These Homemade Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are seriously delicious! They taste even BETTER than the ones you remember from your childhood because they’re made from scratch!
Growing up, we had full rein of my grandma’s pantry when we were under her care. This meant while she was watching her soap operas and was too distracted to pay attention to us, we’d sneak in from the den and raid the cupboard for all the snack cakes: Nutty Bars, Twinkies, Cosmic Brownies, and Hostess Cupcakes. It’s a miracle we didn’t weigh a ton each. I think that was due to the fact that she had a giant pool in the backyard that you had to bribe us to get out of in the summertime.
To this day, those snack cakes hold a nostalgic place in my heart. But they don’t have the same flavor memory as I remember. I remember them being so tasty, but when I purchased some of them recently (not naming names to protect the guilty), they were so artificial, I couldn’t handle it. Now, I’m not one to scoff at anything artificial (Fruity Pebbles and Pop-Tarts are forever a fave) but these were not good. So I set out to create my own.
And thus, these homemade cupcakes were born!
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes have a few steps, but I promise they’re easy (if not slightly labor intensive).
First, the cupcakes. This is a classic chocolate cupcake, but it has to be moist and chocolaty like Hostess’. A dry cupcake? We don’t know her. Oil as the fat in this recipe yields a moist cupcake, and brewed hot coffee richens the chocolate notes making it an ultra chocolaty cake.
Next, the cream filling. This is where we adapt a little because the original is so saccharine. I used marshmallow fluff/creme mixed with some softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, and a splash of vanilla. Essentially, a marshmallow frosting. Boy, was it good!
Then, the chocolate ganache. We love to see it! Here, to balance the sweetness of the cream filling, I used semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with hot heavy cream. You could use milk chocolate, but I think the semi-sweet is perfect.
And lastly, the loop-de-loop. This is essentially a super quick buttercream we’ll make in the teeniest amount for a garnish. You’ll pipe it on using a tiny Wilton #3 tip (or by snipping off a tiny corner of a Ziploc bag) and make a looping pattern across the top of the dipped cupcakes. If it makes it easier, think of making a bunch of connecting, cursive ‘e’s’.
Moist, chocolaty, rich and delicious with that addictive cream filling, these Homemade Hostess Cupcakes are one to beat!
*slightly adapted from Life, Love and Sugar
Homemade Copycat Hostess Cupcakes
For the Cupcakes:
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 2%)
- 1 large egg
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated white sugar
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup hot brewed coffee can substitute with hot water
For Cream Filling:
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 5 oz marshmallow fluff/creme
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 7 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
For Piping Garnish (Loop):
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
- 1 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- First, make the cupcakes. Preheat your oven to 350° degrees F. Line 2 muffin tins with approximately 14-16 cupcake liners. This recipe makes approximately 14-16 cupcakes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the oil, milk, vanilla extract, and egg until combined; set aside. Meanwhile, in another medium bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt and whisk until combined. Gradually add in the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing on low speed until just barely combined (you should still see some dry mixture). Slowly and carefully stream in the hot brewed black coffee and mix on low speed until just combined and batter is thin and glossy. Batter will be very thin.
- Divide batter among muffin tins, filling about 2/3 of the way full. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the cupcake comes out clean or with moist, but not wet, crumbs. Cool the cupcakes completely.
- Using a paring knife or a cupcake corer, core the cooled cupcakes and set the cores aside in a small bowl, Now we'll make the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the softened butter, confectioners' sugar, and marshmallow fluff and, using an electric mixer, beat on low speed until just combined. Spoon the filling into a piping bag or a Ziploc bag and snip off the tip. Pipe about a Tablespoon or two into the cavity of each cored cupcake. Replace the cupcake top (trim off most of the core as the cupcakes are now filled and we really only need the top of the cupcake back). Set aside.
- For the ganache: Add the heavy whipping cream to a medium bowl and microwave on high power for 30 seconds or until hot to the touch. Add the chocolate chips to the bowl in a single layer. Replace the bowl back into the microwave to sit undisturbed for about 2 minutes. Remove from the microwave and stir until glossy and smooth and chips are all melted. Spread the ganache over the cupcakes or dip the cupcakes into the ganache and allow any excess to drip off. Allow ganache frosting to set before proceeding.
- Lastly, for the vanilla icing piping garnish! In a medium bowl, combine the softened butter and confectioners' sugar and beat with an electric mixer until sandy and crumbly. Add in the heavy cream and splash of vanilla and mix until just barely combined into a frosting. Spoon the frosting into a small piping bag fitted with a Wilton #3 tip or Ziploc baggy and snip off the corner. Pipe a loop-de-loop pattern with steady pressure over the cupcakes. Think of piping a cursive 'e' over and over the cupcakes.
- Cupcakes will last about 3-5 days airtight at room temperature or in the fridge. If in the fridge, serve cool but not cold.
These cupcakes are so tasty – I know you’re going to love them!
Have a super sweet day!
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