Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes

Recipe by MaryJane Robbins

Remember those golden vanilla snack cakes from when you were a kid? Soft, springy and full of rich creamy white filling. Well, these snack cakes will bring you right back to Saturday morning cartoons and school lunch boxes, without the chemical additives. These cakes won't last through a nuclear winter like the urban legend says, they are so good they will disappear in a twink of the eye!

To make these cakes into cupcakes, complete with a colorful sugar garnish, follow our step-by-step photos for Twinkling Good Cupcakes.

20 mins
10 to 13 mins
30 mins
12-15 filled cakes OR about 24 filled cupcakes
Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes - select to zoom
Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes - select to zoom
Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes - select to zoom


Prevent your screen from going dark as you follow along.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spritz a filled cake pan (aka canoe panel pan) with a light layer of cooking spray. Set aside.

  2. To make the snack cakes: Place all ingredients except beaten egg whites into a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth.

  3. Working in thirds, fold the beaten egg whites into the batter. Take care to keep the batter light; fold, don't beat.

  4. Fill each section of the snack cake pan 2/3 full. The cakes will puff quite a bit during baking, but will shrink back during cooling. Bake the cakes in a preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown.

  5. Remove the pan from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Using a flexible spatula, gentle remove each cake and cool flat side down on a rack until completely cool. In the meantime, prepare the snack cake filling.

  6. In a small saucepan cook flour and milk over medium heat until a paste forms. Stir constantly and do not allow mixture to brown. Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute. Add vanilla and stir until smooth. Press a piece of plastic wrap down on the surface of the paste to avoid forming a skin and set aside to cool completely.

  7. In the bowl of your mixer beat butter, shortening, and sugar until fluffy, scraping bowl to fully incorporate ingredients. Add cooled flour/milk mixture and continue to beat 5 minutes on medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Use to fill snack cakes or cupcakes. Filling will remain creamy; store at room temperature 3-4 days.

  8. To fill snack cakes: Place about 1 cup of filling into a clean pastry bag fitted with a round pastry tube, or use filling tool included with snack cake (cream canoe) pan. Gently insert the tube into the underside of the cake, about halfway through the cake. Using gentle pressure, squeeze a small amount of filling into the cake. You'll feel the cake expand under your fingers. Do not overfill, or the cake will burst. Repeat for a total of 3 times per cake. Store cakes well covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Tips from our Bakers

  • To make snack cakes as cupcakes, prepare cupcake pans with cooking spray. Baking time will increase to 15-18 minutes. Cool and fill as directed.
  • For Banana Split Snack Cakes, add 3/4 to 1 teaspoon banana flavoring to taste. Prepare the batter and bake as directed. Fill one section of the cake with chocolate icing, one section with strawberry jam, and one section with vanilla filling, or pineapple dessert topping. True banana split taste in a handy portable snack cake. Grab one and split!

  • For that signature snack cake taste, replace the vanilla extract in the cake batter with 1 teaspoon Princess Cake & Cookie Bakery Emulsion, a flavor widely available for purchase online.