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5 from 11 votes

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

A homemade version of the classic Hostess cupcake. Perfect chocolate cupcake, filled with marshmallow crème, dipped in chocolate ganache, and topped off with a perfect vanilla swirl.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: chocolate
Servings: 12 cupcakes
Calories: 364kcal


For the cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup (90 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup (42 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup (149 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream

For the marshmallow fluff (7-minute icing)

  • 1 1/2 cup (297 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (80 mL) cold water
  • 2 egg whites room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 ounces dark (or semi-sweet) chocolate chopped (or chips is fine as well)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) heavy cream


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
  • In a second bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, sour cream, and sugar.
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, mixing just until combined. Fill each cupcake well with 2/3 batter.
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes, 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.
  • For the 7-minute icing, in a medium-sized saucepan combine the water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt.
  • Using an electric mixer set on low, beat the egg white mixture for 30 seconds. Set the bowl over the saucepan of simmering water. Be sure the bottom of the bowl does not touch the simmering water. Continue beating at high speed for about 7 minutes, or until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
  • Remove from the heat, and add the vanilla and beat for an additional 2-3 minutes until bowl feels cool to the touch. Use frosting right away as it tends to set quickly.
  • 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. You will need some of this icing to pip swirls on top.
  • 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.
  • Use remaining white icing to pipe swirls on top of cupcake.


  • Be sure to measure your flour accurately. For a full tutorial on how and whyread this post.
  • Be sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder not dutch process. They are not the same. You can read about the differences here.
  • 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.
  • Do not overfill. They make a perfect 15 cupcakes. If you have less, then you probably overfilled some which will results in your cupcakes sinking in the middle
  • Once they are baked, 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.


Calories: 364kcal | Carbohydrates: 52g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 18g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 223mg | Potassium: 147mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 172IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 31mg | Iron: 1mg