Are You Sure Your Twinkies Last For A Lifetime?


When you think of foods with a long shelf life, Twinkies are often the first to come to mind. These iconic pastries gained a reputation for longevity over their 92-year lifespan.  The myth of the ever-fresh Twinkies is so popular that it frequently pops up in movies and media. But do Twinkies really last longer than other pre-packaged desserts? 

Join us as we discover the truth behind the long-standing legend of the Twinkie. 

Let’s get going!

What’s the Story Behind Twinkies?

A bakery manager named Jimmy Dewer invented Twinkies in 1930. He chose the distinctive name after noticing a billboard for Twinkle Toe Shoes on his way to a pitch meeting. 

Dewer worked for the Continental Baking Company, which eventually became known as Hostess Brands. Over time, these cakes became one of the company’s most beloved products.

When Jimmy Dewer pitched Twinkies in 1930, his original recipe called for a banana-flavored filling. In fact, the first Twinkies did contain banana filling made with real fruit and cream. 

But when World War II began, bananas were rationed and became difficult to purchase. Continental Baking began filling the cakes with vanilla cream instead. The recipe remains unchanged ever since.

Twinkies remain wildly popular almost 100 years after their invention. Nearly 1,200 Twinkies are produced every minute, while people consume more than one million every day. 

These delicious pastries come in specialty flavors beyond the standard vanilla version. And during the holidays, you can find seasonal flavors too!

Who Was Responsible for the Revival of Twinkie the Kid?

Continental Baking decided to retire Twinkie the Kid, the snack cake’s mascot, in 1988. The beloved mascot was a Twinkie in cowboy clothes, including a hat and bandanna. Many consumers were disappointed, but no one was quite as disappointed as Judd Slivka.

Slivka, who was 13 years old at the time, wrote a letter to Continental Baking to protest the Kid’s retirement. The teen even started a petition to save the mascot and gathered nearly 140 signatures. Slivka threatened to boycott the dessert altogether if Twinkie the Kid disappeared.

The company took Slivka’s letter to heart. Continental Baking revived the mascot in 1990 for the 60th anniversary of the Twinkie. They also invited the teen to a VIP Twinkies birthday party at company headquarters.

What Are Twinkies Actually Made of?

The parent company of this famous snack cake keeps its exact recipe a secret. But thanks to nutrition labels and curious food scientists, the basic components of a Twinkie are easy to find. 

Standard ingredients like salt, super-fine sugar, water, corn syrup, and shortening are all involved. Cellulose gum, a thickening agent, is responsible for the dessert’s glossy appearance.

Manufacturers lengthen the shelf life of Twinkies by using artificial butter. This ingredient’s scientific name is diacetyl. It occurs naturally in fermented beverages and rancid fruit juice. Just a drop or two of diacetyl lends a sweet and buttery flavor to many common food items.

Twinkies are baked in industrial custom-sized pans. After cooling completely, the famous cream filling is added through the bottom of each piece. 

Produced in massive quantities, one factory can bake as many as 15,000 cakes at a time. One batch of Twinkie batter weighs 2,000 pounds. Finally, the pastries are wrapped, boxed, and ready to sell.

Do They Really Stay Fresh Forever?

One popular misconception about Twinkies is that they only contain artificial ingredients. Over time, dozens of urban legends about Twinkies resulted from this claim. 

The myth gained further popularity when a science teacher left one of the snack cakes on top of his chalkboard for nearly three decades. The Maine-based teacher claimed that although the pastry did age visibly, it was still safe to eat.

In reality, Twinkies contain many real ingredients, and they don’t stay fresh forever. The official shelf life of a Twinkie is about 25 days. Although they might be safe to eat beyond that point, their texture and flavor begin to diminish.

These popular cakes enjoy a relatively long shelf life thanks to their ingredients. The vanilla filling is shortening-based, which lasts much longer than cream-based filling. 

There are indeed a few artificial ingredients in the pastries, including stabilizers. This helps to boost the desserts’ shelf life even further.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Most Popular

To Top