Copycat Hostess Cupcakes

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

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Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

Every once in awhile, life throws a curve ball and you’re reminded that our life here on earth is truly precious and sometimes too short.

This past week, the food blogging community lost a friend. Joan from Chocolate, Chocolate, and more was a pillar of our food community. While I had never personally met her, I knew her, loved her, and called her my friend.

That’s the strange thing about these online friendships. Unless you have them, they are hard to explain to others. As food bloggers we have a tight knit community. There aren’t many of us who go at this alone. We rely on each other for many reasons. Knowledge. Understanding. Growth.

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

Joan was the queen of facebook. Her page was crazy insane with love coming from around the world. When she shared one of your recipes on facebook, she sometimes broke the internet. Okay, maybe not the internet, but I know for a fact many bloggers websites crashed because of the amount of visitors Joan sent their way!

I’ve known her for many years and in a couple weeks we were finally going to meet for the first time. Our lives were to cross several times in the past, but for family reasons (once on my end, and once on hers) we cancelled those trips. I’m sad that I never got to hear her laugh, or share some chocolate in real life with her. But, I know her legacy will live on! And while I can’t physically be with her family during this time, I do know the one thing we all can continue to do to help and support them is to share her recipes on her blog.

That’s the great thing about blogs…the income stream continues every time someone visits your page. So please, before you scroll down and print out the recipe…stop over at Joan’s blog and click around. Bookmark her page for later.

Now…to share one of Joan’s favorite things. Chocolate desserts.

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

When I was deciding what recipe to make to honor Joan, I went with a copycat of a favorite childhood treat. I knew she would approve as this Ding Dong Cake recipe of hers is wildly popular on her blog.

I know it’s so much easier to go the grocery store and spend $2.79 on a box of Hostess Cupcakes. I get that. And sometimes I do that. But sometimes, I like to surprise my family with a rich, chocolate treat. And today, as I indulge in some chocolate cupcakes, I’m going to hug my loved ones a little tighter. Laugh a little louder. And love a little longer. I encourage you to do the same!

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

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Copycat Hostess Cupcakes

Yield: about 30 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 22-25 minutes


For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the filling:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the ganache:

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp unsalted butter


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Prepare cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in eggs, milk, oil and vanilla and beat for about 2 minutes.
  3. Slow add in the boiling water and beat for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Cupcake batter will be very thin, it's okay!
  4. Fill prepared cupcake tins, about 2/3 full (I use this metal scoop) and bake for 22-25 minutes. Remove and cool completely on wire rack.

For the filling:

  1. Combine filling ingredients in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of boiling water. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat on high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, about 6 or 7 minutes.
  2. Remove bowl from heat and beat an additional 2 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of filling to use for the swirls on top.
  3. Once cupcakes are completely cooled, add the filling in one of two ways. Fill a piping bag and add an open tip to the end of the bag. Press the tip into the top of the cupcake and squeeze to add filling. You will see the cupcake expand. Pull out and repeat for remaining cupcakes. OR, cut the top of the cupcake using the cone method.

For the ganache:

  1. In a small saucepan (or double boiler), heat cream and butter until warm (do not boil). Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stir until smooth.
  2. Spread over the top of each cupcake in a thin layer. For the final touch, add the reserved filling to a piping bag with a small tip. Pipe on small swirls. ENJOY.
Cupcake recipe from Hershey's Kitchens Filling and ganache recipe from Beantown Baker

Love today’s copycat Hostess cupcake recipe? You may also like some of my other copycat recipes:


Copycat Reese’s Bars: Tastes just like Reese’s candy, but easy to make bars!

Homemade Peppermint Patties: why buy from the store when you can make these minty treats at home! #copycat #peppermintpatty

Copycat Peppermint Patties: these are so delicious, and taste better than the original!


Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese: so good, you’re just going to have to try it!

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

37 comments on “Copycat Hostess Cupcakes”

  1. Mir

    Food bloggers are the most supportive, kindest, cheerleader friends in the whole Internet world. I’ve been so amazed at all the constant love I see everywhere, and it’s inspiring.
    So sad about Joan. She was such an inspiration. These are a lovely tribute to her, and clearly much better than the ones you buy at the store!

  2. What a beautiful tribute to a great woman! Good reminder that life is short, huge your loved ones and eat chocolate. xoxo

  3. This post is perfect Aimee! Joan would absolutely LOVE these cupcakes (and I know that I do!)  I wish I would have had a chance to meet Joan in person, but I could tell how amazing she was of a woman through our online chatting. Chocolate for life!

  4. You and I were in a similar situation. I also had plans to meet Joan that fell through, and I bet her laughter could light up a dark sky. Hostess cupcakes were a childhood favorite of mine. I want to dunk my finger into the creamy center and lift it up high in celebration of ourvsweet, loving Joan.

  5. I think Joan would have loved these. <3 

  6. This is such a beautiful post, Aimee! Joan was always so generous and kind with sharing and I would have loved to meet her and thank her in person as well. These gorgeous cupcakes are such a wonderful way to honor her! They look perfect!

  7. These are beyond perfect, Aimee. Joan would love to see all the chocolate being shared for her today. She was a precious friend and her loss is felt by so many. 

  8. Aimee- These are PERFECT. Joan would have loved these, I’m certain! Can you imagine how big her smile would be to see all this chocolate love being shared in her honour today? Big hugs, lady!

  9. This is so beautiful Aimee, this is just the type of treat Joan would have loved! 

  10. Love these cupcakes! Makes you feel like a happy kid 🙂
    Joan would eat them with a big smile!

  11. Joan would have been floored by the outpouring of love today. And she would have gone crazy for  these cupcakes. I know she’s somewhere eating all the chocolate and feeling the love. Beautiful post, Aimee!

  12. Such a wonderful tribute post, Aimee! I am so sorry for the loss of your food blogging friend as well as for the loss of the food blogging community at large. I never knew Joan, but now have a sense of who she was thanks to your post and fun cupcake recipe. I’m so glad that National Chocolate Day is today so that you could honor Joan, and the essence of who she was, in connection with the contributions she has made in food with her chocolate recipes, in such a meaningful way. Thank you for sharing, my friend! xo

  13. This looks perfect. Joan would have loved it of course! Your words are amazing… touched my heart. You really summed up this whole blogging thing beautifully!

  14. What a beautiful way to honor Joan. I hope he memory continues to live on (I have already visited her website and pinned some recipes).

  15. I love this post Aimee — Joan’s Ding Dong Cake was one of my favorite recipes on her blog, and I know she would have been tickled pink by these cupcakes. She really was a pillar of our community, I hadn’t heard it put like that before, but it’s so true. <3

  16. I always enjoy your post, these brown chocolate cupcake are genius Aimee

  17. I think Joan would be amazed by what the food blogging community did today – and those cupcakes…she’d LOVE them

  18. I’m so thankful for you Aimee! You were one of my first blogging friends and I so value your friendship. 🙂 I can’t wait to give you a hug next week!! And these cupcakes – so yum!

  19. Teri Giese

    Awesome recipe, the chocoholic husband will love these! I am a newbie to this wonderful world of food blogs, with Joan’s chocolate… being one of the first I stumbled upon. Must say, am replying on most blogs I now follow on much I enjoyed Joan’s blog and seeing her glowing smile, impressed I am with the genuine heartfelt sadness all. Are feeling. I have not met any single of the 200 or more foodies I now follow, (since March),.But,the connection I feel with all of you… an impressive, kind, caring community. We clearly lost a good one. Made a very decedent chocolate confection today, for you Joan. Blessings, comfort and love to all. 

  20. Leslie Gagne

    I am so sorry to her this sad news. I just can’t believe it………
    Thank you for sharing.

  21. I found this relatively easy to make, especially for someone who is not into baking a lot.  My son loved the cup cakes and ate an entire cupcake without the filling. It turned out really yummy! Thanks a lot for sharing this recipe. 🙂

  22. these cupcakes look delicious! Everyone would love them!

    xoxoBella |

  23. I bet she would have adored these. I checked out her Ding Dong cake and it looks so good! I love that you posted a homemade version of a childhood favorite. I know I’d much rather have these than the store-bought ones! 🙂

  24. You are so right about the curveballs that life throws you.  It is so crazy.  It makes us put things in perspective.  This post is beautiful, and I know Joan would have loved one of these fantastic cupcakes.

  25. It is still so hard to believe that Joan is gone.  It definitely puts life in perspective when something tragic happens so suddenly! I am so thankful that blogging led me to you.  I appreciate the friendship that we have developed over the past few years.  

  26. I didn’t know Joan well, but I have been touched my her story and all the lovely tributes to her by so many bloggers.

    These cupcakes look amazing! Way better than the original.

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