“Make your own Twinkies” and other secret recipes by the Food Cloner Dude.

by Paul Michael on 10 June 2008 7 comments

Todd Wilbur is a name you may well have heard before. For lack of a better word, he’s a copycat…and a cool one at that. From homemade Twinkies to homecooked Big Macs, Todd can recreate just about anything from your favorite American restaurant chain. Now you can learn how to make some of those famous meals and snacks and save a bundle.

Todd Wilbur works in his secret laboratory week after week, ordering food from the big restaurant chains and dissecting each one with painstaking accuracy. For Todd, it’s fun, it’s challenging and it’s a whole lot more enjoyable than his previous job as a TV reporter, which he quit in 1991 to go full time with his recipe cloning.

For Todd, the career grew out of a moment of disappointment. In the late 80’s, he received a “secret recipe” for Mrs. Fields’ Cookies…and after trying it out, he realized that it was a poor comparison to the original. Surely he could do better. This, from Todd’s website :

In Orange County, California in the late 80's Todd received a copy of the notorious Mrs. Fields Cookie Recipe Chain Letter that had been making rounds across the nation. Trying the recipe led to disappointment. This was certainly no "secret formula." The results tasted nothing like a delicious Mrs. Fields chocolate chip cookie!

"Fake! Phony!" he cried. And then he wondered, "Just who are the goofballs passing this off as an authentic secret formula and how is it that such a bad knockoff recipe becomes so crazy popular?"

Todd had an idea. Since he had way too much free time on his hands, he got to work on a recipe for a cookie that had the flavor, texture and appearance of a real Mrs. Fields cookie. How hard could it be? Batch after batch the clones came closer to the real thing, until one day, it happened. The cookies came out chewy and delicious, with crispy edges and that strong vanilla aroma. Bingo! The first Top Secret Recipe was born.

Now, Todd Wilbur has a successful business and has published several books. He also has a constantly updated website full of his latest, greatest recreations. Now, enough of the history lesson…lets go to the man at work with 5 great recipe clones. And we start with one of America’s favorite sweet treats…the Twinkie.

Cloned Twinkie

 

Copy Cat Big Mac

 

Macaroni Grill Penne Rustica

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Chili’s Molten Chocolate Cake

 

Planet Hollywood Chicken Crunch

If you'd like to become a serious recipe cloner, Todd has two great books available. Both are available from trusted seller Amazon and for the price of around $10 you can learn how to make hundreds of famous recipes in your very own kitchen. Now, eating out could still be something you do at home...but you will have to do your own dishes I'm afraid.

TSR

Top Secret Restaurant Recipes: Creating Kitchen Clones from America's Favorite Restaurant Chains

 

TSR2

Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 2: More Amazing Clones of Famous Dishes from America's Favorite Restaurant Chains

Additional photo credit: Amazon
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Guest's picture

Great post! I stopped indulging in Twinkies b/c they're chock full of preservatives. I assume this "secret recipe" leaves those out. I can't wait to try it. Thanks!

Guest's picture
Alli

Another gal does this, only her ultimate goal is to make them healthier. She's done everything from the BK Whopper to Starbucks Frappuccinos. Check out Hungry-girl.com.

Paul Michael's picture

are definitely better for you in some cases, but his Twinkie filling does use Marshmallow Fluff...and that's surely got preservatives of its own. I think it's more a case of making a huge batch of fresh Twinkies for a few bucks, but the ingredients list will still contain some off-the-shelf packaged goods.

Guest's picture
Lucille

I love his books, I have 3 of them at least. I initially bought them to try to wean everyone off of the expensive chain restaurant habit (it did). So they saved us a ton of money.

Not having all the nasty preservatives is a huge bonus. Many of the recipes have notes on how to make them healthier with substitutions. Some of the recipes that call for things like boxed cake mix, if you do an internet search you can frequently find a recipe for a from scratch cake mix.

There are a bunch of other recipe sites that have copy cat recipes, the quality of those had gotten better over the years too.

Guest's picture
Guest

I think you need to look into the preservative issue before writing off twinkies. When you buy them at the store you'll notice an expiration date on the box that is relatively close to the purchase date, because they are baked fresh and will not last forever. I have a child who is severely allergic to nuts and peanuts and twinkies are of the few convenience baked goods she can have. I bought them for her school treat box thinking they would last a while when one of the moms in her class told me that they don't last very long and in fact rot cream filling first. This info was also posted on the allergy message board by another mom, but I never called hostess to find out for sure....

Myscha Theriault's picture

I have that somewhere, either in storage or the bottom of the salvaged flood items from the book shelf.

Either way, it's slammin'! And right on with the flavor match up.  

 

Guest's picture
LouisM

I love this guy's recipes. However he seems strangely energetic. Like someone who's been using meth. I'm not saying he is, but that's just weird.