Hostess-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes from Classic Snacks

Hostess-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes from Classic Snacks

Gluten Free Hostess-Style Chocolate Cupcakes

These are the Hostess-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes (straight from page 131 of Gluten Free Classic Snacks) that legitimize the entire cookbook. The chocolate cakes are dense chocolate cakes, not devil’s food cake like the Drake’s Style Gluten Free Ring Dings on page 155 of the book (due respect to Ring Dings, an all-time favorite snack cake of mine through all my growing up years, straight to the present day). The point is this: you can’t put out a cookbook that claims to give you back all your favorite packaged snack cakes without a spot-on recipe for Hostess-Style Chocolate Cupcakes—and maintain your self-respect. Thankfully, the cupcakes are a home run. Self-respect? Intact.

Hostess-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes from Classic Snacks, behind the scenes

Remember those behind-the-scenes cookbook photos from way back when? All I could do was show you the general craziness that was the photo shoot. I couldn’t share any recipes with you, and you couldn’t buy the cookbook. Yet. (by the way, that’s not me in the foreground; that’s me in the background ;)

Hostess-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes from Classic Snacks

But now? Now that the book is out in the world, and some of you are even up and baking your way through it (LOVE your Facebook photos of what you’ve created by the way! share more!!!)? It’s time.

Hostess-Style Gluten Free Chocolate Cupcakes from Classic Snacks

Okay I do admit that I’m hoping that you’ll see this amazing recipe*, maybe even get to work making these cupcakes, and that you’ll buy the book. Of course I’m hoping you’ll buy the book! I want it to be wildly successful, and for you to tell all your friends about the amazing things you’re turning out in your very own kitchen with just simple gluten free pantry ingredients. But even if you won’t or you can’t buy it, I hope you’ll make these cupcakes, arguably The Most Important Copycat Recipe of all. And share them with your family, and oooooh and ahhhhh over what we can do. The sky’s the limit!

*Before we get started, please don’t be put off by the number of steps in the recipe! If you know me already, you know that I am just thorough, because I want you to be successful. The recipe is not complicated. Plus, there are recipes for the filling, glaze and royal icing for the swirl incorporated directly into the recipe. In the book, those recipes are on separate pages. Onward!

Like this recipe?

Prep time: Cook time: Yield: 18 cupcakes


For the Cupcakes
4 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped

6 tablespoons (84 g) unsalted butter, chopped

1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar

2/3 cup (160 g) sour cream, at room temperature

2 eggs (100 g, weighed out of shell) at room temperature, beaten

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all purpose gluten free flour (I used Better Batter)

3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)

1/4 cup (20 g) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Filling
1 tablespoon (7 g) unflavored powdered gelatin

1/4 cup (2 fluid ounces) water

2 cups (16 fluid ounces) heavy whipping cream, chilled

2 tablespoons (14 g) confectioners’ sugar

For the Glaze
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 tablespoons (56 g) virgin coconut oil

Royal Icing, For the Swirl
2 1/4 teaspoons meringue powder (LorAnn brand is gluten free and available on amazon)

1 cup (115 g) confectioners’ sugar, plus more if necessary

1 tablespoon (1/2 fluid ounce) lukewarm water, plus more if necessary


  • Prepare the cupcake batter. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease the wells of a standard 12-cup muffin tin well and set it aside. In a medium-size, heat-safe bowl, place the chocolate and butter and melt over a double boiler or in 30-second bursts at 60% power in the microwave (as described on page 21 of Gluten Free Classic Snacks, as republished here on the blog). To the bowl of melted chocolate and butter, add the sugar, sour cream, eggs and vanilla, beating well after each addition. In a large bowl, place the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and mix to combine. The batter will be thick.

  • Bake and cool the cupcakes. Fill the prepared muffin cups two-thirds full and shake the batter into an even layer in each well. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake for about 18 minutes, or until the cupcakes are just firm to the touch. Allow the cupcakes to cool in the muffin tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Repeat with the remaining batter.

  • Make the filling. If you are using heat-soluble powdered gelatin, bloom it by placing it and the water in a small, heat-safe bowl, and stirring it gently to combine. Allow the mixture to sit at room temperature until the gelatin swells. Place the gelatin mixture in the microwave and melt at 60% power for 20 seconds until melted. Set the gelatin aside to cool briefly. For cold-water soluble gelatin, simply place the same amount of gelatin and the water together in a small bowl, and stir gently to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, place the chilled cream and whisk on medium speed until soft peaks form. Add the confectioners’ sugar, and beat until stiff, glossy peaks form. Add the cooled gelatin, and beat until thickened, about 3 minutes. Makes about 4 cups of whipped cream.

  • Fill the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes have cooled, create a well in the center of the top of each with a 3/4-inch round cookie cutter, cutting off the bottom with a knife (reserved the removed cake pieces). Transfer the filling to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/4-inch plain piping tip and pipe about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the prepared filling into the open well in each cake. Cover the filling in each cake with a previously removed cake piece and press down to secure. Place the cakes back on the wire rack over a piece of parchment or waxed paper.

  • Glaze the cupcakes. Place the chocolate and coconut oil in a medium-size heat-safe bowl and melt over a double boiler or in 30-second bursts at 60% power in the microwave (as described on page 21 of Gluten Free Classic Snacks, as republished here on the blog). Dip the top of each cooled and filled cupcake carefully into the glaze, bob it up and down a few times to ensure that the entire top of each cake is covered in glaze, and invert back onto the wire rack. Allow the glaze to set at room temperature.

  • Make the royal icing. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, place all of the ingredients and mix on low speed until the sugar is absorbed. Raise the mixer speed to medium, and beat until the beater leaves a visible trail in the icing, about 10 minutes. To thicken, beat at a higher speed and for more time, and/or add more confectioners’ sugar. To thin, add more water by the quarter-teaspoonful and beat to combine.

  • Add the swirl once the glaze is set. Place the royal icing in a pastry bag with a very small (#1 or #2) piping tip, and pipe a swirl across the top of the chocolate glaze. Allow to set once again at room temperature.

  • Storing instructions. These snack cakes are best enjoyed within 2 days of being glazed, but they will keep for up to a month wrapped individually in freezer-safe wrap and frozen. Defrost at room temperature. The chocolate glaze may bloom a bit over time, but it won’t affect the taste at all.

  • From the book Gluten-Free Classic Snacks: 100 Recipes for the Brand Name Treats You Love, by Nicole Hunn. Excerpted by arrangement with Da Capo Lifelong, a member of the Perseus Books Group.  Copyright © 2015.



P.S. If you haven’t yet, I hope you’ll consider picking up your copy of Gluten Free Classic Snacks! Your support of the books keeps the blog going, and your support of the blog keeps the books coming. Thank you for being there with me every step of the way!

Gluten Free Classic Snacks: 100 Recipes for the Brand-Name Treats You Love

If you liked this recipe, you'll love this book!

Did you think going gluten-free meant giving up your favorite snack foods? Well not anymore! Gluten Free Classic Snacks helps you bring back the memories of those classic snacks, whether it’s a little surprise in a lunchbox or a treat at the end of the day. Make all the most popular cookies, snack cakes, and crackers you’ve been missing—from Thin Mints(R) Girl Scout Cookies(R) and Hostess(R) Twinkies(R) to Keebler(R) Club(R) Crackers and Kellogg’s(R) Pop-Tarts(R) Toaster Pastries—in your own kitchen with ease.

Learn More

Comments are closed.

  • bristleeone
    April 19, 2015 at 11:25 AM

    Nicole, these look amazing. I’ve been gluten free for just under 2 years and still miss Hostess CupCakes. These are now on my list to make. I already have your bread cookbook (and made many of them……THANK YOU!!) I will now have to buy this one (just when I had decided to lose some weight, facepalm).

  • kesse
    April 13, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    can i leave the gelatin out of the filling?

    • Jen Small
      April 22, 2015 at 12:26 PM

      I don’t think the filling would set up without the gelatin. It would probably be rather runny and end up making the snack cake soggy.

  • Vanessa
    April 13, 2015 at 12:23 PM

    Oh my…I want to make these right now! I only have chocolate chips (no dark chocolate unless I go to the store) – do you think that would work?

  • Mare Masterson
    April 13, 2015 at 12:15 PM

    I need pastry bag/tips – pronto – for this and for Devil Dogs!

  • anna
    April 13, 2015 at 11:36 AM

    I left my book at my parents house over Easter and wont be able to get it back until the middle of May :( These were one of the first things that I wanted to make, and now I don’t have to wait! :)

    • Mare Masterson
      April 13, 2015 at 12:54 PM

      Oh Anna, I would ask them to mail it to you — that is just way too long to wait for it!

  • Lucy
    April 13, 2015 at 9:19 AM

    Wow, my favorite too growing up!
    Now I don’t have to wait until May to bake these lovely treasures. I’m baking treats for the school band trip, have brownies in mind but I think these would be better! Thank you Nicole! HUGS :)

Back to Top

Where should I send your free guide?

By entering your email, you're agreeing to our Privacy Policy. We respect your email privacy, and will never share your information.