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Homemade Hostess® Cupcakes Recipe & Video

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A Homemade Hostess® Cupcake has four components. It starts with a Devil's Food Cupcake, a rich and moist chocolate cake that has a wonderfully soft crumb. Once made, the cupcakes are filled with a light and fluffy vanilla cream. Then each cupcake is dipped in a smooth and velvety Chocolate Ganache, which is a delicious mixture of dark chocolate and cream. The finishing touch, which makes a Hostess® Cupcake instantly recognizable, is the loop-de-loops (or squiggles) of white chocolate.

Unsweetened cocoa powder is what gives these cupcakes their deep chocolate "fudgy" flavor. You can use natural unsweetened cocoa powder or Dutch-processed (alkalized). Just remember that both the type and brand of unsweetened cocoa powder will affect both the taste and color of your cupcake. Before adding the cocoa powder to the cake batter, we first dissolve it in either very hot coffee or boiling water and this is done to bring out its full flavor. This chocolate batter contains both butter and oil. The benefit of adding oil, along with the butter, is that it keeps the cupcakes soft, even when refrigerated. As far as the type of oil to use, good choices are vegetable, canola, corn, safflower, or a light olive oil.

This Vanilla Cream Filling has a nice vanilla flavor with a wonderfully soft and creamy texture (like marshmallow cream). This texture comes from the addition of vegetable shortening and light corn syrup (can use golden syrup, agave, or brown rice syrup, or liquid glucose). However, if you don't want to use vegetable shortening you can substitute with an equal amount of butter.

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Devil's Food Cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place your oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, 18 muffin cups.

In a bowl, whisk the cocoa with the hot coffee (or water) until the cocoa has dissolved and the mixture is nice and smooth. Then whisk in the sour cream and vanilla extract.

In a large bowl, whisk or sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and oil and beat, on medium high speed, until the mixture is soft and fluffy, and light in color (this will take about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.

Add the flour mixture (in three additions) alternately with the cocoa/sour cream mixture (in two additions), beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat only until the ingredients are fully mixed together.

Fill the muffin cups about 3/4 full and bake for about 16 - 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the tops spring back when lightly pressed. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool (in their pans) for about 10 minutes. Then remove the cupcakes from the pan, place on a wire rack, and cool completely before filling and frosting.

Vanilla Cream Filling: In the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), beat the shortening and butter until soft and creamy. With the mixer on its lowest speed, beat in the confectioners' sugar. Increase the speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Then, with the mixer on low speed, beat in the vanilla extract and slowly drizzle in the corn syrup. Continue to beat until the filling looks like soft mayonnaise. Place the vanilla cream in a pastry bag fitted with 1/4 inch (.5 cm) plain tip (I used a Wilton #12).

Chocolate GanachePlace the chopped chocolate in a medium sized heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. (Can also heat the cream in the microwave.) Bring just to a boil. Immediately pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand, without stirring, for a few minutes. Then, starting from the center, gently stir (as you do not want to incorporate air) with a spoon until the chocolate has melted and the Ganache is smooth.

Homemade Hostess® Cupcakes: With a sharp knife, or the end of a 1 inch (2.5 cm) round pastry tip, cut a 1 inch (2.5 cm) round hole that is 3/4 inch (2 cm) deep in the bottom of each cupcake. (Keep the small rounds of cake that you removed. Cut the rounds so they are only about 1/4 inch (.5 cm) thick.) (See video for demonstration.) Then pipe in enough Vanilla Cream to fill the hole. Take the small round of the reserved cake and "plug" the hole where you piped in the cream. Repeat this process with the rest of the cupcakes.

Place the Ganache in a small deep bowl. Dip the tops of the cupcakes in the Ganache to coat, letting the excess drip back into the bowl. Then place on a wire rack, frosting side up. Once all the cupcakes have been dipped in the Ganache, place the cupcakes in the refrigerator until the Ganache has set (about 20-30 minutes).

Decoration: Melt the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl, placed over a saucepan of simmering water (or in the microwave). Place in a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tip (Wilton #3 or #4) and pipe 4 to 7 loops-de-loops (squiggles) on the top of each cupcake. Place the cupcakes in the refrigerator until set. Store the cupcakes in the refrigerator, but bring to room temperature before serving.

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*Hostess is a trademark of Hostess Brands LLC..

Devil's Food Cupcakes:

3/4 cup (75 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-processed)

1 cup (240 ml/grams) hot coffee or hot water

1/2 cup (120 ml/grams) sour cream or plain yogurt

2 teaspoons (8 grams) pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all purpose flour

1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 1/3 cups (265 grams) granulated white sugar

3 tablespoons (30 grams) flavorless oil (corn, vegetable, safflower or canola oil)

2 large eggs (100 grams), at room temperature

Vanilla Cream Filling:

4 tablespoons (55 grams) vegetable shortening

4 tablespoons (55 grams) butter, at room temperature

1 cup (120 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 ml/170 grams) light corn syrup (can use golden syrup or liquid glucose)

Chocolate Ganache:

6 ounces (170 grams) semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) heavy whipping cream (cream with a 35% butterfat content)


1 1/2 ounces (45 grams) white chocolate, coarsely chopped

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