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homemade hostess cupcakes

I am SO excited to share this recipe today! I know Hostess is back in business (yay!) and cupcakes are now easily accessible, but there’s something really great about making them at home from scratch. Geoff was skeptical as to whether I would actually be able to make a homemade version that could compete with his beloved store-bought cupcakes, but after one bite, he was convinced! The chocolate cupcakes are moist while still holding together well, and the cream filling and chocolate ganache make them all the more delicious!

These cupcakes definitely take a little more time than the average cupcake, but their deliciousness totally makes up for it! The cake part comes together really quickly and easily, and then it’s pretty much just assembly. I’m always curious as to how full people fill their cupcakes, so here’s a picture of mine (I got exactly 24 cupcakes from the recipe):

I think this is officially my new chocolate cupcake recipe, even without the filling and ganache. The cupcakes were moist and delicious and held together well, which is a must for me. I’m in love with these cupcakes!

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Cupcakes (adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe):

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon hot water
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla
3/4 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 and line 2 cupcake pans with paper liners. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together cocoa powder and hot water until smooth. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together butter and sugar. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, and beat until the mixture is cool, 4-5 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and cocoa mixture, and blend until smooth. With the mixture on low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the sour cream. Mix until smooth. Scoop into prepared pans, filling 2/3 full. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 15-18 minutes. Let cool.

Filling (from this twinkie cupcake recipe):

3 tablespoons flour

1/2 c whole milk
1/2 c butter
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 t vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Let it cook, while stirring with a rubber spatula, until you can start to see the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook until the mixture has the consistency of thick pudding or paste. Put  mixture in the fridge and let it cool completely, stirring occasionally.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar using the whisk attachment for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. While beating, add in the flour mixture and the vanilla. Beat to combine and then scrape down the sides. Continue beating until mixture comes together and is light and fluffy (about 7-8 minutes).

Ganache (scaled down from this recipe):

1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix all ingredients together in a microwave safe bowl. Heat at 50% power for one minute, then stir. Continue heating at 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted and smooth.


1 cup powdered sugar
1-2 teaspoons milk

Place powdered sugar in a small bowl. Whisk in milk until icing has a consistency that can be easily piped while still retaining its shape.


Prepare the frosting and ganache while the cupcakes are cooling. When the cupcakes have cooled completely, fill each cupcake with a small amount of filling. I put the filling in a pastry bag with a round tip, inserted it into the cupcake, and pushed filling in until the cupcake started to plump up. You could also cut out a small circle in the center of the cupcake, spoon in some filling, and replace the circle. When the cupcakes have been filled, dip each cupcake into the bowl of ganache, covering the entire surface. If your ganache cools down too much to handle easily, microwave it for 15-30 seconds on 50% power. Let cool and then pipe designs on the top using the icing. I put mine in a small ziploc bag and snipped off the corner, but you could also use a pastry bag and a small round tip.

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  1. Great cupcakes Alicia, look even better that store bought.
    I've featured this recipe on my blog, hoping that you don't mind, but if you do, please contact me and I'll remove it. All the best.

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