The store shelves where Hostess displays used to be have been bare for two months as the sale of the snack-cake company inches its way through layers of legalities.

The store shelves where Hostess displays used to be have been bare for two months as the sale of the snack-cake company inches its way through layers of legalities.

Buyers are anxious to take over the name and start producing Twinkies and other snack cakes again, and it's likely that a sale will come soon.

But that's little comfort if you're hankering for a Twinkie now.

Of course, you don't have to wait to have one of those cream-filled, golden spongecakes. Twinkies are pretty easy to make at home, and folks have been doing it for years.

It was one of the first recipes that Todd Wilbur ever cloned.

Wilbur is the author of the Top Secret Recipes cookbook series, in which he takes brand-name foods or chain-restaurant menu items and replicates them for the home cook.

His first book, "Top Secret Recipes," came out in 1993, and the Twinkie clone was in that book.

Since the demise of the Twinkie in November, Wilbur said his website,, has seen a significant increase in traffic from "people looking for a home-brewed way of making a Twinkie."

His recipe calls for a boxed pound-cake mix, which makes it easy to replicate. However, Wilbur, now at work on his 11th Top Secret book, said he may try to make a recipe completely from scratch to include in the new book.

Wilbur's first cloned recipe was Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip cookies. Since then, he's tackled everything from Kentucky Fried Chicken to Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

He always begins by looking at the ingredient list on the side of the box. Twinkies had 37 ingredients, many of which were thickeners or preservatives.

Contrary to popular belief, Twinkies won't last forever. "It looks exactly the same, but it smells terrible. The oils go rancid, and it gets petrified; it turns into a rock," he said.

Wilbur said most folks find that when they make Twinkies from scratch, they enjoy them more than the original.

Akron, Ohio, resident Judith Farrar made her own Twinkies several years ago, when she was looking for a more healthful snack for her kids.

She said they were good, but she didn't continue to make them because her kids preferred her homemade cupcakes and brownies to the cream-filled snack cakes.

"I used a spongecake recipe. I made the filling with butter, cream and powdered sugar and poked holes in the bottom with chopsticks to fill," Farrar recalled.

Cookbook author and food blogger Alana Chernila, in her book "The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying & Start Making" (Crown Publishing, $24.99), offers a completely from-scratch recipe for cream-filled snack cakes. Her recipe is a bit denser than a commercially made Twinkie, but the filling is tasty.

The cakes aren't difficult, and as Chernila notes, making the foil molds for the cakes will take longer than making the batter.

Twinkie-shaped pans, called canoe muffin pans, are available on the Internet or through commercial bakeware stores. One pan will cost about $25.

Most folks who bake the cakes at home make small, foil molds. The process isn't difficult, but it is time-consuming and uses a lot of foil, which is expensive. Simply cut a piece of foil into a 12-by-14-inch rectangle, fold twice and mold around a spice bottle about the size of a Twinkie.

Jennie Naraway of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, made Twinkies for the first time recently, after hearing the news that Hostess was shutting down its operations.

She opted to make them in the shape of whoopie pies because it was easier to bake and fill them that way. Making them in a cupcake pan is another foil-saving option.

Naraway used a recipe from Cleveland chef Michael Symon, demonstrated on his television show "The Chew." (Find the recipe here:

"I did it because I hadn't eaten one since I was a kid. My child had never touched one. Then, after all this, I made them at home," she said.

Naraway said she won't be making them again because they were "too good."

"While Michael Symon's recipe obviously lacks the distinct chemical taste of the original Twinkies, it is still a very high-fat recipe, especially the filling," she said.

Wilbur said he is confident the Twinkie will be back soon, and it will be identical to the one everyone remembers.

"They will be back, without a doubt," he said. "Don't worry. Be patient. In the meantime, make my recipe to hold you over; eat it quickly, though, because it's not the same 37 ingredients," he said.