Every week on the Good Food Blog we celebrate Meatless Monday by sharing a vegetarian recipe from our archives.

Jennifer McCann is the author of  The Vegan Lunchbox, which is based on her award-winning blog, VeganLunchBox.com.  In her cookbook, she provides well-balanced vegan menus that are easy, quick and irresistible to kids.  She also offers tips on the fruits and veggies that the pickiest kids will eat, product recommendations (to order the bento-style lunchboxes Jennifer mentions in this show, go to LaptopLunches.com), and an allergen-free index to suit any family’s dietary needs. She first shared this recipe for Vegan Twinkies on January 13, 2007.

Keep reading for the full recipe…

Vegan Twinkies
Makes 16 Twinkies

For this recipe, you’ll need the Hostess Twinkies Bake Set, complete with baking pan, icing injector, spatula, and cowboy-style Twinkies container. If you can’t find an actual Hostess set, do a Google search for “cream canoe baking set” and you’ll find many brands to choose from.

Preheat oven to 350º and make the batter:

1 T apple cider vinegar
1 ½ scant cups plain soymilk
2 1/8 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 1/8 cups sugar
½ cup oil
1 ¼ tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. coconut extract

Place the apple cider vinegar in the bottom of a liquid measuring cup and fill the cup with soymilk to equal 1 ½ cups. Stir well and set aside (the mixture will curdle).

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another mixing bowl whisk together the soymilk mixture, canola oil, vanilla, and coconut extract. Add the wet to the dry ingredients and beat until smooth using a hand-held mixer, stopping once to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

Spray the baking pan with nonstick spray and fill the cups just under halfway full (about 1/4 cup). Bake for 15 minutes, or until a cake tester or toothpick comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn them out (running a thin plastic spatula along the sides helps release the cakes) and set them on a wire rack. Let them cool completely before filling.

Make the cream filling:

1/4 cup non-hydrogenated shortening
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 T barley malt powder (gives the filling a sweet, marshmallowy taste; not to be confused with malted milk powder)

Beat together the shortening and margarine with a handheld beater or stand mixer. Add the powdered sugar and beat until completely light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and malt powder and beat for another 2 minutes.

Fill the icing injector and poke and squeeze out about one tablespoon into three locations in the underside of each cake.

This will make about 16 Vegan Twinkies with cream filling, but do us adults a favor and fill some with puréed organic strawberry jam instead. Or dip them in chocolate icing and make Australian Lamingtons.

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