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How to Make Hostess Cupcakes at Home

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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 (84)


2 months ago David Schroeder

HoHos definitely


2 months ago Samantha Marie Miller

Devil Dogs!!


2 months ago Di

Of course Hostess cupcakes! Of course now I am into eating better but saw and happened to buy 100 calorie Hostess cupcakes. They were good & even my grandsons loved them! Hooray (although I haven't found them in quite a while). Definitely going to make, especially when my grandsons visit! Thanks.


2 months ago lee

of COURSE Hostess cupcakes!!!!! From the freezer after a reallllllly bad day


2 months ago Ellen Abramson Cohen

I was always partial to Drakes over Hostess. The Yodels, the Devil Dogs, the Ring Dings, and of course, the Coffee Cakes -- how I miss them all


2 months ago lynne carlstein

We weren't allowed to eat Hostess stuff. My Mom was into vegetables and olive oil way before it was considered healthy. She read health books and healthy cooking books all the time. Now Dad? He was the one who brought home the first Twinkie. One bite and I had gone to the dark side of cream and refined tastebuds reveled in doses of more sugary goodness than I thought possible! Those treats were rare...and usually done when Mom was nowhere in sight. I am now 58. Every year...just once a year... I must treat myself to a Twinkie or some similar product. That's all I need...just that one treat to carry me back to the happy conspiratorial indulgence of those Twinkies with Dad.


2 months ago Devorah Zimmer

cupcakes, I have a weakness for chocolate.


2 months ago Elisa María González

Cherry pie


2 months ago Jennifer Smith

For me, it's ding dongs and fruit pies. We always take several boxes of ding dongs on our camping trips. Everyone anticipates unwrapping the silver foil and butting into the chocolatey cake and Creme filling. It's very satisfying. Cherry fruit pies are my personal favorite. The sweet cherry filling balances perfectly with the lightly glazed crust. I love that the crust comes apart in pieces all coated with yummy cherry filling goodness.


2 months ago debbie heavrin

Fruit pies!


2 months ago Linda

Well, back in the day when I was a kid, Hostess stuff was really good. I loved the pink Snowballs. I stopped eating them because they don't taste the same. Then I got diabetes and so now I make low carb versions.


2 months ago dobeesquared

Tough one! Crumb cakes (as mentioned, not Hostess but Hostess-like) and ditto Yodels. Hostess? Used to love the lemon cupcake.


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year ago sexyLAMBCHOPx

sexyLAMBCHOPx is a trusted home cook.

Twinkies and Apple Fruit Pies!


about 1 year ago cookbookchick

Hostess Cupcakes, yes!


about 1 year ago amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

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.


about 1 year 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.


about 1 year ago Yael Even

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


about 1 year ago mei55

hostess cupcakes for sure