Ding Dong Cupcakes - Handle the Heat

Ding Dong Cupcakes

By Jess Holmes
April 1st, 2016
4.50 from 4 votes
4.50 from 4 votes

You are going to love these homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes! Chocolate cupcakes filled with a sticky marshmallow filling and topped with chocolate ganache. Decadent and downright delicious!

Yield: 12 cupcakes

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Gooey and delicious Texture: Soft and fluffy with a sticky marshmallow filling and creamy chocolate ganache Ease: Simple but a few steps involved for the final result Appearance: Stunning! Pros: They taste so much better than store bought ones! Cons: They don't last long! Would I make this again? Yes!

Please welcome Jess from Sweetest Menu as she shares another mouthwatering recipe, Ding Dong Cupcakes! Be sure to show her delightful blog some love for me. -Tessa

Homemade Ding Dong Chocolate Cupcakes

Hi friends! Jess here from Sweetest Menu, ready to share another delicious recipe with you. You might remember last month I shared my recipe for Nutella Stuffed Chocolate Whoopie Pies. Well  today I have another chocolatey treat for you – Homemade Hostess Ding Dong Cupcakes! Soft and fluffy chocolate cakes that are filled with a light and creamy marshmallow filling and topped with gooey chocolate ganache. And of course, they have the final signature Hostess Cupcake swirl made with a simple vanilla buttercream. This is one heavenly cupcake!

Homemade Ding Dong Chocolate Cupcakes


I seriously LOVE cupcakes. Whenever we visit the States we always make it a priority to visit Magnolia Bakery or Sprinkles Cupcakes  (or preferably both). But making cupcakes at home is super fun too. These cupcakes are just gorgeous, because not only is there chocolate cake but chocolate ganache too. It’s a lovely smooth and light topping compared to piles of buttercream frosting. But the best part? The hidden filling inside! This marshmallow filling is so creamy, it tastes just like store bought marshmallow fluff or creme and just about melts-in-your-mouth.

Homemade Ding Dong Chocolate Cupcakes

You know what’s funny is we don’t actually have Hostess Ding Dongs in Australia. But thanks to American TV, we have grown up hearing about Twinkies, Ding Dongs, Yodels and Hohos. I think it’s part of the reason why I love to visit the supermarkets over in the States so I can buy and taste all these foods we’ve heard about for so long. I’m always eating chocolate bars and trying new candy over there. In fact, last time we visited, we stuffed our suitcases with so many baking ingredients, including tons of different flavoured Oreos. I’m sure anyone who opened my suitcase would have been slightly perplexed! #foodbloggerlife

Homemade Ding Dong Chocolate Cupcakes

Recreating these Ding Dong Cupcakes was so darn fun! I ate more than my fair share along the way but I was so happy with the result. The chocolate cupcakes themselves are seriously light and fluffy. Once they are cooled, you just have to cut out a hole in the top so you can pipe the marshmallow filling inside. Just be careful not to eat all the cut outs as you do need to put a lid back on! Then you whip up a chocolate ganache that gets poured over the top. I love to have it dribble over the sides but you can pop it into fridge for a bit longer if you like a thicker ganache.

Once the chocolate ganache has set a little, you can get to piping on that white swirl. You just mix together a small amount of vanilla buttercream and spoon it into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip. Then away you go creating those signature swirls! Finally, it’s time to eat them! Your family and friends are going to LOVE you for making these!

Homemade Ding Dong Chocolate Cupcakes

4.50 from 4 votes

How to make
Ding Dong Cupcakes

Yield: 12 cupcakes
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
You are going to love these homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes! Chocolate cupcakes filled with a sticky marshmallow filling and topped with chocolate ganache. Decadent and downright delicious!


Chocolate cupcakes

  • 3/4 cup (105 grams) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (40 grams) cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (115 grams or 1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) buttermilk

Marshmallow filling

  • 2 egg whites, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated or caster sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate ganache

  • 2/3 cup (100 grams) dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) thickened or heavy cream

Vanilla buttercream

  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (90 grams) icing or powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


Chocolate cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 360 F (180 C). Line a 12 hole muffin tin with patty cases. In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and then add the sugars – give it a stir. Place the butter in a microwave safe mixing bowl and pop into the microwave for 10 seconds or so at a time, until it is just melted. Give it a stir with a fork to eliminate any lumps. Then add the eggs and vanilla to the butter, along with the buttermilk and whisk together until smooth. Then add the wet butter mixture into the dry mixture and fold until just combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared patty cases and pop into the oven. Bake for 18-20 minutes before setting the cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Marshmallow filling

  1. To make the marshmallow filling, add a few inches of water to a medium saucepan and place on a medium heat. In a small heatproof bowl, add your eggs whites, caster sugar and cream of tartar. Whisk together. Then pop the bowl over the saucepan, ensuring the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water. As the egg whites heat, whisk gently by hand the entire time. You’ll want to heat the egg white mixture to 120 F (50 C) which you can test by sticking a candy thermometer into the mixture or go by feel (the mixture should be hot to the touch) – should be around 5-6 minutes or so. The mixture should become smooth and the sugar should be dissolved. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and place in the base of a stand mixer (or simply use a hand beater) and beat on medium speed for approximately 7 minutes until the mixture is fluffy, white and voluminous. Add the vanilla and beat for 30 seconds or so.
  2. Use a knife to cut out a hole in the middle of each cupcake – but keep these cake cores. Fill a piping bag fitted with a large round tip with the marshmallow fluff frosting and pipe into the middle of each cupcakes – be careful not to overfill them. Then cut the tops off your cake cores and press on top of the marshmallow filling so the cupcake has a closed top once again. Continue with all 12 cupcakes.

Chocolate ganache

  1. Then it’s time to make the chocolate ganache. Roughly chop your chocolate and place into a small bowl. Then gently heat your cream over a low heat on the stove until it becomes warm to the touch but do not boil. Pour the warm cream over the chocolate and leave for approximately 1-2 minutes. Then gently whisk the mixture until combined and smooth. Pop the chocolate ganache into the fridge to cool and thicken slightly for about 20 minutes or so. It’s really up to you how thick or thin your would like the ganache. You can refrigerate it for longer if you want it thicker. Give it a stir and then drizzle over the top of each cupcake. I like to remove the cupcake liners here so the chocolate ganache can drip down the sides.

Vanilla buttercream

  1. Finally, it’s time to make the buttercream for the swirls. In a small bowl, add your butter (ensuring it is nice and soft) and give it a good stir with a spoon. Then add half of your powdered or icing sugar, milk and vanilla and stir together. Once it is smooth, add the rest of the powdered or icing sugar. Then transfer this mixture to a piping bag fitted with a small round tip and pipe the swirls on top. Just make sure the ganache has set slightly so the two frostings don’t run together. Enjoy!
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American

Jess Holmes
Author: Jess Holmes

Jess loves to create, bake and shoot American-inspired recipes from her Australian kitchen at sweetestmenu.com. With a background in advertising, she is a copywriter by day and a recipe creator/dessert taste-tester by night (and on the weekends). Even at her work desk, you will find her daydreaming about calorie-laden sweets and counting down the days to her next trip to the USA.

Tessa Arias

About Jess...

Jess loves to create, bake and shoot American-inspired recipes from her Australian kitchen at sweetestmenu.com. With a background in advertising, she is a copywriter by day and a recipe creator/dessert taste-tester by night (and on the weekends). Even at her work desk, you will find her daydreaming about calorie-laden sweets and counting down the days to her next trip to the USA.

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Teri — January 2, 2023 at 5:53 pm

    Made these and they were great. But a few hours after making them the filling was absorbed into the cupcake. Any thoughts to make sure that doesn’t happen next time?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — January 6, 2023 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Teri! This is not our recipe (created by guest blogger Jess) so I can’t say for sure, but I would recommend making sure your marshmallow filling is as thick as possible, to avoid absorbing. Also ensure your cupcakes are completely cooled before filling, and perhaps try refrigerating them, too. I hope that helps! 🙂

  2. #
    John — September 7, 2021 at 1:39 am

    Cupcake is dry or I would have given 5 stars. I will try a little oil in the batter next time.

    • #
      Emily — September 7, 2021 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks for the feedback, John! This is actually not a Handle the Heat recipe, but may be one we need to recreate in the future!

  3. #
    jimmy neutron — April 1, 2021 at 12:20 pm

    oh my god this is soooooooooooooo gooooooooood

    • #
      Tessa — April 2, 2021 at 10:08 am

      So happy you loved these cupcakes!

  4. #
    Kat — August 15, 2020 at 4:02 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this! This recipe is divine. Made 12 super moist, delicious cupcakes. Used pre-made marshmallow cream but everything else was perfect.

  5. #
    Ashley — August 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

    I was wondering how thick the marshmallow creme filling gets. Would I have issues dyeing it different colors?

  6. #
    Stephanie — January 4, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    This is the most amazing recipe I have had for making chocolate cupcakes. Thanks so much for sharing. Making these for my husband’s 48th birthday. The tradition has been in the past to make a chocolate layered cake with cool whip between the layers with chocolate icing on top and sides. This will definitely be taking over that spot. Yummy!!

    • #
      Jess Holmes — January 8, 2017 at 1:16 am

      Hi Stephanie, thank you so much for your kind comment! I’m so glad you enjoyed these cupcakes – they are one of my favourites 🙂 I hope your husband had a wonderful birthday!

  7. #
    Wren Williams — April 6, 2016 at 10:46 pm


    Just wanted to let you know that this recipe is perfectly workable with gluten free and dairy free substitutes! The buttercream comes out a tiny bit thinner (vegan butter and almond milk subbed for butter and milk) and the ganache doesn’t set quite as firm (coconut cream in place of heavy cream), but the cupcakes (canned coconut milk instead of buttermilk) came out perfect with a 1:1 substitution of my GF flour.

    So if anyone out there with food allergies is wondering if this recipe is forgiving enough to fiddle around with… it is. Go for it.

    • #
      Jess Holmes — April 7, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Hi Wren, thank you so much for leaving such helpful feedback. That is really great to know! So glad you enjoyed them! 🙂

  8. #
    Kelly — April 6, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    These look great, however, they are not Ding Dongs. These are Hostess cupcakes. Ding Dongs are covered in a hard chocolate shell and do not have the white swirl. I’m sure they are yummy, though!

  9. #
    Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life — April 5, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I need to recreate these classics in my kitchen soon! Pinned for my next weekend baking experiment!

    • #
      Jess Holmes — April 7, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Oh fantastic Amy, let me know how you go! 🙂

  10. #
    Joanne — April 3, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Hi Jess! Your version of Ding Dong Cupcakes look better than the original!

    • #
      Jess Holmes — April 7, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Thanks so much Joanne! 🙂

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