Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Hostess Cupcakes

The evidence is mounting that I may, in fact, still be 8 years old.

I pack my lunch for work in a children's lunch box. It's pink and green, and it has a matching water bottle that clips onto the side. There's even a space to write my name on the back. Be jealous, first graders.

Goldfish crackers, frosted strawberry Pop-Tarts, cinnamon graham crackers, peanut butter sandwiches, and kiddie protein bars are staples in my diet. Okay, maybe not the strawberry Pop-Tarts, but I do keep a box of them in my cupboard. You never know when the craving will strike.

I watch Boy Meets World every night during my workout, and Up, Toy Story 3, How to Train Your Dragon, and Despicable Me are some of the better movies I've seen recently.

Also, I don't like chocolate ganache.

There, I said it. My tastes are not sophisticated. I would rather have sweet, creamy milk chocolate than fancy dark chocolate.

I've been so excited to make these knock-off Hostess cupcakes ever since I first saw them on Bake at 350. And don't get me wrong, I think they're about 85% delicious. The cake and the marshmallow filling are iresistible. But the ganache is just dark enough that it shattered my hopes that these cupcakes would taste just like the ones I remember from when I was actually eight years old. You know, those delicious little pillows of enriched bleached wheat flour, high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated soybean oil? Delish.

So don't let my unrefined tastes deter you from trying this recipe. After all, they're super cute, and I'm sure real adults will love them, ganache and all.

Hostess Cupcakes
Adapted from Bake at 350

For the cake:

1 & 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 & 1/4 cups granulated sugar
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large eggs

For the filling:

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup marshmallow creme

For the ganache:

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the icing:

1/2 cup unsalted butter
2 tablespoons milk
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

This recipe has quite a few components and steps involved, so I highly recommend measuring everything out ahead of time. Make the cupcakes first, and while they're baking and cooling, prepare the filling and the icing. Wait to make the ganache until you're actually ready to frost the cupcakes because the ganache will stiffen if it sits for too long.


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners.

2. Prepare the cupcakes. Bring the sugar and 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Pour the warm sugar water into the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the chocolate and butter, and allow the chocolate to melt, stirring occasionally. Once the chocolate is completely melted and slightly cooled, stir in the vanilla.

3. Add the eggs one at a time with the mixer at medium speed. Once the eggs are incorporated, reduce the mixer to stir and add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Continue mixing on stir until all of the dry ingredients are incorporated, then increase the speed to medium and mix for about 30 seconds.

4. Fill each cupcake liner with approximately 1/4 cup of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean. The cupcakes will look sunken in the middle, but they will puff up when the filling is added. Cool the cupcakes in the pans for about 15 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.

5. For the filling, cream the butter for about 1 minute in an electric mixer at medium speed. Reduce the speed to stir, and add about half of the powdered sugar. Once most of the powdered sugar is incorporated, add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream. Increase the speed to medium and beat until smooth. Reduce the speed to stir and alternately add the remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream. Increase the speed to medium and add the marshmallow creme, mixing for about 1 minute.

6. For the icing, cream the butter and vanilla for about 1 minute in an electric mixer at medium speed. Reduce the speed to stir, and add the powdered sugar. Mix until most of the powdered sugar is incorporated, then add the milk. Increase the speed to medium and mix for about 1 minute, or until smooth.

7. For the ganache, place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Heat the heavy cream and butter just until boiling, then pour the cream over the chocolate. Let the chocolate and cream stand for 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Stir in the vanilla, and allow to cool slightly.

8. To assemble: Spoon the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake, and fill until the top of the cupcake puffs up a bit. Be careful not to overfill. Spoon about 1-2 tablespoons of ganache onto each cupcake and spread with a knife or the back of a spoon. Chill for about 10 minutes. Spoon the icing into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, and pipe onto the cupcakes to decorate.

Store in the refrigerator.

1 comment:

  1. oh my goodness!!!! Do you remember sitting in your front yard eating hostess cupcakes? I always found it fascinating that your mom kept them in the freezer. Haha