Birthdays and Not Your Hostess Cupcakes

I absolutely love birthdays. Whether they are mine, a family member’s, or a friend’s, I love them. It’s one day out of the year that you get to celebrate that person and let them know how special they are. It’s like making them rockstar for a day 🙂

Today I get to celebrate Chris’s birthday! HAPPY 26th BIRTHDAY CHRIS!

I have a special meal planned for him tonight, but first let’s talk cake. Remember those little, individually wrapped, cream-filled cupcakes? Yes, I’m talking about you Hostess. They were all the rage back in Elementary School when kids tried to trade their lunches and little brothers for them. Well, Hostess, with your high fructose corn syrup and mile long list of unpronounceable ingredients, there’s a new cupcake in town. With whole ingredients, I give you..

Not Your Hostess Cupcakes
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I will say off the bat, these are not vegan. However, I figured Chris, who isn’t vegan, puts up with my crazy (but delicious) vegan baking and cooking all the time that I would make him his own non-vegan cupcakes for his birthday. And what could be better than recreating the Hostess cupcake?? Nothing, I tell you. These cupcakes will knock your socks off. I know I sometimes get revved up about a particular recipe, but this one (excuse my pun) takes the cake. These will leave you never wanted to look back to the overly processed cakes with a shelf life that would outlive you or I. Let’s just take it in for a moment…


Ok, are you drooling yet? Before you go running to the nearest store to fill your craving with the prepackaged cakes, I’ll give you the recipe. I scoured the web for recipes and ended up modifying a few to give you the ones here today. I have to admit, I cheated slightly by using a boxed cake mix. I wanted to make sure I spent time getting the cream filling and ganache just right so I let Trader Joe’s do the work on the cake part. I highly recommend Trader Joe’s cake mix over others. It has more natural ingredients and tastes homemade!

Not Your Hostess Cupcakes

Ingredients:
Cake:
Trader Joe’s boxed chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1 stick butter, melted
1 1/3 cups water

Filling:
1 Stick Butter, softened (let sit out on the counter for a while)
1 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
4 tsp vanilla extract
5 Tbsp heavy cream
1 1/2 cups marshmallow cream

Ganache:
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tbsp butter
3 tsp vanilla

Directions:
1. Prepare cake mix according to package. Makes 24 cupcakes. Let cupcakes cool completely.
2. Prepare the filling by creaming the butter with an electric mixer. Once the butter is light and fluffy, beat in 3/4 cup confectioners sugar. Add vanilla and 2 Tbsp heavy cream; beat until smooth. Add remaining confectioners sugar (3/4 cup) and heavy cream in batches; alternating between the two. Beat in the marshmallow cream until smooth and fluffy.
3. Using a pastry bag, fill it 1/2 way with the filling mixture. Poke the tip into the center of the top of the cupcake and gently squeeze the pastry bag to fill the cupcake. Don’t overfill. Repeat with remaining cupcakes. Reserve remaining filling for decorating.
4. To prepare ganache, heat the cream and butter just until boiling. Pour over chocolate chips and whisk until smooth. Add vanilla as you are whisking. It should be smooth and glossy looking.
5. Dip the tops of each cupcake into the ganache. Use the remaining filling mixture and pastry bag to decorate. Let sit for at least an hour so the icing sets.

The result is a fluffy chocolate cake with a rich, fudgy icing and wonderfully, creamy center. I can’t wait for you all to try these! Now, I just have to work on a vegan version so I can enjoy these delights as well!

Happy Birthday Chris!!

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