Fluffy and delicious, these Hostess Cupcakes are so easy to make and even better than you remember! Perfect for snack time or dessert, they are gluten free, vegan, and top 9 free!
This childhood favorite gets a little makeover so that everyone can enjoy them! Frosted with a rich chocolate ganache and filled with fluffy marshmallows, no one will believe that these cupcakes are free from the top 9 allergens.
Free From: wheat, gluten, dairy, casein, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, coconut, fish, shellfish, crustaceans, mollusks, celery, corn, sesame, mustard, lupin, sulfites, and more
These Hostess Cupcakes are made with super simple ingredients that you probably have on hand in your pantry, making them a great afternoon project. While they might look complicated to put together, I pinky promise they are not!
Chocolate Cake - The base of the recipe, I always use my gluten free and vegan ultimate chocolate cake mix. If you want to take a shortcut, use your favorite store box cake mix and I won’t tell anyone.
Marshmallows - This is for the fluffy cream filling of these cakes, as well as the little swirls on top. You have a few options for this. Campfire Marshmallows are free from many common allergens and work fantastic (they contain gelatin and corn). Marshmallow fluff works wonderfully (contains egg and corn but nothing else). You can also use Dandies vegan marshmallows for an egg free version (these do contain soy).
Other ingredients you need:
- Butter of your choice
First, make the chocolate cupcakes according to directions, or make them from scratch. Remove them from the oven and let them cool completely. If you want to make your cupcakes a day before making the finished dessert, you can totally do that!
Now make the ganache frosting. The longer this sits on top of the cupcakes, the more firm the chocolate will be, making for an easier surface to pipe the swirls on top of.
Next, make the marshmallow frosting. This can get a little warm and runny if left to sit out so don’t let it hang out in your hot kitchen for longer than necessary.
Now that you’ve got all the components of the cupcakes, it’s time to assemble!
First, flatten the tops of your cupcakes with a knife. You want a nice flat surface! Trim off the rounded tops and set them aside. (These can be frozen and used in cake pops for later! Or eaten right now as a snack.)
Next, scoop out a tiny spoonful of chocolate cake from the center of the cupcake. I used a metal half-teaspoon and took the cake out like I would a melon baller on a cantaloupe. Easy peasy! Set those cake scraps aside.
Assembling the Cupcakes
Now fill the center of the cupcake with the marshmallow frosting. I like to place my frosting in a piping bag for easy filling. You can use a plastic sandwich bag and snip the corner off, or just use a spoon and gently dollop the frosting inside. Smooth out the tops so the frosting and the cake are even.
Set these filled cupcakes in the fridge or freezer to help set the marshmallow frosting.
Now it’s time to frost the chocolate ganache! I found that flashing a big spoonful of frosting on top of the cupcake and using the back of a spoon to gently press the ganache into place was the best way of coating the cupcakes.
Let the chocolate ganache set.
Finally, it’s time to add the swirl on top! With a small tip piping bag, or even just drizzling with a spoon, make tiny swirls on top of the cupcakes.
Let these sit in the fridge and they are ready to enjoy!
How to Store
These keep best in the fridge for up to 5 days. You can freeze them after making the cupcakes or after filling and frosting the cupcakes. They could be kept frozen in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge before serving.
Looking for more recipes? Try these out!
- mixing bowls
- mixing spoons
- heand mixer / stand mixer
- measuring cups
- measuring spoons
- cupcake tray
- cupcake liners
- piping bags and tips (optional)
Chocolate Fudge Frosting
- ¼ cup butter or butter alternative
- 1 ½ oz baking chocolate bar
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 3-4 tablespoon milk or milk alternative
- ⅓ cup marshmallow fluff (make it a heaping third of a cup!) see notes
- ¼ cup butter or butter alternative
- 2 tablespoon vegetable shortening
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup powdered sugar
- 1 tbsp milk or milk alternative
- Make the chocolate cupcakes according to directions and let cool completely.
- To make the chocolate fudge frosting, melt the butter (or alternative) and chocolate together in the microwave or over a double boiler. Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and 1 tablespoon of milk. If you need more milk to help it combine, add the remaining milk in 1 tablespoon increments. It will be slightly runny but will thicken upon standing. Set aside.
- Now make the marshmallow frosting. Combine your marshmallow fluff with your room temperature butter (or alternative) and vegetable shortening. Whip until light and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Now add your sugar and vanilla. Whip again. If you need to thin the consistency, add up to 1 tablespoon of milk. Place the majority of this aside in a piping bag for use to fill the cupcakes. Place a few spoonfulls into a small bag for piping the swirl on top.
- To assemble the cupcakes, trim the tops of all your cupcakes so they are flat. Using a half-teaspoon, scoop out a small hole for the frosting. Fill with the marshmallow cream frosting, making sure not to fill above the top of the cupcake. Gently frost with the chocolate fudge frosting. Finally, swirl a marshmallow frosting swirl on top for the true hostess cupcake look! Enjoy!