My fiancés’ birthday was a couple of weeks ago and I asked him what his favorite childhood snack was. He told me it was the Hostess HoHo cupcakes (chocolate cupcakes filled with cream and topped with chocolate frosting) and I told him I was on it! What better way to turn another year older than with a delicious homemade blast from your past? These cupcakes are so chocolatey, and the sweetness from the marshmallow filling offset the slight bitterness from the dark chocolate ganache. The cake base itself is moist even after being frozen and thawed out.
This recipe is a long one, and there’s plenty of shortcuts to make it simpler (box cake mix, regular frosting, etc.). However, if you can make it all the way through, your taste buds will thank you. It reminded Peter of his childhood, and also why he decided to marry me ;).
There’s three parts to these cupcakes and I will be splitting them up to make it easier to follow. Of course, you can skip all of this and scroll down to the bottom for the full recipe card. This recipe makes about 24 cupcakes.
Chocolate Cupcake (Use boxed devil’s food cake mix if you want to skip this)
- all-purpose flour
- white sugar
- cocoa powder
- baking powder
- baking soda
- coconut milk (or milk of choice)
- hot coffee
Marshmallow Filling (Use packaged vanilla frosting if you want to skip this)
- unsalted butter (room temperature)
- marshmallow fluff
- powdered sugar
- vanilla extract
Chocolate Ganache Frosting (Use packaged chocolate frosting if you want to skip this)
- dark chocolate (Morsels or bar, high quality chocolate means high quality ganache)
- heavy whipping cream
Let’s start with the chocolate cupcakes.
Line 1-2 muffin pans with cupcake liners or spray with non-stick spray and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Whisk in the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in the fresh hot coffee and mix until the batter is completely smooth.
Fill each muffin pocket almost to the top without the batter spilling over. Bake at 350 degrees for 18-21 minutes or until the toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Let them cool completely.
Once the cupcakes are cooled down, use a round teaspoon to hollow out a small portion of the cupcake center.
Beat the butter and powdered sugar until fluffy. Add the marshmallow fluff and mix by hand until completely blended.
Place marshmallow filling into a piping bag (or sandwich bag and cut off the tip) and fill each cupcake center, smoothing out the top with a spatula.
I will go ahead and tell you that ganache is not the easiest thing to accomplish. It may take some tries, and even if it doesn’t look perfect the first time you make it, it will still taste delicious. If it’s not the prettiest, the marshmallow topping will cover it up enough to where you can’t even tell.
Tip: Using high quality chocolate will help you have a high quality ganache. Stay away from baking chocolate.
If using dark chocolate bars, chop it up into smaller pieces and place in a heat proof bowl.
Heat the heavy whipping cream in a small sauce pan until steam starts to rise from the surface. Do not let it boil, and do not walk away from it. Stir it constantly until it is heated. It won’t take long to heat up and you risk burning it if you leave it alone for too long. (gross)
Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and push the chocolate down until the cream is completely covering it. Let it stand for 5 minutes and then whisk the chocolate until smooth.
If it is still lumpy, stick it in the microwave for 30 second increments or place over a sauce pan with heating water and stir until smooth.
Dip each cupcake (top down) into the ganche and hold for a couple of seconds before twist and lifting it out. Then place on cooling rack until ganache hardens completely.
Place more marshmallow filling into a piping bag (or sandwich bag and cut off the tip) and create desired design on top of each cupcake.