Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

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Congrats to Liz for winning the cupcake decorating kit recipe giveaway!

A few weeks ago I offered to make cupcakes for a staff lunch. I was met with a challenge: make an adult version of Hostess cupcakes. I didn’t have much time, so I made s’mores cupcakes then but kept the challenge in the back of my mind. At the end of spring break I tackled it, with a few bumps along the way. The results were worth the trial and error: a rich chocolate cupcake with a fluffy white filling, topped with a layer of decadent chocolate ganache and the classic white curlicues. I was told that the ganache in particular was a perfect replica, and all in all the cupcakes were met with rave reviews. In fact, the woman who originally requested them (someone who is in love with the store bought Hostess cupcake) was so happy that it made her day. Which, in turn, made my day!

The recipes I found online all called for a filling that was basically a buttercream with some store bought marshmallow creme (AKA marshmallow fluff) mixed in. Initially, I wanted to make it all the way from scratch, but with already having to make 4 recipes for 1 cupcake, I decided to just go with it and buy marshamllow creme. The marshmallow creme alone was fine – it was close to the texture of the original Hostess filling, but a little too fluffy. However, mixing it together with buttercream was pretty awful; I ended up with a sickeningly sweet and thick buttercream filling. That’s not even close to a Hostess cupcake filling!

I ran back to the store and bought another jar of marshmallow creme. I tried adding more to the buttercream mixture, but it was just too heavy from the butter and too sweet from the powdered sugar. Instead, I ended up taking a lot of marshmallow creme and mixing in just a little buttercream. Because I figured it out on the fly, I can’t promise that the filling reicpe is perfect, but I will try it again soon and edit it if needed. If you try it, please let me know what you think!

I also found that cutting out a hole in the middle of the cupcake with a paring knife (like I did with the limoncello and meyer lemon cupcakes – I used those pictures here because I didn’t take step by step pictures with the homemade Hostess cupcakes) and spooning some filling inside was a much better method than using a piping bag to fill them. Plus, you won’t have to dirty a piping back and tip. Additionally, I added a little sugar to the ganache, although instead you could use a slightly sweeter chocolate.


Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Adapted from Food Network Magazine

Makes around 20 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 1/4 C sugar
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, sliced
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 C unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 t baking soda
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/4 t salt
For the filling:
  • 2 T unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C powdered sugar
  • 1 t pure vanilla exrtact
  • 1-2 T heavy cream
  • 2 C marshmallow creme
For the ganache:
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 C heavy cream
  • 1 T unsalted butter
  • 1 oz sugar
  • 2 t vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1-2 T milk
  • 1 C powdered sugar
  • 1/8 t vanilla

To make the cupcakes:

Preheat oven to  350° F. Line muffin tin with paper liners. In a small saucepan, bring sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves. Pour into a large bow and add chocolate and butter. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled a bit. Using an electric mixer, beat in the vanilla and eggs.

In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and mix to combine.

Place 1/4 cup of batter in each cupcake liner. Bake 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

To make the filling:

Cream butter with a mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in powdered sugar, then add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream. Beat until smooth. Mix in the marshmallow creme. Add more cream, powdered sugar or marshmallow creme until you reach your desired consistency and flavor. Set aside (or refrigerate if you are making this ahead).

To make the ganache:

Place the chocolate in a glass or stainless steel bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cream and butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Add vanilla and let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

To assemble:
Using a small paring knife, a large pastry tip or a small melon baller, cut out a small hole in the middle of the cupcake. Spoon some filling inside. If desired, place some cake back on top (I tried with and without adding a little cake to seal the hole, and it was fine both ways.) Spoon a little ganache on top and spread with a knife or offset spatula. Chill in refrigerator for 15 mintues or until ganache is set.
In the meantime, prepare the icing:

Beat the butter for a minute. Add vanilla, milk and powdered sugar and beat utnil smooth. Add more milk if needed. Place in a pastry bag with a small round tip and pipe onto cupcakes.

Store finished cupcakes in the refrigerator.

38 Responses to “Homemade Hostess Cupcakes”
  1. Andrea writes:

    This looks SO good! Wow! Such a great idea! I wish I could pop a few of those into my mouth right now…

  2. Jennifer (Delicieux) writes:

    I’ve never had Hostess cupcakes, but these look great! Maybe I will have to try a Hostess cupcake when we are in the US on our holiday next month.
    Jennifer (Delicieux) recently posted Honey Roasted Butternut Pumpkin Soup

  3. Katrina @ In Katrina's Kitchen writes:

    I have had my eyes one these for months now and keep dreaming about making them! Yours look perfect!!
    Katrina @ In Katrina’s Kitchen recently posted Funky Monkey Review and Giveaway

  4. Tiffany writes:

    PICTURE PERFECT! I’ve never had marshmallow creme, but it sounds heavenly!
    Tiffany recently posted Jamaican Pattie Canapes with Bok Choy- Carrot- and Mushroom Slaw

  5. All That I'm Eating writes:

    Well don’t they look devilishly good. I imagine them to be amazingly chocolatey. Wish you worked where I did!
    All That I’m Eating recently posted Farmers Market Smoked Trout and Potato Salad

  6. Sarah Schiffman writes:

    Whoa I just had a flash back to elementary school complete with crimped hair and side ponytail. These were such a coveted treat growing up. Can’t wait to surprise my sister with a homemade version. Thanks for sharing!!
    Sarah Schiffman recently posted Time Flies

  7. sweetie writes:

    SEEMS she loved the creme in her filling frosting but maybe you could try her version?

  8. Becky writes:

    these look like the real thing, but I’m sure that htey taste much better.
    Becky recently posted 1st Online Bake Sale Update and Lemon Strawberry Bread Shortcake!

  9. Becky writes:

    these look like the real thing, but I\’m sure that THey taste much better.
    Becky recently posted 1st Online Bake Sale Update and Lemon Strawberry Bread Shortcake!

  10. Megan writes:

    These are getting bookmarked! Mmmmmm, delicious!
    Megan recently posted Creamy green chile and avocado sauce

  11. Kimberly(unrivalekitch) writes:

    so cute. what an adorable child hood classic

  12. Sandra writes:

    Looks like the original to me Steph. I admire your tenacity.
    Sandra recently posted Blueberry Cream Cheese Pound Cake

  13. Belinda @zomppa writes:

    Oh, me, me, me!! These are GORGEOUS!!! I want one – I’ll share, I promise (NOT!)
    Belinda @zomppa recently posted Advanced Superfood- Vanilla Chia Pet Pudding Recipe

  14. Magic of Spice writes:

    Oh WOW! These are perfect…childhood memories are flooding in :) You did an amazing job with these, incredible!

  15. Medeja writes:

    I like everything about them, but I guess I wouldnt bea ble to stop eating them one after one..

  16. Lindsey@Lindselicious writes:

    These look perfect and they look delish!
    Lindsey@Lindselicious recently posted Momofuku- Made Skinny

  17. Medeja writes:

    They sound delicious :) filling especially

  18. Rochelle writes:

    I don’t buy hostess cupcakes for the reason you say you didn’t like the butter cream and marshmallow fluff mixture, too sickeningly sweet!


    A recipe like this can be worked with to make it not so sweet but taste great :) The cupcake itself looks so moist, I think I could eat that with out all the other stuff :D
    Rochelle recently posted Roasted Squash and Chickpea Soup

  19. Lauren at Keep It Sweet writes:

    Wow, these do look so much better than the originals!
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet recently posted Spiked Cookies and a Winner

  20. sweetlife writes:

    my spam word was MILK, how funny..I’ll take two with a glass of cold milk!!

    sweetlife recently posted Lime Ice Cream with Guayaba Cream and Pepita Brittle

  21. Alicia writes:

    Yummy! I tried these once, the filling is addicting! the piping looks perfect

  22. Liz writes:

    Wow, these are picture perfect! And SO much better than the name brand…yum. My family would go nuts for these. Hmmmmmm…maybe I will use some of my new cupcake loot and make these :) Thanks again for the fabulous blog give away!
    Liz recently posted Garlicky Crumb-Coated Broccoli

  23. Kita writes:

    Ive been itching to try these at home so Im glad for your review of how the inside creme turned out. Im not much for the real thing but once in a blue moon the craving pops to mind.

  24. Maris (In Good Taste) writes:

    These look awesome!!! Brings me back to childhood! They are perfect
    Maris (In Good Taste) recently posted Easy Bread Recipe That Anyone Can Make- No-Knead Refrigerator Bread

  25. cricks writes:

    I just made these for a coworker’s birthday. They turned out great. I got the recipe from Americas Test Kitchen. They chose to use the marshmallow fluff as well for the filling but added a little bit of gelatine and that worked perfectly! Just thought I’d share.

    3 tablespoons water
    3/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
    4 tablespoon (1/2 stick) unsalted butter , softened
    Pinch salt
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 1/4 cups marshmallow créme

  26. Dani writes:

    Oh my god, Steph. You are Teh Genius. I know I say that all the time. Wait, I’m your sister, I should be saying it all the time. YOU ARE A GENIUS THERE I SAID IT.

    What was my point going to be?

    Oh yeah: I was reading through this going “scoop it out how? That is a great idea! I always overstuff the baked goods when I pipe things into them! But how?!? I hope she describes it. I don’t know if that will be clear enough though!” And then you totally put in an adorable little four-part picture! And now I understand perfectly.

  27. Dress and Dish writes:

    Omgosh!!! I want one of those! Yum.

  28. Food Links of the Day: Classic Snack Cakes | The Hectic Gourmet writes:

    […] Homemade Hostess Cupcakes from 52 Kitchen Adventures {Okay, I know Hostess and Little Debbie are not the same. But these are classic, too!} […]

  29. Lisa writes:

    Great recipe! I made the same type of cupcakes for a Superbowl party a couple years ago and used a swiss meringue as the filling- it was EXACTLY like the Hostess filling. Use 2:1 ratio sugar to egg white (by weight), whisk in a mixing bowl over simmering water until warm and sugar is dissolved completely, then attach to the mixer and whip at medium speed until cooled and fluffy. Its so easy and so cheap, and you don’t have any of the preservatives that marshmallow creme has.

  30. Kitty writes:

    I want some of those cupcakes.Great recipe.

  31. Marcie Peterson writes:

    These are too darn cute. I would love for you to share them on my Fantastic Cupcake linky list in the left hand column of http://www.igottatrythat.com
    Thanks, Marcie

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  33. funtabulous bake sale idea round-up | KneeBlogger writes:

    […] Homemade Hostess Cupcakes from 52 Kitchen Adventures. […]

  34. Lindsey writes:

    These were so good! Made them for a friend’s birthday party. We made miniature ones instead. :) Totally cute!


  35. Jennifer writes:

    Haven’t had a hostess cupcake in a long time. I have however made this frosting recently and wonder if it would be close for the filling. Even if it isn’t I don’t think you will be disappointed about trying it. Just fyi … i am not affiliated with this website, they are just the only ones that had this recipe i had been looking for from my childhood. http://tastykitchen.com/blog/2010/03/a-tasty-recipe-thats-the-best-frosting-ive-ever-had/

  36. Comfort Foods Recipe Roundup - Savory Simple writes:

    […] Chocolate Cake with Fudge Frosting Recipe Keep It Sweet Desserts – Apple Cinnamon Crumb Cake 52 Kitchen Adventures – Homemade Hostess Cupcakes Vintage Kitchen Notes Cinnamon Rice Pudding Wonky Wonderful – Honey Ricotta Ice Cream The […]

  37. DorothyK writes:

    These have WAY too much leavening in them…4 t?! I made them, not thinking about it until after I had added all the ingredients, and sure enough they turned out very metallic tasting. Most other recipes for hostess type cupcakes require 1 1/2 t. tops. Baker beware.

  38. Merry Christmas! | Go Bake Yourself writes:

    […] http://www.52kitchenadventures.com/2011/04/06/homemade-hostess-cupcakes/ […]

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