’s ok to eat things like that??

    Also, the most unhealthy thing I can think of is that “sandwich” from KFC, where the “buns” are made out of fried chicken and the filling is just bacon and cheese.

    1. Holly says:

      That sandwich though… mm protein!

  14. Lisa says:

    I feel like I missed out on a lot of childhood unhealthy classics considering I haven’t tried so many things. I guess that’s what being a picky eater does to you. I’ve never tried a twinkie, or a ho-ho or any of those things!

  15. Nicole Ross says:

    Ahh I’m so glad you posted this recipe!!! I remember last year when we were talking on Twitter about you trying this out! Haha 🙂

  16. Jenni says:

    That casserole sounds like a death sentence. Don’t even try to veganize that one. It’ll be an empty baking dish. Haha!

    1. That casserole is definitely not a death sentence. I agree that vegetables are really important, but meat has it’s place too. I eat lots of saturated fat and haven’t died yet! In fact, I’m really healthy!

      1. Caroline says:

        Sadly, the animals that suffered and died for your meal can’t say the same. But that was their purpose, right?

        1. Anon says:

          Ah, nothing like hatred from a group of people who claim to love God’s creation with all their hearts … hypocrites <3

          1. another anon says:

            Um how exactly is it “hatred” when she’s simply stating a fact?

          2. gloria estefan says:

            people, people… enhance your calm.

          3. monica says:

            gloria estefan????

          4. Anonymous vegan says:

            I think it is only your guilty conscience that is making her simple factual statement sound like ‘hatred’ to you. Unless you are one of those people who thinks someone who just says “hello” is ‘creepy’, that someone who merely eats a healthy meal in front of you is ‘preachy’, etc.
            Meat industry … killing the planet <3 horribly cruel <3

        2. Katherine says:

          Caroline, it’s sad that you and most vegans can only think of the suffering of animals and not the immigrant farmers who suffer while picking your vegetables under unethical practices and for almost no money. The double standards of vegans…

      2. Camille says:

        I agree that meat has its place. some people need that type of protein…some more than others. there are many expressions of life out there, and yes, that includes cooking animals for food (it doesn’t mean they should be treated wrongly though…). even fruits and veggies have life in them. I think you have to choose what’s right for you really. even junk food has its place…I think really it’s more about the intention of what you’re eating and how much is right for you, etc…

      3. Carrie says:

        I have only read the twinkie recipe. But I feel the need to put my 2 cents in.

        To those of you who stay away from meat – unless you are taking daily B12 & zinc supplements – red meat is the only natural way to get enough of both micronutrients. Just because someone buys meat doesn’t mean that it is derived from CAFOs. There are organic meats and truly natural meats that are certified humanly raised & not given antibiotics or grain. You can also purchase beef locally. Whether or not you consume the animal, it is going to die. Banning hunting/raising equals overpopulation.

        You can kindly disagree w/ a recipe w/o attacking someone’s dietary choices.

        Anyone who is vegan cannot tell me our ancestors ate only plants & was able to obtain adequate amounts of B12 & zinc. Supplements are not ancient.

        1. Lisa says:

          AMEN! You can choose your own diet but don’t preach to anyone else what they “should” be eating. We all have choices to make in our lives that we don’t need other’s to speak on. I’m sure that there are things that a vegan chooses to do that would turn my stomach but good manners prevent me from lecturing to them. Why do they think that other’s care of their opinions? Keep it to yourself.

  17. I hadn’t even heard of Twinkies until recently but I have now learned they seem to be a staple US sweet! These look adorable and remind me of jam rolls that they make in England – rolled up cakes stuffed with jam, or cream, or both. So I guess you could easily use this recipe and use jam as the filling instead! They look adorable. You’re so good at making small finicky things look pretty, I would just make a mess!

  18. What the heck is a canoe pan? Never heard of it! Maybe I can try this with my trusty old madeline pan instead and call them ‘les twinkies’. PS I am a cancer dietitian and health educator with a major cancer support charity, and we certainly emphasise a plant-centred diet, as research supports it. We don’t push vegetarian or vegan diets but do try and encourage people to eat more colourful and seasonal plant foods. But portion-minded treats such as those that Katie blogs, are a joy

    1. RDP says:

      ah-HA — reading through all the replies looking to see if anyone has spotted the Canoe Pan…. Thank you Kelly!
      Yes… what in the heck is a canoe pan?.
      Well, I guess I’ve figured it out by now, that a) they exist and b) they’re for making twinkie-shaped rolls-to-fill (even come with the contraption to do that part!)
      Off to Amazon.com I go…!!
      Cheers Katie. I think I’ll make them chocolate with chocolate cashew-
      cream…

      1. Now you’re talking! I love using cashew cream and have recently experimented with dessert gyozas stuffed with it and blueberries, among other things. Always great easy ideas here. Thanks Katie.

  19. Heidi says:

    Could you make these in a muffin pan and pipe the cream inside? If so, do I need to change the baking time? I so want to make these but not the idea of making 8 tin foil canoe boats.

    1. Trajayjay says:

      Actually, I did do this recipe in a muffin tin, because I didn’t feel like forming aluminum canoes. It turned out quite nicely. Place about 2-3 Tbsp of batter in each well.

  20. Samantha says:

    Ha! I TOTALLY did a vegan tater tot casserole. Probably still not crazy healthy, but not bad.
    http://thequiltingdoberman.blogspot.com/2013/01/tater-tot-casserole.html
    At least there were veggies. It is kind of funny but I have a limited memory of ho-hos and twinkies and I didn’t like them. But of course I want to try these.

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