Cuisine Quest • Yearning for Hostess snack cakes? Make Ding Dogs at home

Cuisine Quest • Yearning for Hostess snack cakes? Make Ding Dogs at home
This is an archived article that was published on in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Ding Dongs, Twinkies and Ho Ho's have been flying off the shelves since the recent announcement that Hostess was shutting down operations.

Fortunately, fans can keep enjoying at least one of these snack cakes with this copy-cat recipe for cream-filled chocolate cupcakes.

It comes from the Recipe Secrets Newsletter and, an internet site which specializes in recreating popular restaurant dishes.

Requests • Jean Herndon is looking for the Hotel Utah's cheese soup recipe.

Nancy Davis is still looking for the pasta salad recipe from Fred Wix — aka the Gabby Gourmet.

DeAnn Cleveland is looking for the candy "violets" once carried by ZCMI's bulk candy department. "They were little lavender-colored, violet-flavored squares cut from a candy dough similar to candy hearts," she wrote. "They also had the squares in black licorice flavor." She says they are similar to the Choward's brand violets.

Are you craving a favorite restaurant recipe? Or have you lost a family favorite? Tells us what you're missing and we'll try to locate the recipe or ask our readers for help. Email requests or responses to Kathy Stephenson at —

Homemade Hostess cupcakes


1 1/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

1 cup water

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

2 large eggs, lightly beaten


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup marshmallow creme

Chocolate ganache frosting

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


4 tablespoons butter, softened

1/4 teaspoons vanilla

1 tablespoon milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the rack in the center position. Spray muffin tins with non-stick cooking spray.

To prepare the cupcakes, place sugar and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the sugar dissolves. Transfer to a large bowl. Add chocolate and butter and let sit, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and the mixture has cooled slightly. Stir in the vanilla.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

Using an electric mixer, add the eggs to the chocolate mixture, beating on medium speed until well combined. Slowly mix in dry ingredients on low speed until the batter becomes smooth.

Pour batter into prepared muffin tins, fill each cup about half way. Bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then transfer to a rack and cool completely.

For the filling, cream butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar. Add the vanilla and 1 tablespoon heavy cream, beat until smooth. Add in the remaining confectioners' sugar and heavy cream. Beat in the marshmallow creme. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

For the chocolate ganache frosting, place chocolate in a stainless-steel bowl. Use a medium saucepan to heat the cream and butter until it just begins to boil, then pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 5 minutes. Whisk until smooth. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla while whisking; let stand until cool.

Put the cream filling into a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake top; then squeeze some of the cream filling into it.

Spoon a tablespoon of the chocolate ganache onto each cupcake and lightly spread with a spatula or a knife. Chill for at least 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, use an electric mixer to beat all the ingredients for the icing until smooth, adding more milk if needed. Spoon into a pastry bag with a small tip. Pipe the trademark curly-q design across the top of each cupcake.

Servings • 18

Source: Ron Douglas, author of Recipe Secrets Newsletter and