Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

How cute are these?? I can’t get over how they look just like hostess cupcakes! Seriously, has a baked good ever made you happy? Every time I think about these,Β they make me smile πŸ™‚

I saw these on a fun food blog called Bake at 350. This lady is talented! You need to check out her blog and see the cookies she makes. So naturally I assumed that while her cupcakes looked perfectly cute and hostess-like, mine most likely wouldn’t. Which was ok with me, as long as they tasted good. Imagine my surprise when mine turned out just like I hoped! I’ve posted about my lack of decorating skills before, so believe me when I say – if I can do this, you can too. Definitely.Β 

I’m not going to lie, these are kind of a pain to put together. It involves a lot of steps and they took a whole evening to make. But the end result was more than worth it. They were fun to work on, and each step is nice and simple. And the reactions you’ll get when you show people your homemade hostess cupcakes will make it all worthwhile.

Mike absolutely loved these cupcakes. He says they taste just like the real thing (I was going for better than the real thing, but oh well). He already wants me to make them again, which I view as a good sign. I don’t actually like chocolate cake, so I didn’t eat them, but let me tell you – the cream on the inside? and the icing on top? Oh my goodness, it’s amazing. I had some leftover that didn’t fit inside the cupcakes, and I ate it straight out of the bowl with a spoon. Wonderful πŸ™‚ So don’t let the long recipe make you nervous. These are worth every step!

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes


1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla exrtact
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 stick unsalted butter
1 1/2 - 2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla


Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350. Place paper liners in muffin tin for about 20 cupcakes.

Place sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour into a large bowl. Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.

Beat the eggs into the chocolate with a mixer, then stir in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (~1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes. The cupcakes will sink in the middle slightly. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 tablespoons heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.

GanachePlace the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.

To AssembleSpoon the filling into a pastry bag with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It's OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache. (I thought this part would be complicated and I was worried, but it was fine. I had Mike test one of the cupcakes to make sure I had the right amount of filling in it.)

Spoon a little ganache on each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the icing: Using a mixer, beat the remaining 1 stick butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.

adapted from Food Network Magazine, as seen on Bake at 350

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  1. These are so adorable. I don't know if I'd have the patience for them!

  2. These are some of the cutest cupcakes I've ever seen !!!!

  3. oh wow, they do look great – nice work!

  4. wow awesome yummmyy..I want it too!!
    anyway..here some tea and honey for all see it here http://www.careco.com.my

  5. Epic Win!!!

  6. They look adorable!

  7. WOW Megan these are adorable! My daughters would LOVE these!

  8. I'm so glad you liked them!!! They are kind of a pain, but worth every minute and every last washed bowl!

  9. You did a super job on these cupcakes. Doesn't Bridget have a wonderful blog and great tutorials at her http://universityofcookie.com as well.
    BTW, thanks for *coming over* on Sunday and making your English Muffin Bread with me. Didn't we have a lot of fun and your bread…no wonder it is one of your husband's favourites. Thanks to you, it is one of our favs now too. Super toast…

  10. Megan, these cupcakes look wonderful. Do you think there would be a way for me to make them "diabetic-friendly?" πŸ˜‰

  11. I CANT BELIEVE YOU MADE THAT!!! omg you realize that those are better than the real thing!! look at the shiny glaze on those! the ones in the store are dull and old and shriveled lol. these are INSANE!!!

  12. Congratulations! I just gave you an award. http://delishhh.com/?p=1462

  13. Mega, your little cupcakes look awesome…very nice done…really look professional πŸ™‚

  14. Beautiful! This was about the only 'store bought' treat I enjoy. Great memories are associated with this gem.

  15. As weird as coincidence would have it, I just made some of these yesterday myself! So weird… You may have been inspired, as I was, by this contest: http://www.hostesscakes.com/freeartsnyc/submit-your-own.html
    They look fab!

  16. So much better than store bought!

  17. Okay, I only just found your blog. I don't know that I'm brave enough to attempt some of the gorgeous things you make. But I just have to tell you–you are amazing!

  18. The filling looks like a very pleasant surprise! And I must say you really succeeded with the topping, looks perfect!

  19. bridget – thanks so much for a great recipe and for motivating me to make these πŸ™‚

    laura – hmm…diabetic friendly? Maybe just eat 1/8 of a cupcake πŸ™‚

    Thanks everyone for the nice comments – They all make me smile every time! πŸ™‚

  20. These look awesome! You did such a nice job with them πŸ™‚ This is my first visit to your blog, but I will definitely be visiting often!

  21. Those are perfect! My kids would love them. πŸ™‚

  22. Oh Yummy!

  23. These look great! Congrats on your Foodbuzz Top 9!

  24. YUM!! These look great… Totally worth the effort if you ask me! I definitely need to give these a try.

  25. I wonder if you could use cake mix instead of making it from scratch? I am going to try they look soooooo yummy.

  26. Those look great – better than the original!

  27. Great job, they look better than the real thing!!

    I however, won't be making these. I would eat them all in ten minutes. lol!

  28. I've made these before and they are so darn good!! I'm not a decorator either, but these are worth it.

  29. I made these for Father's Day and it taste better than hostess cupcakes. Mine didn't turn out looking anything like hostess. It's quite a fussy recipe but when you got nothing to do on a sunday afternoon, this will keep you occupied. Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  30. could I substitute milk for the cream????????

  31. Carole – I don't think I would substitute milk for the cream in the ganache. I think it would be a little to thin and liquidy to top the cupcakes with. I don't have any experience with it, though. I just did a quick google search, which confirmed my suspicions. It's possible, but not necessarily advisable. I say just go for the cream πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  32. love them, thanks

  33. i found this page on tastspotting.com and decided to make these cupcakes. They were delicious!! The cake was so good…moist and dense. Perfection. I ran out of butter by the time I needed to make frosting for the white curlies on top, so I subbed for vegetable shortening and it turned out fine. Here are some photos of the result.

    Thanks for posting!


  34. Sarah – Yours look beautiful! Just like the real thing πŸ™‚ I'm so glad you liked them. Aren't they fun to make? πŸ™‚

  35. megan, this is such a cute idea! i googled 'homemade hostess cupcakes,' came across your post, + made them a few days ago. they turned out delicious! they're going to be on my blog tomorrow if you want to see pictures. thanks! =)


  36. amy – I'm so glad you liked them! Thanks so much for stopping back to let me know. I'm checking out your blog right now! πŸ™‚

  37. Wow-those look fabulous! Takes me right back to being a kid.

  38. Great job and these look so yummy!

  39. These are just a win in every way – the only way I would eat a “hostess” cupcake would be homemade like this πŸ™‚

  40. I've seen people make these before, but I think yours are the most beautiful.

  41. I just baked the cupcakes last night but I haven't been able to find marshmallow creme in australia. πŸ™ Do you know of any substitute for this? Hoping to decorate/put ganache on the cupcakes tonight.

  42. Priyanka – I'm sorry I actually have no idea what would be a good substitute. I'm guessing a google search would turn up more answers than I have. You could always do a different filling, however. Try the filling I used for the black magic cream filled cupcakes – that would taste good I bet. πŸ™‚

  43. I've seen these exact cupcakes in mexican supermarkets. They are called “Pinguinos Marinela” and have been in the market for a long time. The design of these so called home made cupcakes is exactly the same as the mexican “Pinguinos Marinela”.


  44. The only way I would eat a “hostess” cupcake would be homemade like this.

  45. I decided to make a Hostess cupcake for the county fair this year and just now got around to looking for the recipe…I have to bake in six days! I'll let you know how I do!

  46. How wonderful! Unfortunately where I live (Italy) plain marshmallows are IMPOSSIBLE to find – do you think the heavy cream could do? Or could you suggest an alternative to the marshmallow cream?
    Thanks, and wow, do those make me hungry!

  47. Anonymous – Thanks for the comment! I don't think heavy cream would be a good substitute for marshmallow cream. It might be easiest to use google to see what might work, as I've never tried anything else. Otherwise, you could use another type of creamy filling (again, google would be a good source). It wouldn't taste the same, but would still be good!

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  49. This was such a fabulous recipe and so delicious! I had a really hard time filling my cupcakes but it’s largely due to operator error. Even without filling some of the cupcakes, just topping them with ganache was good. Also, I loved having left over ganache! I’ve been eating it straight out of the fridge lol πŸ™‚

  50. Is marshmallow creme the same as marshmallow fluff?

  51. yummmmy!!! made them for my husband’s birthday

  52. This is the best marshmallow filling that I have yet to come across! The cupcakes, however were very dry. They seemed very over baked, I pulled them at 20 minutes. I’m wonderingnif I made a mistake at some point, oh well. Thanks for the great filling and glaze recipe!

    • Thanks for the comment Christina. I’m glad you enjoyed the filling and glaze. πŸ™‚ The only thing I can think of on the cupcakes is that maybe you overbaked them? I don’t remember them being dry, and that can often be a culprit. I’m glad at least part of the recipe worked out for you though! πŸ™‚

  53. Just wanted you to know I made these for my sister’s shower and they were a hit! i thought i would be overwhelmed by the amount of ingredients and instructions (because i’m usually a 5 item only cook!) but this was VERY EASY!!! and FUN!!!! thanks so much!

    • I’m so glad you liked them! Aren’t they fun? πŸ™‚ I’m glad you thought they were easy – their cute appearance makes it all worthwhile don’t you think? πŸ™‚

  54. i JUST MADE THESE I really don’t care for the bitterr sweet chocolate. If I made them again I would use semisweet. I also didn’t get enough filling in the cupcakes. I will next time. the icing was too thick to go through my tip, but will perfect that next time too. I used my own choclate cake recipe. i think they will come out great when I get the hang of it. Thanks.

  55. Holy mother of God and all that is unholy! I’m so glad I found you and wish I hadn’t at the same time. You’re killing me! You make me want to leave work to go home and bake and I’m more of a cook not a baker.

  56. Thank you for this great recipe. Now I have something to do on the weekend with my kids.

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  58. I was just looking for a homemade version of these cupcakes and I’m so glad to have found it. The boyfriend is going to flip when I make these for him.

  59. I made these and they’re better than the real thing! They were really fun to decorate because you can write or draw whatever you want on top, not just a squiggle lol check them out at http://cookingwith-gina.blogspot.com/2012/02/fake-stess.html

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  66. These are wonderful! Now, since Hostess/Wonderbread are not more, someone needs to come up with a Twinkie recipe!

  67. I meant to say, are NO more. Forgot to proof read!

  68. These were delicious and were a big hit at our house! Will definitely be holding onto this recipe! Thanks for sharing!!! πŸ™‚

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