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Desserts

You lucky devil. 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 desserts here. New recipes added every week.

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    Recently, Hostess released a new “limited-edition” mint chocolate version of the brand’s famous CupCakes, with mint creamy filling and mint frosting on top. I had already hacked the well-known chocolate CupCakes from Hostess for Step-by-Step, so the cake recipe and the white icing on top was already done. I reworked the filling and the frosting with delicious mint flavor and proper green hue, and put it all together in this new hack that’s a twist on an old favorite.

    As with the chocolate CupCakes clone, the frosting is designed to be runny so that you can dip the cupcakes in it. This will produce a smooth frosting that, when dry, looks just like the real thing. Most likely you’ll need a couple coats of frosting. The first coat is a crumb layer that locks in the chocolate cake crumbs so that the second layer finishes clean and smooth. If you find that you’re losing too many crumbs in the frosting bowl when dipping the cupcakes, you may want to spread on your first layer with a butter knife.   

    Before baking be sure to grease your muffin cups well so that cupcakes come out clean. And you'll need a piping bag or pastry gun with a medium tip to fill the cupcakes and a small tip to add the seven loops of white icing on top. No proper clone of this famous product would be right without that final step.

    Check out my clone recipes for Hostess Twiinkies and Powdered Donettes

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    How would you like this job? Three times a day, each day, the chief bakers at Entenmann's gather in "scoring sessions," where they taste and rate products that come off the factory line. If a product they taste doesn't earn at least an 8 out of 10 rating, it never makes it onto a delivery truck. 

    In the last ten years, Entenmann's has become known as a company that makes delicious baked fat-free products that do not taste fat-free. Today the company boasts around 50 products that carry the low-fat and fat-free labels. One of those products is the delicious pound cake, called Golden Loaf, cloned with this recipe. It makes an excellent dessert or snack when sliced with strawberries and low-fat whipped topping, or beneath a big scoop of light ice cream. I've also included this recipe to use with one of my favorites: the reduced-fat tiramisu.

    However you decide to serve this versatile dessert, you will amaze your guests when you tell them it's fat-free fare. And, yes, I realize that the reduced-fat yellow cake mix contains fat, but we have stretched out the product with cake flour so that each slice of these cakes (the recipe makes two) contains less than 1/2 gram. 

    Nutrition Facts:
    Serving size–1.7 oz slice
    Total servings–26
    Calories per serving–106
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.83. Votes: 6

    International House of Pancakes Funnel Cake Carnival promotion brought the famous fairground food to the masses for a limited time. As you would expect from the name, the first thing you'll need to make proper funnel cakes is, of course, a funnel. The funnel is used to swirl batter into hot oil where it will fry to a happy golden brown in about a minute on each side. Find a funnel with an opening that is at least 1/2-inch wide so that your funnel cakes will have approximately the same thickness as the IHOP version. For the frying, shortening works the best since that's what IHOP uses, but you can also use vegetable or canola oil. I used a trans fat-free shortening from Smart Balance and it worked great. Load your oil or shortening into a small saucepan with about a 6-inch diameter. This way the batter won't spread out when you funnel it into the oil, and you'll get funnel cakes that are all about the same size. When it's time to serve the dish, arrange two funnel cakes on a plate, dust them with powdered sugar, top 'em off with fruit and whipped cream, and enjoy fairground-style funnel cakes without any scary carnies watching you eat. 

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.33. Votes: 6

    Menu Description: "A Cracker Barrel tradition. Our rich, chocolate cake made with real Coca-Cola is baked right in our own kitchen. It's served with premium vanilla bean ice cream and makes for a warm treat on a cool day."

    Cracker Barrel's signature dessert is moist and chocolaty, with just a hint of Coke flavor. Coca-Cola is added to the batter for our clone, and we'll double up on the chocolate by using melted semi-sweet chocolate chips and cocoa powder. A little more Coke goes into the creamy chocolate icing that's also made by melting chocolate chips. Be sure to slide on down to the "Tidbits" at the bottom of the recipe for a great way to easily get the cake out of your baking pan in one piece. Make sure you have some milk on hand before you take a bite of out of this decadent Cracker Barrel Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake recipe!

    Source: Top Secret Restaurant Recipes 3 by Todd Wilbur.

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    Weight Watchers was one of the first companies to introduce low-fat foods to supermarket freezer sections. The earlier items were mostly meals, such as dinners and lunch items. In 1980 the company began offering a selection of low-fat desserts, which gained in popularity because they didn’t taste low-fat. More recent favorites are these small chocolate-frosted, crème-filled éclairs, developed in 1993. They are sold frozen, and can be defrosted at room temperature in about an hour.

    The clone recipe here is designed so that you don’t need a special pastry bag to make the shells, or to fill them with the delicious, custard-like combination of fat-free vanilla pudding and Dream Whip. It’s an éclair recipe you won’t find anywhere else, and it’s guaranteed to satisfy your most fierce desserts craving. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 éclair 
    Total servings–9 
    Calories per serving–160 
    Fat per serving–4g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    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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    This cheesecake at T.G.I. Fridays tastes like a decadent, fat-filled dessert—creamy and delicious. It's hard to believe that there is not a single gram of fat in a serving. This clone recipe will solve the problems of other fat-free cheesecake recipes—too tough or too grainy— and produce a dessert that tastes amazing, just like the popular cheesecake you can order at one of America's most successful restaurant chains.

    You'll need a 9-inch springform pan for this recipe, and be sure to let the cream cheese come to room temperature before you use it. Serve this one to your friends and watch the surprise when you tell them it's 100 percent fat-free. 

    Nutrition Facts 
    Serving size–1 slices 
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–223 
    Fat per serving–0g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    Score: 4.62. Votes: 13

    The Olive Garden chain offers a very popular and delicious tiramisu that is produced outside the restaurants and then delivered fresh to each outlet. Fluffy mascarpone cheese is layered over ladyfingers soaked in a solution of espresso and coffee liqueur, and the dessert is topped with dusting of cocoa. But mascarpone cheese has 13 grams of fat per ounce, and there's nothing that tastes quite like it. However, there is one way to get very close, and its a special creamy combination of Dream Whip, gelatin, and fat-free cream cheese. You can make your own espresso, use extra strong coffee as a substitute, or order a quadruple shot of espresso on your next trip to Starbucks. If you love the traditional Italian dessert, but don't love the fat, you simply must check out this slightly tweaked version of the clone from Top Secret Recipes - Lite! that will create a guilt-free clone to satisfy any tiramisu craving.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 slice
    Total servings–9 slices
    Calories–268 (Original–475)
    Fat–2.9g (Original–38g)

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite! by Todd Wilbur.

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    The Twinkie company, otherwise known as Hostess, was one of the first to introduce reduced-fat baked goods to the masses. In 1990 the company took its most popular products and created lower-fat versions under the "Hostess Lights" label. Among the company's well-known low-fat offerings is this popular cupcake, with its seven loops of white icing on the top of frosted, creme-filled cake. Here's a way you can recreate these popular cupcakes at home, with applesauce in the cake to help replace the fat, and filling made with marshmallow creme.

    Nutrition Facts
    Serving size–1 cupcake 
    Total servings–12 
    Calories per serving–220 
    Fat per serving–1.5g

    Source: Top Secret Recipes Lite by Todd Wilbur.

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    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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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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