Let’s talk about something serious here for a minute. Who has tried the Hostess Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes? Man, that’s a mouthful. Well, I’m wondering who actually got some of them into their mouth.
I saw some people posting about them on social media. Of course, my interest was already piqued. For one, I’m not much of a Hostess girl. I mean, sure. I’ll eat their treats once in a blue moon. But what I really like is their cupcakes. And if you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see that I make the knockoff version pretty frequently. I love to make them!
Getting down to business
So when I saw these on the interwebs, I knew I had to try them. The only problem was, I couldn’t find them in my grocery store. Now, I’ll confess that I live in a bigger city. There are multiple grocery stores in a few-mile radius from my house. While I like Hostess cupcakes, I don’t love them that much to make several stops searching for the suckers, especially with kids in tow. Nope. So with the encouragement of an Instagram poll (thanks guys!) I set out to make my own version. And let’s be honest, anything homemade is better than the packaged stuff.
I was armed with some frozen Bear Lake raspberries that I had picked last summer and a jar of marshmallow fluff. My biggest concern was not getting the raspberry flavor to come in strong enough. It took a couple of batches, but I was able to get the flavor just right while still maintaining the creaminess of the fluff. I mean, it’s not exactly like eating a marshmallow. But we gotta sacrifice something here. You’ll still get loads of good raspberry flavor. Just try to find some good raspberries for these things and you’re good to go.
When it comes to making the raspberry puree: I just took my frozen raspberries, let them thaw, and mashed them through a strainer. I didn’t put them in a food processor or blender then strain the seeds out. It was easier and it still worked.
If this this your first time working with gelatin, have no fear! It is easier to work with than it seems. You may actually come to find yourself liking it. It’s all sort of like a science experiment. But what else do you expect from making a knockoff Hostess cupcake?
I hope you like these!
Knockoff Hostess Dark Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes
These tasty little devils are a fun treat to make for Valentine's day. Or any day, for that matter.
For the cupcake:
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder, sifted
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup seedless raspberry puree (from thawed, frozen raspberries)
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1 1/4 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup marshmallow fluff
For the chocolate glaze:
- 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
For the cupcakes:
Adjust oven rack to the middle position and preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 12-cup cupcake tin with liners and set aside.
Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl then set aside. In a large bowl, add cocoa powder and chocolate chips. Add the boiling water, and let it sit a minute or two to melt the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract and whisk until combined and smooth. Add dry ingredients and whisk until just combined and no flour lumps remain. Evenly distribute the batter into the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cupcakes comes out with a few dry crumbs. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin for about five minutes. Then remove cupcakes from the tin and let cool completely on a cooling rack.
For the filling:
In a small bowl, mix together the seedless raspberry puree and sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then set aside.
Place water in a small bowl, then sprinkle gelatin over the top. Let bloom for five minutes. Microwave for 30 seconds (or until the gelatin is just bubbling). Pour the mixture into a medium-sized bowl and add the butter, vanilla, and salt. Stir until better is completely melted, then add the sweetened raspberry puree. With a whisk, stir in the marshmallow fluff and mix until it is incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Remove filling mixture from fridge. Set aside 1/3 cup of the filling in a small ziplock bag or a piping bag fitted with a small, plain tip. (This is for the swirls on top. If you use a ziplock bag, you can just cut a very small hole in one corner to pipe the swirls.)
Take a cupcake and make a cone-sized cut out of the middle. Fill the hole with one tablespoon of the filling mixture. Replace the top back on the cupcake. If the hole is really full, you can cut the bottom off the cone before you place it back on top. Repeat with each cupcake.
To make the chocolate glaze, combine chocolate chips and butter in a small bowl. Microwave in 30-second increments until chocolate is mostly melted, stirring after each 30 seconds (this will take less than a minute). Stir well until chocolate chips are melted and mixture is smooth.
Using an offset spatula, scoop 2 teaspoons of the glaze on the top of each cupcake and spread it around until it's nice and even. Let the cupcakes set up for a minute or two. Use any extra glaze to smooth out any edges on the cupcakes. Using the filling set aside in the bag, pipe curlicues (or heart-shaped curlicues, as I have) on the top of each cupcake. Let set up before eating. Cupcakes are best eaten within a day or two. Enjoy!
I used frozen raspberries for this recipe. Just let them thaw completely at room temperature, then push them through a strainer to extract the puree and remove any seeds. You'll need a little over 1 cup of frozen raspberries for this.