(11/17/12 – NOTE: When I made these cupcakes five months ago, I had no idea that Hostess would be closing all of their bakeries, including their Seattle location on South Lake Union. Now that my dad’s favorite childhood treat will no longer be available in stores, this recipe is even more special for us…)
Yesterday I made Homemade Hostess Cupcakes, and let me just say – these cupcakes were possibly the best I have ever eaten. In fact, it would not be a stretch to say that this recipe may be one of the best chocolate desserts I have ever made.
Seriously. I will be making these again. And again. And again.
Last night they were for my dad. It was an early Father’s Day present.
My dad’s short-term memory is a little, how to say it… compromised. But he remembers the most amazing details from his childhood. Earlier this year I had a conversation with him about the foods he loved growing up. That’s when I found out, among other things, that his all-time favorite childhood snack was a Hostess Cupcake and a Nesbitt’s Orange Soda. Here is the story…
Every day after school, my dad would walk to the local mom & pop grocery, pick up a stack of The Seattle Times and deliver them to his customers on the way home (which was, of course, up a very large hill). And, if he had enough change in his pocket, my dad would treat himself to his favorite grade school snack… a Hostess Double Cupcake and a Nesbitt’s Orange Soda. My dad loved Hostess Cupcakes. I never knew! Listening to him describe the marshmallowy centers and white curly-q icing almost made me want to run out to 7-11 to pick up a twin pack, just so I could watch him eat one.
So, when I found this recipe on a beautiful blog called What Megan’s Making, I knew exactly what to get my dad for Father’s Day – his favorite childhood snack.
Only way, way better.
When my dad walked in the door last night, I surprised him with a platter of Homemade Hostess Cupcakes and an icy-cold orange soda. He LOVED it.
Mary, did I ever tell you this was my FAVORITE snack when I was a kid?
Yep, Dad, you told me that story. And I am so glad you did. Here, try a cupcake…
He ate four. They were even better than the ones he remembered.
I found the perfect gift.
Happy Father’s Day, Dad!
This recipe is slightly adapted from What Megan’s Making.
- 1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla exrtact
- 3 Tbsp. heavy cream
- 1 cup marshmallow creme
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 Tbsp. milk
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla
- Place oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.
- Spray muffin tins (18-20 muffins) with non-stick bakers spray (or line with paper liners).
- MAKE THE CUPCAKES: Place the sugar and 1 cup of water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Pour the sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer or a large bowl. Add the chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Place the chocolate mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer and add the eggs, beating on medium speed until well combined, then mix in the dry ingredients on low speed until the batter is smooth.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Fill each muffin about 1/2 way (about 1/4 cup batter per cupcake) and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. The cupcakes will sink in the middle slightly. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.
- MAKE THE FILLING. While cupcakes are cooling, make the filling. Using a mixer, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 Tbsp. heavy cream and beat until smooth. Alternating between batches, beat in the remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 2 Tbsp. heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- MAKE THE GANACHE. Place the chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Heat the cream and 1 tablespoon butter in a saucepan until just boiling, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 1 tsp. vanilla; let stand until cool but still glossy and liquid.
- FILL THE CUPCAKES. Put the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; fill until the cupcake is heavier (do not overfill). It’s OK if some of the filling peeks out, it will be covered by the ganache.
- FROST THE CUPCAKES. When the ganache has cooled enough to work with, spoon a Tbsp. of ganache onto each cupcake and lightly spread with an offset spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 15 minutes.
- PREPARE THE ICING. Using a mixer, beat the remaining 4 Tbsp. butter, 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, milk and confectioners’ sugar until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe the trademark curly-q’s onto the cupcakes to decorate.
- Store cupcakes in the refrigerator.