Elementary school was such an easy-going and carefree time. At the age of 10, the only major concern in my life was why I didn’t receive the same delicious treats in my lunchbox that my friends did. And which treat in particular was I most concerned about? Hostess® CupCakes. I remember being so jealous of the girls who would pull out those perfectly packaged chocolate cakes from their lunchbox. And I wasn’t even gluten-free at the time.
Can you imagine how it would feel to be a gluten-free 10-year-old? Unable to try any of the tantalizing treats advertised on TV and unable to enjoy any of the delectable desserts eaten by your friends at lunch? Well, not to worry because I have good news! Now even gluten-free kids can enjoy the deliciousness of Hostess® CupCakes. Because everyone deserves a treat now and then (especially those of us who are gluten-free!).
These little cakes are amazing. They are just like the famous Hostess® CupCakes you love, maybe even better. The cake is incredibly moist and devilishly chocolate-y. Most akin to Devil’s Food Cake, these cupcakes are deeply rich in chocolate flavor with a subtle hint of sweetness . The true sweetness of this dessert, however, comes from an intense burst of vanilla filling pocketed in the center of the cake. Made with marshmallow fluff, the filling adds a brightly sweet note to the otherwise dark chocolate cake. Finally, semi-sweet ganache-like frosting and creamy vanilla swirls top off this lovely treat to give the cake its signature look.
These cakes can be eaten either at room temperature or chilled, depending on how you prefer the topping. Refrigeration allows the frosting and swirls to set to a slightly firmer texture (as seen in the first two photos), making them easier for transport. Serving at room temperature, on the other hand, keeps the glossy look and satiny-smooth texture that truly makes these cakes melt in your mouth. But either way you choose, these cupcakes are guaranteed to please. So prepare yourself for a delicious treat and a wonderful trip down memory lane, because these cupcakes are sure to bring back the blissful elementary school days of your past. Enjoy!
1 cup GF Flour Mix*
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup canola oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp confectioners’ sugar
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups marshmallow fluff
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
For the cakes:
Preheat oven to 350°F and line a 12-tin muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, thoroughly whisk together the first 7 ingredients. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together buttermilk, sugar, oil, and vanilla for 1 minute on medium speed. Turning down to low speed, add the dry ingredients in 3 separate additions, making sure the mixture is fully incorporated after each addition.
Fill muffin liners approximately 2/3 full with batter and bake for 18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cake comes out clean.
Cool cupcakes for 5 minutes in pan before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely.
For the filling:
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until smooth and creamy. Add in vanilla and salt. Mix in the marshmallow fluff, beating and scraping down mixture frequently until fully incorporated. Cover filling and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
For the frosting:
In a double boiler over gently simmering water, combine butter, chocolate chips, and corn syrup. Stir frequently until all ingredients have fully melted and mixture is smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and add in vanilla. Cover and refrigerate frosting for 20-30 minutes, until thickened slightly.
Fill a pastry bag attached to a large writing tip with vanilla filling. Plunge the writing tip into the center of the cupcake and slowly squeeze bag to fill cake. When the top of the cake begins to bulge or you can feel the filling push against the tip, slowly remove the tip from cake. Using an offset spatula, wipe off any filling that peaks over the top and repeat process with remaining cakes. Reserve any remaining filling for later swirl decoration.
To frost, turn filled cake upside down and dip in prepared chocolate frosting, allowing it to coat the top completely. Hold cake upside down above dipping bowl, allowing the excess frosting to drip off before turning cake right side up again. Set frosted cupcakes aside to set for at least 10 minutes.
Using a small writing tip and pastry bag filled with leftover vanilla filling, pipe swirls on top of frosted cake (be careful not to make swirls too tight, as they may run together).
Serve cupcakes at room temperature for a glossy look or chill for a least 30 minutes to allow tops to set.
*GF Flour Mix
2 cups brown rice flour
2/3 cup potato starch
1/3 cup tapioca starch