Introduction: Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

About: Former Instructables employee. Living in San Francisco amidst the fog. I love getting my hands dirty by taking on new projects, developing unique skills and learning fun facts.

I grew up in a house that discouraged junk food, and so rarely got to enjoy any Hostess brand sweet treat. This was usually fine.  But come elementary school, and the daily ritual of lunchtime trades, I realized what I was missing. 

Imagine the buying power homemade Hostess cupcakes will have in the lunch room...step down Dunkaroos, there's a new sheriff in town.

Inspired by Bake at 350, this recipe has many steps, but the end result is delicious and completely worth it. 

Step 1: Ingredients!

Recipe makes about 20 cupcakes, with plenty of icing, filling, and ganache to spare

For the cupcakes:
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
For the filling:
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme
For the ganache:
  • 6 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
For the icing:
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
...Try and not think about all that butter

You will also need some cupcake tins, cupcake liners, a pastry bag, and a stand-up mixer

Step 2: Cupcakes

Preheat oven to 350, and place liners in cupcake tin. Chop the chocolate and butter into small pieces. Beat the eggs lightly..

This is a unique cupcake recipe, in that the batter is based off of a simple syrup. To make the syrup, bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil. Stir until the sugar dissolves.

Pour syrup into a large bowl, and immediately add the chocolate and butter, stirring until everything is melted. Wait for the mixture to cool, and add vanilla.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly mix together the dry ingredients (flour, baking soda and powder, and salt).

In your electric mixing bowl, pour in the chocolate mixture and eggs and beat until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients.

Divide the batter evenly among the cupcake liners. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 

Let cool as you make the filling and frostings.

Step 3: Filling

Once your mixer's bowl is clean, put in the butter and cream until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup of confectioners' sugar. Add vanilla and 1 tablespoon of heavy cream and beat until smooth. Continue alternating the additions until the sugar and cream are combined. Then beat in the marshmallow creme. 

Load into your pastry bag, and refrigerate as you make your ganache.

Step 4: Ganache

Chop up your chocolate, and place in a bowl. On the stove, heat up the cream and butter until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate.

Let stand for a few minutes to soften the chocolate, and then whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Let cool until glossy and still liquidy.

Step 5: Assemble

Once your cupcakes have cooled completely, Take your pastry bag full of cooled filling, and get to work! I found a medium-star-tip worked best for stuffing these cupcakes.

Insert the tip of the pastry bag into the center of the cupcake's top. Be sure to really get the filling in deep - no one wants an empty cupcake. Fill until you see the top puff up a bit, and the cupcake feels heavier. 

It's alright if a little filling is still on the top, that'll get covered with the ganache. But go back in there and clean up what you can so they don't mix and you have a clean finish.

Spoon a little bit of the cooled ganache on each cupcake, and spread lightly. 

Place cupcakes in your mouth in the fridge and cool for at least 15 minutes

Step 6: Loop-d-loop

While the cupcakes are cooling, prepare the icing. Using the mixer (again, be sure to clean it out), beat 1 stick of butter, vanilla, milk, and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add more milk as needed, until desired consistency is reached. 

Using either your pastry bag, or a ziplock with a small corner cut off, pipe onto the top of the cupcakes to decorate.

If I had more developed piping skills, I would have written some things into the swirls. Have fun with this step!

Step 7: Tradesies

Yum delicious! Your cupcakes are ready to eat. Pack some in their lunchbox for tomorrow, and get ready for some smiles.