Deep-fried Twinkies® are battered Twinkies® that have been skewered and deep-fried. While regular Twinkies® are soft snack cakes with creamy white fillings, deep-fried versions look like crispy-shelled beignets with pudding-like middles. These snacks are frequently served with powdered sugar or a berry sauce and are increasingly common at state and county fairs in the United States. Brooklyn restaurateur Christopher Sell is generally credited with inventing deep-fried Twinkies® in 2001. These sweets are very high in calories, calories from fat, and sugars.
Although the Twinkie® was first sold in 1930, Christopher Sell is credited with accidentally creating the deep-fried version in 2001 while experimenting with his restaurant’s industrial deep fryer. Sell, originally from England, was the owner of a fish-and-chips restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. He had been offering fried candy bars, a culinary tradition in the United Kingdom, and decided to try frying a Twinkie®. He was so pleased with the results that he began offering deep-fried Twinkies® too. After an article appeared in the New York Times in May 2002 about his discovery, the dessert spread across the country.
A basic deep-fried Twinkie® is made by first dusting the snack cake in flour and then skewering it with a popsicle stick. Next the Twinkie® is dipped in a simple batter of flour and water and fried until golden brown and crispy. It takes approximately three or four minutes depending on the oil temperature. The Twinkie® often has to be held under the oil with a utensil because of its tendency to float. At Sell’s restaurant, deep-fried Twinkies® are served with powdered sugar and a tart red berry sauce.
This snack is typically eaten like a corn dog, although it can also be served sliced on a plate. A deep-fried Twinkie® has a crispy outer shell. The frying process causes the spongy golden snack cake to take on a buttery texture. The creamy vanilla filling melts into the surrounding cake.
Fried foods like funnel cakes are a staple of fair fare. Visitors to state and county fairs throughout the United States are likely to be offered deep-fried Twinkies® by the vendors there. The company that makes Twinkies®, Interstate Bakeries, promotes the deep-fried version to vendors as a way to increase sales.
As is the case with many fried foods, deep-fried Twinkies® are not particularly healthy. One deep-fried snack cake contains approximately 361 calories, with 252 of those from fat. It is also a significant source of carbohydrates, including 14 grams of sugar per fried cake.
Deep-frying desserts like candy bars as well as other foods such as pizza is believed to have originated in fish-and-chip shops in Scotland and other parts of the United Kingdom. What likely originally began as a novelty was popularized by mass media. The resulting popularity of eating fried snacks and desserts has caused some concern about adverse effects on people’s health.