today is my dad’s birthday!!! he’s a big fan of hostess cupcakes (http://www.hostesscakes.com/cupcakes.asp), so we thought it would be fitting to make our very own fake hostess (“fauxstess”) cupcakes! a huge thanks to stephanie and my mom for baking while i studied for my aps ♥ and happy birthday daddy ♥
Makes 30 Cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup canola oil
2 cups sugar
3/4 cups applesauce
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon vanilla
For the filling:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups marshmallow spread
For the frosting:
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine oil and sugar; mix well. Stir in the apple sauce and vanilla. Add half of the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Slowly pour in the water, mixing on low until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the remaining flour mixture until just mixed. Slowly add the milk and beat on low until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and mix for another 15-20 seconds.
Fill each cupcake liner with 2 tablespoons of batter. Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a crumb or 2 clinging to it. Allow to cool completely before filling or frosting.
To make the filling: In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together. Stir in the vanilla and pinch of salt. Mix in the marshmallow spread and whisk until light and fluffy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and chill until slightly thickened, up to 30 minutes.
To make the frosting: In a small bowl set over an inch or two of lightly simmering water, melt the butter, chips, and corn syrup until smooth and glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Or in a medium, microwave-safe bowl, heat at 30-second intervals, stirring between each, until completely melted and glossy. Stir in the vanilla. Cover and chill for 20-30 minutes until thickened slightly.
Assemble cupcakes: Fill a disposable decorator bag, fitted with a cupcake filling tip (or large writing tip, I use a Wilton #7), with the chilled filling. Insert the tip into the center of the cupcake and squeeze to fill. The cupcake is full when you can feel the filling push back against the tip (it will slowly force the decorating tip out of the cupcake).
OR use an apple corer to core out a small portion of the center of the cupcake and fill with the filling, then replace the cored out piece (or a portion of it). If you get a small mound of filling on top of your cupcakes, just use a small offset spatula to swipe it off. If it’s crumb-free, scrape it back into the remaining filling (you’ll use the remaining filling to decorate the tops).
Turn the cupcakes upside down and dip them in the chocolate frosting to coat the tops completely. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, you can spoon small amounts of frosting on the tops, while gently turning the cupcake to allow the frosting to coat the tops all the way to the edges. Chill for 15 to 20 minutes before decorating.
Use the remaining filling and pipe it on top of the cupcakes in a swirled design. I used a Wilton #4 writing tip for mine. I recommend practicing this step on a clean plate, or even right into the bowl containing the filling. For the classic “Hostess” swirl, start at the middle edge of the cupcake on one side and sweep up into a somewhat loose swirl across the cake to the other edge. If you make the swirl too tight, it may run together. Once you’ve decorated all of the cupcakes, replace them in the refrigerator to chill for 30 to 45 minutes.