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Homemade Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes

Yields 21 cupcakes     adjust servings

Don't even try to tell me you didn't love those Hostess Chocolate Cupcakes when you were a kid, you know the kind with the loopy white frosting on top? It was a serious contender in the lunch trade. This is a homemade version that is SO much better!


For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 large eggs

For the marshmallow filling

  • 1 and 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 (7 ounce jar) marshmallow creme

For the chocolate glaze

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa, preferably Special Dark Cocoa
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar

For the white royal icing

  • 1 egg white
  • about 2 cups powdered sugar


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Fill 2 muffin tins with 21 paper cupcake liners.
  2. In a medium or large saucepan, add 1 cup butter, 1 cup water, and 1/2 cup cocoa. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Once it boils, take it off the heat.
  3. Let it cool for a minute or two, then stir in brown sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla.
  4. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine 2 cups flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, salt, and baking soda.
  5. Add the dry ingredients to the saucepan. (Then wipe out the bowl and put it back in your cupboard.)
  6. Stir well, then add 1/2 cup sour cream and eggs. Blend well until all the lumps are gone.
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared cupcake liners. Use about 1/4 cup batter for each cupcake.
  8. Bake at 350 for about 17-20 minutes, until a toothpick comes out of the center with no wet batter on it. Don't over bake!
  9. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack and let cool completely.
  10. Meanwhile, make the marshmallow filling. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the cream on high for about 3 minutes, until stiff peaks form. Add the marshmallow cream and continue beating until smooth. Store in the fridge until you are ready to fill the cupcakes.
  11. When the cupcakes have cooled, use a sharp knife to cut out the center. See photos. To make more room for the filling, I used my knife to dig out even more than the little cone shape that I cut out. I also cut off the bottom of the cone. (see photos) Just make sure there is plenty of space in there, while making sure the bottom stays intact.
  12. Use a pastry bag and frosting tip to fill each cupcake. Or you could put the filling in a ziplock and snip the corner, that's easy!
  13. Put the top back on each cupcake. If your glaze is not ready to go, chill the filled cupcakes while you make it.
  14. Make the chocolate glaze. Clean out the saucepan you used for the batter and add 1 stick of butter and 1/2 cup cocoa. Stir together over medium heat until it comes to a boil, then remove from the heat.
  15. Add 6 tablespoons sour cream, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/4 cup milk.
  16. Use a whisk to stir in the powdered sugar. If your cupcakes are not cooled and filled when you finish the glaze, stir it every now and then to break up the hardened shell on top. Add a little more milk if necessary.
  17. Carefully dip the top of each cupcake in the glaze. Once the frosting has set, (several minutes) dip each cupcake again. (Double dipping is optional, but why wouldn't you?)
  18. Let the frosting set completely. I stuck mine in the freezer for 20 minutes.
  19. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the egg white until frothy. Slowly beat in about 2 cups of powdered sugar. Put a small amount in a ziplock bag, snip the end, and try to make a loop on a plate. If it bleeds together, add more powdered sugar. If it's already too thick, add 1/2 teaspoon milk. Keep adjusting until the icing comes out smooth but firm, and doesn't bleed after it sets.
  20. Top each cupcake with a loop de loop. Let set completely. 
  21. Store finished cupcakes sealed on the counter for up to 24 hours, then stick them in the fridge!