★★★★★

Copycat Hostess Cupcakes

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes taste just like the original–only better! Fudgy cupcakes with a creamy filling and classic squiggle on top make everyone feel like a kid again.

Craving chocolate? Add our Copycat 3 Musketeers Candy recipe to your list next.

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

Why this Recipe Works

I love Hostess cupcakes. I admit it.

As a kid, I loved opening up the plastic wrapper and taking a big bite from that sweet, cream-filled cake.

And I still love the taste, even now. What I don’t love? The ingredient list. Holy preservatives, Batman!

Starting with a basic Chocolate Cupcake Recipe, I was able to bake perfect copycat Hostess cupcakes to share with my kids!

An egg-white based vanilla filling piped into the center of each cupcake makes them taste exactly like the original. Of course, I also topped them with a rich chocolate ganache!

Copycat Hostess Cupcakes were a smash! My family got a delicious treat and I got to indulge in some childhood nostalgia. Everyone wins.

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

Ingredient Notes

Cocoa powder. Use a good quality dark or Dutch-processed cocoa powder for best flavor. I love Ghirardelli, Hershey’s Special Dark and Rodelle brands.

Vanilla extract. Make sure to choose pure vanilla extract, not imitation flavor. If you have a batch of Homemade Vanilla Extract handy, it’s perfect in these cupcakes.

Light corn syrup. Corn syrup is necessary to achieve the correct consistency of the cream filling. Do not use dark corn syrup here. It will alter the texture and flavor.

Bittersweet chocolate. This gets melted with cream to create a luscious ganache. Chocolate with at least 60% cocoa is preferred.

Easy Instructions

Copycat Hostess Cupcakes only take a tad more effort than regular frosted cupcakes.

STEP 1. Bake the cupcakes

Mix together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add eggs, vanilla, milk and oil then stir to combine.

Slowly pour boiling water into the batter, stirring continuously. Divide the batter into a lined cupcake pan.

Bake for 22 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

STEP 2. Add Cream filling

Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to a boil. Add the filling ingredients to a heat safe mixing bowl. Place bowl over the pan of boiling water.

Use a hand held mixer to beat until the mixture looks thick and fluffy.

Transfer the filling to a frosting bag. Place the tip of the frosting bag in the center of a cooled cupcake and squeeze in the filling. Repeat for all cupcakes.

STEP 3. Ganache frosting

Heat cream and butter until warm. Stir in chopped chocolate until melted and smooth.

Spread a thin layer of ganache over each Hostess cupcake. Swirl remaining filling over the top of frosted cupcakes for the finishing touch.

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

Tips and Tricks

  • Filling cupcakes without a frosting bag. No bag? No problem. Cut a small cone shape out of the top of each cooled cupcake. Spoon some filling into the cavity, then place the cone over it to reconstruct the cupcake.
  • Use boiling water. The water should be at a full rolling boil before adding to the batter. This helps create a smooth batter with no lumps.
  • Want a richer chocolate flavor? Use hot coffee! Add hot brewed coffee instead of boiling water to the cupcake recipe. It gives the copycat Hostess cupcakes a stronger cocoa taste.
Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes are better than the original! Fudgy with a cream filling, just like the original!

Recipe FAQs

How can I tell when the cupcakes are done baking?

I swear by the “touch test” to determine when cupcakes are done. Press your index finger gently into the center top of a cupcake. If it springs back right away, it’s done! If it stays indented, give it more oven time.

My cupcake batter is very thin. What did I do wrong?

You didn’t do anything wrong! This batter is supposed to be thin. Fill the cupcake pan with it and put it in the oven. You’ll see.

How do you store these cupcakes? Do they need to be refrigerated?

Store copycat Hostess cupcakes in an airtight container at room temperature. Enjoy within 3 days for best taste. They do not need to be refrigerated.

More Copycat Recipes

Yield: about 30 cupcakes

Copycat Hostess Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Decadent and delicious, these Copycat Hostess Cupcakes taste just like the original--only better! Fudgy cupcakes with a creamy filling and classic squiggle on top make everyone feel like a kid again.

Ingredients

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder 
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

For the filling:

  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

For the ganache:

  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounce bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Instructions

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 ⅔ 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 ½ 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.

Notes

  • Filling cupcakes without a frosting bag. No bag? No problem. Cut a small cone shape out of the top of each cooled cupcake. Spoon some filling into the cavity, then place the cone over it to reconstruct the cupcake.
  • Use boiling water. The water should be at a full rolling boil before adding to the batter. This helps create a smooth batter with no lumps.
  • Want a richer chocolate flavor? Use hot coffee! Add hot brewed coffee instead of boiling water to the cupcake recipe. It gives the copycat Hostess cupcakes a stronger cocoa taste.
  • Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    30

    Serving Size:

    1 cupcake

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 9gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 16mgSodium: 146mgCarbohydrates: 28gFiber: 2gSugar: 19gProtein: 3g

    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate. Please see a registered dietitian for special diet advice.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

    Copycat Hostess Cupcakes have all the nostalgia of the packaged treat, without the preservatives. Kids and adults alike love these chocolate-y snack cakes with a creamy swirl on top!

    About Aimee

    Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

    Learn more about Aimee.

    Affiliate Disclosure:**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**

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    Posted on October 28, 2015

    Comments & Reviews

    1. 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 #1.how much I enjoyed Joan’s blog and seeing her glowing smile,and#2.how 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. 

    2. 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!

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

    4. 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

    5. 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).

    6. 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!

    7. 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

    8. 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!

    9. 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!

    10. 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. 

    11. 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!

    12. 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.

      1. Cheers to Joan! I’m so sad that we won’t be seeing each other next week, it will be bittersweet without her there!

    13. 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!

      1. Chocolate for life, indeed!! I know Joan must be smiling down at all the chocolate today in her honor 🙂

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

    15. 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!

      1. Why buy a box of 8 in the store when you can make 30, haha!! In case I never say it, thank YOU so much for being my cheerleader 🙂 I love coming on in the morning and seeing my first comment is ALWAYS from you!! You’re the best!!

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