How-To & Diy

How to Make Hostess Cupcakes at Home

December  2, 2015

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.) 

Hostess CupCakes

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.

Shop the Story

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.

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.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Kelly Laurene
    Kelly Laurene
  • Dee Timmyhutchfan
    Dee Timmyhutchfan
  • Amy
  • David Schroeder
    David Schroeder
  • Samantha Marie Miller
    Samantha Marie Miller

Written by: Jestei

The ratio of people to cake is too big.


Kelly L. April 13, 2020
My filling is oozing out of the icing? Not sure what I did wrong. Also the swishes on top are now filling in after they were loops?
Dee T. February 2, 2016
I prefer the lemon Hostess pies, but sometimes I would eat apple. If there were no other varieties available and I felt like a Hostess pie, I would have apple. But if there were many varieties available, I'd definitely go for lemon over anything else!
Dee T. February 2, 2016
Suzie-Qs!!! I miss those the most! Back in 1985/86 they also had mint-flavored Suzie-Qs and they were AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy January 7, 2016
And Devil Dogs! Miss those.
David S. July 1, 2015
HoHos definitely
Samantha M. July 1, 2015
Devil Dogs!!
Di July 1, 2015
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.
lee July 1, 2015
of COURSE Hostess cupcakes!!!!! From the freezer after a reallllllly bad day
Ellen A. July 1, 2015
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
lynne C. July 1, 2015
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.
Devorah Z. July 1, 2015
cupcakes, I have a weakness for chocolate.
Elisa July 1, 2015
Cherry pie
Jennifer S. July 1, 2015
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.
debbie H. July 1, 2015
Fruit pies!
Linda July 1, 2015
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.
dobeesquared July 1, 2015
Tough one! Crumb cakes (as mentioned, not Hostess but Hostess-like) and ditto Yodels. Hostess? Used to love the lemon cupcake.
Molly A. July 2, 2014
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.
ashley's B. June 8, 2014
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.
sexyLAMBCHOPx June 6, 2014
Twinkies and Apple Fruit Pies!
amysarah June 5, 2014
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.