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How to Make Hostess Cupcakes at Home

By • June 2, 2014 • 72 Comments

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All week long, our very own Jennifer Steinhauer from Weeknights with Jenny will be sharing recipes from her new book Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today). Follow along to win one of five copies we’re giving away -- and to take a trip down memory lane. 

Today: A recreation of America's most iconic cupcake. 

Hostess CupCakes

The Hostess Cupcake is second perhaps only to the Twinkie, and is best known for its oddly alluring plastic-like chocolate frosting with white squiggles, which spreads across the top like a bedspread, hiding the chocolate crumb cake and creamy center beneath. The frosting is often eaten as its own rightful snack, peeled away, considered, nibbled on, perhaps put back, maybe set to rest on a desk while you make your way into the cake. Or, if you do as one kid at my third grade lunch table preferred, you can dip it into your milk with the dim hope that somehow it will transform into chocolate milk. (Of course, this does not work -- the frosting bit will instead float and bob, like a lonely chocolate seahorse, in the paper milk carton.) 

This recipe is close to any standard cupcake version you may have on hand, but it is infused with cream and then dipped in chocolate, which sounds like a lot of work, but it all goes pretty quickly.

Hostess Cupcakes

Makes 18 cupcakes

For the cupcakes and filling:

2 sticks salted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup natural cocoa powder, such as Hershey's Baking Cocoa
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup whole milk
1 cup marshmallow fluff
1/3 cup salted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

For the frosting and decoration:

1/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup bittersweet chocolate morsels
1 1/2 tablespoons salted butter, softened
1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

We're giving away a copy of Treat Yourself every day this week! To enter to win today's copy, tell us in the comments: What’s your favorite Hostess treat? We'll pick five winners at random next Monday, June 9th!

Photo by James Ransom. Excerpted from the book Treat Yourself: 70 Classic Snacks You Loved as a Kid (and Still Love Today) by Jennifer Steinhauer. Reprinted by permission of Clarkson Potter Publishers. All rights reserved.

Tags: guest editors, jennifer steinhauer, jenny, treat yourself, cupcakes, dessert, how-to & DIY, chocolate, hostess

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Comments (72)


11 months ago Molly Anderson

Hostess Cupcakes! When we were kids, my brother and I would have a contest to see who could successfully eat the bottom cake part of the cupcake, and leave the middle cream filling and the entire top frosting layer by itself without it breaking. Then we would eat the top and the filling all at once at the very end.


12 months ago ashley's brain

The Ding-Dongs. More chocolatey covering that you could pick off and enjoy, and then - when you had only enough bits left for where your fingers were placed -- you could eat the moist creme-filled cake. Yum.


12 months ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

Twinkies and Apple Fruit Pies!


12 months ago cookbookchick

Hostess Cupcakes, yes!


12 months ago amysarah

I think they were made by Drake's, but same idea - Yodels. I loved the ritual of unrolling them as you ate. They were a very interactive snack.


12 months ago CarlaCooks

Were DingDongs a Hostess treat? If so, they were my favorite. I'd stick them in the freezer for a nice cold treat after a hot day at school.


12 months ago Yael Even

OMG .... Twinkies!! by the dozen.....


12 months ago mei55

hostess cupcakes for sure


12 months ago Diane Thompson

Loved Ding Dongs


12 months ago littleknitter

I loved Donettes! Hostess cupcakes were a close second, though.


12 months ago Jestei

me too


12 months ago LLStone

Ding Dong's from the fridge! My brothers used to polish off a box sometimes after practices, save the one I put in the fridge.


12 months ago batampte

My post doesn't seem to have materialized, which is just as well because after much consideration—ring dings, yodels—I said coffee cakes. But I realized all of my choices were Drakes! (This is the confusion that occurs when your mother never really let this stuff in the house!). A book about Drakes cakes for your follow-up? Best of luck with Treat Yourself.


12 months ago Jestei

Actually the book has recipes from across a spectrum of food companies and DRAKES CAKES ARE IN THERE JUST FOR YOU! Also funny bones, Oreos etc


12 months ago NYNCtg

Fruit pies. Apple or Cherry but not lemon. As a kid getting the lemon pie was like getting socks for Christmas.


12 months ago Jestei

Hilarious. We used to count the number of cherries in the McDonalds apple fry pie. A record high was seven. One there was just one. I confess I like lemon but like you did not as a kid.


12 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Yes, the lemon ones were vile. I found the cherry filling to have a nasty bite to it, so i always asked for apple, which actually tasted pretty good. ;o)


12 months ago Camilla Botkin

Cupcakes of course!


12 months ago Jestei



12 months ago Melody J

I like snowballs


12 months ago Jestei

I have a very nice version in the book. smaller, yummy.


12 months ago Mulzee

ho hos. all the way


12 months ago Jestei

love it


12 months ago L Gulledge

Cherry Pie!!


12 months ago Jestei

i used to count the cherries!


12 months ago cheese1227

I was a Suzie Q lover, but I am not sure they were Hostess!


12 months ago Jestei

yes i mention those in the book, not with a recipe, but with the fact that my father used to hide my medicine in them!


12 months ago stellarsuz

Gotta go with the Ding Dong.... something about the filling...


12 months ago Jestei

those were great


12 months ago Ruchika Shrivastava

what else could it be for a chocolate and cake lover like me then the chocolate cupcake...


12 months ago Jestei

of course