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Our healthier, low-carb Twinkie recipe is a dessert lovers dream

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Want to upgrade your lunchbox dessert? Craving a sweet treat that won’t put you into a diabetic coma? Here’s a healthier, low-carb Twinkie recipe that leaves behind the cheap plastic wrapper for a sophisticated twist on a classic packaged treat. It’s super vanilla-y and lightly sweet with a hint of cool orange citrus.

True, creating a dreamy dessert like this takes a bit of time and pastry technique. But even the most kitchen-challenged can do it, and the results are worth it. 

This recipe features “approachable” ingredients, not chemicals and extracts —  just regular wholesome ingredients that come together to make something a little unexpected yet altogether familiar.

Shape is important for a true Twinkie, of course, and for this, you need a canoe pan. A mini-loaf pan works just as well; it just won’t yield the traditional Twinkie shape. In any case, a small, portable, handheld treat is the goal. 

To fill the Twinkies with that signature cream, use a cake decorating toolbasically a pastry injector for icings. A regular piping bag with a medium round tip can get the job done, too.

MORE: Keto coffee cake is the guilt-free breakfast you need

Now that you have the equipment, strap on an apron. It’s baking time.

 For the low-carb Twinkies, you’ll need: 

  • Eggs
  • Cream of tartar
  • Vanilla bean paste
  • Orange zest
  • Almond milk (or whatever milk you prefer)
  • Greek yogurt
  • Swerve Confectioners Sweetener [or sugar/sweetener of choice]
  • Almond flour
  • Baking powder
  • Salt

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Fluffy egg whites provide the light, spongy texture synonymous with a Twinkie. Tip: Room-temperature egg whites whip up quicker and fluffier. Vanilla bean paste is an amazing alternative to traditional vanilla extract. It adds those tiny dots of vanilla seed to recipes. I love the zest of any citrus in the cake for a Creamsicle twist on this recipe.

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Sifting the dry ingredients is a crucial step. Almond flour has a tendency to clump; sifting keeps the batter light and airy. Properly folding those egg whites in with all the ingredients ensures you keep the air and texture in the cakes. Once the batter is made, it’s important to grease the pan very well. Once cooled slightly, the cakes should slide out in perfect little ovals.

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The filling is just a few simple ingredients:

  • Heavy cream
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Swerve Confectioners Sweetener
  • Cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • A bit of orange juice (optional if you’re doing strict keto)

 When combining the whipped cream and cream cheese, I like to leave the filling a little marbled. So, don’t worry about combining both completely.

MORE: This keto custard dessert recipe tastes just like chocolate cheesecake

Filling the cakes is downright fun. Traditional Twinkies have three small holes on the bottom, which is how they get the filling in there and how you will, too. Using a toothpick, gently create wells for the filling by making three small holes across the bottom of the cake. Carefully connect the wells through the center of the cake using the toothpick. Grab the icing tool or pastry bag and fill up the wells. You might have a few casualties in the beginning (my first few attempts resulted in filling exploding out the other side — a big but tasty mess!), but once you get the filling process dialed in, you’ll have perfect homemade Twinkie.

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These low-carb Twinkies are pretty satisfying on the regular, but they work for special occasions, too. Try serving them with fresh berries on the side and a dusting of sweetener.

Low-Carb Creamsicle Twinkies

Yield 16 cakes

Ingredients

For cakes:

  • 6 egg whites (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons almond milk (or milk of your choosing)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 cups Swerve Confectioners Sweetener (or sugar/sweetener of choice)
  • 1-1/2 cups almond flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

For filling:

  • 1 cup heavy cream (chilled)
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon Swerve Confectioners Sweetener
  • 1 package cream cheese (softened to room temperature)
  • Juice of 1 large orange
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Confectioners Sweetener

Instructions

For the cakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F.
  2. Using a stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl, mix egg yolks, vanilla bean paste, orange zest, almond milk, Greek yogurt and sweetener until well combined.
  4. Sift almond flour, baking powder and salt into separate bowl.
  5. Combine wet mixture with dry ingredients.
  6. Fold in egg whites.
  7. Coat baking pan (canoe or mini loaf pan) with cooking spray.
  8. Fill each section of pan 3/4 full.
  9. Bake for 20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Finished cakes should be light golden brown.
  10. Let cool 20–30 minutes before removing from pan.
  11. Set cakes aside to cool completely.

For filling:

  1. Using stand or hand mixer with whisk attachment, beat heavy cream.
  2. After 3 minutes, add vanilla and sweetener. Continue to beat until stiff peaks form, 6–7 minutes total.
  3. In medium bowl, mix softened cream cheese, orange juice and sweetener until creamy and thoroughly combined.
  4. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture, leaving filling slightly marbled.

To fill cakes:

  1. Fill cake decorating tool (injector) or piping bag with filling.
  2. Across bottom of each cake, create 3 small holes with toothpick. Connect holes through center of cake with toothpick.
  3. Fill each hole gently with filling; avoid overfilling.
  4. Enjoy immediately or store in refrigerator.
  5. Serve extra filling on side.

Notes

  • Swerve Confectioners Sweetener works well in this recipe. Use any sugar alternative of your choosing in the correct ratio as directed. (Swerve measure 1:1 with traditional white sugar).
  • Vanilla Bean Paste adds the little vanilla seeds and vanilla flavor without needing to use whole vanilla beans
  • A Canoe pan can be purchased online, alternatively, a mini-loaf pan can be used
  • Tip: Before beating the heavy cream place the bowl and whisk attachment in the freezer to get extra cold.
  • Fat-free cream cheese can also be used for a lower fat alternative.

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