Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

I don’t think I need to explain the inspiration behind these cupcakes.  The squiggle alone is a dead giveaway.

The Hostess version we are all familiar with is arguably one of America’s most popular snack cakes (kissing cousins with the other Hostess favorite, the Twinkie).  While the Hostess chocolate cupcake has been around since 1919, it wasn’t until 1950 that they added the cream filling and signature squiggle, with its exactly seven loops. 

Don’t count mine…I just did the best I could. 

In the 1970’s Hostess added cartoon mascots for each of its popular products, and the cupcake was represented by Captain Cupcake.  He’s no Fruit Pie the Magician, but I pretty much love any ridiculous food mascot, so the Captain is alright by me. 

The cream filling is key.  And delicious…

My family celebrated my Nana’s birthday this weekend, and I jumped at the chance to make her a special dessert with an icing birthday message!

Fifteen of us gathered  for brunch to celebrate, eat…and buy squares for the Superbowl football pool.  I don’t like football and I don’t gamble (not because I am holy, but because I am frugal) so it didn’t interest me, but everyone else was very into it.  I was into eating one of these cupcakes.

The cream filling was light and airy, and the chocolate ganache hardened into a perfect layer that you had to bite through to get to the cake underneath.  Everything you want in a Hostess knockoff.  And none of what you don’t…like the preservatives.

The birthday girl with some of her grandchildren.  (Thanks Court for the photo!) 

Happy Birthday, Alice! 

Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Annie’s Eats, who adapted them from Culinary in the Desert, who was inspired by Food and Wine.  These babies get around.

For the cupcakes, use your favorite chocolate cake recipe, or a box mix.  I was out of flour so I used one of the box mixes I keep on hand for emergencies.  The filling and frosting will keep you busy enough to still maintain bragging rights. 

Filling Ingredients
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
3/4 cup Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/2 Tbsp. heavy cream

Frosting Ingredients
1/4  cup heavy cream
4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened

  • For the filling, in a medium-sized bowl, beat together butter, sugar, Fluff, and heavy cream until light and fluffy.  Remove 1/2 cup of the filling and add another teaspoon of heavy cream.  Mix well, then set aside, well covered. 
  • Place the larger amount of the filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip, push the tip a half-inch into the cupcake, and squeeze some of the filling inside.
  • For the ganache frosting, heat the cream in a saucepan just until it begins to steam.  Remove from heat and add the chocolate.  Allow the mixture to sit for a few moments, then add the butter and stir until smooth.
  • Transfer the ganache to a small bowl and dip the top of each cupcake into the chocolate, smoothing with a knife if necessary.
  • Place the reserved filling into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip.  Pipe the squiggles onto the ganache, then refrigerate the cupcakes for 10 minutes to set the icing.

Printable Version

25 thoughts on “Cream-Filled Chocolate Cupcakes

  1. Uncle Ricky says:

    Hi Aimee,

    The sample Auntie Kathy brought me was superb! Do you do home delivery if I put in a big order? Please don’t tell Courtney I’m changing vendors. 🙂

    • Aimee says:

      I will make you a batch any time you want, Uncle Ricky! And I am sure you will still accept treats from Courtney any time… 🙂

  2. courtney says:

    aimee, your cupcakes were visually stunning and delicious. and i sat next to nana. she finished hers, of course!

    uncle ricky…i will remember that come jam time!!! 🙂

  3. Fran says:

    Love this post! Your cupcakes came out great and the story reminded me of when my sister and I were little girls. My grandmother ALWAYS got us each a package of Hostess cream filled cupcakes and it was such a treat! I don’t think I’ll ever forget that and begging her to tell us stories of “the olden days” when she tucked us into bed at night. She was young — probably the age I am now, as a matter of fact, but those “olden days” stories of the ice man coming by the house and horse and carriages were so much fun to hear.

    Ok, now I just made myself feel ancient, so I’ll stop here! 🙂

    • Aimee says:

      What great memories, Fran! My Nana used to have Devil Dogs for us, but they wouldn’t have been as pretty to recreate for her birthday. 🙂

      I love anything from “the olden days” – I can’t wait until I am the one telling stories about a time long ago when there were no cell phones or internet!

  4. Carolyn Jung says:

    What a great way to watch the football game AND to relive old times. These cupcakes are adorable. And I know they are a hundred times better than the ones on the store shelf we all grew up with.

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