Who Needs Hostess?

From the time my kids were little, Hostess products were a very rare treat mostly given by their Grandpa Steve. He would give my kids “Twinkie” money every time he would see them. After he passed away, this tradition died with him, however the love of Hostess didn’t. I didn’t buy Twinkies because by that time I had six children and anything prepackaged was too expensive and not to mention usually unhealthy. I assumed the youngest kids who didn’t experience this tradition would have no idea about Hostessy goodness. So… it was a surprise when my youngest son, Tater, requested Twinkies for his birthday party.

PROBLEM: Hostess went out of business.

But I love my kids and want them to have their desires for their special day. This didn’t seem like such a hard request. I had remembered making homemade Twinkies in the past, but that was BEFORE we went gluten free. The gluten free started with me, and now Princess and Tater both now know they should be gluten free as well. So we pretty much have a gluten, dairy and soy free house. (Dairy and Soy because of Smarty Pants… the youngest girl.)

The Challenge: To create a gluten free Twinkie. BRING IT!

Started with a Betty Crocker gluten free yellow cake mix and a recipe from Gluten Free Canteen that I found during a search for gluten free twinkies. Thank you Gluten Free Canteen. And thank you Betty Crocker. I am all about NOT reinventing the wheel. Didn’t have the special pan, so I just used regular cupcake pans with cupcake liners. One day, if Twinkies become a highly prized treat I may purchase a canoe pan. Maybe. Or maybe I’ll just start a new trend.

Followed the recipe pretty closely except used butter for everything instead of shortening because Smarty Pants can’t have that. After making the filling, I didn’t torture the Twinkies like the author said, but just put the filling in a frosting tube, poked the tube through the cupcake liners, and squeezed the filling in the cupcake until I felt a little burp in the top of the cupcake. Yep… that’s how I would describe it. It feels like a burp.


So the bottom of the cupcake liner has a little hole in it, but nobody looks at the bottom, right? And… if you overfill them and they accidentally pop open at the top a little, it just looks a little homemade and artful really. It’s all good.

And do they pass? Yes! They are Tater, Smarty Pants, and party guest approved.

BUT WAIT! I didn’t stop there. What about all the chocolate lovers out there? You know, the ones that would rather have a Ding Dong or a Hostess Cupcake? I had them covered.  I used the same concept, baked Betty Crocker gluten free chocolate cupcakes, cooled them and filled them with cream filling… until they burped. 😉 Then, I dipped their tops in Wilson chocolate melty buttons and piped the top after they cooled with homemade butter cream frosting. (Unfortunately these are NOT suitable for Smarty Pants because the cake mix contains Soy. Bummer.)


I can’t decide which one I love more.

Enjoy the Dance ;D

Rebecca Rèe


6 thoughts on “Who Needs Hostess?

  1. I genuinely enjoyed reading this. 🙂 We aren’t gluten free, but I can relate to trying to fulfill a child’s birthday treat request on a budget. When my daughter turned 2, she was obsessed with Elmo. Even at that young age, she wanted an Elmo cake. Buying a specialty cake like that was waaaaay out of our budget., so I looked up designs online and made my first attempt at decorating a child’s birthday cake. She was thrilled, we only spent a few bucks on her cake and cupcakes with her beloved Elmo theme, and everyone was impressed with my craftiness. Happy Birthday all around! 😉

    • Yep. It’s amazing how good you can get after a few years. I have made dragons, Sponge Bob, horses, Raggedy Ann and Andy, tier cakes… and the list goes on. We always find creative ways to make our kids happy, and you know what? They are better off for it. Ya, as teenagers they gripe and complain that they don’t have the latest whatever, but they really don’t want it. Keeping things simple helps kids focus on the things that are most important… family, education, building relationships that will last a lifetime. Not having money makes the best memories. 😀

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