A copycat recipe for your favorite American snack cake! Homemade Gluten-Free & Vegan Hostess Cupcakes that are top-8 allergy-free and a whole lot healthier! A chocolate cream-filled dessert for any occasion that is bound to bring back all the nostalgia of childhood!
Things are getting REAL today! Do you know how long I’ve had this homemade Hostess Cupcake recipe in my back pocket? Two years now? So before I posted, I had to redo the recipe, tweak it slightly since I’d previously mastered a better chocolate cupcake and a marshmallow filling for the gods. Originally, I’d made these copycat cupcakes for my mom. She loved all the Hostess and Entenmann’s processed baked goods (good ‘ole Twinkies, anyone?). I thought I’d give her (and myself) some gluten-free deliciousness to indulge in again!
I had my fair share of these cupcakes growing up. One of those special “desserts” my mom would add into my packed lunches for school. That first bite of chocolate cake, creme-filled center, and chocolate frosting with the white vanilla squiggle? DIVINE! All those packaged snacks of childhood were so perfect in every way (before these processed treats were SO frowned upon!)
Besides a school lunchbox treat, I always associate Hostess Cupcakes with road trips, gas stations, and rest stops! Any time you’d head into a convenience store on your way to “somewhere”, you’d inevitably see all those packed desserts just beckoning to you to buy them! I’m not someone who took a lot of road trips in my day, but there were a few long drives I can remember where we’d have to stop at a Wawa or something fo the sort.
And when we talk about convenience stores and long road tips, we know that we tend to have a celiac dilemma on hand. Things are so convenient and we need to plan ahead. Pile on a few more food allergies and we can’t just stop in to use the restroom and grab a snack! We have to pack our own and miss out on the processed “road trip fun”. Those little snacks just made the journey to vacations and trips “special”.
Since we CAN pack snacks, why not pack the exact snacks we once loved (and by snacks, I mean desserts!). Here’d to the Hostess Cupcake! Gluten-free, vegan, top-8 allergy-free, sugar-free (if you want), oil-free, uh…processed nonsense-free, but STILL amazingly delicious! In the photo below I bring you through the steps of filling the cupcake. You have an option of using my homemade marshmallow fluff to fill OR my vegan vanilla buttercream frosting to fill. It’s up to you and whatever is easier! You’ll be using my classic chocolate cupcake recipe to begin (gotta put that baby to good use!).
When I originally made this, I had really cheap, terrible pastry bags (that exploded when you squeezed!). I recently found this awesome Norpro cupcake injector and decorating gun at HomeGoods for like $3 and it is amazing! I simply cut out the center of the cupcake, used the gun to fill it in, added back some of the cut out cupcake to close it (this is actually optional, you can leave it open and just frost the top hole as is). I used a knife to spread on the chocolate frosting and then used the gun again to make the iconic squiggle!
Homemade Gluten-Free + Vegan Hostess Cupcakes
- 1 Batch of Classic Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes (unfrosted)
- 1 Batch of Sugar-Free Vegan Marshmallow Fluff or Vegan Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- For the Chocolate Ganache:
- 6 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
- 6 TB Powdered Erythritol (or preferred powdered sugar)
- 6 TB Water
- For the White Squiggle:
- 4 TB Powdered Erythritol (or preferred powdered sugar)
- 1 TB Water
- Bake the chocolate cupcakes according to the recipe and allow them to cool completely.
- Take a knife and cut out a center hole in the top of the cupcakes (not all the way to the bottom!) and place the scrapes aside.
- Use a cupcake injector to fill the cupcakes with the marshmallow fluff or vanilla buttercream.
- Place some of the cupcakes scraps to cover the filling whole (if desired).
- Mix together the chocolate ganache ingredients and use a spoon or knife to frost the top of the cupcakes.
- Mix together the white squiggle ingredients and insert them into the cupcake injector. Use a small round tip and make a squiggle across the top of the cupcakes to finish.
I know, right? Cupcake magic! So much healthier too…which means we can have more than 1…maybe? Regardless if you pack these in the lunchboxes or stow them away in the car for road trip snacking, you are in for a pleasant gluten-free and vegan Hostess Cupcake nostalgic experience! Food is fun, my friends! To eat, make, and decorate!
So tell me:
+ What were (are) your go-to road trip snacks? I can tell you funny (weird) stories about cans of tuna fish…but I’ll save that for another time!
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