Introduction: Hostess Cupcake Cake

I totally disagree with the contest rule that says cupcakes are not cake, which inspired me to make a cake based on perhaps the most infamous cupcake their is: the hostess cupcake.

I found a filling recipe on the internet and took a few shortcuts - like using a box cake mix - since I just came up with this on a whim. I was pretty happy with it but would make a few slight changes if I made it in the future (I'll list them in the steps)

I ended up taking my finished cake to work and it was a big hit.

Step 1: Gather Ingredients and Supplies


  • 3 identical 8-9" pie pans. I only have two and didn't feel like baking in two batches, so I bought a 3 pack of 8.5" pans for $2
  • an oven-safe ceramic bowl 3-4" in diameter - I used a great little ceramic ikea bowl
  • a cookie sheet
  • a ziplock bag


  • 1 box cake mix - I used duncan hines dark chocolate fudge cake because it was the closest match to the original
  • eggs, oil, & water to mix cake (how much you need of each depends on the mix you use)
  • marshmallow fluff
  • unsalted butter
  • powdered sugar
  • cream
  • semisweet chocolate chips

Step 2: Make Batter and Prepare Pans

This step is pretty self explanatory. Mix up the batter according to the directions on the box.

Lay out your three pans and lightly coat them with butter or butter spray.

Take your bowl and butter the outside, then place it in the center of one of the pans

Step 3: Pour the Batter

Spoon batter around the bowl to make a ring of batter, then divide the rest of the batter into the other two pans.

I recommend putting the pan with the ring on a cookie sheet so that the bowl won't move around in transit.

Step 4: Bake Cakes

The two normal cakes will cook according to the directions for 8-9" pans. But remember that the ring cake will cook faster, so it should be done around when the box says cupcakes would be done/

Check it with a piece of dry pasta - if it comes out dry, the cake is done, if it has batter on it, it needs more time. My ring cake took about 20 minutes, and the other two took about 30.

Let the cakes cool while you make the filling

Step 5: Make Filling

I used a filling recipe from Food & Wine magazine that can be found here:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 tablespoons heavy cream

*But, I would use less powdered sugar next time, or maybe use regular butter, because this was sickeningly sweet (which, don't get me wrong, some people liked, but it was too sweet for even my sweet tooth)

Mix everything together at medium speed until it is smooth. I recommend mixing the butter and fluff together and then adding the sugar in as it mixes because it will blend easier.

If it isn't blending thoroughly, ditch the mixer and use a fork to smoosh it together

Put atwo spoonfulls aside in a zip lock bag.

Step 6: Construct the Cake

Start with one of the full cakes as your first layer.

Use a knife to trace around the bowl and lift it out, leaving you with a ring of cake. Then, carefully flip it over on top of the first layer. Now you will basically have a bowl made out of cake. Fill the hole with the filling and smooth it out.

Top it off with the last full cake.

Finally, use a knife to trim around the edges to make them smooth

Step 7: Make the Icing

Since there's thick icing in the middle, you only need a little something to fill it. I used a basic melted chocolate coating from the food and wine recipe, but doubled it to account for the size. I also used semi-sweet chocolate instead of bittersweet, and I still found it a bit too bitter for my taste.

Next time, I will use a thin layer of a normal solid icing so it will be easier to coat the sides.

But here's the basic melted chocolate that I did for this cake:

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • Heat the cream in a small pan until steaming.
  • Add the chocolate and stir until melted
  • Remove from the heat, add the butter, and stir until smooth.
  • Let stand for a few minutes before pouring

Step 8: Ice the Cake

Pour the chocolate and smooth it out over the cake. Then, let it cool 10-15 minutes to set.

Next, take the filling that you reserved and put it in a piping bag if you have one. If you don't (I didn't), put it in a ziplock bag, make a little cut in the bottom corner, and squeeze it down.

Then, make white swirls on top and let them set.

I don't have that steady of a hand and my DIY piping bag made thicker swirlies than I wanted, so I will use a real piping bag with a proper tip if I make this for a party.

Step 9: Voila

After the swirls set for about 10 minutes, you're all done. Enjoy!
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