I'd be lying if I told you I remember downing cellophane wrapped packages of Hostess cupcakes in my elementary school cafeteria. Or if I said I rummaged through our kitchen cabinets when my mom was at work to sneak a chocolatey treat. I mostly remember being fascinated by their delicate white swirls across the middle of a deep, smooth chocolate frosting staring at me from the aisles of the gas station mini market.
But please don't doubt my credibility here! I have ever eaten these little guys. Every time I do, though, I wish for a little richer, less greasy cupcake with a bigger blob of fluffy white cream filling. Thanks to some great bakers and my crowd of ever ready taste testers, these homemade Hostess cupcakes fit the bill!
Hostess Cupcakes [click to print]
Makes about 1 dozen
For the Cupcakes:
- 1/2 c. plus 2 T. flour
- 1/3 c. cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/8 tsp. salt
- 2 eggs, large
- 1/3 c. unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 c. plus 2 T. sugar
- 2 T. buttermilk
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the Creamy Filling:
- 1/2 c. milk
- 2-1/2 T. flour
- 1/2 c. shortening
- 1/2 c. sugar
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 2 c. powdered sugar
For the Ganache Frosting:
- 1/3 c. heavy whipping cream
- 1 T. unsalted butter, softened
- 6 oz. dark chocolate, chips or chunked
Preheat oven to 350 F. Line cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, powder, soda and salt; set aside. Combine butter and sugar in mixer bowl and cream until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, incorporating well between each addition. Add dry ingredients and continue mixing until mostly combined, then add buttermilk and vanilla. Mix on low speed an additional 30 seconds.
Scoop batter into cupcake liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 350 F for 13-15 mminutes. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before filling.
In small saucepan, gradually blend milk into flour, whisking until there aren't any lumps. Cook on medium low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns to a thick paste. Be careful, though, because it will seem like nothing's happening and then all of a sudden it's really thick and can burn easily. Allow mixture to cool to lukewarm.
Meanwhile, cream shortening, sugar and salt in mixer. Add warm paste and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar in about three additions.
Scoop filling into pastry bag fitted with large tip. If you have a fancy cupcake filling tip, use that one, but I used a Wilton #12 tip and it worked just perfectly. Poke tip about 1/2" into top of cupcake and squeeze in a small amount of filling. You'll know you squeezed enough when you see the top of the cupcake rise a little bit. Remove tip and fill remaining cupcakes. If the filling oozes a little, just scrape it off.
To make the frosting, place chocolate in deep bowl and set aside. In small saucepan, heat cream and butter until simmering, but not boiling. Pour over chocolate and allow to sit about 5 minutes. Stir mixture until smooth and evenly combined. Dip the top of each cupcake in ganache and allow to set about 10 minutes in refrigerator. Repeat 1-2 times or until desired thickness is reached.
Change tip on pastry bag to a fine, plain point; I used Wilton #3. Pipe swirls across the top of each cupcake. Refrigerate about 10 minutes to set.
Source: Cupcakes and frosting adapted from Culinary in the Country; Filling from my Great Grandmother Mattie Foote