Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

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Decadent, sweet, and better than store-bought Hostess Cupcakes. We’re going back to childhood today with these delicious chocolate-y cupcakes! A simple chocolate cake batter that genuinely tastes just like the store-bought cakes, filled with homemade meringue, topped with a decadent two ingredient dark chocolate ganache, and finally finished with the classic swirl of decorators frosting. They’re so much fun to make and SO. GOOD. Every bite light and fluffy, while being soft and full of chocolate flavor. Oh, and when you get a big bite of meringue…these cupcakes become simply irresistible! Perfect for baking up anytime of year, but especially for summer weekends, back to school, or as a fun nostalgic treat/gift during the holiday’s.

overhead shot of nine hostess cupcakes with three turned on their side, empty cupcake paper beside with white flowers and chocolate chip around on marble surface.

About The Recipe

We’re back with some more nostalgic bakes! This time, it’s the classic cupcake we all adored growing up…Hostess Cupcakes! There’s just something that is so deliciously simple about these cupcakes that make them irresistible. September is always a fun month for nostalgic bakes, as school is back in full swing, fall is right around the corner, and the weather is juuust beginning to cool off.

So, when we were trying to come up with something for this week, one of the first things that came to mind were these sweet treats!

If you’ve read our blog before, you’ll know that my mom used to always bake up her own version of store-bought treats. Whether that’s Ding Dongs, doughnuts, or even candy! We always had something my mom was trying to re-create.

I remember her thoroughly testing Ding Dongs when I was little. After that, she decided to conquer Hostess Cupcakes!

She would always pack one of the treats in our lunchboxes for school or share them with our teammates at practice…which was always around September! So, to say today’s recipe is really nostalgic for us would be an understatement.

It’s something we haven’t made in so long and it was fun to get back to some of the bakes that got me into baking with my mom.

close up overhead shot of hostess cupcake with bite missing.

Though, this recipe has definitely evolved since the last time we made it! My mom used to always do a Chantilly Cream filling in her treats such-as this. It always tasted good, but it was never quite right. For this recipe, we updated the filling to be an Italian meringue.

It tastes JUST like the filling inside of the store-bought versions! Oh, and we can’t forget about the chocolate cake. We had so much fun testing this! My mom figured out the perfect blend to make the cake actually taste similar to the store-bought version.

It’s so similar, but it genuinely tastes SO. MUCH. BETTER.

Every bite is that sweet, almost fruity chocolate-y flavor with sweet and soft meringue, and a deliciously dark chocolate ganache on top. The swirl of decorators frosting adds just a touch of sweetness and really creates the perfect nostalgic cupcake!

What are Hostess Cupcakes?

Hostess Cupcakes is an American brand of cupcake/snack cake that consists of a a rich chocolate cake, filled with a vanilla creme filling, topped with chocolate icing and decorated with loops of decorators frosting. This recipe is our version of the store-bought treat!

Reasons You Will Love These Hostess Cupcakes

  • Taste JUST like the ones in the store, but even better.
  • Super simple to make.
  • Full of chocolate flavor.
  • The perfect treat for back to school, weekend baking, or even the holiday’s!
  • Perfectly sweet.
  • A real crowd pleaser!
five chocolate cupcakes on upside down plate with one turned on it's side, a knife and measuring cup of chocolate chips beside, with four more cupcakes around on marble surface.

Equipent Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

For The Cupcakes:

flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, milk, eggs, vanilla, shortening, and cocoa powder

For The Meringue:

  • Egg Whites
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Water
sugar, egg whites, and water on marble counter

For The Ganache:

  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Heavy Cream
Chocolate chips and cream on marble surface.

For The Frosting:

  • Vegetable Shortening
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Whole Milk
powdered sugar, shortening, and milk on marble surface.

How To Make Hostess Cupcakes

Step 1: Make the cupcakes

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

With an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in vanilla.

Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

Fill muffin cups ¾ full. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until done.

Step 2: Make the meringue

With an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.

In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water to 246°F-250°F, stirring only until sugar melts. With mixer running, pour sugar mixture over egg whites. Beat until cool.

Step 3: Make the ganache

Place chocolate chips and milk in a medium heatproof bowl. Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Step 4: Core and fill cupcakes

Core cooled cupcakes. Use a piping bag to pipe 1 Tablespoon filling into each cupcake. Place tops from cored cupcakes over filling.

Dip each cupcake top in warm ganache. Set aside.

Step 5: Make the frosting

In a small bowl, beat shortening and powdered sugar together.

Beat in milk until piping consistency is achieved.

Step 6: Pipe

Spoon into piping bag fitted with #4 tip. Pipe 8 small swirls horizontally across each cupcake.

swirls piped on top of three cupcakes with piping bag beside.

How To Store

If you have cupcakes leftover, they can be kept in a covered cake plate or airtight container on the counter for about 1-2 days, but the best way is to definitely refrigerate them! If placed in a lidded and airtight container, the cupcakes should last up to a week. You can also freeze these cupcakes for up to 1 month!

Substitutions

  • If you don’t want to fill the cupcakes with meringue, you can use Chantilly Cream! Just keep in mind they will not last as long and the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Milk chocolate can be used to make the ganache.
close up of four chocolate cupcakes on upside down plate with more cupcakes around on marble surface with white flowers.

Expert Tips

  • Make sure you’re baking soda and baking powder are in-date!
  • Do not over-mix the batter.
  • To ensure each cupcake is the same size, use a large cookie scoop (3 Tablespoons)!
  • If you’re unsure the cupcakes are done baking, poke the middles with a toothpick or cake tester. If it comes clean, then they’re done! If there’s still batter on it, the cupcakes may need 2-3 minutes more baking.
  • When you’re making the meringue, make sure egg whites are at room temperature. The eggs won’t whip if not. Also, be sure that the mixer bowl is free of any dust!
  • Use a digital thermometer to make sure your candy is the right temperature before adding it to the egg whites.
  • When adding the candy, be sure to stream it in slowly! Do not add it too fast.
  • You can use a fork/spoon to dig out the middles of the cake. Just be careful to not dig out TOO much of the cake.
  • After filling each cupcake, use a piece of the core from each cupcake to cover the top of the meringue.
  • If you don’t have a microwave, you can make the ganache by placing the chocolate chips in a bowl, heating the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam, pouring the cream over the chips, and letting it stand for a few minutes before stirring together until smooth.
  • The ganache needs to be warm for dipping the cupcakes! If the ganache starts to set/get too cool, it will not coat the top of the cupcakes and may cause them to tear.
  • Let the ganache set completely on top of each cupcake before piping the frosting!

When you make these Homemade Hostess Cupcakes, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

overhead shot of nine hostess cupcakes with three turned on their side, empty cupcake paper beside with white flowers and chocolate chip around on marble surface.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Traci
The perfect nostalgic treat to bake all year long! These Homemade Hostess Cupcakes are extra chocolate-y, easy to make, and oh so delicious.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine American
Servings 17
Calories 340 kcal

Ingredients
 

Cupcakes

  • cups cake flour
  • ¼ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
  • 2 teasoons vanilla extract

Filling

  • 2 large egg whites, room temperature
  • cup granulated sugar
  • 8 teaspoons water

Ganache

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream

Icing

Instructions

Cupcakes

  • Heat oven to 325° F.
  • Line a cupcake pan with cupcake papers, or spray with baking spray. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • With an electric mixer, beat shortening and sugar until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
  • Add eggs and yolk, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Beat in vanilla.
  • Add flour mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.
  • Fill muffin cups ¾ full.
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until done.

Filling

  • With an electric mixer, beat egg whites to stiff peaks. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, heat sugar and water to 246°F-250°F, stirring only until sugar melts.
  • Brush down the sides of the pan with a pastry brush dipped in water, if necessary.
  • With mixer running, pour sugar mixture over egg whites.
  • Beat until cool.

Ganache

  • Place chocolate chips and milk in a medium heatproof bowl.
  • Microwave in 15 second increments, stirring after each, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Putting It Together

  • Core cooled cupcakes.
  • Use a piping bag to pipe 1 Tablespoon filling into each cupcake.
  • Place tops from cored cupcakes over filling.
  • Dip each cupcake into warm ganache.

Icing

  • In a small bowl, beat shortening and powdered sugar together.
  • Beat in milk until piping consistency is achieved.
  • Spoon into piping bag fitted with #4 tip.
  • Pipe 8 small swirls horizontally across each cupcake.

Notes

Substitutions:
  • If you don’t want to fill the cupcakes with meringue, you can use Chantilly Cream! Just keep in mind they will not last as long and the flavor will be slightly different.
  • Milk chocolate can be used to make the ganache.
 
Expert Tips:
  • Make sure you’re baking soda and baking powder are in-date!
  • Do not over-mix the batter.
  • To ensure each cupcake is the same size, use a large cookie scoop (3 Tablespoons)!
  • If you’re unsure the cupcakes are done baking, poke the middles with a toothpick or cake tester. If it comes clean, then they’re done! If there’s still batter on it, the cupcakes may need 2-3 minutes more baking.
  • When you’re making the meringue, make sure egg whites are at room temperature. The eggs won’t whip if not. Also, be sure that the mixer bowl is free of any dust!
  • Use a digital thermometer to make sure your candy is the right temperature before adding it to the egg whites.
  • When adding the candy, be sure to stream it in slowly! Do not add it too fast.
  • You can use a fork/spoon to dig out the middles of the cake. Just be careful to not dig out TOO much of the cake.
  • After filling each cupcake, use a piece of the core from each cupcake to cover the top of the meringue.
  • If you don’t have a microwave, you can make the ganache by placing the chocolate chips in a bowl, heating the cream in a small saucepan until it starts to steam, pouring the cream over the chips, and letting it stand for a few minutes before stirring together until smooth.
  • The ganache needs to be warm for dipping the cupcakes! If the ganache starts to set/get too cool, it will not coat the top of the cupcakes and may cause them to tear.
  • Let the ganache set completely on top of each cupcake before piping the frosting!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cupcakeCalories: 340kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 5gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 50mgSodium: 202mgPotassium: 149mgFiber: 1gSugar: 28gVitamin A: 277IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 82mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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