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Homemade Hostess Cupcakes: Copycat Recipe

By Ole & Shaina Olmanson |

It occurred to me the other day as we walked through our neighborhood Target that my son had never had Hostess Cupcakes before. Not only has he not had Hostess Cupcakes, but he hasn’t had a single Hostess brand treat. We just don’t buy them.

We try to avoid processed food whenever possible, but additionally, we don’t eat sweets all that often. I figure the kids get sweets often enough at school and church events to make up for my lack of everyday baking. Really, though, my newly 6-year-old son refused to eat cake or go near frosting. It’s only recently that he’s had a change of heart.

Seeing as it was his birthday and he was asking me all about the Hostess Cupcakes on the end cap at the store, I agreed that we could instead make them together, our very own Homemade Hostess Cupcakes.

After considering several recipes the internets offered and not seeing exactly what I wanted, I chose a few things from here and there and constructed the seemingly perfect Hostess Cupcake for my boy. I did go with the full-sugar version, which, I have to say, was quite overwhelming when you’re used to a low-sugar diet, but we all ate just one, and both my husband and I judged the cakes based on how authentic they were.

I went with a modified version of Zoe’s favorite Devil’s Food Cupcakes. They are soft and airy, and the coffee really brings the chocolate deeper, perfect for filling with cream. The most worrisome part for me was the filling, and my husband said it was right on. I have Bridget to thank for that one. I modeled it after her own cupcake filling along with the icing. The ganache is simply my favorite recipe, adjusted to a smaller portion size.

In the end, my birthday boy got his cupcake experience. He accepted it with a smile and ate it right up, smiling all the way.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup oil
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup hot coffee

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, Dutch process cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, beat together eggs, oil, buttermilk and vanilla and then add into the dry ingredients. Whisk in the hot coffee.

Fill lined muffin cups 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees F for 18-20 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

For the filling:
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup marshmallow creme

In a medium bowl, beat together all filling ingredients. Fill a large piping bag. When cupcakes are cool, press tip into the center and squeeze 1-2 tablespoons of the cream filling into the center. Repeat for all cupcakes.

For the ganache:
3/4 cup cream
7 ounces chocolate

Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat stirring frequently until the cream is hot and just starts to boil. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Spread warm but slightly cooled ganache over the tops of the filled cupcakes.

For the icing:
1/2 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2-1 tablespoon milk

Once the ganache is set, whip together all icing ingredients until smooth, adding more milk if necessary. Fill a piping bag and pipe on the curls or write fun messages on your cupcakes.

Makes 12 homemade Hostess cupcakes.

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About Ole & Shaina Olmanson


Ole & Shaina Olmanson

Shaina Olmanson is the food writer and home cook behind Food for My Family. Shaina can usually be found in one of three places: cooking, at the computer or behind the camera. These three things occur in the kitchen simultaneously with her four children hanging from her apron strings as she teaches them to cook and the importance of eating locally, seasonally, organically and together. She is a former Babble Food blogger.

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12 thoughts on “Homemade Hostess Cupcakes: Copycat Recipe

  1. Lisa says:

    These look so good. Just like how I remember them when I was a kid, though they probably taste even better.

  2. Angie McGowan says:

    These look perfect, although in the south we never had hostess, I never even saw hostess until I was much older, we had Little Debbie chocolate cupcakes that looked the same, don’t know about the taste, still never had hostess, LOL.

  3. Wenderly says:

    You’ve taken me down memory lane! These look fantastic!

  4. Liz@HoosierHomemade says:

    Everytime I visit, I am more and more inspired by you Shaina!
    These look incredible!

  5. bridget {bake at 350} says:

    Aww….thanks for the shout-out! We LOVE making homemade hostess cupcakes! Yours look perfect!

  6. says:

    I’m having flashbacks to my childhood! Yumm!

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  10. Adrianne says:

    We just finished eating these for Nutella Day after lunch – delicious! I made a cream nutella for the middle (mixed whipping cream and nutella) and they were fantastic. I think I overcooked mine just a bit as the outside was a little crisp, but still perfect.

    Everything worked out fine in the end, I added my flour and then my coffee so there werent any oversized lumps from not having adding the flour first. Will make these again! Thanks for the great keeper recipe :)

  11. Steven says:

    I made these and they taste great. One thing I am wondering about is their composition. They don’t hold together well when once they have been bitten into. Would adding less oil make them bind together a little better?

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