Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 20 mins

Nothing better than biting into a moist chocolate cupcake and being surprised by a sweet creamy filling! Unless you're my husband, who doesn't like frosting. . . This is an adaptation of my MIL's recipe for Ho Ho Cupcakes. It is mostly from scratch, but can be simplified by substituting a can of your favorite prepared frosting for the tops of the cupcakes. These are a huge hit at my childrens’ birthday parties, with the adults as well as the kids!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Prepare cake mix according to the package directions, substituting coffee for the water called for on the box, if desired. A slightly richer chocolate flavor will result, but no detectable coffee flavor. Beat with mixer on low until all flour is moistened, then beat for 2 minute on medium speed, as directed on the box. Really, any kind of cake mix you desire can be used, just follow the box’s directions.
  2. Divide into 24 paper muffin liners that have been sprayed with non-stick spray for easy removal from cakes. Bake at 325 degrees (25 less than the box calls for) for 18 to 22 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. The lower temperature helps the cakes to remain moist and even topped--a trick I learned from my Wilton class instructor! Remove cakes to a rack to cool.
  3. In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk until there are no lumps. Heat milk and flour on Medium Low heat, stirring constantly until mixture thickens to a gravy consistency. Remove from hot pan into a cool bowl and cover with saran. Allow to cool to room temperature. A cool water bath or refrigeration will speed up this process.
  4. In a mixing bowl, cream shortening and granulated sugar about 5 minutes. Add cooled milk-flour gravy and beat until fluffy and granulated sugar is dissolved completely, about another 5 minutes. Be sure to scrape your bowl and beater so that the grains of sugar at the top will be beaten in and dissolved. If in doubt, whip more. Now add vanilla and powdered sugar and whip well.
  5. Once cakes are fully cooled, place filling in a frosting bag with a star tip (I use size 18 or so) and press the tip down into the middle of each cake, about ¾ of an inch deep. Give a good squeeze to the bag, enough to cause the top of the cupcake to rise, but not enough to cause it to crack. If it does crack, don’t worry. The buttercream will cover it! Lift out the tip and repeat with each cake. Freshly baked and cooled cupcakes, or cupcakes stored in an airtight container until you are ready to frost them, are less likely to crack.
  6. Make the buttercream frosting for the cupcake tops by creaming margarine, shortening, flavorings and water until fluffy. Add powdered sugar and meringue powder and beat until combined. Avoid over-beating to retain a smoother frosting.
  7. Frost tops of cupcakes with buttercream and enjoy! Store them in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer if you plan on keeping them around for a while. Store any leftover frosting and filling in airtight containers in the refrigerator or freezer as well. Both will keep great for months in the freezer, if they can last that long! Blessings!
Most Helpful

I used a yellow cake mix with this filling, subbing half the shortening with unsalted butter. I glazed the top with a thin buttercream (more milk, less sugar, no meringue powder, etc.) and then decorated with easter sprinkles and pastel sugars. Chose jumbo baking cups, which made for a sinful, generous portion. Everyone loved 'em! Thank you!

oranjapeel April 12, 2009

Kris, you are an evil woman. :) I'm not sure I should thank you, but I will. These are the most fantastic cupcakes I've ever had. And yes.... *exactly* like Hostess cream filled cupcakes. I did have some store bought icing in the fridge that needed to be used, but that's the only substitution I made. DH was standing by the counter with a plate in his hand waiting patiently before they were even frosted. But he knows the rules...."No photo, No eating". :) Thanks so much for a wonderful trip down memory lane. Made for Spring PAC 2009. UPDATE: Sept 24/09 - Made again. I used your buttercream frosting this time around, and it is the *best*. I made half the recipe and added 4 tbsp of cocoa. I love that it's not overly sweet, unlike store bought. I'm taking half of them over to the neighbours tonight. They're going to hate me. lol Thanks again Kris. It truly doesn't get any better than this.

Diana #2 September 24, 2009

Very good cupcake recipe. This recipe takes some time so be prepared especially if you are using the icing recipe as well. It is very well worth the effort especially for a special occasion. I am thinking of trying to add some candy to the filling mixture next time. Like make a mint version of this with the icing and then put an andes mint in the filling section. *TIP* If you want alot of icing in the center and or if you do not have a piping bag and star tip you can use a melon baller and press an indent in the top center of the cupcake then scoop out a perfect circle (save your circles) then fill with the filling and add the top back on and then cover with icing. Works Great* I followed this almost to the exact specifications but accidentally added a little more liquid (coffee) so I threw in 1/2 cup of all purpose flour and the cupcakes were delicious and moist. I also added about 1/2 tsp of coconut extract to my filling as I felt it didnt carry much flavor at that point (but did taste great after sitting in fridge a while). I also added 1/2 tsp more of butter flavoring to the buttercream also. I will say that there were two things that I noticed about the filling. 1. It seemed slightly grainy in texture (nothing terrible but I noticed it) so next time I will use an extra fine granulated sugar if I have it on hand (if not it's still great and barely noticeable). 2. I noticed that the filling would have clumps of the paste (aka filling mixture) in it when I would bite into the cupcake (I am not sure if it was something I did but just be sure to mix it up well) I will be paying closer attention that detail next time. Other than that I am happy to report that my 4 kids and hubby loved the cupcakes. My DH said the icing was a little too sweet for him but he said he use to be able to gobble it down as a kid lol. Thank you KrisGoodNews for sharing this great cupcake recipe. The filling really does taste like a Hostess cupcake especially after sitting in the fridge I think :) PS. The icing holds up great and hardens outside but stays soft inside when cold :) I'd say they'd freeze well but haven't tried it yet!

B-J-Burrell September 14, 2009