Hostess with the Mostess (Cupcakes)

by Sarah on November 26, 2012

Hostess is going out of business.  Yep, that’s right.  That most American of companies and bastion of snack foods is calling it quits.  On the internets in general and Facebook in particular, there are stories about how the “unions” ruined the place, celebrations of the “demise of junk food” and photos of cleaned out Twinkie shelves at the local groceries.  All I can think of are how many people are going to be without jobs and how another icon of my childhood is biting the dust.

I think Hostess’ problems were much larger than the workers refusing to make more concessions.  In fact, this is the second bankruptcy proceeding in my recent memory.  And junk food will remain.  It’s likely that some smart corporation will snap up the snack cake line and continue to make it–much like what happened with Mother’s Cookies a few years back.

I made these cupcakes ages ago (you can tell by the coral countertop!).  I don’t know why I never posted it. Probably because there are hundreds–and maybe even thousands–of Hostess rip-offs out there in blog land.  But with the recent news, I thought it time to put it out there.

I wouldn’t want you to miss your snack cakes.  So until some giant bakery conglomerate snaps up the rights to Hostess, you can just make your own.

This recipe is one that I found on the Food and Wine magazine’s website.  The cake is rich and the frosting is goooood.  It only makes (barely) a dozen small cupcakes though, so you might want to double it.

I made these for my favorite little darling’s birthday.  When she was THREE. That was like, a year and a half ago.  For the birthday party, we went to Funderland in William Land Park.  Any Sacramentans been there?  It’s awesome. It’s like an amusement park like Great America, but in miniature. We rode all the rides, including the rollercoaster–which the little girl went on about 5 times.  I like the teacups, personally.

We went on the log ride together too.  The entire bottom of the boat was covered in 2″ of water.  You should’ve seen the acrobatics I did to keep my Chuck Taylors dry.  Walking around in soggy Converse does not make a happy UC.

These cakes are perfect for a kids’ birthday for a couple four reasons.  1) You don’t have to bother with cutting and serving a whole cake.  2)  They are small.  3)  They have a surprise in the middle.  4)  Grown ups will like them and feel nostalgic.

Myself, I like that this recipe uses Marshmallow Fluff for the cream filling.  Yes!  Fluff (Marshmallow Creme for us Westies) is so good!   It is really quite versatile when it comes to baked goods.

Once the cupcakes are cool, fill ‘em up using a pastry bag.  The recipes all tell you just to give them a squirt in the bottom of the cake, but I say go ahead and do the top too.  Maximize your cream filling options.

After the cream filling it’s time to work on the tops.  The shiny glaze is chocolate ganache.  This is one place that it’s perfectly clear that homemade trumps Hostess.  Homemade chocolate ganache is the business.

Melt the chocolate, butter and cream together and just dip the tops of the wee cakies into it.  You get that perfect cap of chocolate.

See?  SHINY.

For the finishing touch, make the squiggles in top with some reserved cream filling thinned with a little milk.  Hopefully you’ll have a steadier hand than I did.  I’m terrible at cake decorating.

My crooked squiggles didn’t stop anyone from eating them though.

At least the insides look perfect.  It was the filling both the tops and the bottoms that did it.

The birthday girl liked them.

At least I think she did.  To be honest, she ate about half of it then wanted to go ride the rollercoaster again.

RIP, Hostess.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes


  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs, separated
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff/Marshmallow Creme
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped


  • Preheat the oven to 350°. Spray a 12-cup nonstick muffin pan with vegetable oil spray. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the egg yolks with the canola oil, 1/2 cup of the sugar and the water. Beat in the dry ingredients at low speed until smooth.
  • In a clean bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites at high speed until soft peaks form. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar and beat until stiff and glossy. Beat one-fourth of the whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining whites until no streaks remain. Spoon the batter into the muffin cups, filling them halfway. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cupcakes are springy when touched. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. Insert the tip of the pastry bag about 1/2 inch deep into the bottom of each cupcake; squeeze lightly to fill with cream. Squeeze a bit of cream in the top of the cakes, too. Set the cupcakes on the sheet.
  • Heat the cream in a small saucepan until steaming. Add the chocolate and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the butter and stir until smooth. Dip cupcake tops into ganache. Spoon the reserved filling, thinned with a little milk, into a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain tip and pipe decorative swirls on each cupcake. Refrigerate the cupcakes for at least 10 minutes to set the frosting.

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