Hostess cupcakes are no good. They’re cute and convenient, but I just can’t get past the taste. They were delicious as a kid, but either my tastebuds have matured or the development of increasingly cheaper product have hurt them. That seems to be the case with most of the treats I enjoyed as a child (I tried an Almond Joy the other day, and it was awful! That might be next on my listâ€¦). All that’s left to do is make your own!
Hostess’ treats never would have been the success they are without a surprise in the center. You can do that too!
We start out with a simple chocolate cake recipe–my favorite fluffy Hershey’s chocolate cake. It works perfectly with the ganache and filling.
Recipe adapted from Beantown Baker
Hersheyâ€™s Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 Â¾ cups all-purpose flour
Â¾ cup cocoa
1 Â½ teaspoons baking powder
1 Â½ teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
Â½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
Filling (Seven Minute Frosting):
2 large egg whites
Â½ cup sugar
Â¼ cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs water
1 Â½ tsp pure vanilla extract
Â½ cup cream
8 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened
Hershey’s Chocolate Cake:
Heat oven to 350Â°F (175Â°C).
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
Line muffin cups with paper bake cups. Heat oven to 350Â°F. Fill cups 2/3 full with batter. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely. Makes about 30 cupcakes (I made an assortment of large and miniature cupcakes)
While waiting for cupcakes to cool, combine filling ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. (Okay–I didn’t do this part at all. I just beat everything together at once until fluffy)
Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Reserve 1/2 cup of the filling to use for piping the swirls on top of the cupcakes at the end.
Once cupcakes are completely cooled, use the cone method to fill with filling. Once filled, make the ganache.
In a small saucepan, heat cream until steaming. Remove from the heat, add chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Transfer the frosting to a small bowl and dip the top of each cupcake to thoroughly coat.
Spoon the reserved filling into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip (I just used a Ziplock bag with the tip of a corner cut off) and pipe swirls across the center of each cupcake. Refrigerate the cupcakes for 10 minutes to set the frosting.
Did you scratch your head when I mentioned “the cone method?” It’s easy.
Once cupcakes have cooled, cut a cone out of the top.
Then, place a dollop of filling into the cupcake. For a few of my cupcakes, I went ahead and scooped out some of the inside to make more room for filling.
Lastly, place the cone back in place. You can break off the end of the cone (and, of course, pop that directly into your mouth!) so it will sit in place.
I prefer them cold so store them in the refrigerator. I think this has something to do with how I always ate Hostess cupcakes–frozen with vanilla ice cream on top! Â I know mine are not very pretty. Â I am not very good at piping and was so tired yesterday that I didn’t take my time to work on them.
I recommend making these the day you plan to serve them! After a while, the cupcakes begin to soak up inside filling. Still tastes great, but not as fun!