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Giant Hostess Cupcake, step-by-step

giant hostess cupcake

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a fan of the Pimp That Snack website, where people submit their supersized versions of conventionally smaller snack foods, so when a good friend of mine asked me if I could rework my Devil’s Food Cupcakes with Vanilla Cream Filling into a giant Hostess cupcake lookalike, I didn’t hesitate before agreeing to give it a shot.

The result is the cake you see above, a 5-inch high by 9-inch in diameter tribute to a childhood favorite. It is made up of the equivalent of about three-dozen cupcakes, in terms of the amount of cake batter used, and has as much filling inside as two dozen “normal” cupcakes  (as you can imagine, we sliced it up to serve it). In spite of its impressive size, the cake is easy to make. I’ll run through the process I used here and give the recipes down at the bottom of this post so that you can try it yourself.

The first decision I needed to make was to determine what type of pan to use. A tube pan seemed like a possibility, since any cake baked in one will have a ready-made hole in the middle, but I decided that I wanted the cake to be moist and rich, heavier than a sponge or chiffon cake. I opted to make a layer cake and hollow out the center layers to create a cavity for the filling.

giant cupcake base

I used four, 9-inch layers, using two solid cake rounds as the top and bottom of the cupcake and removing the center of the two middle layers to hold the filling. A five-inch diameter biscuit cutter is the easiest tool to use to remove the middle of the cake, but you can carve out a circle with a paring knife, as well.

giant cupcake, removing the center

You don’t want to make the hole too large, or there won’t be enough vanilla cream to fill it up, but as long as you save some of the cake scraps (as opposed to eating them as you work), you can always close up the edges of the center if you need to by using a thin slice of cake.

giant cupcake, ready for filling

giant cupcake getting filled

Once the cake was filled completely, I put on the final layer of cake and covered the whole thing in a thin layer of chocolate frosting. The frosting was necessary because you could clearly see the four layers of cake when all the pieces were in place. Most Hostess-type cream filled cupcakes only have frosting on the top, but covering the whole cake gave the cake a smooth, finished look.

When we cut into the cake (I wasn’t the one who did the cutting, incidentally) you could really see the resemblance to its smaller counterpart. It tasted amazing. The cake layers were moist and the thin layer of chocolate frosting was just enough to give each piece an extra boost of flavor – not to mention that it made some chocoholics very happy. Because the slices were relatively thin, the amount of filling per slice wasn’t overwhelming, inspite of how large the cake’s center is. This cake is sure to be a hit at parties – for adults and kids alike. I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again to inject a little nostalgia, and a little cream filling, into special event.

giant hostess cupcake, innards

Giant Hostess Cupcake
2 batches of chocolate cake layers (4 layers, total)
1 batch vanilla cream filling
1 batch rich chocolate frosting (recipe below)

Take all four (cooled) chocolate cake layers and level the domed tops using a large, serrated knife. Using a large biscuit cutter, or a paring knife, cut an approx. 5-inch circle from the center of each of two of the cake layers.
Stack one uncut layer on a cake plate or serving tray and place the two center-less layers on top of it. Fill the center of the cake with the vanilla cream filling. Reserve about 1-2 tbsp of filling to make the squiggle on top of the cake.
Place final uncut layer on top of the filling to seal it in.
Frost entire cake with a thin layer of rich chocolate frosting. Using a large offset spatula will give you the smoothest finish.
Place reserved vanilla filling into a plastic bag and cut off the corner. Pipe filling onto top of the cake in a squiggly line to finish.
Cake can be refrigerated or kept at room temperature.

Serves 16-20.

Rich Chocolate Frosting
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chopped semisweet chocolate (or chocolate chips)
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/4 cup milk (lowfat is fine)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt together butter and chocolate in a medium-sized, microwave safe bowl. Work in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir frequently, and continuing until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly (about 3-5 minutes).
Add in confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla and beat on medium-high speed with an electric mixer until smooth.
Frost sides and top of Giant Hostess Cupcake (above).

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  • Pumpkin
    October 1, 2007

    I love it! It’s super-adorable!

  • cookworm
    October 1, 2007

    Wow, what a cute idea! I used to love those Hostess cupcakes as a kid. I bet people would go nuts over this at a party.

  • Kimberly
    October 1, 2007

    Did you submit this to “Pimp that Snack”?? I hope so!

  • Sophia
    October 1, 2007

    I will so try this sometime!

  • meeso
    October 1, 2007

    WOW!!! This is SO cool! I think I’m going to make this for my daughter’s next birthday…really great!

  • Leah
    October 1, 2007

    This is so amazing I am bouncing up and down in my seat. In fact, I’m going to make it this Friday for a friend’s birthday! What did you use for the familiar white squiggle on top?

  • Leah
    October 1, 2007


    I got so excited I didn’t read the recipe carefully and missed where you clearly said “Place reserved vanilla filling into a plastic bag and cut off the corner. Pipe filling onto top of the cake in a squiggly line to finish.” Ooops.

  • JEP
    October 1, 2007

    That is the most dazzling looking cake I have ever seen! What retro/nostalgic person wouldn’t love this?

  • sabrina
    October 1, 2007

    OMG. you are amazing. i love it.

  • Lydia
    October 2, 2007

    That is hilarious — I love it! I was such a fan of Hostess cupcakes when I was a kid. I’m bookmarking this recipe!

  • Megan
    October 2, 2007

    my birthday is later this month and I am totally making this. I love hostess cupcakes!!

  • Deb Schiff
    October 2, 2007

    Love it! I’m also a fan of Pimp That Snack. They should have a show. 🙂

  • Kristin
    October 2, 2007

    You should definitely submit this to Pimp that Snack, it’s much more involved than the giant hostess cupcake that my friend and I made and submitted.

  • Darlene
    October 2, 2007

    What a yummy picture – Thank you so much for the recipe!!!!


  • Michelle
    October 2, 2007

    Wow! Fantastic! Love to see problems solvers out there marching their way to the table with the rest of us! Really lovely.

  • Divalicious
    October 2, 2007

    Wow that looks good! I may have to try and make that. 🙂

  • Patty
    October 3, 2007

    WOW….this is a brilliant idea. Definately my next friends birthday will be recieving this cake. I can’t wait to try it. thank you

  • Casey
    November 15, 2007

    Now this must be tried

  • Winston
    January 8, 2008

    Hey thanks for the recipe! I got really inspired by your pictures and I decided to do my own version! It should be posted up on my website now.

    It was my first time making a cake, and I think I may have goofed up some of the recipes so they didn’t turn out exactly like you had intended, but it was still good nonetheless.

    Thanks again!

  • Belle
    March 12, 2008

    You did an AMAZING job! It’s definitely a must do for my next dinner get together. Thanks for posting. You are a baking god-dess! BAKE ON!

  • OCMom
    March 17, 2008

    This is AWESOME, I’m putting this link on our site:)

  • Deborah
    March 19, 2008

    looks great. do you ever do the orange cup cake version. would love to know how. thanks.

  • Not So Zen Momma
    April 16, 2008

    Thanks for your great recipe. It was the hit of my son’s first birthday. Check out my blog for photos.

  • Sarah
    May 11, 2008

    I loved this idea so much that I made it for my nephew’s confirmation party. It was a hit and it tasted amazing. My only complaint is that it crumbled a lot and the filling didn’t come out with the piece, so we had to scoop it out. It was still delicious though!

  • Never teh Bride
    June 14, 2008

    I want to eat this so badly. Perhaps I’ll make it for a party, then snag as many slices as I can on the fly…

  • Jocelyn
    October 9, 2008

    Is the white squiggle just a thick mixture of confectioner’s sugar and water?

  • Nicole
    October 9, 2008

    Jocelyn – No, the white squiggle was made by piping a bit of leftover cream filling onto the top of the cake.

  • Christine
    October 30, 2008

    I just made this tonight for my birthday Sat. I don’t know if the pic will show up or not,but here goes.


  • Steve
    December 2, 2008

    Great idea!!
    A variation – I made a cake like this with my son and it has become his favorite birthday cake. We used whipped cream in the middle and used that hard-shell chocolate stuff for the “icing” to give it that shinny look and that cupcake no icing on the sides look. It does require a quick trip to the freezer to harden up, so not always convenient.
    We did the cake part the same. This was for a cub scout father-son event so we called it the Hostess Cub Cake. At 19 and away at college he told some friends about it and they surprised him with one yesterday. 🙂

  • Cheryl
    December 12, 2008

    My boss is retiring and he has Hostess Cupcakes often for lunch so I decided to try and find a recipee to make a giant cupcake as a gag gift. This is great. I can’t wait to try it!

  • Sally
    January 28, 2009

    Hostess cupcakes have 7 swirls not 5

  • Sophia
    February 13, 2009

    This is the third time that I have made just the chocolate cake with the chocolate icing. (the third time i filled it with raspberry jam) and it is the best I have eaten.

  • SeekersISeek
    March 2, 2009

    Hello Guys,

    Greetings. Introducing me.

    By the way, I am looking for book I ching translated by Kerson Huang. I cannot find those book anywhere. Do you know where I can find those? Thanks

  • Debbie
    June 9, 2009

    I just made this & it was absolutely delicious! Every component was very tasty & my guests loved it. I DID double the filling & frosting amounts & would do that again. Thanks for the fun recipes!

  • Kristi
    October 2, 2009

    I am trying to find a mold to make a qiant cupcake like this. Does anyone know what website I can find it on? My boyfriend saw a comercial about this and now I can’t find the mold for it.

  • Melissa
    September 10, 2015

    I just wanted to say a huge Thank You for this wonderful post! I did use my own chocolate cake recipe but used your icing recipe and filling recipe and it was a HUGE hit! By brother asked for this cake for his 30th birthday and it was fantastic…exactly what he was looking for! 🙂

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