What Are The Creamy Centers Of Twinkies Made Of?

Twinkies have been sent into space and deep fried, toasted over campfires, baked into cupcakes, and have made plenty of cameos in movies as a famous snack. But what is exactly inside of these chewy, crumbly treats?

When Twinkies were originally produced, that creamy filling we've come to associate with the handheld golden cakes wasn't the white-colored cream we know today. A banana filling first made up the center of the original treats, and advertisements boasted the sweet mixture of sugar, shortening, milk, and bananas to hungry eaters eager to bite into the finger-sized snacks.

Fast forward to today, when Twinkies serve up ingredients Whole Foods refuses to stock. Whether you prefer to break Twinkies in half to lick the white filling separately from the cake's exterior or simply want to shove the entire snack into your mouth at once, we're here to clear up any confusion so the next time you chow down on a Twinkie, you know exactly what you're getting yourself into.

When food is not what is seems

By now, most consumers recognize that Twinkies aren't homemade cakes made with natural, organic, or unprocessed ingredients. Bleached flour, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors and colors, and chemical preservatives help give Twinkies their texture and taste. And while the exact ingredient list has largely remained a secret, scientists have been able to pinpoint what makes up the creamy filling of the insides of these sugary treats. 

Twinkies' white filling isn't made up of cream but a sugar and vegetable shortening mix that has been blended with corn syrup, water, salt, and cellulose gum. The cellulose gum keeps the cream moist, shiny, and slippery long after the cake has been packaged. Cellulose gum doesn't impact the nutritional profile of food products in any way (nor does the ingredient add any health benefit), but it does help build a thicker texture. Without the addition of cellulose gum, the creamy inside of a Twinkie would end up looking like a disappointing streak of white liquid instead of the middle that has helped make the Hostess snack iconic.