5 Copycat Hostess Cupcakes

I love Hostess Cupcakes.  The chocolate ones.

Don't tell anyone, but my favorite part is the frosting.  I slowly and carefully peel it off .... and save it for last.  Last is best, right?

Topless Hostess Cupcake

That's when I noticed the little white dot of filling on top of the now topless cupcake.  So THAT'S how the filling got in ~ just like the three little dots of filling on the bottom of Twinkies ...

When ATK (or was it Cook's Country?)  re-created this childhood treat of mine, I immediately bookmarked the recipe ...   and forgot about it until now.

The cake batter comes together very easily: cocoa, semi sweet chocolate chips and hot water.  I chose to omit the espresso powder.

Next, sugar, sour cream, canola oil, eggs and vanilla are whipped together.  The chocolate mixture is poured in.

Dry ingredients are added:  all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt.  That's it!

ATK greases the muffin tins and dusts them with flour.  Welcome cupcake liners!

Oh, and a muffin/ice cream scoop comes in very handy (this one holds 1/4 cup)  ... I am never sure what "2/3 full" really means!

While they are baking in the oven, I get ready to make the filling.

Water and unflavored gelatin are put into a microwave for 30 seconds.  Butter, vanilla and a pinch of salt are added. 

After a five minute cool-down, marshmallow fluff or creme* is added...

*You MUST use marshmallow creme.  Regular marshmallows have a higher concentration of gelatin.  My neighbor made this recipe with regular marshmallows and ended up with a marshmallow inside her cupcake, instead of a creamy marshmallow-y center ...

This is whisked smooth and put into the fridge to set up.

Hmmmm.....marshmallow Jello, anyone??

I used an apple corer to make the hole in the cooled cupcakes.  You could use a small serrated knife or a grapefruit knife.

I used my fingertips to carefully remove the hole ...

and piped the marshmallow filling inside.

Only the top was put back on ~ not the entire "core" that was pulled out.  I had a pile of crumbs that were left over, which I promptly ate.  Mmmmmmmm....this is a very tender cake!

The frosting is simply semi sweet chocolate chips and unsalted butter, melted in the microwave.

Simple, isn't it?

The recipe says to use the remaining 1/3 cup of marshmallow fluff for the squiggle design.  I found it to be very runny and added powdered sugar until I got a piping consistency.

This is one of my earlier attempt to pipe with a runny filling.  Let's crack it open and see what's inside!

Ooooooh... I'm getting excited ... feeling like a kid again!


This is nothing like the Hostess cupcake that I remember.  This cupcake is lighter, more tender, and the ganache is fantastic!!

The filling became runny once I stirred it .... did it not "set" in the fridge long enough?  Did I not cook the gelatin long enough?

I checked the date on the marshmallow creme ... it had a "best by" date over two months ago.

That must be it.  Marshmallows change in texture and consistency over time, so NEXT time, I'm going to try a fresh batch of marshmallow creme.  Or try a different filling recipe from other bloggers listed below.  Did you know that you can freeze marshmallows?  Yup!

Yes, there is going to be a NEXT time ~ I got great reviews from the neighborhood taste testers!!

Hostess Copycat Cupcakes
(4x6 recipe download)     (full page printable recipe)

Other bloggers inspired by this Hostess Cupcake:

My Baking Addiction ~ she used 7 min. frosting for her filling
Heather Drive
17 and Baking ~ makes mini versions of these
Bake at 350 ~ You have to check out her ADORABLE squiggle lines and buttercream filling
The Sensitive Epicure has a GLUTEN free version....gotta check it out!
Sugar Derby made these into Cupcake BALLS!


  1. Love these. I like the tip about using an apple corer. I don't like too many extra gadgets and haven't wanted to buy a cupcake corer so I just use a sharp knife but the apple corer makes so much sense.

  2. I have had this very recipe on my radar, for ages! I think it was Cook's Country that published this one. I hate my cupcakes exactly the same as you do. I'm holding out to make my own marshmallow creme filling. I also need to drop a few pounds, so I can break even when I eat these. These look super decadent, and I'm sure there aren't any unpronouncable ingredients in them. Beautiful job!

  3. Oh my goodness - those cupcakes look SO good!! What a fabulous surprise to get a yummy cream filling! I used to eat hostess cupcakes long ago. And Ding Dongs. We can't forget Ding Dongs with their waxy chocolate coating. I think I loved those the best. Mmmmmm...

  4. Wow, I loved Ding-Dongs as a kied, but as an adult, not so much. I'll have to try these out!!

  5. These are beautiful! And tasty too, I'm sure. I'd love for you to join my linky party (Crazy Sweet Tuesdays) sometime! :)


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