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What Are Deep-Fried Twinkies®?

C. K. Lanz
C. K. Lanz

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.

Twinkies® were first placed in a deep fryer in 2001.
Twinkies® were first placed in a deep fryer in 2001.

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.

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Discussion Comments


I split one with my husband at the fair. Yuck. We both wish we had gotten a funnel cake instead, although he liked it better than I did. I just wasn't impressed.

We had seen these featured on some food shows and decided to try them, just to see what they were like. I wasn't a fan. I think I'd like the deep fried Snickers bar, though. That sounds better, although I know they're incredibly rich. Probably best to split it among three people so no one makes themselves sick. I’ll never try a deep fried Twinkie again, that’s for sure!


I'm not averse to fried food, but a fried Twinkie just seems like overkill on so many levels!

I got something called fried cookie dough at a restaurant. It was cookie dough rolled in an egg roll wrapper and then deep fried. They served it with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce. That was delicious, but it was the one sweet thing. With a Twinkie, you've got the cake and the obnoxious cream filling. It’s just not appetizing to me. Makes my teeth hurt to think about eating a Twinkie in its original state, let alone a deep fried version! Ick.

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    • Twinkies® were first placed in a deep fryer in 2001.
      By: Bombaert Patrick
      Twinkies® were first placed in a deep fryer in 2001.