The Original Copycat Recipes Website

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Nice work. You just found recipes for all your favorite famous foods! Bestselling author and TV Host Todd Wilbur shows you how to easily duplicate the taste of iconic dishes and treats at home. See if Todd hacked your favorites from Panda Express to Tootsie Roll here. New recipes added every week.

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Show: 24
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 7)
    Sara Lee Original Cream Cheesecake

    In 1949 a bakery owner named Charles Lubin pioneered the frozen-foods business when he invented a top-quality cream-cheese cake for sale in supermarkets and restaurants. He named the cheesecake after his daughter, Sara Lee. Though skeptics believed that a frozen baked item could not be sold in large grocery stores, Lubin's cheesecake was such a success that only two years later, in 1951, he opened the Kitchens of Sara Lee and began to add other items to his line. In the early 1950s Lubin introduced the aluminum foil pan, which allowed his products to be baked, quickly frozen, and sold in the same container. Today the Kitchens of Sara Lee produce more than 200 varieties of baked goods. And few people know that this diverse company has also been successful in manufacturing and marketing coffee, meats, and even pantyhose under the Hanes and Liz Claiborne labels.

    Try out more of my famous and fun desserts.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    See's Candies Butterscotch Lollypop

    The first See's Candy shop was opened in Los Angeles in 1921 by Charles A. See. He used his mother's candy recipes, and a picture of her at the age of seventy-one embellished every black-and-white box of chocolates. Mary See died in 1939 at the age of eighty-five, but her picture went on to become a symbol of quality and continuity. See's manufacturing plants are still located in California, but because the company will ship anywhere in the United States, See's has become a known and respected old-fashioned-style chocolatier all across the country.

    In an age of automation, many companies that manufacture chocolate have resorted to automated enrobing machines to coat their chocolates. But See's workers still hand-dip much of their candy. 

    One of the company's most popular sweets isn't dipped at all. It's a hard, rectangular lollipop that comes in chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch flavors. The latter, which tastes like caramel, is the most popular flavor of the three, and this recipe will enable you to clone the original, invented more than fifty years ago.

    You will need twelve shot glasses, espresso cups, or sake cups for molds, twelve lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks as well as the listed See's Candy butterscotch lollipop ingredients.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

     

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Twin Dragon Almond Cookies

    According to Main On Foods, the manufacturer and distributor of Twin Dragon Almond Cookies, the original recipe was brought to this country in 1951 by a Chinese baker who owned a small corner shop in downtown Los Angeles. That retail bakery is gone now, but its most popular product, the world's best-tasting almond cookie, is still selling.

    Find more famous cookie copycat recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    Smith Family Turkey Chili

    The Smith Family has a secret recipe. Those in the family (the girls) who know the delicious top secret turkey chili recipe refuse to share it with other family members (one guy in particular). Can I crack the secret formula and figure out the recipe for this desperate, hungry sibling? Find out how close I get with this hack on The Steve Harvey Show. Watch the video. Then make the recipe for yourself.

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  • Score: 4.85 (votes: 26)
    Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese

    What is it about Stouffer's Macaroni & Cheese that makes it the number one choice for true mac & cheese maniacs? It's probably the simple recipe that includes wholesome ingredients like skim milk and real Cheddar cheese, without any preservatives or unpronounceable chemicals. The basic Stouffer's Mac and Cheese ingredients are great for kitchen cloners who want an easy fix that doesn't require much shopping.  I found the recipe to work best as an exact duplicate of the actual product: a frozen dish that you heat up later in the oven. This way you'll get slightly browned macaroni & cheese that looks like it posed for the nicely lit photo on the Stouffer's box. Since you'll only need about 3/4 cup of uncooked elbow macaroni for each recipe, you can make several 4-person servings with just one 16-ounce box of macaroni, and then keep them all in the freezer until the days when your troops have their mac & cheese attacks. Be sure to use freshly shredded Cheddar cheese here, since it melts much better than pre-shredded cheese (and it's cheaper). Use a whisk to stir the sauce often as it thickens, so that you get a smooth—not lumpy or grainy—finished product. 

    If you're still hungry, check out my copycat recipes for famous entrées here. 

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Ragu Pasta Sauces

    It's America's most popular pasta sauce, and now you can whip up clones of two varieties at home at a fraction of the cost. Add a few ingredients to a large can of tomato sauce and get on with the simmering. These recipes duplicate the traditional "Meat" variety of the sauce and the newer "Chunky Garden Style" version with tomato, basil, and Italian cheese. Feel free to doctor these sauces up with your own creative additions (sliced mushrooms, fresh garlic, etc.) just as many do with the real Ragu.

    Fans of Rao's marinara sauce can try my copycat recipe here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.47 (votes: 15)
    Sabra Classic Hummus

    Every brand of hummus I've tried over the years has been just so-so in taste and texture, until I discovered Sabra. Now this ultra-smooth hummus—which has been rated number one in a blind taste test—is the only hummus in my fridge, unless I've made this clone. Hummus is an awesome snack as a dip for vegetables or pita chips, since it's rich in protein, soluble fiber, potassium, and Vitamin E. The secret to duplicating Sabra's smooth and creamy quality is to let your food processor work the stuff over for a solid 10 minutes. Also, when getting your Sabra hummus ingredients ready, don't use all of the liquid from the can of garbanzo beans or the hummus will end up too runny. Strain off the liquid first, then measure only 1/2 cup back into the food processor. Sabra uses canola and/or soybean oil, but you may think olive oil tastes better. Look for a jar of sesame tahini in the aisle where all the international foods are parked, and while you're there find the citric acid, which may also go by the name "sour salt." The clone below will not have the proper acidic bite without this secret ingredient, and citric acid also works as a preservative to help the leftover hummus stay fresh and tasty.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Patti LaBelle Sweet Potato Pie

    When YouTuber James Wright sang and swooned over Patti Labelle's Sweet Potato Pie in an exuberant November 2015 video, it went viral, racking up a quick 5 million views. The sudden popularity of the video led to a mad run on the pies, and stores around the country were sold out for weeks.

    Now, no one who craves the rich goodness of a delicious sweet potato pie will be forced to go Patti-less for long, with this hack that re-creates everything good about her pie. And the one bad thing about her pie—that it's too small—is fixed here with a finished pie that is about twice as big as the store version. You won't find this recipe anywhere else, including Patti's cookbook, which makes a sweet potato pie very different from the bestselling pie that was sold out in stores.

    What other incredible famous desserts can you whip up at home? Check out my other clone recipes here.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    Thomas' English Muffins

    Samuel Bath Thomas immigrated from England to New York City and opened his first bakery there in 1880. That is where Thomas created skillet bread that would one day become the famous muffins known for their craggy texture when split in half. This hack for Thomas’ English Muffins uses a special kneading process to give the muffins the "nooks and crannies" they are famous for, making craters in the finished bread to better hold on to melted butter and jam.

    I have seen several recipes that claim to re-create these muffins, but none produce the large air pockets that a proper Thomas' English Muffin recipe requires, in addition to great flavor and a perfectly cooked interior. To ensure proper nooks and crannies and muffins that are cooked all the way through, I've included some important steps.

    The dough you'll make here is like a ciabatta dough in that it is very wet. So rather than kneading the dough, you stretch and fold it over several times on a well-oiled surface. Then, when the portioned-out dough has proofed on baking sheets for another 1½ to 2 hours, you par-bake the muffins.

    After baking, the muffins are cooked on a griddle or in a pan until dark brown on both sides, then they must cool. This is the hardest part. The muffins will be too soft to open for at least four hours, and now you have to fight off the temptation to eat one. It’s hard, I know. The muffins smell great and you’ve waited all this time, but resist for now and your patience will be rewarded.

    When the muffins have had their rest, split them with a fork and toast them as you would any English muffin.

    Check out all my top secret recipes for famous bread here

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce

    Getting a table at the 123-year-old original Rao’s restaurant in New York City is next to impossible. The tables are “owned” by regulars who schedule their meals months in advance, so every table is full every night, and that’s the way it’s been for the last 38 years. The only way an outsider would get to taste the restaurant’s fresh marinara sauce is to be invited by a regular.

    If that isn’t in the stars for you, you could buy a bottle of the sauce at your local market (if they even have it). It won't be fresh, and it's likely to be the most expensive sauce in the store, but it still has that great Rao's taste. An even better solution is to copy the Rao's Marinara sauce for yourself using this new and very easy recipe.

    The current co-owner of Rao’s, Frank Pellegrino Jr., told Bon Appetit in 2015 that the famous marinara sauce was created by his grandmother many years ago, and the sauce you buy in stores is the same recipe served in his restaurants. The ingredients are common, but correctly choosing the main ingredient—tomatoes—is important. Try to find San Marzano-style whole canned tomatoes, preferably from Italy. They are a little more expensive than typical canned tomatoes, but they will give you some great sauce.

    After 30 minutes of cooking, you’ll end up with about the same amount of sauce as in a large jar of the real thing. Your version will likely be just a little bit brighter and better than the bottled stuff, thanks to the fresh ingredients. But now you can eat it anytime you want, with no reservations, at a table you own.

    This recipe was our #1 most popular in 2020. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Olive Garden Lasagna Classico (#2), King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (#3), Pei Wei Better Orange Chicken (#4), Chipotle Mexican Grill Carnitas (#5).

    You might also like my #1 recipe of 2019, Texas Roadhouse Rolls.

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Popcornopolis Caramel Corn

    My new favorite caramel corn is from Popcornopolis. Its caramel coating is lighter in color and flavor than the dark molasses-heavy caramel coating on old-school caramel corn, like Cracker Jack. The flavor is more buttery, like butter toffee, with just a hint of molasses knocking at the back door.

    To assemble this hack I worked with several versions of butter toffee candy, adding light brown sugar to bring in the molasses, and after several attempts finally landed on just the right combination of ingredients to best duplicate the flavor, color, and texture of the real thing.

    You'll want a candy thermometer for this recipe for the best results, but if you don't have one you can estimate when the candy is done by using the time cue in the steps.

    Vanilla is added at the end, so we don't cook out the flavor. You'll also add a little baking soda at the end, which will react with the acid in the molasses and create tiny air bubbles so the hardened candy has a more tender bite to it.

    Check out our other candied popcorn clone recipes including Cracker Jack, Poppycock, Fiddle Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, and Crunch 'n Munch

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies

    The Chesapeake brand of cookies from Pepperidge Farm are crispy cookies with a light crunch and filled with various chunks of chocolate and nutty bits. One of the most popular choices features big chunks of dark chocolate along with pecan bits, and it can be duplicated at home with a few twists to one of my chocolate chip cookie recipes.

    To make a crispy cookie that’s tender and not tough, I’ve replaced some of the butter with shortening, replaced one egg with an egg white, and tweaked the baking powder/baking soda ratio.

    Nestle makes a 10-ounce bag of oversized dark chocolate chips that are delicious and work nicely for this clone. If you can’t find those, you can chop up a couple of your favorite dark chocolate bars into small chunks and add those to the mix.

    When the cookies are cool, they should be lightly crispy and filled with flavor, just like the original Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake cookies. Store them in a covered container in a dry spot.  

    Try more famous copycat cookies and brownie recipes here.  

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  • Score: 4.58 (votes: 66)
    Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

    The first Top Secret Recipes book features a version of this clone recipe for America's most beloved candy creation, and the recipe is posted all over the place. But since 1993, I've learned a few things about Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cloning. Now, when you make this Reese's Peanut Butter Cups recipe, it's better to use reduced-fat peanut butter for a texture that's drier and crumblier like the original. Also, use scissors to trim paper muffin cups so that they are shallower—and a better mold for your clone.

    Video: How to clone a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in 3 minutes.

    Want to make more candy at home? See if I cloned your favorites here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.00 (votes: 2)
    Pace Picante Sauce Medium

    Texan David Pace had been selling 58 different varieties of jam, jellies, and sauces from the back of his liquor store in the 1940s when he came up with a recipe for a thick and spicy tomato-based sauce he dubbed "Picante." When sales of David's new sauce took off, he concentrated all his efforts on marketing his all-natural, preservative-free product, and designed the sauces famous hourglass-shaped jar (to keep it from tipping over). Now America's number one Mexican hot sauce brand, Pace Foods, makes it known that it still uses only fresh jalapeno peppers in the sauces, rather than the brined, less flavorful jalapenos—like those canned nacho slices. Each year all the fresh jalapenos used by the company weigh in at around 30 million pounds, and the nation gobbles up around 120 million pounds of the spicy sauces. Here's a simple recipe to make a kitchen copy of the medium heat-level Pace Picante Sauce, which was the first variety David created. The mild and hot versions were added in 1981, and you'll find clones for those at the bottom of the recipe in Tidbits.

    Take a look at all the other famous sauces you can make at home here.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    Tastykake Chocolate Cupcakes

    In 1914 the founders of the Tasty Baking Company created "the cake that made Mother stop baking." Tastykake products remain popular today with millions of snack cakes shipping across the country every day. And the recipes have remained remarkably unchanged over the years. These chocolate cupcakes in several varieties are the company's top-selling item, with more than 7 million baked weekly.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.67 (votes: 3)
    Sunshine Lemon Coolers

    Brothers Jacob and Joseph Loose had a dream of creating products in a bakery filled with sunshine. In 1912 they got their wish by opening the famous "Thousand Window Bakery" in Long Island City, New York. It was the largest bakery in the world until 1955. Today Sunshine Biscuits has moved to another location in Sayerville, New Jersey, where ovens the size of football fields bake like crazy every day. Sunshine is now owned by Keebler and continues to produce many baked treats you're familiar with, such as Hydrox Cookies, Saltine Crackers, Vienna Fingers, Cheez-it Crackers, and these sweet Lemon Coolers. By making a few simple adjustments to the Nilla Wafer clone recipe, we can create a cool copy of these awesome little citrusy wafer cookies dusted with lemon-flavored powdered sugar. To make that coating, we'll use a little unsweeteneed Kool-Aid lemonade drink mix combined with powdered sugar. Shake the cookies in a bag with this mixture—we'll call it bake 'n shake—and you've got yourself another tasty knock-off. 

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.75 (votes: 4)
    Rondele Garlic & Herbs Cheese Spread

    The real thing found in the deli section of your market is used on crackers, as a dip for raw vegetables, or even as a spread on sandwiches, burgers, and wraps. Now I've come up with an easy way to duplicate Rondele using a 12-ounce tub of whipped cream cheese—so you'll happily get three times the amount of the 4-ounce original! Just be sure when mixing your version that you don't over mix, or you will destroy the fluffiness of the whipped cheese. The Italian seasoning included here is a dried herb blend (usually marjoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, sage, oregano, and basil) found near the other bottled herbs and spices in your market. I used McCormick brand for this Rondele garlic & herbs cheese spread clone recipe, but any brand should work fine. Since the herbs are dried, the flavor is more subtle than it would be with fresh herbs, even after the dried bits soak up moisture from the cheese. And that's just want we want for a good clone.

    Find more of your favorite famous dip recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.56 (votes: 25)
    Tootsie Roll Midgees

    Even though this clone recipe duplicates the tiny bite-size versions of the candy, you're free to make yours any size you like. The technique here is a tweaking of the previous secret formula that was featured in Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes, and it includes several upgrades. I found that more cocoa, plus the addition of salt and butter to the mix improved the flavor. I also found that bringing your sweet bubbling mixture to the firm ball stage 250 degrees F (you do have a candy thermometer, right?), and then stretching and pulling the candy like taffy (fun!) as it cools, will give you a finished product more like the real deal.

    Find more famous candy recipes here

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  • Score: 4.61 (votes: 18)
    Spatini Spaghetti Sauce Mix

    Since the Spatini Italian Foods Company discontinued production and sale of its spaghetti sauce mix in December 2006, Internet discussion groups have organized petitions pleading to bring the product back. For more than forty years generations of families have enjoyed spaghetti made by mixing a packet of top secret powder with canned tomato sauce. But after Spatini disappeared from grocery store shelves, the only way to get that same flavor on spaghetti required locating leftover stock on the Internet, and paying dearly for it. On eBay, 10-box lots of Spatini sold for up to ten times what they originally cost in stores. Now you can save your hard-earned lira and still get real Spatini flavor, because after analyzing a packet of the mix, I've discovered a great way to clone this "Dead Food" at less cost than the product's retail price. The secret ingredient is a crushed-up beef bouillon cube, which contains the precise quantity of salt and natural flavors, plus autolyzed yeast extract—a flavor enhancer—to mirror the original blend. Add a couple ground herbs, onion, garlic, powdered sugar, and cornstarch, and you'll have the exact amount of mix you need to recreate the spaghetti sauce you grew up with.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 3.67 (votes: 3)
    Peter Paul Mounds and Almond Joy

    At the train station in Naugatuck, Connecticut, candy and ice-cream shop owner Peter Paul Halajian used to meet the commuter trains carrying baskets full of fresh hand-made chocolates. The most popular of his candies was a blend of coconut, fruits, nuts, and chocolate that he called Konabar.

    In 1919, when demand for his confections grew, Halajian and five associates, all of Armenian heritage, opened a business in New Haven to produce and sell his chocolates on a larger scale. Because there were no refrigerators, they made the chocolate by hand at night, when the air was the coolest, and sold the candy during the day. In 1920 the first Mounds bar was introduced.

    Peter Paul merged with Cadbury U.S.A. in 1978, and in 1986 Cadbury U.S.A. merged with the Hershey Foods Corporation, now the world's largest candy conglomerate.

    Today the recipes for Peter Paul's Mounds and Almond Joy are the same as they were in the roaring twenties.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets

    In 1914 Pittsburgh baker Philip J. Baur and Boston egg salesman Herbert T. Morris decided there was a need for prewrapped, fresh cakes in local grocery stores. The two men coined the name Tastykake for their new treats and used only the finest ingredients, delivered fresh daily to their bakery.

    The founders standards of freshness are maintained to this day. Tastykakes baked tonight are on the shelves tomorrow. That philosophy has contributed to substantial growth for the Tasty Baking Company. On its first day the firm's sales receipts totaled $28.32, and today the company boasts yearly sales of more that $200 million.

    Among the top-selling Tastykake treats are the Butterscotch Krimpets, first created in 1927. Today, approximately 6 million Butterscotch Krimpets are baked every week.

    Try my Peanut Butter Kandy Kake recipe here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    7-UP

    Now you can make a home clone for this refreshing citrus beverage in no time at all. Just add lemon and lime juice to a syrup solution, along with a little Kool-Aid lemonade drink mix for that special tang thanks to included citric acid, and you're almost there. When the syrup has cooled, mix it into some cold soda water in a 1 to 4 ratio. That's it. You've just made this clone of 7-UP yours.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits and Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 4)
    Schilling Salad Supreme Seasoning

    This orange-colored spice blend has been perking up salads, pasta, potatoes, hamburgers, and vegetables for years now, but there has never been a home clone for the stuff. Time to change that. While it's obvious that sesame seeds are a major part of this blend, you may not know that the main ingredient is Romano cheese—in the bottle it's tinted orange by the paprika. Be sure to store this one in the refrigerator. You might even want to keep the seasoning in an empty shaker-top spice bottle. And if you're in the mood for some tasty pasta salad, just check out the Tidbit below that comes right off the bottle of the original product.

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.67 (votes: 3)
    Pepperidge Farm Ginger Man Cookies

    When cloning cookies for the holidays, why not clone the best? Pepperidge Farm's Ginger Man cookies bring a sweet gingery crunch to the seasonal festivities. 

    Click here for more fun, copycat cookies and brownies

    Source: Even More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

     

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Products: 124 of 43
Show: 24

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake Dark Chocolate Pecan Cookies

    The Chesapeake brand of cookies from Pepperidge Farm are crispy cookies with a light crunch and filled with various chunks of chocolate and nutty bits. One of the most popular choices features big chunks of dark chocolate along with pecan bits, and it can be duplicated at home with a few twists to one of my chocolate chip cookie recipes.

    To make a crispy cookie that’s tender and not tough, I’ve replaced some of the butter with shortening, replaced one egg with an egg white, and tweaked the baking powder/baking soda ratio.

    Nestle makes a 10-ounce bag of oversized dark chocolate chips that are delicious and work nicely for this clone. If you can’t find those, you can chop up a couple of your favorite dark chocolate bars into small chunks and add those to the mix.

    When the cookies are cool, they should be lightly crispy and filled with flavor, just like the original Pepperidge Farm Chesapeake cookies. Store them in a covered container in a dry spot.  

    Try more famous copycat cookies and brownie recipes here.  

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Popcornopolis Caramel Corn

    My new favorite caramel corn is from Popcornopolis. Its caramel coating is lighter in color and flavor than the dark molasses-heavy caramel coating on old-school caramel corn, like Cracker Jack. The flavor is more buttery, like butter toffee, with just a hint of molasses knocking at the back door.

    To assemble this hack I worked with several versions of butter toffee candy, adding light brown sugar to bring in the molasses, and after several attempts finally landed on just the right combination of ingredients to best duplicate the flavor, color, and texture of the real thing.

    You'll want a candy thermometer for this recipe for the best results, but if you don't have one you can estimate when the candy is done by using the time cue in the steps.

    Vanilla is added at the end, so we don't cook out the flavor. You'll also add a little baking soda at the end, which will react with the acid in the molasses and create tiny air bubbles so the hardened candy has a more tender bite to it.

    Check out our other candied popcorn clone recipes including Cracker Jack, Poppycock, Fiddle Faddle, Screaming Yellow Zonkers, and Crunch 'n Munch

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 3)
    Rao's Homemade Marinara Sauce

    Getting a table at the 123-year-old original Rao’s restaurant in New York City is next to impossible. The tables are “owned” by regulars who schedule their meals months in advance, so every table is full every night, and that’s the way it’s been for the last 38 years. The only way an outsider would get to taste the restaurant’s fresh marinara sauce is to be invited by a regular.

    If that isn’t in the stars for you, you could buy a bottle of the sauce at your local market (if they even have it). It won't be fresh, and it's likely to be the most expensive sauce in the store, but it still has that great Rao's taste. An even better solution is to copy the Rao's Marinara sauce for yourself using this new and very easy recipe.

    The current co-owner of Rao’s, Frank Pellegrino Jr., told Bon Appetit in 2015 that the famous marinara sauce was created by his grandmother many years ago, and the sauce you buy in stores is the same recipe served in his restaurants. The ingredients are common, but correctly choosing the main ingredient—tomatoes—is important. Try to find San Marzano-style whole canned tomatoes, preferably from Italy. They are a little more expensive than typical canned tomatoes, but they will give you some great sauce.

    After 30 minutes of cooking, you’ll end up with about the same amount of sauce as in a large jar of the real thing. Your version will likely be just a little bit brighter and better than the bottled stuff, thanks to the fresh ingredients. But now you can eat it anytime you want, with no reservations, at a table you own.

    This recipe was our #1 most popular in 2020. Check out the other four most unlocked recipes for the year: Olive Garden Lasagna Classico (#2), King's Hawaiian Original Hawaiian Sweet Rolls (#3), Pei Wei Better Orange Chicken (#4), Chipotle Mexican Grill Carnitas (#5).

    You might also like my #1 recipe of 2019, Texas Roadhouse Rolls.

    Read more
  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 1)
    Super Pretzels Pretzels

    Gerry Shreiber, a college dropout, wasn't happy with the metalworking business he had been operating for about seven years with a friend, so the two decided to sell out. Shreiber's take was about $60,000, but he needed a new job. One day he wandered into a Philadelphia waterbed store and struck up a conversation with a man who mentioned his investment in a troubled soft pretzel company called J & J soft Pretzels. Shreiber convinced the man to let him tour the rundown plant, and in 1971 he bought the company for $72,000. At the time J & J had at least ten competitors in the soft pretzel business, but over the years Shreiber devised a strategy that would eliminate this competition and help his company grow—he bought most of them out.

    Today J & J Super Pretzels are uncontested in the frozen soft pretzel market, and they currently constitute about 70 percent of the soft pretzels that are sold in the country's malls, convenience stores, amusement parks, stadiums, and movie theaters.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Not rated yet
    Swiss Miss Fat-Free Chocolate Fudge Pudding

    Hunt-Wesson first introduced a light variety of Swiss Miss Puddings in 1990, but three years later changed the formula to fat-free. This chocolaty clone of the rich pudding you find in the refrigerated section of the supermarket will satisfy your chocolate craving without any fat. The sweetened condensed milk helps to replace fat, and the cornstarch jumps in to keep the pudding thick and creamy. The two types of chocolate used here gives you an irresistible snack that tastes just like the original product. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–3/4 cups 
    Total servings–4 
    Calories per serving–170 
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 5.00 (votes: 2)
    Swiss Miss Fat-Free Tapioca Pudding

    When the first instant hot cocoa mix was developed in the fifties, it was available only to the airlines in individual portions for passengers and was called Brown Swiss. This mix was so popular that the company packaged it for sale in the grocery stores and changed the name to Swiss Miss. In the seventies, the first Swiss Miss Puddings were introduced and quickly became the leader of dairy case puddings. When the fat-free versions of the puddings were introduced some 23 years later, they too would become a popular favorite.

    No sugar needs to be added to this recipe that recreates one of the best-tasting brands of fat-free pudding on the market. The condensed milk is enough to sweeten the pudding, plus it provides a creamy consistency to help replace fat found in the full-fat version of this tasty tapioca treat. 

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–3/4 cup
    Total servings–4
    Fat per serving–0g
    Calories per serving–140

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur. 

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    Tastykake Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes

    Since it was founded in 1914, the Tasty Baking Company has continued to uphold its policy of controlled distribution to ensure freshness of its products. The company delivers only what it will sell promptly and removes cakes from the stores after just a few days in an effort to keep them from becoming stale.

    As the years went by and delivery efficiency improved, transportation routes expanded from Philadelphia to new England, the Midwest, and the South. Mixing, baking, wrapping, and packaging of the products have changed from hand operations to sophisticated automated ones, cutting the production cycle from twelve hours to forty-five minutes.

    Peanut Butter Kandy Kakes made their debut in the early 1930s as Tandy Takes. The name was eventually changed. Tastykake claims you could make almost 8 million peanut butter sandwiches with the quantity of peanut butter used in Kandy Kakes each year.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Tastykake Chocolate Cupcakes

    In 1914 the founders of the Tasty Baking Company created "the cake that made Mother stop baking." Tastykake products remain popular today with millions of snack cakes shipping across the country every day. And the recipes have remained remarkably unchanged over the years. These chocolate cupcakes in several varieties are the company's top-selling item, with more than 7 million baked weekly.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpets

    In 1914 Pittsburgh baker Philip J. Baur and Boston egg salesman Herbert T. Morris decided there was a need for prewrapped, fresh cakes in local grocery stores. The two men coined the name Tastykake for their new treats and used only the finest ingredients, delivered fresh daily to their bakery.

    The founders standards of freshness are maintained to this day. Tastykakes baked tonight are on the shelves tomorrow. That philosophy has contributed to substantial growth for the Tasty Baking Company. On its first day the firm's sales receipts totaled $28.32, and today the company boasts yearly sales of more that $200 million.

    Among the top-selling Tastykake treats are the Butterscotch Krimpets, first created in 1927. Today, approximately 6 million Butterscotch Krimpets are baked every week.

    Try my Peanut Butter Kandy Kake recipe here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur

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  • Score: 4.56 (votes: 25)
    Tootsie Roll Midgees

    Even though this clone recipe duplicates the tiny bite-size versions of the candy, you're free to make yours any size you like. The technique here is a tweaking of the previous secret formula that was featured in Low-Fat Top Secret Recipes, and it includes several upgrades. I found that more cocoa, plus the addition of salt and butter to the mix improved the flavor. I also found that bringing your sweet bubbling mixture to the firm ball stage 250 degrees F (you do have a candy thermometer, right?), and then stretching and pulling the candy like taffy (fun!) as it cools, will give you a finished product more like the real deal.

    Find more famous candy recipes here

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  • Score: 4.70 (votes: 20)
    Snapple Iced Tea Lemon Flavor

    Here's a quick and easy recipe for the brand of ice tea that blew away competitors Lipton and Nestea. Between 1988 and 1992 Snapple tea sales increased a whopping 1,300 percent. If you're a big Snapple ice tea drinker, this recipe will save you some cash. A 16-ounce bottle of Snapple tea costs around $1.50, but the same amount using this top secret hack will only cost you 15 cents to make. Here now is the improved version of the recipe that first appeared in More Top Secret Recipes.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.50 (votes: 8)
    Snapple Raspberry Iced Tea

    In 1995 when I cloned Snapple iced teas in More Top Secret Recipes, I picked several varieties of the tea and used either concentrated juices or extracts for the fruity essence. Since that time, Snapple was sold to Quaker and the less popular flavors were retired to the land of the dead foods. But a clone for one of the most popular flavors of ice tea eluded me back then, since there was no common extract or juice concentrate to turn to for that flavor. Bummer too, since Snapple's raspberry iced tea is a top seller. Today, thanks to the popularity of flavored coffee drinks, flavored syrups can be found in supermarkets. The most common brand is Torani. Get some of the raspberry flavor and you can clone this secret recipe for a fraction of the cost of the real thing.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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    See's Candies Butterscotch Lollypop

    The first See's Candy shop was opened in Los Angeles in 1921 by Charles A. See. He used his mother's candy recipes, and a picture of her at the age of seventy-one embellished every black-and-white box of chocolates. Mary See died in 1939 at the age of eighty-five, but her picture went on to become a symbol of quality and continuity. See's manufacturing plants are still located in California, but because the company will ship anywhere in the United States, See's has become a known and respected old-fashioned-style chocolatier all across the country.

    In an age of automation, many companies that manufacture chocolate have resorted to automated enrobing machines to coat their chocolates. But See's workers still hand-dip much of their candy. 

    One of the company's most popular sweets isn't dipped at all. It's a hard, rectangular lollipop that comes in chocolate, peanut butter and butterscotch flavors. The latter, which tastes like caramel, is the most popular flavor of the three, and this recipe will enable you to clone the original, invented more than fifty years ago.

    You will need twelve shot glasses, espresso cups, or sake cups for molds, twelve lollipop sticks or popsicle sticks as well as the listed See's Candy butterscotch lollipop ingredients.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

     

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    Squirt Soda

    Soda and citrus flavors were combined in 1938 to create a grapefruit-lemon soft drink that would later inspire Coke to make Fresca. Fresca was popular when it was introduced in the 60s since it was artificially sweetened and contained no calories. That was back when diet drinks were just catching on. Nowadays just about every soda comes in a diet version, and Fresca sales have slipped, despite a tweaking of the formula in the early 90s.

    Squirt continues to hold on to a loyal cult following, with many who claim the soda is the only true cure for a hangover. To clone it, just add real bottled grapefruit juice, along with a little Kool-aid mix for a lemony zing, to the simple syrup recipe. Chill the syrup and soda water until cold and get ready to make a dozen cups worth of citrus soda at home.

    Check here to see if I hacked more of your favorite drinks.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes: Sodas, Smoothies, Spirits & Shakes by Todd Wilbur.

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  • Score: 4.58 (votes: 66)
    Reese's Peanut Butter Cups

    The first Top Secret Recipes book features a version of this clone recipe for America's most beloved candy creation, and the recipe is posted all over the place. But since 1993, I've learned a few things about Reese's Peanut Butter Cup cloning. Now, when you make this Reese's Peanut Butter Cups recipe, it's better to use reduced-fat peanut butter for a texture that's drier and crumblier like the original. Also, use scissors to trim paper muffin cups so that they are shallower—and a better mold for your clone.

    Video: How to clone a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in 3 minutes.

    Want to make more candy at home? See if I cloned your favorites here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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I'm Todd Wilbur, Chronic Food Hacker

For 30 years I've been deconstructing America's most iconic brand-name foods to make the best original clone recipes for you to use at home. Welcome to my lab.

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