Hostess-Inspired Cupcakes

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 list…). 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

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

Filling (Seven Minute Frosting):
2 large egg whites
½ cup sugar
¼ cup light corn syrup
2 Tbs water
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup cream
8 oz bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 Tbs unsalted butter, softened

Hershey’s Chocolate Cake:
Heat oven to 350°F (175°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 350°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!  I know mine are not very pretty.  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!


  • Yours are very cute. I think it’s that our tastebuds have matured because I agree that the treats I used to love as a child just aren’t as good any more.

    3 March 2010
  • Sherri

    Will have to try this! I, too, have found the Hostess ones not as good as I remembered and I think the fault lies in the cake portion of it, it’s simply not very flavorful.

    4 March 2010
  • Those look great! I LOVE cream-filled cupcakes. I often make a chocolate filled chocolate cupcake, but this vanilla filled version sounds amazing.

    4 March 2010
  • THOSE LOOK SO GOOD!! *_* How selfish am I when I say that I do hope you move within close proximity of me, so I can eat your delectable-looking food?

    4 March 2010
  • What do you mean about them not being pretty? They are so cute!!! Very pretty. The Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe is my favorite, too.

    4 March 2010
    • Oh, and I love the shot of the batter!!! YUM!

      4 March 2010
  • Love your blog. I’ve been reading it on and off for a while. Found it one day while looking for a recipe. You seem an interesting gal living a really interesting life! Good for you! …and your hostess cupcakes look really yummy!

    13 March 2010
  • totally delicious! My stepdaughter and I made them while we were home alone for the week. Highly recommend this recipe!

    29 March 2010
    • Alyssa

      I’m so glad you liked them! Thanks for letting me know everything worked out :)

      30 March 2010
  • i will make them every week, delicious :P

    20 July 2010

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