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Good job. You just found copycat recipes for all of 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 has hacked your favorite bread here. New recipes added every week.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 3

    The American restaurant business has been shaped by many entrepreneurs, so determined to realize their dreams of owning a hot dog cart or starting a restaurant that they sell everything they own to raise cash. Food lore is littered with these stories, and this one is no exception. This time the family car was sold to pay for one month's rent on a converted World War II army tent, an oven, refrigerator, rolling pin, and some hand tools. It was 1948, and that's all Marie Callender and her family needed to make enough pies to start delivering to restaurants in Long Beach, California.

    It was the pies that started the company, but soon the bakeries became restaurants and they started serving meals. One of my favorites is the Famous Golden Cornbread and whipped honey butter that comes with many of the entrees. What makes this cornbread so scrumptious is its cake-like quality. The recipe here requires more flour than traditional cornbread recipes, making the finished product soft and spongy just like Marie's.

    Check out my other Marie Callender's hacks here

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.00. Votes: 3

    "Biscotti" is Italian for "twice baked." The dough is first baked as one giant rectangular cookie loaf, then the loaf is removed from the oven while it's still soft, and it's sliced. These slices are arranged on a baking sheet and cooked once again until crispy. That's how the cookies get their thin profile and crunchiness that makes them the perfect coffee-dunking pastry. These homemade biscotti cookies are actually best the next day after they completely dry out, as long as you live in a dry climate. If your weather is more humid, be sure to seal up the cookies in a tight container after they cool so that they stay crunchy.

    Find more cool Starbucks copycat recipes here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.80. Votes: 5

    A good coffee house will have good coffee cake, and Starbucks is no exception. The world's biggest coffee chain offers cake that is moist and buttery, with a perfect cinnamon streusel crumb topping and a strip of cinnamon sugar through the middle. You may find slight variations of the cake at different Starbucks locations. Sometimes the cake is topped with chopped pecans and some may be dusted on top with a little powdered sugar. The homemade coffee cake recipe below clones the basic recipe, and if you want nuts on top, mix 1/2 cup of chopped pecans into the streusel topping before adding it.

    What's cinnamon crumb coffee cake without coffee? Find your favorite Starbucks drink recipes here

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.79. Votes: 24

    In 1959, Michael Ilitch and his wife, Marian, opened the first Little Caesars restaurant in Garden City, Michigan, fifteen miles west of Detroit. Encouraged by their success, the couple opened a second restaurant two years later, and soon Little Caesar's Pizza was a household name in the Detroit area. Biographical material provided by the company claims that Ilitch "thinks pizza," and that when he designed the Little Caesars conveyor oven, the company was able to serve hot pizza faster than anyone else in the industry.

    One of the most popular products available from Little Caesars is the Crazy Bread, first served in 1982. It's pizza dough cut into eight pieces, then coated with garlic salt, butter, and Parmesan cheese. This recipe is made easily with a tube of Pillsbury pizza dough, which you slice into strips and bake.

    Source: More Top Secret Recipes by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.33. Votes: 9

    You've got a hankerin' for pancakes or biscuits, but the recipe calls for Bisquick, and you're plum out. Not to worry. Now you can make a clone of the popular baking mix at home with just four simple ingredients. Store-bought Bisquick includes shortening, salt, flour, and leavening, so that's exactly what we need to duplicate it perfectly at home. This recipe makes about 6 cups of the stuff, which, just like the real thing, you can keep sealed up in a container in your pantry until it's flapjack time. When that time comes, just add milk and eggs for pancakes or waffles, or only milk if it's biscuits you want. You'll find all those recipes below in the "Tidbits."

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.38. Votes: 8

    Anyone who loves Olive Garden is probably also a big fan of the bottomless basket of warm, garlicky breadsticks served before each meal at the huge Italian casual chain. My guess is that the breadsticks are proofed, and then sent to each restaurant where they are baked until golden brown, brushed with butter and sprinkled with garlic salt. Getting the bread just right for a good Olive Garden breadstick recipe was tricky—I tried several different amounts of yeast in all-purpose flour, but then settled on bread flour to give these breadsticks the same chewy bite as the originals. The two-stage rising process is also a crucial step in this much requested homemade Olive Garden breadstick recipe. Also check out our Olive Garden Italian salad dressing recipe.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 3.75. Votes: 4

    Each entree at this popular barbecue joint is served with one of these delicious, freshly baked corn muffins that I believe is the best I've ever had. They're cakey and perfectly sweet with just the right amount of cornmeal. Some of the secrets to making great corn muffins like these are found in restaurant founder Dave Anderson's cookbook. His recipe for corn muffins includes a small box of yellow cake mix and the addition of stone ground cornmeal. However, I found that the cake mix made the muffins taste too much like yellow cake, so I opted for a completely scratch recipe with elements borrowed from my clone recipe for Duncan Hines Yellow Cake Mix. And since stone ground cornmeal is difficult to find, we can run regular cornmeal through a food processor for 5 minutes to pulverize many of the granules to powder. After baking 120 muffins over several days and making a few other adjustments to the cookbook recipe, I can now share with you this original Top Secret Recipe that will produce a dozen corn muffins that taste just like the restaurant version.

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    When I checked out the ingredients for the Banana Nut Bread Loaf—the most popular baked item at Bob Evans Farms—I was surprised to discover that the banana bread has very little real banana in it. In fact, banana is the second-to-last ingredient, just before water. So the banana taste in the loaf appears to come from artificial banana flavoring. But I have to assume that there was once a time when these delicious loaves were made with more real banana, and with real butter instead of the less expensive margarine that is used in the loaves today. And that’s how I crafted this clone.

    This upgraded recipe calls for old-school wholesome ingredients, and it produces a moist, delicious banana bread loaf that tastes like the real thing—and maybe even a little bit better. So if you like Bob Evans Banana Nut Bread Loaf, you'll love this new recipe hack.

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    Score: 4.89. Votes: 9

    This delicious fall offering arrives frozen to each Starbucks store and is thawed out just before opening in the morning. The pumpkin cream cheese muffins were especially popular in the fall of 2008. According to my local Starbucks manager, a memo fired off to all stores warned of a shortage in the product and that inventory in most states would be depleted before the holidays arrived. That was enough information to get me quickly working on a hack recipe, and here you go. First, sweeten some cream cheese and get it back in the fridge to firm up. It's much easier to work into the top of the muffins when it's cold. The pumpkin seeds that are sprinkled on top of each muffin get candied in a large skillet with brown sugar and cinnamon. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper muffin cups, add the muffin batter and some cream cheese, top with the candied pumpkins seeds, and then bake. Soon you'll have a dozen fresh clones of the amazing muffins, and you'll always be prepared for the next pumpkin cream cheese muffin shortage.

    See if I cloned more of your favorites from Starbucks here.

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Unlocked by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 5.00. Votes: 1

    The website for Mimi’s Café features a recipe that claims to duplicate the buttermilk spice muffins that are so popular at the restaurant chain, but I found the recipe there to be slightly lacking. While the recipe produced very good muffins, I discovered the website formula required more sugar, more nutmeg and the addition of salt to produce muffins that could be considered clones of the popular version baked fresh every day in Mimi’s kitchens. To make this recipe work best use a large (Texas-size) muffin pan and line each cup with large paper muffin cups. You could also make the muffins in a smaller, standard-size muffin pan by reducing the baking times by 5 to 10 minutes, and adding only 1 teaspoon of topping on the batter in each cup rather than the 2 teaspoons described here. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 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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