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Hostess Cupcakes

close up shot of Hostess Cupcakes on a display stand
This moist chocolate cupcake with its marshmallow cream filling makes this homemade version of the classic Hostess cupcakes even better than the original.
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Table of Contents
  1. HOSTESS CUPCAKES INGREDIENTS
  2. HOW TO MAKE THIS HOSTESS CUPCAKES RECIPE
  3. HOW TO SERVE
  4. STORAGE
  5. MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

These homemade hostess cupcakes will bring back childhood memories of discovering these treats in your lunchbox. Now you can make this moist chocolate cake with the chocolate topping and dreamy cream filling at home, and they taste just like the real thing.

We’ve got more cupcake recipes that are filled with delicious surprises. Try our Boston cream cupcakes and cookie dough cupcakes.

HOSTESS CUPCAKES INGREDIENTS

You’ll need:

For the Cupcakes

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • ⅓ cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature

For the Cupcake Filling

  • 2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

For the Ganache Frosting

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream

For the White Swirl Icing

  • 4 tablespoons (¼ cup) salted sweet cream butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

GANACHE: You can substitute the semi-sweet chocolate chips with milk chocolate chips if you want a sweeter ganache for these chocolate Hostess cupcakes.

CAKE MIX: Boxed chocolate cake mix can also be used for the delicious chocolate cake.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING: If you would prefer to buy chocolate frosting instead of making it, you can.

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HOW TO MAKE THIS HOSTESS CUPCAKES RECIPE

For the Cupcakes

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set it aside.

STEP TWO: In a small mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside.

STEP THREE: Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs until well incorporated.

STEP FOUR: Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.

PRO TIP:

Make sure not to overmix the cupcake batter or you will lose that airy and fluffy texture that we want in these cupcakes.

STEP FIVE: Fill the prepared liners between ½ to ⅔ full with the cake batter.

PRO TIP:

Don’t overfill the cupcake liners. If you do, the tops may sink or the cupcakes could overflow.

STEP SIX: Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back. Remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool completely.

For the Filling

STEP ONE: Using a small bowl and a handheld mixer set on medium, cream the butter until smooth, about 1 minute.

STEP TWO: Lower the mixer speed to low and add ½ of the powdered sugar, beat well, then add the remaining powdered sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for an additional 1 minute, or until the butter mixture is smooth.

PRO TIP:

If you want a stiffer filling, you can increase the powdered sugar to ½ cup.

STEP THREE: Lower the mixer speed to low and add the marshmallow cream. Keeping the mixer speed on low, beat just until the mixture is combined. 

STEP FOUR: Using a quart-size Ziploc bag, add the filling. Be sure to squeeze out any excess air and seal the bag. 

For the Cupcake Assembly

STEP ONE: Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a sharp knife or a cupcake corer, and cut a circle about the size of a quarter in the top center of the cupcake. You can trim away the excess cupcake from the circle.

STEP TWO: Snip a small corner of the filling bag. Insert the snipped corner into the cupcake and fill the hollowed cupcake just almost to the top. Replace the cupcake cap and repeat the process until all the cupcakes are filled.

For the Chocolate Ganache

STEP ONE: Pour the heavy cream into a heat-safe measuring cup and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds. 

STEP TWO: Add the chocolate chips to a small heat-safe bowl. Pour the heated heavy cream over the chocolate chips and allow it to sit for 1 to 1 ½ minutes. Stir well until all the chocolate chips are melted, and the mixture is smooth and shiny.

STEP THREE: Evenly spoon and spread ½ to ¾ teaspoon of the mixture on top of the filled cupcakes. Allow the frosted cupcakes to sit and allow the chocolate to sit.

For the White Loop Icing

STEP ONE: Using a small mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

STEP TWO: Add the vanilla and continue mixing for another 10 to 15 seconds.

STEP THREE: Add the powdered sugar and mix for 30 seconds. It will resemble white sand.

STEP FOUR: Add the milk and increase the mixer speed to medium. Mix for 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth.

STEP FIVE: Using either a Ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off, or a decorator’s bag fitted with a #5 decorator’s tip, fill with the icing. 

STEP SIX: Hold the tip of the piping bag ¼ to ½ inch above the cupcake, and using even steady pressure, pipe a swirling loop pattern down the center of the cupcake. Repeat the process until all cupcakes are topped.

HOW TO SERVE

These copycat Hostess cupcakes are delicious with a glass of milk or perfect in a lunchbox. These would be a fun dessert to serve for a retro-themed party or a kids birthday party instead of a cake. Treat yourself to a cupcake with a latte as an evening snack.

STORAGE

IN THE FRIDGE: Store the cupcakes in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Allow the cupcakes to come to almost room temperature before serving.

IN THE FREEZER: You can freeze these cupcakes, unfrosted, for 2 to 3 months.

Our hostess chocolate cupcakes with their flavorful chocolate icing and creamy center and that original squiggle on top of each cupcake are a great way to enjoy these vintage treats made in your own kitchen. Your taste buds will be amazed at how much like the original they taste!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use homemade marshmallow fluff?

If you prefer to make your own marshmallow fluff, you can substitute it for the store-bought version.

Can these cupcakes be frozen?

You can freeze these cupcakes unfrosted in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

How far in advance can I make these cupcakes?

You could make them up to two days in advance, just wait to frost them until you are ready to serve.

MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

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close up shot of Hostess Cupcakes on a display stand

Hostess Cupcakes

5 from 1 vote
This moist chocolate cupcake with its marshmallow cream filling makes this homemade version of the classic Hostess cupcakes even better than the original.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 14 cupcakes

Ingredients
  

Cupcake

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature

Cupcake Filling

  • 2 cups marshmallow fluff
  • 4 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter softened (¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup powdered sugar

Ganache Frosting

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 7 tablespoons heavy cream

White Swirl Icing

  • 4 tablespoons salted sweet cream butter softened (¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar

Instructions
 

Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners and set it aside.
  • In a small mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set it aside.
  • Using a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs until well incorporated.
  • Slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until the ingredients are combined.
  • Fill the prepared liners between ½ to ⅔ full.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until the tops of the cupcakes spring back. Remove the cupcakes and allow them to cool completely.

Filling

  • Using a small mixing bowl and a handheld mixer set on medium, cream the butter until smooth, about 1 minute.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low and add ½ of the powdered sugar, beat well, then add the remaining powdered sugar. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for an additional 1 minute, or until the butter mixture is smooth.
  • Lower the mixer speed to low and add the marshmallow cream. Keeping the mixer speed on low, beat just until the mixture is combined.
  • Using a quart-size Ziploc bag, add the filling. Be sure to squeeze out any excess air and seal the bag.

Cupcake Assembly

  • Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, use a sharp knife or a cupcake corer, and cut a circle about the size of a quarter in the top center of the cupcake. You can trim away the excess cupcake from the circle.
  • Snip a small corner of the filling bag. Insert the snipped corner into the cupcake and fill the hollowed cupcake just almost to the top. Replace the cupcake cap and repeat the process until all the cupcakes are filled.

Ganache

  • Pour the heavy cream into a heat-safe measuring cup and microwave for 30 to 40 seconds.
  • Add the chocolate chips to a small heat-safe bowl. Pour the heated heavy cream over the chocolate chips and allow it to sit for 1-1½ minutes. Stir well until all the chocolate chips are melted, and the mixture is smooth and shiny.
  • Evenly spoon and spread ½ to ¾ teaspoon of the mixture on top of the filled cupcakes. Allow the frosted cupcakes to sit and allow the chocolate to sit.

White Loop Icing

  • Using a small mixing bowl and a handheld mixer on medium speed, cream the butter for about 1 minute, or until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla and continue mixing for another 10 to 15 seconds.
  • Add the powdered sugar and mix for 30 seconds. It will resemble white sand.
  • Add the milk and increase the mixer speed to medium. Mix for 1 minute or until the mixture is smooth.
  • Using either a Ziploc bag with a small corner snipped off, or a decorator’s bag fitted with a #5 decorator’s tip, fill with the icing.
  • Hold the tip of the bag ¼ to ½ inch above the cupcake, and using even steady pressure, pipe a swirling loop pattern down the center of the cupcake. Repeat the process until all cupcakes are topped.

Video

Notes

PRO TIP: Make sure not to overmix the cupcake batter or you will lose that airy and fluffy texture that we want in these cupcakes.
 
PRO TIP:  Don’t overfill the cupcake liners. If you do, the tops may sink or the cupcakes could overflow.
 
PRO TIP: If you want a stiffer filling, you can increase the powdered sugar to ½ cup.

Nutrition

Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 48g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 218mg | Potassium: 138mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 385IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 33mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Lyn says

    I just love your blog! I would like to make these childhood favorite cup cakes.I have never heard of salted sweet cream butter. My mom taught me that butter is either salted or unsalted (sweet), so I’m a bit confused. Is this something new? Thanks.

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