Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

These Homemade Hostess Cupcakes elevate the well known treat into something truly special and decadent. A super moist chocolate cupcake is filled with a light marshmallow filling and covered in chocolate ganache, then frosted with a swirl of vanilla icing!

A Bitten Hostess Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling in the Middle

Easy Copycat Hostess Cupcakes Recipe

These cupcakes are inspired by the classic Hostess cupcakes, but they are SO much better! The flavors are just right, and while they’re sweet, their lack of a heavy frosting keeps them relatively light and not as rich as some cupcakes. There’s nothing like biting into a moist, chocolatey cupcake and finding a sweet marshmallow surprise! Plus, these cupcakes are quick and easy to make. Pretty much everyone will reach for this satisfying homemade version of a classic childhood treat!

A Cake Stand Holding Half a Batch of Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Hostess Cupcake Ingredients

You don’t need a whole lot of ingredients to replicate these famous Hostess goodies. Just a basic chocolate cupcake recipe and a few tasty components made with 2-4 ingredients. Easy peasy!

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Egg
  • Milk
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vanilla
  • Water: Use hot water to help the cocoa “bloom” and bring out it’s rich flavor.

For the Marshmallow Filling

  • Unsalted Butter: Bring the butter to room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Marshmallow Creme: You can also use Fluff, if desired.

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • Chocolate Chips
  • Heavy Whipping Cream

For the Vanilla Icing

  • Unsalted Butter: Room temperature.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Milk: Add milk to make a creamy icing that’s perfect for drizzling over your cupcakes.
  • Vanilla Extract

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes Lined up on a Black and White Marble Surface

How to Make Hostess Cupcakes

These cupcakes have a lot of yummy components, but they’re all super easy and straightforward. Simply make the cupcakes, make the filling, whip up the ganache and the icing and put it all together!

Make the Cupcakes

  1. Prepare for Baking: Preheat the oven to 300°F and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Combine Dry Ingredients: Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
  3. Combine Wet Ingredients: Whisk together the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla in another medium-sized bowl.
  4. Mix Together: Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Add Hot Water: Add the water to the batter and mix until well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Bake: Fill the cupcake liners a little more than half way and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Let Cool: Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Make the Filling

  1. Beat Butter for Filling: When the cupcakes are cool, make the filling. Add the butter to a mixer bowl and beat it until smooth.
  2. Add Powdered Sugar: Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. It may take a few minutes to incorporate, but it will. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  3. Add Marshmallow Creme: Add the marshmallow creme and stir until well combined.

Assemble and Decorate

  1. Remove Center of Cupcakes: To fill the cupcakes, cut out the centers of the cupcakes. You can use a cupcake corer or a knife.
  2. Fill Cupcakes: Fill the centers of the cupcakes with the filling and replace the core of the cupcake that you removed on top of the filling. I cut a little bit of the core off before placing it back on top, since there’s a filling there now and you don’t need all of that cake core.
  3. Start Making Ganache: To make the chocolate ganache topping, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl.
  4. Melt Chocolate: Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  5. Top Cupcakes: Spread the chocolate ganache onto the top of each cupcake, all the way to the edges. If it starts to cool and get a bit firm, heat it back up for 5-10 seconds, until it’s spreadable again.
  6. Beat Butter for Icing: To make the icing for decorating on top, beat the butter in a mixer bowl until smooth.
  7. Add Powdered Sugar: Add the powdered sugar and mix until evenly combined. It’ll be lumpy and dry.
  8. Finishing Adding Ingredients: Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until everything comes together and smooths out.
  9. Drizzle Over Cupcakes: Pipe the loop design on top of each cupcake using a small round tip. I used Wilton tip 3.
  10. Chill Until Ready to Serve: Refrigerate the cupcakes until you’re ready to serve them. Serve cool but not cold.

Six Homemade Hostess Cupcakes on a Decorative Glass Cake Stand

Tips for Success

These quick tips will guide you toward making the ultimate homemade Hostess cupcakes. Bake away!

  • Use Unsweetened Cocoa Powder: There’s a difference between unsweetened cocoa powder and Dutch process cocoa powder. Be sure to use natural unsweetened cocoa powder.
  • Don’t Overfill Cupcake Liners: You should fill your cupcake liners slightly over the midway point. If you put too much batter in your liners, the tops of the cupcakes could sink and your cupcakes could overflow.
  • Transfer to Cooling Rack: Once your cupcakes have cooled for about two minutes, transfer them to a cooling rack to avoid continued baking in the pan.
  • Pipe with Gentle Pressure: If you want to make the classic Hostess cupcake loop-de-loop with your vanilla icing, apply a gentle, constant pressure to your piping bag for a smooth and controlled swirl. Practice on a plate prior to piping on your cupcakes so that you get it just right.

Eight Marshmallow-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes on a Marble Counter

How to Store Leftover Hostess Cupcakes

Store the homemade Hostess cupcakes in the fridge, but allow them to sit at room temperature for a bit before serving so that they aren’t too cold and firm. Your cupcakes will stay fresh for up to about 5 days in the fridge.

Can You Freeze Homemade Hostess Cupcakes?

You can freeze these cupcakes, unfrosted, if you’d like. Just keep them in an airtight container. Frozen Hostess cupcakes will last for 2-3 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight before frosting them and digging in.

Print
clock clock icon cutlery cutlery icon flag flag icon folder folder icon instagram instagram icon pinterest pinterest icon facebook facebook icon print print icon squares squares icon
A Bitten Hostess Cupcake with Marshmallow Filling in the Middle
Recipe

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 15 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

These Homemade Hostess Cupcakes elevate a mass-produced treat into something truly special and decadent. A super moist chocolate cupcake is filled with a light marshmallow filling and covered in chocolate ganache, then frosted with a swirl of vanilla icing!


Scale

Ingredients

For the Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (130g) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (207g) sugar
  • 6 tbsp (43g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) milk
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) vegetable oil
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) hot water

For the Marshmallow Filling

  • 1/4 cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (58g) powdered sugar
  • 5 oz marshmallow creme

For the Chocolate Ganache

  • 4 oz (113g) semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 6 tbsp (90ml) heavy whipping cream

For the Vanilla Icing

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • Splash of vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Cupcakes

  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (148°C) and prepare a cupcake pan with liners.
  2. Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
  3. Whisk together the egg, milk, vegetable oil and vanilla in another medium-sized bowl.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Add the water to the batter and mix until well combined. The batter will be very thin.
  6. Fill the cupcake liners a little more than half way and bake for 18-23 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.
  7. Remove the cupcakes from the oven and allow to cool for 2 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

For the Filling

  1. When the cupcakes are cool, make the filling. Add the butter to a mixer bowl and beat until smooth.
  2. Add about half of the powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth. It may take a few minutes to incorporate, but it will.
  3. Add the remaining powdered sugar and mix until well combined and smooth.
  4. Add the marshmallow creme and stir until well combined.

To Assemble

  1. To fill the cupcakes, cut out the centers of the cupcakes. You can use a cupcake corer or a knife.
  2. Fill the centers of the cupcakes with the filling and replace the core of the cupcake that you removed on top of the filling. I cut a little bit of the core off before placing it back on top, since there’s a filling there now and you don’t need all of that cake core.
  3. To make the chocolate ganache topping, add the chocolate chips to a medium sized bowl.
  4. Heat the heavy whipping cream just until it begins to boil, then pour it over the chocolate chips. Allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes, then whisk until smooth.
  5. Spread the chocolate ganache onto the top of each cupcake, all the way to the edges. If it starts to cool and get a bit firm, heat it back up for 5-10 seconds, until spreadable again.
  6. To make the icing for decorating on top, beat the butter in a mixer bowl until smooth.
  7. Add the powdered sugar and mix until evenly combined. It’ll be lumpy and dry.
  8. Add the milk and vanilla extract and mix until everything comes together and smooths out.
  9. Pipe the loop design on top of each cupcake using a small round tip. I used Wilton tip 3.
  10. Refrigerate the cupcakes until ready to serve. Serve cool but not cold.

Notes

Makes 14-16 cupcakes.

Cupcakes are best when stored in an airtight container and eaten within 3-5 days.

Keywords: hostess cupcakes, chocolate cupcakes, filled cupcakes, homemade cupcakes, marshmallow creme, chocolate ganache, chocolate ganache frosting, cream filled cupcakes,

A Collage of Homemade Hostess Cupcakes Above a Cupcake That's Been Bitten in Half

Other Copycat Dessert Ideas to Try

There are so many other iconic treats you can make from the comfort of your home. And, like this recipe, they’re even better than the real thing!

  • If you’re an ice cream cake fanatic, you know about the classic Dairy Queen ice cream cake. You seriously have to try my tasty copycat ice cream cake!
  • Speaking of ice cream, my Copycat Birthday Cake Remix Ice Cream puts Cold Stone Creamery to shame – and it doesn’t even require an ice cream maker.
  • These homemade Bojangles Cinnamon Biscuits are the ultimate sweet tooth’s breakfast recipe! Buttery, cinnamon-filled biscuits are drizzled with a smooth 2-ingredient vanilla glaze.

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

Recipe rating

24 Comments
  1. Grace

    My favourite store bought cupcakes growing up.  
    These came out amazing!!!  I can’t wait to make them again! 

  2. LouAnn

    Lindsay is the Marshmallow filling fluffy or a bit soft and runny?  The filling seems to be a little soft, but they still taste great.  Thanks for a great recipe!  

    1. Lindsay

      I would say it’s fluffy, but soft rather than super thick. Not runny though. I do think that marshmallow fluff can get a little bit that way though after being refrigerated sometimes, so that could be it. Glad you enjoyed them!

  3. Dyse

    It’s so delicious.
    i will make this for family gathering next week. thanks for inspiring me 🙂

    1. Lindsay

      Like melt mini marshmallows? I don’t think that would work. There are quite a few recipes for homemade marshmallow cream though. Maybe try one of those.

  4. Mary

    You can find Marshmallow Creme, a brand called “Fluff” in any grocery store or Target with a grocery section. Sometimes you can find it in the same aisle as the pudding..

    1. H

      You can find the creme at any  grocery store usually where you find ice cream toppings, brand names Fluff and Jet-Puffed by Kraft.

    2. Lindsay

      I often find it near the puddings at the grocery store, but it will vary by store. If you’re having trouble, I’m sure someone from the store would be able to help.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12