Forget the grocery store. This homemade Hostess cupcake recipe is way better. Perfect chocolate cupcake, filled with homemade marshmallow crème, dipped in chocolate ganache, and topped off with the classic vanilla swirl!
Ok as a child of the 80’s or simply a child at all I guess, a Hostess cupcake was right up there with…well Hostess cupcakes. I mean those little snack cakes with their little vanilla icing swirl and secret hidden marshallow filling hiding under that chocolate ganache. Oh. MY. HEAVEN.
I seriously thought nothing could be better.
Then I decided to make them myself.
Oh. My. Word. Homemade beats store-bought crinkly cellophane kind every time.
These cupcakes do have a few components, but trust me, totally worth it. I used my homemade marshmallow fluff I recently made to fill them with.
Oh hello homemade fluff. Nice to see you again.
These cupcakes are my go to chocolate cupcake recipe from Hershey. One bowl. Simple. Perfectly chocolate. I mean, I have made them before, with cake batter frosting, with mocha frosting, white chocolate peppermint frosting, stuffed with peanut butter cups, smores, filled with caramel, and for those true chocoholics- triple chocolate. So yeah, I’ve made them a few times.
How To Make These Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
First things first. Prepare your pans and pre-heat that oven. If your oven is not pre-heated properly, your cupcakes could bake unevenly. And once your batter is made you want to be able to scoop and bake them immediately because your baking soda has already gone to work. If your batter sits out while you are getting your pans ready you are losing precious lift and this could result in a flat cupcake!
This is a one bowl cupcake recipe that couldn’t get easier. Yes one bowl. I told you this is the only recipe you will ever need.
In a large bowl you need to combine the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking powder, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt) and simply whisk to combine. Be sure to measure your flour correctly by scooping and levelling.
In the same bowl you then add your wet ingredients- milk, vegetable oil, vanilla, and eggs. And whisk, whisk, whisk again. Then you need to add in your boiling water. I add in the espresso powder to the boiling water before adding to the cupcake batter. Be careful at this point, when stirring in the hot espresso water. The batter will be thin. But that’s exactly what you want! That thin batter makes for a super moist chocolate cupcake!
To fill your cupcake pans, I find it easiest to pour the batter into a liquid measuring cup and pour then into my cupcake pans. You want to fill these up about 3/4 of the way to leave a bit of room for them to rise and create that beautiful domed cupcake.
When baking these, it’s best to rotate the pans halfway through their baking time. Every oven can have hot spots so they may not bake evenly. Give them a turn in the oven, so they all bake up pretty. For more oven 101, check out this post.
Once they are baked, then give these chocolate cupcakes a fighting chance and be sure to take them out of the pans and cool on a cooling rack. Leaving them in your pans means they will continue to bake and could end up dry.
Once all perfectly baked, go ahead and cut the center out. I use the cone method for filling my cupcakes. Here are 4 easy ways to core your cupcake if you have never done it. I promise you have at least one of the tools I use!
Here is a video on how to core your cupcake as well!
These cupcakes after filled and topped, get dipped in homemade ganache. Ganache is no more than heavy cream and good quality chocolate. That’s it. Sounds so fancy right?
And then of course the vanilla icing swirl that truly makes it a Hostess cupcake. A true Hostess cupcake has exactly 8 swirls.
Ok so I guess mine aren’t perfect.
Oh well 5, 6, however many swirls you make. Trust me no one is going to notice or care. Not once they take a bite.
Worth every single calorie.
If you like this recipe, let me know by leaving a comment! I absolutely love hearing from everyone. And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter and Instagram @Bostongirlbakes.
If you make these, take a photo and let me know! Just be sure to include the #bostongirlbakes so I can see. I love being a part of what you’re baking up in the kitchen.
Happy baking everyone!
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To make these Hostess Cupcakes you are going to need:
- Cupcake pans (I’ve been loving these non-stick ones lately)
- Greaseproof cupcake liners
- Kitchen-aid mixer (I stand by using one, to make the icing that much easier!)
- Dry measuring cups and measuring spoons
- My new favorite whisk (it’s a 2-in-1 whisk and bowl scraper!)
- Metal bowls (plastic tends to retain odors and can warp, metal is best)
If you like this recipe let me know and leave me a comment and star rating below!
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes
- 2 cups sugar
- 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup boiling water
For the marshmallow fluff
- 1/3 cup water
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup corn syrup or honey
- 3 egg whites room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Chocolate Ganache
- 8 ounches good quality chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
For the white icing
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream
- splash of vanilla extract
Heat oven to 400°F. Prepare two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil, vanilla extract beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin) to the cake batter. Fill each cupcake well with 2/3 batter.
Bake for 5 minutes, then reduce oven heat to 350 for an additional 17 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, rotating pans halfway through baking. Remove cupcakes from pans and allow to cool on a wire rack. Cool completely.
4. For the marshmallow fluff, in a medium-sized saucepan combine the water, sugar and corn syrup (or honey). Stir gently to combine. Insert a candy thermometer set for 240°F and heat over medium-high flame. Do not stir the sugar water as it cooks or it will form crystals.
When the sugar syrup begins to form large bubbles, and the thermometer reads about 225°F to 230°F, place the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of your stand mixer and beat the whites to soft peaks. This should take about 3 to 4 minutes.
By the time the whites are whipped, the sugar syrup should be at 240°F. Remove from the heat and with the mixer running, carefully pour the syrup in a thin, steady stream into the whites.
The whites will deflate slightly at first, but as the sugar syrup becomes incorporated, they will thicken, turn white and begin to fluff up.
Continue to whip the fluffy spread for 7 to 8 minutes, or until very thick and glossy. Add in the vanilla and whip for another minute.
To fill the cupcakes: use the cone method by cutting out the center out of the cupcake at an angle about two-thirds of the way down. Save the top of the cupcake and simply trim off the bottom so you can replace the top of the cupcake once you have filled them with the marshmallow creme. Using a piping bag or a Ziploc bag with a corner snipped off, fill the center of each cupcake with the marshmallow creme. Just be sure not to overfill. If you fill above the cupcake, simply use a small spatula to scrape off the top. Place the trimmed top that you saved back on the cupcake.
To make the ganache: Cook the chocolate chip and heavy cream over a double boiler over simmering water until smooth and warm, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly, then dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache so that ganache covers all the way to the liner. Allow any excess to drip off. Place each one back onto the cooling rack.
To make the vanilla icing for the swirl: Beat together the powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla on medium speed until completely blended and smooth. Transfer the icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small, round tip or a small Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready, pipe the swirls across the top of each cupcake.
The marshmallow fluff can be made ahead of time. Simply store for up to 2 weeks at room temperature. The spread can be rewhipped by hand if it becomes "flat.
Leftover cupcakes can be stored in the refrigerator.
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