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Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes are one of the most popular recipes on my site. They are also one of the biggest hits with my family as well. It is always a special treat when I make these little beauties!

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Once upon a time, a few restaurants ago, I used to make some desserts when I wasn’t busy waiting tables.

The recipe for these scratch hostess cupcakes was one of my favorites to make there, but for some reason, I stuck the recipe away in my folder and haven’t pulled it out since. In the restaurant, I made it only in cake form, but today we’re having cupcakes!

This recipe makes enough for a crowd. It makes 24 regular-sized cupcakes plus 8 giant ones, or you can use the excess batter to make an 8″ or 9″ cake. It’s the baker’s choice.

This post originally appeared on the site in 2013. It has been revamped with new photos taken in 2024.

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Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Hostess Cupckaes shopping list

Wondering if you have to hit the store? Here’s the list of items you’ll need to make this recipe. For specific amounts, please refer to the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  • Cake flour
  • Salt
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa powder
  • Sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Coffee
  • Whole milk
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Butter
  • Powdered sugar
  • Heavy cream
  • Marshmallow cream
  • Milk chocolate chips
Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

How to make Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Wondering what you’re getting yourself into when you make this dish? Here’s a quick overview of the process! Make sure you follow the instructions at the recipe card at the bottom of the post while you’re cooking.

  • Prepare the Cake Batter
    Sift all dry ingredients together. In a mixer, combine the dry ingredients with canola oil, coffee, and milk until fully combined. Add eggs and vanilla, mixing on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
  • Prep and Bake the Cake
    Line cupcake tins with liners and spray with cooking spray. Spray an 8-inch cake pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and spray again.

    Fill cupcake tins 2/3 full and pour the rest of the batter into the cake pan.

    Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes for the cupcakes and about 25 minutes for the cake. Test with a toothpick and remove when clean. Let cool for 5 minutes in pans, then remove and cool completely on wire racks.
  • Make the Filling
    Cream soft butter in a mixer, then add 1/2 cup of powdered sugar.

    Add vanilla and 1 TBSP of cream, mixing until well combined.

    Add the remaining 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and 2 TBSP of cream in batches, alternating each one.

    Beat in the marshmallow cream and transfer the filling to a baggie or icing bag with a filling tip.
  • Fill the Cupcakes and Cake
    Pipe filling into each cupcake, aiming for 2-3 tsp per cupcake.

    Carefully slice the cake in half horizontally.

    Pipe the remaining filling onto the bottom half of the cake, starting from the outer circle and working inward. Reassemble the cake by placing the top half back on.
  • Prepare and Apply the Ganache
    Heat cream and butter to almost boiling, then pour over chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is melted, then mix in the vanilla. Pour the ganache over the cake, spreading evenly to cover.
  • Dip
    Dip your cupcakes into the ganache, coating each one.

    If there are any little holes in the middle from the filling tip, take a spoon and pour a small amount of ganache into it to make it even.

    Pour the remaining ganache over your cake and gently spread it evenly, letting a little bit fall over the sides.
  • Let Set & Decorate
    Refrigerate until the ganache sets. It took mine about 30 minutes.

    While the ganache is setting, prepare your icing by placing the butter, milk, powdered sugar, and vanilla into a mixer and beating until it is smooth.

    Place that into another piping bag fitted with a small tip.

    When the ganache is fully set, pipe on the little hoop designs, or whatever design you want, onto each cupcake.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes FAQ

Do these cupcakes taste like coffee?

They do not. The coffee accentuates the flavor of the chocolate in this recipe. You won’t notice the coffee at all, but you will notice if you leave it out!

Can this recipe be made in advance?

These cupcakes taste best right after they are prepared, but you can make them up to a day in advance and they’ll still be amazing. If they last longer than a day in your house, let me know. They never do here!

Do they need to be refrigerated?

Technically, there’s quite a bit of milk and cream in these so yes – they should go in the fridge for safety’s sake. However, if you live on the edge like I do, you’ll probably survive if they are out on the counter for a night. If you do store them in the fridge, make sure to let them come to room temperature before serving.

Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

More Cupcake Recipes

Hostess Cupcakes
Yield: 24 servings

Hostess Cupcakes

Hostess Cupcakes

This is a scratch recipe for my version of the Hostess cupcakes and cake.

Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup hot strong coffee
  • 1 cup 2% or whole milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 cup marshmallow cream


  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla


  • 1/2 stick butter, salted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prep your cupcake tins by lining with cupcake liners and spraying with cooking spray. Either baking spray or regular will work. Prep your 8" cake pan by spraying with cooking spray, lining the bottom with a circle of parchment paper, and then spraying again.
  2. For the cake: Into a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa, and sugar. Set aside. In the large bowl of a stand mixer, combine oil, coffee, and milk. Then slowly mix in the dry ingredients until fully combined. Then add eggs and vanilla and beat on medium speed for 3-5 minutes.
  3. Fill liners 2/3 of the way full. Then put the remaining batter into the cake pan. The batter will be very thin. Bake at 350 F for 15-20 minutes for the cupcakes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. The cake will require an additional 5 minutes or so. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes in the pans, and then remove cupcakes from the cupcake tins and let cool completely. Remove the cake from the pan as well by inverting onto a wire cooling rack.
  4. Make the filling while your cakes cool by creaming the butter and adding 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar. Add vanilla and 1 TBSP of cream. Beat until well combined, scraping down the sides as necessary. Add last 1/2 cup of powdered sugar and remaining 2 TBSP of heavy cream alternating between the two and mixing well between each. Beat in the marshmallow cream last.
  5. Place the filling in a piping bag with a filling tip, and poke into center of completely cooled cupcakes, moving up and down as you gently squeeze approximately 1/2 – 1 TBSP of filling into each cupcake. If you are making a cake as well, cut the cake in half after it is completely cooled, and pipe filling onto the middle of the cake and reassemble.
  6. To make the ganache, heat your 1/2 cup of heavy cream and 1 TBSP butter until almost boiling. Pour over chocolate chips in a metal bowl and stir well until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the 2 tsp vanilla and stir to combine.
  7. Dip the filled cupcakes into the ganache to coat. Pour the remaining ganache over the top of the cake and spread evenly, letting a little bit spill down the sides. Place the cupcakes/cakes in the refrigerator until the ganache is set, about 30 minutes.
  8. To make the icing, beat the 1/2 stick of softened butter, 1 TBSP milk, 1 cups powdered sugar, and 1/4 tsp vanilla until smooth and fully combined. Place into a piping bag (or a baggie) with a small tip attached, and pipe loops onto each cupcake after the ganache is fully set.


This will make 2 dozen regular sized cupcakes plus one 8" cake. If you would like all cupcakes it will make 2.5-3 dozen depending on how full you fill your liners. All cake and it would make 4 - 8 inch rounds.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 359Total Fat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 270mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 32gProtein: 3g

Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate. If you are tracking these things for medical purposes please consult an outside, trusted source. Thanks!

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Nicole Johnson

Nicole Johnson, a self-taught expert in grilling and outdoor cooking, launched Or Whatever You Do in 2010. Her blog, renowned for its comprehensive and creative outdoor cooking recipes, has garnered a vast audience of millions. Nicole's hands-on experience and passion for grilling shine through her work. Her husband, Jeremiah Johnson, also plays a pivotal role in recipe development, adding his culinary flair to the mix. Together, they form a dynamic duo, offering a rich and varied outdoor cooking experience to their followers.

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Friday 6th of May 2016

[…] totally optional on this cake. If you do want to pipe on some ganache, I use the ganache portion of this recipe, cooled down a bit, and then piped onto the top of the […]


Sunday 14th of December 2014

What's up with the canola oil in the cake? Why not butter?

I have yet to make this but I will deliver the news once things are set and done...

Nicole Johnson

Monday 15th of December 2014

Different types of fats do different things in baking. In this particular recipe, I find that oil works best to keep the cake moist. You can experiment with using butter instead if you prefer, but I haven't tried it so I can't speak to the results. For more information on fats in baking, this King Arthur Flour recipe is very informative:

20 Fabulous Cupcake Recipes - Cupcake Diaries

Wednesday 15th of October 2014

[…] Homemade Hostess Cupcakes from Or Whatever You Do […]


Monday 18th of November 2013

Thanks so much! I'm glad you enjoyed them. <3


Tuesday 23rd of July 2013

what can I use as a substitute for the coffee in the cake? thnx!!!!!!!!


Monday 18th of November 2013

I emailed you before regarding this, but I thought I would post here as well in case anyone else is wondering...

If you are worried about the end result tasting like coffee...don't. It is such a small amount and just serves to deepen the chocolate flavor. I can't recommend any substitutions because I haven't tested them. Sorry!

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