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Knock Off Hostess Cream Filled Cupcakes–Under 300 Calories

May 11, 2010

What kid didn’t love those chemical filled Hostess cupcakes as a child?

I have to admit, I didn’t. I never had one until I was 20.

And I hated every bite of it.

But many, many people LOVE those little Hostess filled cupcakes. And miss them when they start to eat healthier.

So I created a knock off of a knock off of a knock off.

And for under 300 calories. 256 to be exact. 🙂

And I LOVE it!

It’s the perfect fix for my “I need chocolate…NOW” fix.


  • 2  cups all-purpose flour or white wheat flour
  • 1  cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1- 1/2  teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2  teaspoon salt
  • 1- 1/2  cups low-fat buttermilk
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2  cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1- 1/2  cups sugar
  • 3  large eggs
  • Filling and Swirl:
  • 4  tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1- 1/2  cups powdered sugar
  • 2  to 3 tablespoons skim milk
  • Glaze:
  • 1/2  cup heavy cream
  • 1  tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 1  cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 24 muffins with muffin cups or 48 mini muffins with muffin cups. Spray muffin cups lightly with non stick cooking spray.

2. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  In a measuring cup, combine the buttermilk and the vanilla. Set aside for later use.

3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter and the sugar with an electric mixer on medium high speed until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Once incorporated, begin adding the buttermilk and flour mixtures slowly to the butter and sugar. Mix until well blended and all mixtures have been addded and incorporated.

4. Divide the batter between the prepared muffin pans. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. (Mini muffins will cook for approximately 12-15 minutes). Remove muffins from pan, allow to cool completely.

5. To make the filling and swirl: Beat butter in a medium-size bowl until mixture becomes light and fluffy. Gradually add in powdered sugar and 2 tablespoons of the milk.  Beat for 5 minutes until mixture becomes white and fluffy. Add additional milk if mixture is too thick. Spoon frosting into a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size plain round tip. Remove cakes from pan. Insert tip of pastry bag into top of cakes, about 1/2-3/4 inch deep for larger muffins, and 1/4-1/2 inch for mini muffins and squeeze. Allow filling to set while making the glaze.

6. Glaze: Heat the cream and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Cover and let stand 5 minutes, allowing chocolate chips to melt. After five minutes, stir the mixture and melted chocolate chips until well blended.

7. Dip the tops of the filled cupcakes into the chocolate glaze, allowing excess glaze to drip off. Place on a cooling rack to set for 10 minutes.

8. Change the piping tip for the vanilla frosting to a smaller round tip. Pipe decorative swirls on top of the glazed cupcakes. Allow frosting to finish setting before eating.

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe 24 servings

  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 256
  • Total Fat (g) 12
  • Saturated Fat (g) 7
  • Cholesterol (mg) 49
  • Sodium (mg) 156
  • Carbohydrate (g) 37
  • Fiber (g) 2
  • Protein (g) 4

*Halve the amount of calories, fat, carbs, etc. when making mini muffins. While I’m not crazy about the corn syrup in this recipe and rarely use it, in comparison to the ingredients in a regular Hostess cupcake, the 1 tbsp of corn syrup didn’t look so bad to me. It is up to you if you use it or not. If you choose to not use it, half the amount of cream you use, and use the same amount of chocolate chips. It should turn out just as good without the corn syrup. 🙂

6 Comments leave one →
  1. May 11, 2010 1:29 pm

    They look delicious! I just printed the recipe. Thanks!

    Andrea S.

  2. May 11, 2010 1:36 pm

    These are so fun! My hubby would really enjoy them I think. He loves all that fake-chemical stuff!! What a great idea to make a “from scratch” version – and they look quite impressive too!

  3. May 11, 2010 3:18 pm

    I loved Hostess cupcakes as a kid. I still crave them, but haven’t eaten one in years. I think more adults would have better eating habits if they learned how to cook healthfully as children. I work with the The Kids Cook Monday Campaign, which is trying to encourage healthy parents to include children when preparing healthy meals. We’re looking for bloggers to post recipes or tips about cooking with kids on Mondays. If you’re interested please email me at jenbrite (at) gmail (dot) com.

  4. July 20, 2010 10:56 am

    Those look great! I LOVE cream-filled cupcakes.


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