The Copycat Hostess Cupcakes You Need To Try

There's plenty of nostalgia that comes with Hostess chocolate cupcakes. Think back to the good ol' days when you were eating lunch in the school cafeteria. Exchanging items from your lunchbox was the norm, and if you had a Hostess cupcake to trade, you could have your pick of any of the other packed lunch items on the table.

Hostess cupcakes bring back memories for so many, and that's all because of their extensive history. They've been around since 1919 and have continued to show up as after-school snacks or cafeteria trades ever since. And why not? Nothing compares to that deliciously moist chocolate cake filled with luscious cream filling and topped with chocolate icing.

The downside of Hostess cupcakes, however, is that they come jam-packed with a bunch of processed, hard-to-pronounce ingredients. But this copycat Hostess cupcakes recipe is here to save the day. Now, you can make your own version of those classic packaged cupcakes at home in under an hour. And don't worry, they're just as packed with cream filling and just as delicious.

Gather the ingredients for this copycat Hostess cupcakes recipe

First thing's first: To make these copycat Hostess cupcakes, you'll want to gather all of your ingredients ahead of time.

For the chocolate cupcakes you'll need, a quarter cup of white sugar, a half cup of brown sugar, three-quarters of a cup of flour, half a cup of cocoa powder, three-quarters of a teaspoon of baking powder, three-quarters of a teaspoon of baking soda, half a teaspoon of salt, one egg, half a cup of milk, a quarter cup of oil, and a quarter cup of hot water.

To make the cream filling for these copycat Hostess cupcakes, you'll also need a cup of heavy whipping cream along with a half cup of powdered sugar and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract. For the chocolate topping, you'll need an additional cup of heavy whipping cream and a cup good-quality chocolate chips or chopped chocolate. Be sure you're using a higher-quality chocolate chip option such a Ghirardelli or chopped baker's chocolate for the ganache to properly melt and set.

Mix the dry ingredients for this copycat Hostess cupcakes recipe

To get started on baking these copycat Hostess cupcakes, first preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

To make the chocolate cupcake batter, start by mixing all of the dry ingredients together. Add the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together with a hand mixer until the mixture is free of any clumps. If you prefer to use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, feel free to do so for this recipe.

Add the wet ingredients to this copycat Hostess cupcakes recipe

Once the dry ingredients for these copycat Hostess cupcakes are mixed and well combined, it's time to add in the wet ingredients to finish the chocolate cupcake batter.

With your mixer running, beat in the egg, and then add in the oil. Then, mix in the milk until fully incorporated.

Once the batter comes together, mix in the quarter cup of hot water. The water should be very hot to the touch but not boiling. This will add great moisture to the finished cupcake. Once the hot water is fully incorporated, your cupcakes are ready for baking.

Scoop and bake the chocolate cupcakes

To prepare the copycat Hostess cupcakes for baking, first line a cupcake pan with paper liners. If you don't have paper liners on hand, you can use cooking spray in a pinch. Generously spray each cupcake pan well to prevent the cupcakes from sticking.

Use a measuring cup to scoop the chocolate cupcake batter into the wells of the cupcake pan. Fill the cupcake pan wells halfway full.

Bake the chocolate cupcakes in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes until the tops are fully set. Once finished baking, remove the cupcakes from the oven and set aside to completely cool.

Make the filling for this copycat Hostess cupcakes recipe

To make the cream filling for these copycat Hostess cupcakes, you'll want to make homemade whipped cream. Pour a cup of heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Use your hand mixer to whip the cream until soft peaks form. This should take eight to ten minutes of continuous mixing to allow the air to be introduced to the cream and create the peaks.

Once the whipped cream is ready, add in the half cup of powdered sugar and mix in the half teaspoon of vanilla extract.

If you'd prefer, you can also opt to use a store-bought whipped topping option as the filling.

Fill, dip, and decorate these copycat Hostess cupcakes

Be sure the copycat Hostess cupcakes are completely cooled before filling and dipping. Make the chocolate ganache topping by heating up the cup of heavy cream on the stovetop. You'll want it to be just below boiling. Add the cup of chocolate chips into a bowl, and then pour the hot heavy cream over top. Allow the cream to melt the chocolate, stirring until a smooth ganache forms. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before using.

Use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to fill the cupcakes. If you don't have a piping bag, a Ziploc bag with the tip of the corner cut off will work as an alternative. Fill the piping bag with cream filling, and then push it into the middle of the cupcake. Push the cream filling into the cupcake as you pull the bag up and out of the hole.

Once all of the cupcakes are filled with cream filling, it's time to dip them in the chocolate ganache. Dunk the top of the cupcakes in the ganache, swirl lightly to let any excess drip off, and then allow them to set. Mix additional whipped cream with more powdered sugar to thicken it for the white squiggly line on top to get that classic look. Put the topping in a piping bag or Ziploc bag and cut a small hole for piping. Carefully draw the squiggle line to finish the cupcakes.

Can you leave these copycat Hostess cupcakes at room temperature?

The beauty of the classic, packaged version of Hostess chocolate cupcakes is that they can be packaged and taken on the go. Due to these copycat Hostess cupcakes being baked from scratch and using fresh ingredients, they're not able to travel quite the same way. 

By adding a fresh whipped cream filling to the center of these chocolate cupcakes, it no longer makes them stable at room temperature. Be sure to store your cupcakes in an airtight container in the fridge for best results. These copycat Hostess cupcakes should last for two to three days if stored properly in the fridge. Though, we're not sure why you would want to wait that long to dig in. 

The Copycat Hostess Cupcakes You Need To Try
5 from 24 ratings
The downside of Hostess cupcakes is that they come with a bunch of processed ingredients. But this copycat Hostess cupcakes recipe is here to save the day.
Prep Time
25
minutes
Cook Time
20
minutes
Servings
12
cupcakes
copycat hostess cupcakes
Ready in 45 minutes
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup hot water
  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream (for the filling and ganache topping)
  • ½ cup powdered sugar (for the filling)
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract (for the filling)
  • 1 cup good-quality chocolate chips (for ganache topping)
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, add the white sugar, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a mixing bowl. Mix the dry ingredients together with a hand mixer until the mixture is free of any clumps.
  3. With your mixer running, beat in the egg, and then add in the oil. Then, mix in the milk until fully incorporated.
  4. Once the batter comes together, mix in the ¼ cup of hot water. The water should be very hot to the touch but not boiling.
  5. Prepare a cupcake pan with paper liners. Use a measuring cup to scoop the batter and fill each well halfway full. Bake the chocolate cupcakes for 20 minutes until fully set. Once baked, set aside to completely cool.
  6. To make the cream filling, add 1 cup of heavy cream into a mixing bowl. Use your hand mixer to whip the cream until soft peaks form. This should take 8 to 10 minutes of continuous mixing. Once peaks form, whip in ½ cup powdered sugar and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
  7. To make the chocolate ganache topping, heat up 1 cup of heavy cream on the stovetop until just below boiling. Pour the 1 cup chocolate chips into a bowl. Pour the cream over top, allow to melt, and then stir until a smooth ganache forms. Allow to cool before use.
  8. Use a piping bag fitted with a large round tip to fill the cupcakes. Fill the piping bag with cream filling, and then push it into the middle of the cupcake. Push the cream filling into the cupcake as you pull the bag up and out of the hole.
  9. Once filled, dip the top of each cupcake in the ganache. Swirl to allow any excess drip off, and then allow them to set.
  10. Mix additional whipped cream with more powdered sugar to thicken it for the white squiggly line on top to get that classic look. Put the topping in a piping bag or Ziploc bag and cut a small hole for piping. Carefully draw the squiggle line to finish the cupcakes.
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 378
Total Fat 24.8 g
Saturated Fat 12.8 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 71.5 mg
Total Carbohydrates 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber 2.0 g
Total Sugars 28.3 g
Sodium 238.4 mg
Protein 4.0 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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