Homemade Hostess cupcakes have the taste and visual appeal of the popular snack cake, but without all of the artificial colors and ingredients.  Chocolate cupcakes, stuffed with fluffy cream filling, and decorated with chocolate fudge frosting and a swirl of icing on top.

Who doesn’t love playing hostess? I like to imagine one of those 1950’s scenes, dress pearls and all with a house full of friends and cute little serving trays rotating through a room filled with chatter. Laughter and great wine keeping the mood light long after the sun it set.

Yeah, that doesn’t happen to much these days. Sure, we have guests over, but it’s never my perfect color coordinated matching napkin kind of event. By the time I get home from work and get dinner ready for my guests, I’m lucky if there is a fork and knife at each place setting. Not to mention the house is always in a state of disarray from one project to the next and after just the normal cleaning, making a cute tablescape is just not on my to do list.  But here’s to dreaming that someday I’ll  get my pearls on and host some of those fancy parties I see on pinterest all day long.

Until then – take a bite out of one of these homemade Hostess cupcakes!

Homemade Hostess cupcakes have the taste and visual appeal of the popular snack cake, without all of the artificial colors and ingredients. // Recipe on PassTheSushi.com


Homemade Hostess Cupcakes

Discovered on Bakingdom

Homemade Hostess cupcakes have the taste and visual appeal of the popular snack cake, without all of the artificial colors and ingredients. // Recipe on PassTheSushi.comFor the Cupcakes:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cups applesauce
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Filling:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups marshmallow spread

For the Frosting:

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation of homemade Hostess cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine oil and sugar; mix well. Stir in the apple sauce and vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Slowly pour in the water, mixing on low until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just mixed. Slowly add the milk and beat on low until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and mix for another 15-20 seconds.Fill each cupcake liner with 2 tablespoons of batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a crumb or 2 clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.
While cooling, make the filling. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix in the marshmallow spread and whisk until light and fluffy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the frosting. In a small bowl set over an inch or two of lightly simmering water, melt the butter, chips, and corn syrup until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Or in a medium, microwave-safe bowl, heat at 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and glossy. Stir in the vanilla. Cover and chill for 20-30 minutes until thickened slightly.
Equipped with a large round tip, fill a piping bag with the marshmallow cream mixture. Place in the center of each cupcake, pressing into the cupcake and fill. After a few cupcakes you will get a feel for when it is full. Use an offset spatula to remove any excess filling on top. Cool for at least 15 minutes before frosting.
To frost, dip a cupcake in a bowl of frosting. Twist a little for good coverage. Cool again.
To make the classic swirls on top (or whatever else you may like to make), use a small round tip in a piping bag with any extra leftover marshmallow cream.


I’ve never eaten Hostess cupcakes before, but if they are nearly as good as these homemade Hostess cupcakes are, I am going to need a bigger shopping cart!
I have never fallen for end cap trickery before, but I may have to just pick a box of them up to see how they rate compared to this homemade Hostess cupcakes recipe. If you’ve ever had the real deal, try these and let me know how they rate!Homemade Hostess cupcakes have the taste and visual appeal of the popular snack cake, without all of the artificial colors and ingredients. // Recipe on PassTheSushi.com


  1. Oooo … purty! Oh, I doubt I can ever be such an elegant hostess with pearls and perfect hair. I can see myself all sweaty and frazzled with a stained apron and pots boiling over …. not a nice sight.

  2. These look incredible, just like the ones I remember! Pinned them, so I can make them soon, although I bet they are way better than the originals with less preservatives!

  3. Oh, these are gorgeous!!! I’ve made them…without the squiggle. Yours look SO much better 🙂

  4. These cupcakes look yummy. I love how simple the design is, but I bet these taste amazing! And you added applesauce making them super moist! 🙂

  5. RavieNomNoms says:

    This is so cute! I have dreams of the 50s too. If only I could stop working and do that…heaven. Your cupcakes look really good and so much better than the ones you get at the store. Nice work Kita!

  6. You nailed it, Kita! These look just like them but I bet they taste even better since they’re homemade 🙂 Awesome job!

  7. These look so much better than real Hostess cupcakes!

  8. i really don’t think you need a shopping cart, yours are at least 10 times better looking and delicious than the store bought ones.

  9. I can guarantee that the original Hostess cupcakes don’t taste nearly as delicious as your homemade ones! Haha, like what you see on Pinterest – one day you’ll have the pearls and perfect dinner party 🙂

  10. Fantastic! I love the the cupcake part was made with canola oil and apple sauce. I know you had to use butter in other parts – but nice to go healthy where you can! Not only that – they look perfect!

  11. I was obssessed with these in college. Damm college 10… ok 15? These look even better than the ones that I used to get from the vending machine.

  12. I still have a place in my heart for hostess cupcakes it reminds me of being little and my mother buying them for me. These obviously look much better than the ones from the store. 🙂

  13. I used to love Hostess cupcakes when I was a kid. Didn’t get to have them very often! Love the homemade version, these are perfect!

  14. These look lovely. I dream of those picture perfect nights, at least I dream about the pearls and high heals. The applesauce makes me believe these are completely healthy, right?

  15. So great! They look delicious, and fancier than regular Hostess cupcakes! I bet making them at home is actually way healthier too. Hopefully Hostess doesn’t come after you for copyright infringement =P

  16. Congrats on the top on Foodbuzz! These do take you back to childhood, love love that! They look soooo fantastic:-)
    Hugs, Terra

  17. I always think the idea of being a hostess is much better than the scary reality! In my perfect party I would be wearing a vintage 50’s dress in yellow gingham with matching shoes & a fabulous updo. In reality I would be sweating, not dressed yet and hiding the washing up in the cupboard, ahhh! Cute looking cakes, marshmallow filling, mmm! Congrats on Top 9!

  18. those certainly look like hostess cupcakes down to the squiggly lines on them! I grew up on hostess cupcakes then we moved to the philly area and they only had tastycakes…I grew to love tastycakes, but nothing they made was ever as good as those cupcakes….thank you so much for the recipe, this will be a good one to teach my girls!

  19. Amazing! And well done landing in the Top 9 🙂 These TOTALLY deserve it! Buzzed

  20. I secretly wish I belonged to that era. I wonder if I would look glamorous just because I was. Everyone then was a perfect hostess. You would be forgiven if you’re not if you serve this perfect cupcakes. Congrats on the Top 9!!!

  21. These look just like the ones I used to love growing up! I would love to make these for my uncle who was the hostess cupcake king – he would always bring these for us as a treat. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

  22. My mom used to put these in my lunchbox when I was little, but what you have here is several (hundred) times better than the other ones. I love these.

  23. They sure look like the real deal, maybe a bit smaller. Hard to imagine you’ve never HAD one!

  24. These are so sweet! They really DO bring back childhood memories. Beautiful photography and thank you for sharing!

  25. Congratulations on making Food buzz’s Top 9! Bravo!

  26. Love these. Brings me back to my childhood. Thanks for sharing and hitting top 9.

  27. These cupcakes look awesome, my kids would LOVE them 🙂

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