6 Recipes for Hostess Style Cakes You Can Make at Home

If you grew up loving Hostess products but as an adult can’t bring yourself to buy the processed, packaged snacks, we’ve got the answer for you. The next time a sweet craving hits, find your fix in the kitchen by baking your childhood favorites. Here, you’ll find 6 takes on 5 classic snack cakes that will turn your kitchen into the newest Hostess bakery.

Source: iStock

1. Giant Ding Dong Cake

Why settle for the miniature version when you could create a giant Ding Dong snack cake with AllRecipes.com? One way to use the cake you remove for the center is to make cake pops.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (18.25-ounce) package devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 (3.9-ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1¼ cups water
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 2¼ tablespoons water

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a 10-inch springform pan. In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and instant pudding. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, oil, and water. Mix until well blended. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool cake completely on a wire rack before removing from pan.

Slice a 1-inch-thick slice off of the top of the cake and set aside. Scoop out the cake for the center of the bottom part to within 1 inch of the sides. Discard or save for another use. To make the filling, whisk together the flour and milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until thickened. Set aside to cool completely. Once the flour and milk mixture has cooled, beat the ½ cup shortening, butter, sugar, and vanilla on high speed until light and fluffy. Add the milk mixture and continue to beat for 4 more minutes. Spoon into the center of the cake and replace the layer sliced from the top.

Combine the chocolate chips, ¼ cup shortening, corn syrup, and water in the top of a double boiler. Heat, stirring frequently until melted and smooth. Pour warm glaze over the top of the cake and smooth over the sides. Refrigerate until serving.

Source: Thinkstock

2. Hostess Cupcakes

Making your own Hostess cupcakes will be more effort than picking up box at the store, but Popsugar’s freshly baked version will be worth it in the end. Take shortcuts if desired by using a chocolate or Devil’s Food cake mix, frosting instead of ganache, or marshmallow fluff.

Ingredients:

Cupcakes

  • ⅓ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick salted butter
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup milk

Filling

  • 1 egg white
  • ⅛ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • ⅓ cup water
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ¼ cup light corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Ganache

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line cupcake tin with cupcake liners. In a medium-size bowl, sift cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, then whisk ingredients until well combined. Set aside.

In bowl of stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed, then add vanilla extract. Reduce speed to medium and alternate between beating in milk and flour mixture in ⅓ increments. Divide batter equally between cupcake liners. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean. Let cupcakes sit in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack.

For the filling, beat egg white and cream of tartar over medium speed until soft peaks form. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees Fahrenheit. Immediately remove from heat.

Turn mixer speed to low, and slowly drizzle hot syrup over the soft-peaked egg white. Try to avoid pouring it directly onto the whisk; instead, aim for the side of the bowl. Then increase mixer speed to medium-high and beat for 5-6 minutes, or until mixture looks thick, fluffy, and glossy. Add vanilla and beat about 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer ⅔ of marshmallow cream to a pastry bag fitted with a star tip. Transfer remaining ⅓ of marshmallow fluff to a separate pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Set both pastry bags aside.

For the ganache, place heavy cream in a small saucepan over low heat and cook until small bubbles form on the side. Immediately remove from heat. Place chocolate in a small bowl. Pour warm cream over chocolate and wait 2 minutes, then whisk mixture until smooth and emulsified. Whisk for another 2 minutes, to cool ganache slightly, then whisk in butter until butter melts completely. Refrigerate ganache until ready to assemble cupcakes.

When cupcakes are completely cool, hold star tip of pastry bag full of marshmallow filling and push it into the center of each cupcake. Squeeze bag to fill each cupcake until it swells but does not crack or overflow. Wipe any extra cream off the top if necessary, using an offset spatula (or a butter knife). Once ganache becomes cool and thick, remove from refrigerator and spoon about 1 tablespoon over each cupcake. Use an offset spatula (or a butter knife) to carefully spread icing over cupcake tops. Use a pastry bag fitted with a round tip to pipe a squiggly curlicue pattern of marshmallow cream across tops of cupcakes.

Tim Boyle/Getty Images

3. Twinkies

To make a mold for your homemade Twinkies, you’ll need aluminum foil and a spice bottle about the same size as a Twinkie. Additionally, to complete the process Todd Wilbur demonstrated on Today, you’ll need a cake decorator or pastry bag, and a chopstick. The aluminum foil should be in 10 squares that measure 12 by 14 inches.

Ingredients:

  • Nonstick spray
  • 4 egg whites
  • One 16-ounce box golden pound cake mix
  • ⅔ cup water

Filling

  • 2 teaspoons very hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups marshmallow creme (one 7-ounce jar)
  • ½ cup shortening
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Fold each piece of aluminum foil in half twice. Wrap the folded foil around the spice bottle to create a mold. Leave the top of the mold open for pouring in the batter. Make 10 of these molds and arrange them on a cookie sheet or in a shallow pan. Grease the inside of each mold with a light coating of nonstick spray.

Instead of using the cake mix box’s directions, beat the egg whites until stiff. In a separate bowl, combine cake mix with water and beat until thoroughly blended (about 2 minutes). Fold egg whites into the cake batter and slowly combine until completely mixed.

Pour the batter into the molds, filling each one about ¾ of an inch. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.

For the filling, combine salt with the hot water in a small bowl and stir until salt is dissolved. Let this mixture cool. Combine the marshmallow creme, shortening, powdered sugar, and vanilla in a medium bowl and mix well with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy. Add the salt solution to the filling mixture and combine.

When the cakes are done and cooled, use a skewer or chopstick to make three holes in the bottom of each one. Move the stick around inside of each cake to create space for the filling. Using a cake decorator or pastry bag, inject each cake with filling through all three holes.

Source: iStock

4. Funfetti Twinkies

But since you’re making these desserts at home, why not jazz up the recipe like Tartlet Sweets did? This recipe used a cream canoe pan, but you could use the DIY aluminum foil version from the previous recipe instead.

Ingredients:

Twinkie

  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup cold water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon butter flavoring
  • 7 eggs, separated
  • ½ cup rainbow jimmies

Filling

  • 2¼ cups marshmallow fluff
  • 6 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • ⅔ cup powdered sugar
  • Large pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup rainbow nonpareils

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a cream canoe pan and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt on low speed until combined. In a medium bowl, lightly mix oil, water, vanilla, butter flavoring, and egg yolks. With the mixer on low, add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whip egg whites until stiff. Fold the whites into the batter in thirds until no streaks remain. Add the jimmies to the batter along with the last third of whites, folding in the same manner. Do not over-mix. Using a Pyrex glass measuring cup or bowl with a lip, slowly pour the batter into each well of the prepared pan until ⅔ full.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until tester comes out clean and cakes spring back when touched. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then quickly invert the pan over a cooling rack. If the cakes don’t easily come out of the pan, tap the edge of the pan lightly on the cooling rack.

For the filling, place fluff and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on medium-high speed for about a minute. Reduce speed to low and add the sugar and salt. Increase speed again to medium-high and beat until light and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla and beat 1 minute more. Fold in nonpareils until evenly distributed. Use immediately.

Let cakes cool completely before filling. Once cakes have cooled, use a skewer to make three evenly spaced holes in the bottom of the cakes, gently swirling the skewer around inside the cake to make a little room for the filling. Place filling in a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip. Squeeze filling into each hole in the cake until you feel the cake expand just slightly. Cakes will keep in an airtight container for a few days.

Source: iStock

5. Sno Balls

Koko Cooks’ sno balls are made using mini rounded cake pans. This will help you achieve perfectly shaped sno balls, but you could also use Serious Eats’ method, which calls for a cupcake tray.

Ingredients:

Cake

  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1½ cups cake flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup brewed coffee
  • ½ cup milk

Marshmallow coating

  • 1 pound sweetened, shredded coconut
  • Pink gel food coloring (if desired)
  • 1½ packets of unflavored powder gelatin (about 9 grams)
  • ¼ c cold water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla

Creme filling

  • ½ teaspoon warm water
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ of a 7-ounce jar of marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup shortening
  • 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit. Butter and flour the wells of 2 mini-rounded cake pans. Sift the cocoa powder, cake flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder together. Set aside. In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the coffee and milk. Stir half the dry ingredients into the butter mixture. Stir in the coffee/milk mixture. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir to blend. Pour batter into prepared cake pans until ⅔ full. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes clean, about 18 minutes. Let cakes cool completely before turning the pan over to remove them.

For the marshmallow coating, pour coconut into a bowl. Mix with a teeny bit of food coloring. Mix well to evenly tint the coconut. Set aside.

Place the ¼ cup of cold water in the bowl of a stand mixer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water, and let set. In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, and 2 tablespoons water. Bring to a rolling boil. Fit the whisk attachment to the stand mixer, and turn to low to break up the gelatin. Pour the corn syrup mixture into the stand mixer with the gelatin and beat on high for 4 minutes. Stop the mixer and add the salt and vanilla. Continue beating on high for another 6 to 8 minutes. Remove bowl from mixer.

Using a fork or spoon, dip the rounded side of the cakes into the marshmallow. Quickly roll the marshmallow-coated cake in the coconut, making sure to cover the entire marshmallow surface. Place uncoated side down on a sheet to set.

For the creme filling, combine salt and water in a small bowl. With a mixer, combine fluff, shortening, sugar, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Add the salt mixture, and beat until combined. Using a large plain decorator’s tip, pipe the filling into the center of each cake, from the bottom.

Source: iStock

Source: iStock

6. Mini Powdered Sugar Donuts

In Real Snacks, mini powdered sugar donuts, or donettes, are made with a combination of rye, spelt, and barley flours to give the cake base new flavors, but you can stick to the classic by using all-purpose and whole-wheat flours instead. This recipe, via Epicurious, requires a mini donut pan, or mini muffin pan if you want to make donut holes.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white spelt or all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup rye flour or whole-wheat flour
  • ¼ cup barley flour or all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ⅓ cup cane sugar
  • Pinch freshly ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • Powdered sugar, for coating

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease a mini donut pan. Sift the white spelt, rye, barley, and baking powder together. Whisk in the sugar, nutmeg, and salt. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter, milk, vanilla, and egg. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix or your doughnuts may be rubbery.

Fill each doughnut cup ½ to ¾ of the way full with the batter. You can do this with a spoon, but a piping bag can be used to fill each cup evenly and cleanly. It’s important not to overfill, or as the doughnuts rise, you’ll lose the hole. Bake until the doughnuts spring back when touched, 6 to 10 minutes depending on the size of your doughnut pan. Let cool completely on a wire rack; dust with powdered sugar.

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