Gluten-Free Hostess-style Cupcakes

Monday, December 12th, 2011 | click here to comment

Lately every time I get into the kitchen it's a disaster. Not in the mess everywhere sense, but in the bodily injury sort of way. Maybe I need to cut back on all my wine drinking when I cook, or maybe I need to have a professional treat my ADHD so I can actually pay attention for longer than 3 minutes when I'm in the kitchen. Either way, it doesn't stop me from enjoying the process, but I smartened up and now keep bandaids easily accessible in the kitchen.

it begins!

The other day, I brought the little one in to help me bake some gluten-free Hostess-style cupcakes, thinking what could possibly be dangerous about baking? Well I discovered what when I was distracted with preparing the batter, and felt something graze my arm. I thought nothing of it, but a second later turned to see what it was and see my toddler with the kitchen shears I had just put down, attempting to "help." She was opening and closing the scissors right next to my arm, luckily she doesn't know how to properly use scissors yet or she would have cut me. The shock of seeing her wielding sharp steel shears startled me and I ended up splattering vanilla everywhere, which was delightful.

toddler sous chef (and wine)

I recovered from my shock (with more wine) and kept trucking along making the cupcakes, which were really easy since I used the King Arthur Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake mix, which I absolutely love. It makes perfect cupcakes every time. Even the gluten-loving hubby likes them, which is saying a lot.

a perfect task for toddlers

To make the filling, it's a very simple mix of marshmallow fluff, powdered sugar and butter, pretty much the same filling I used for my gluten-free whoopie pies. The frosting is a ganache made with dark chocolate, butter, corn syrup and vanilla.

mix done and ready for the oven

To core out the cupcakes you can use a cupcake or apple corer, but it's actually pretty easy to just use a small knife and scoop out a little of the center, which is what I did.

baked cupcakes

My big fail was not getting an appropriately sized tip for my piping bag, so I ended up having to spoon the filling into the holes, which at the end of the day didn't really bother me since I got lick the residue off of my fingers...yum!

cored cupcakes

Coating the cupcakes with frosting is easy, you just take your pre-filled cupcake, turn it upside into a bowl filled with the ganache, give it a spin or two, and pull it up quickly - voila!

filled cupcakes

Once frosted, put the cupcakes back into the fridge so the frosting can harden and then you begin your piping! It takes some practice to get it right, and even after doing a dozen, I was struggling, but I think with an appropriately sized tip, and a better piping bag, it would have been easier.

delicious ganache frosting

Was all of the work worth it in the end? I can without a doubt say YES. These cupcakes taste just like Hostess cupcakes, but are a far better quality, adult version and of course, they are 100% gluten-free. Kudos to Bakingdom for the great filling and frosting recipes!

the frosting hides all of the imperfections

I'm excited to try my hand at making gluten-free versions of my favorite childhood snacks. I think PopTarts might be next on the agenda!


Gluten-Free Hostess-style Cupcakes

  • 1 package of King Arthur Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake Mix (and all ingredients listed on back of box)


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • pinch salt
  • 1 1/4 cups marshmallow spread


  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Prepare cupcakes according to the package directions. Allow to cool. Core out center of cupcakes (a little less than an inch) using a corer or a knife.

To make the filling: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix in the marshmallow spread and whisk until light and fluffy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until slightly thickened, up to 30 minutes.

To make the frosting: In a small bowl set over an inch or two of lightly simmering water, or double boiler, melt the butter, chips, and corn syrup until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Cover and chill for 20-30 minutes until thickened slightly.

To assemble cupcakes: Pipe filling into center of cupcakes, or use a spoon/knife to gently add frosting to cupcakes. It's ok if it looks messy on top, the ganache will cover it and make it look gorgeous. After all cupcakes are filled, take one, flip it upside down and dip it into the ganache. Give it a spin or two and pull out quickly and flip back over. You should have a thick, even layer of frosting coating the top. Do this with all of the cupcakes and then put them into the fridge for 20 minutes or until the frosting has hardened. Once the frosting has hardened, take the cupcakes out and pipe the filling onto the top in swirls. Start at one end and work your way to the other. You can pipe anything you want on top, but I tried to mimic the Hostess style here.


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