I tried my first hostess cupcake a few weeks ago because my boyfriend was surprised I never had one. I was not impressed, it tasted like I would expect a plastic wrapped cupcake to taste like- dry cake and sugary chocolate frosting. The ingredients were also gross and included beef fat (ewww!) and all kinds of weird chemicals that aren't even food. I decided I could make some that tasted much better and while my homemade ones aren't healthy for you either, I think butter and sugar are much safer to eat than whatever is in that shelf stable hostess.
For the chocolate cupcake I used Martha Stewert's one bowel chocolate cupcake recipe. It calls for buttermilk which is similar in flavor and acidity to sour cream and yogurt and also produces a better textured crumb. Buttermilk can be hard to find in grocery stores which is surprising because its commonly used in cornbread, biscuits and southern fried dishes. I have found it in the more expensive grocery stores like Big Y and Shaw's but if you can't find it, you can try subbing keifer (like a drinkable yogurt) or you can try making your own butter milk by mixing regular milk with white vinegar. I have never tried making my own but have subbed keifer for buttermilk in a cornbread recipe and it turned out great. Buttermilk is definitely worth seeking out, especially if you want your cake to have a tender crumb.
For the filling, I googled "Hostess cupcake recipe" and came across this recipe on Annies-eats. I copied her filling recipe exactly and it was so good I could have scraped the fake-stess idea and just ate filling.
The chocolate frosting is just ganache. I used semi sweet chocolate because I didn't want it to be super rich-I was going for close to hostess-ness here. It turned out just slightly rich and it was super smooth and easy to spread on the cupcake. It also had an appealing glossy shine.
For the Chocolate Ganache
1C semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2C heavy cream
1T unsalted butter
1. Heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until its hot to the touch. You do not want to boil or scald here.
2. Place chocolate in a metal bowl.
3. Pour the hot cream mixture over the chocolate and whisk until is nice and smooth.
4. Let it cool slightly before spreading it on the cupcakes. It shouldn't be too thin when you frost because it will just drip over the cupcakes and make a mess. You should have to spread it with a spatula or the back of a spoon.
|fun to decorate|
This whole recipe was pretty simple. The cake is super fast and easy, I made that and the filling in the hour I have between school and work. Assembling them takes longer because you have to cut a whole in each cupcake (I used a melon baller) and keep refilling pastry bags. These Fake-stesses are totally worth the effort and are much better than any garbage in a plastic wrapper.