Here’s another Tuesday Tweak for you – an oldie but goodie recipe from way back in the early days of Annie’s Eats.  Even though it has been so long since I first posted these, I have made them countless times.  And believe it or not, this is the cupcake I usually request if someone offers to make cupcakes pour moi.  The classic combination of perfectly tender chocolate cake, fluffy marshmallow filling and of course the signature swirl on top totally makes me feel like a kid again.  I need that these days.

This recipe desperately needed new photos and even more than that, the recipe needed some major tweaking.  Though I positively loved the cake portion before, the filling tasted too much like a plain buttercream and the texture was heavy and dense.  I scrapped the old version and started from scratch with some homemade marshmallow creme (though store bought works just as well).  I played around with the proportions until I was happy with both the flavor and texture, and I finally found the sweet spot I was looking for.  I also swapped out the chocolate glaze for one with a gorgeous smooth finish since the former was a bit lumpy.  I’m totally smitten with the revamped version of this recipe.  They are a guaranteed hit with both the young and the young at heart.


For the cake:

  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¾ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 6 large eggs at room temperature, separated
  • 1 cup canola oil
  • 1¾ cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons water

For the filling and frosting swirl:

  • 2 cups marshmallow creme
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • ½ tsp. cream or milk

For the chocolate glaze:

  • 5 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream


  • 01

    To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 350˚ F.  Line cupcake pans with paper liners.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  In a large bowl, combine the egg yolks, canola oil, 1½ cups of the sugar and the water.  Whisk to blend well.  Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, mixing just until incorporated.

  • 02

    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites on medium-high speed until foamy.  Continue beating, gradually adding in the remaining 6 tablespoons of sugar, until stiff, glossy peaks form.  Add a quarter of the egg white mixture to the bowl with the batter to lighten.  Gently fold in the remaining egg whites until the batter is smooth and no streaks remain.

  • 03

    Divide the batter between the prepared cupcake liners, filling each about three-quarters full.  Bake until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed, about 16-18 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through baking.  Allow to cool in the pan about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

  • 04

    To make the filling, combine the marshmallow creme and butter in a mixing bowl and beat on medium-high speed until smooth.  Blend in the confectioners’ sugar and salt and whip until the mixture is light and fluffy, about 1-2 minutes more.  Transfer the majority of the filling mixture to a pastry bag fitted with a medium round tip, reserving ½ cup in the mixing bowl.  (The tip I use is not labeled, but the opening is just under ½-inch in diameter.)  Blend in the cream to the reserved filling mixture to make it smooth for piping the swirl on top of the cupcake.  Transfer this to another pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (I used Wilton #3). Chill until ready to use.

  • 05

    Fill the cupcakes by inserting the pastry tip directly into the center of each cupcake and squeezing in a dollop of the marshmallow mixture.  (See this post for a visual – an injector tip will not work for this recipe because the filling is too thick.)  If excess filling comes out of the top, just scrape it off with a knife so the top of the cupcake is essentially smooth.

  • 06

    Make the chocolate glaze by placing the chopped chocolate in a small bowl.  Bring the cream to a simmer in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let stand 1-2 minutes.  Whisk together until a smooth ganache forms.  Let cool briefly, about 5 minutes.  Take the cupcakes one at a time and invert them, dipping the top into the chocolate glaze.  Transfer them to a wire rack or baking sheet and let the glaze set.  (You can speed this process up by chilling in the refrigerator.)  Once the glaze is set, use the reserved portion of marshmallow frosting to pipe a uniform swirl across the top of each cupcake.  Store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

  • These look so good! I like when you revamp older recipes. I’ve been reading for a couple years now, but somehow never noticed the old version of these on here.

    I have a question about your photography if you don’t mind me asking…I have a feeling that between being a doctor and having 2 kids you don’t always get around to shooting food in natural light. Do you use lowel lights, or an external flash or anything? I’m looking to invest in one or the other pretty soon, and your photos are so good that I had to ask!

  • OMG, have been wanting to make these forevs – but totally forgot about them. Great photos!

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Mmm these look so tasty! I love the middle’s of these :)

  • Rachel

    Love these! Thanks!

  • Leah

    These are beautiful cupcakes! They look perfect.

  • Alexa

    My absolute favorite! I went through boxes of these cupcakes while I was pregnant. I can’t wait to try these!

  • annieseats

    I use natural light as often as possible – probably 95% of the time, and 100% in the spring/summer. I use a speedlite on occasion in the winter, but then I have to also set up a diffusion panel, bounce board, and use a lot more effort to get a natural-looking shot. So, I prefer to just take advantage of light when it is available.

  • Glenda

    Can’t wait to try this! Is there a chocolate cupcake recipe that you’d recommend that uses oil instead of butter? And if I use store bought marshmallow creme, the recipe for filling and frosting swirl is the same right? :)

  • Cpower79

    So this is what you had planned for the marshmallow creme! I’m so excited right now! :)

  • TheMrsatSuccessAlongtheWeigh

    Oh baby! Is it wrong I want to just slam my face in a bowl of the filling?

  • Amanda Nehls

    I made these cupcakes yeeeeeears ago when I first started following your blog! They turned out kind of “meh” but that was when I was first starting out in the kitchen. I have to try them again now that I’m a lot more confident!

  • Meggie3h

    Thank so you much for tweaking the filling. I have played with it several times because I also thought the original was too much like a buttercream!! I can’t wait to try them.

  • annieseats

    This recipe does use oil instead of butter. And yes, the marshmallow creme is interchangeable with store bought. Enjoy!

  • Majorly love the homemade marshmallow creme for the center!

  • Hooray! I was hoping yesterday that the marshmallow creme would go in some of these!

  • I really need to stop reading your blog so early in the morning… Cupcakes for breakfast? Yes please! I’m still two hours away from my lunch break, and the peach I’m currently eating as a snack isn’t quite doing the trick like one of these delicious looking cupcakes!

  • Rachel

    What do you mean with cake flour?

  • annieseats

    It’s a special kind of flour, different than all-purpose.

  • LOVE this. I really need to try them, I think it may christen my new stand mixer! I’m also going through old recipes and trying to upgrade photos and make changes…looking forward to trying this one!

  • Wow. These look fabulous!!!!

  • Whitney

    Annie – this is awesome! I’ve been hoping to make these since drooling over them in your recent kitchen photos, and the fact that you updated the recipe is a sign that I need to get to the store and buy the ingredients now.

  • This recipe sounds awesome! i love all those ingredients that make for the super light crumb, just like the original hostess cakes. 6 eggs, wow!

  • Dee

    Hi, Annie. Do you use a 12 cupcake pan or a 24 cupcake pan? I have a 12 cupcake pan but I see that there are 24 cupcake pans and I’m considering purchasing. I am wondering if it makes a difference when it comes to cooking time or if the cupcakes cook evenly with that many cupcakes in the oven. Does that make sense? If you have any advices I’d appreciate it. Thanks!

  • annieseats

    I’ve only ever used 12 cupcake pans so I can’t comment on a 24 well pan. I do think I will always prefer 12 because it seems easier to achieve even baking with rotating the pans, etc. But I have no actual experience to base that on, just theory.

  • Pam

    I can’t wait to make fauxstess cupcakes this week using your recipe for the homemade fluff.

    How do you store your fauxstess cupcakes?
    In the past when I’ve made fauxstess, I’ve stored them in an airtight cupcake carrier. After a couple hours the ganache glazed tops lose their shiny finish and get spotted (condensation, I think?) How can I keep them fresh & pretty when I have to glaze them the day before?

  • Pam

    I have 24 cup pans and they bake the same as 12 cup pans. They are a blessing when you have to make hundreds of cupcakes!
    Before you purchase double check that the dimensions of your oven will fit the 24 cup pan. They are pretty big and if your oven is on the smaller side you may not have the proper circulation to bake properly.

  • Adie_18

    Hi annie 
    My name is adriana and im your  follower since almost 3 years, im from México City and i discover your blog searching for a good cupcake recepie, actualy im studing medicine and my favorite  hobbie is  cook  you make think why im whritten to you and the answer is a little simple ….. 
    You spired me to cook realy  ammazing dishes therefore  i need to tell that not all your recepies are  “easy” to do here  in México because some ingredientes are a little be hard to find  but almost always  i can find something can work whit it… :) 
    I decided to whritten to you because i loooooove this cupcakes here in México are called “pingüinos” (pinguins), there are one of my favorite dessert when i was a child and i usualy Eat them frozen whith a big glass of milk or with a favolous biggg vanilla milk shake :) 

    Well my birthday is on monday and im going you do a small party  in my House and  i decided to make this gorgeus “pingüinos” full of memoris for dessert :)

    Thakyou annie ….. and i hope you continue cooking and sharing with us all your dishes  mooooore years 

  • Coby

    You. Are. My. Hero. I LOVED these as a kid, and the only reason I don’t go to a convenience store and buy them now is because I know what’s in them! I must try these this summer!

  • annieseats

    I store them in an airtight container. All ganache will set matte, it is simply the nature of ganache. I’m not sure why they would have issues with condensation though. I haven’t had that problem, even when refrigerated. Maybe it’s environmental?

  • Dee

    Thanks for the reply. I think I will try these this weekend!

  • Dee

    Thank you Pam!

  • Jaclynscookies

    These look so delicious! My stomach just growled. I just may need to make these tonight if I find the time!

  • I have always wanted to make this. Beautiful pictures and I love this homemade version of a childhood favorite.

  • Jennifer @ Mother Thyme

    These are adorable! I used to love these when I was young. I look forward to making these and having a homemade version I can share with my kids. What a great treat with a tall glass of milk. I will definitely be making these soon!

  • aw.. i used to always ask my dad to buy me these as a kid! good to know there`s a wonderful homemade recipe that i can use!

  • Jane

    How lovely :) I have a staff meeting full of grumps on Thursday morning, so maybe these will lighten the mood!! Thank you!

  • Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    These look awesome! Great job!

  • Tesei

    Annie, you are going to make a lot of people around me sooo happy!

  • Myfudo

    Lovely cupcakes…I am imagining the soft and moist texture. I hope I can recreate this recipe as perfect as how you did yours. Thanks for posting!

  • Pam

    Possibly? I will try storing them with the lid just slightly open. Thanks Annie :)

  • Angel Shadoff

    OMG! I have this love for Hostess cupcakes but I never buy them. . . they remind me of being a kid when you could save up a quarter and get them as a treat at the gas station. . . I am so going to have to make these! Thanks for sharing!

  • jaclynscookies

    Made these last night and they were fabulous! Everyone in my office today says thank you!

  • JensFavoriteCookies

    How freaking cute is that?! I love it!! My kids would be in heaven if I made these. They keep trying to convince me to buy them every time I go to the store.

  • Jlove105

    I’m so excited about these. I have tried a previous version (not yours) a couple of times and they never did turn out super awesome. I am going to try these to see how they turn out! Thanks for revamping the recipe! P.S. where on earth do you get time to do so much?!

  • kim

    hi annie!
    did you use the marshmallow cream recipe from the previous post (the one with the corn syrup) or the one listed in the actual recipe? you made a comment in the previous post about using the homemade marshmallow cream in something the next day, which i assume is this cupcake.

  • kim

    oh my goodness…never mind! i am an idiot! i understand now. i have to make the actual homemade creme first and then add all the butter, powdered sugar, etc. so sorry!

  • These are I have never had hostess/fauxstess anything so would love to give this recipe a go sometime! A showstopper for certain :)

  • I’ve made Martha Stewart’s version before, but I love the idea of homemade marshmallow cream! Great swap!

  • Millie

    I get condensation on my ganache when I fail to allow the baked goods (from brownies to cupcakes) to cool COMPLETELY before covering them. I tend to do a lot of baking at night and it is tempting to cover them before heading to bed to preserve their freshness for the next day. However, if I do this before they are 100 percent cool, I wake up to a small film of water on the lid of the container as well as water spots on the goods.

  • annieseats

    Definitely true, but I figured that wasn’t the issue since the cupcakes aren’t filled or glazed until they are totally cool.

  • I’ve been making your original recipe lately and everyone loves that one. I wonder if they will be able to taste the difference if I use this one.

  • What brand of cupcake pans do you use? The ones that I have the wells tend to flare out slightly and it drives me nuts. I noticed today that your cupcakes come out perpendicular. Any info would be appreciated…Thank you!

  • Thanks Annie!

  • annieseats

    They are Williams Sonoma Gold Touch pans, but they are flared as well. I think most cupcake pans are.

  • Sarah Bakes

    Annie, these cupcakes are so adorable! I can’t wait to try to make them, using my gluten free flour blend. I’ve actually been following your blog for years and have made numerous of your baked treats…but have made them gluten free!

    You were an inspiration to me to start my own baking blog. I just love the way you describe your recipes, photograph them, and your website is so clean and simple. Thank you for always posting such fun recipes. I love your photos here and there of your adorable family too :)

    If you would like, you can check out my new blog at

    Thanks! Have a fabulous day!

    -Sarah Hornacek

  • annieseats

    Aw, thank you so much Sarah! Have fun blogging :)

  • Sweetsugarbelle

    These are 100% what I’ll be requesting for my birthday. I can tell by the photos they’re AH-MAZ-ING!

  • Ruth

    I made these yesterday for Father’s Day dinner with the in-laws and family, they were FANTASTIC! What a hit!! Thank you so much for sharing such a wonderful recipe! My husband won’t stop eating them.

  • Kelly

    Has anyone used unsweetened cocoa powder in place of the dutch process with the same success? I don’t recall seeing dutch processed at my grocery store.


  • Teresa

    I made these tonight and they were so easy to make and yummy. But of course I had a couple of problems. My glaze was super runny…like didn’t even cover the hole where I put the filling. Could be because I used semisweet chocolate instead of bittersweet. Also my cute little pipped curls didn’t hold shape. They just melted into the chocolate. Even though they don’t look perfect they are soooooo good!!

  • annieseats

    It sounds like you just needed to let the glaze cool and thicken a bit before actually using it. Semisweet vs. bittersweet does not affect the consistency of the glaze. Glad they were still tasty!

  • Hannah

    Annie- Dying to make these but don’t need 26. It sounds like a silly ques but if I just want 12 or 13 should I just divide all the ingredients in half? Thank you!

  • annieseats

    Yep, you got it! Enjoy :)

  • Mareike

    hi Annie!
    I have been a huge fan of all the recipes until now. I was going to make these cupcakes for my friends and they did not turn out well at all. The cake was dry the chocolate glaze was terribly bitter and the filling was too sweet. At first I thought they would balance each other out ,but they did not at all it was a complete fiasco. Maybe instead of bitter sweet chocolate something sweeter would be better.

  • annieseats

    Sorry to hear you didn’t enjoy them. I make them with bittersweet all the time and they are always a hit. If the cake was dry, chances are it was overbaked since this cake usually has a light and moist crumb. I hope they work out better next time :)

  • marcie @ flavor the moments

    I just wanted you to know that I made these and they were wonderful. I’d scoured through countless recipes and chose yours because I thought folding in a meringue would definitely make the cakes light like the classic. They were really close to the real thing, without that processed flavor, which was the best part. Thanks for a great recipe — I’ll be posting this with a like here tomorrow!

  • annieseats

    So glad you enjoyed them! These are one of my very favorites.

  • Jessica

    Going to make these as a dessert at my reveal gender baby shower.
    I was reading how to make them and saw eggs at room temperature. This just seemed kinda scary to me. Do you seperate before they become room temperature or do you leave them in their shell? And how long does it take for them to become room temperature? Do the eggs not spoil?

  • annieseats

    In most cake recipes and baking in general, eggs should be at room temperature. It’s perfectly safe. In many other countries, people store their eggs at room temperature.

  • Jennie

    I tried this recipe and everything turned out great and was delicious. The only thing I had a problem with was the swirl on top. It all melted and blended into a big goopy mess. Any hints on why that might have happened? Should I maybe try doing the swirl with straight marshmallow cream instead of the filling?

  • annieseats

    It probably just got a little too thinned out when you added the milk or cream. It is easy for that to happen, but it can be corrected by just mixing in a little more powdered sugar to thicken it up again. Glad you enjoyed them anyway!

  • Jennie

    Great , I’ll give that a shot. Thanks!! :)

  • Candace b.

    I just made these for my husband, and they were perfect. Great recipe. My husband was delighted to revisit one of his childhood favorites.

  • Nadra Ang

    Hi Annie! I’ve been using the recipes from your blog for many desserts, and it always turn out great! However, I have only whipping cream(35.1% fat) and cooking cream here at where i live. Is ‘cooking cream’ the same as heavy cream? Can I use the whipping cream with 35.1% fat for the chocolate glaze? Thank you!

  • annieseats

    I would use the whipping cream. Enjoy!

  • Amanda Brewer

    Decided to make these for Kelly’s birthday even though I had of intention of making SMBC.

  • Meg

    These are so fun! It has been years and years since I’ve had the real thing, but I am certain these taste a thousand times better. The chocolate cake is perfect and the ganache is lovely and smooth! Thanks!