Hostess-Style Chocolate Cupcakes

gluten free chocolate cupcakes

Whew! I just finished my first year teaching at a wonderful school. There is one thing I’ve heard talking to teachers: it doesn’t matter if are teaching second grade or twelfth grade, public or private school – the first year is a doozie. And it was, but I’m hoping that I’ll have more time to share recipes with you on the blog going forward.

 

These cupcakes are a nostalgic treat that everyone will love. They do take some time to assemble but they are worth it. The prep is reduced by using another cake box hack, and if marshmallow fluff is available and meets your dietary requirements, you can use it instead of making your own filling. If you have some of the chocolate icing in your freezer, the assembly gets even faster.

I usually make the cake filling, then bake the cupcakes so that I can fill them while they are slightly warm. You can also make the filling while the cupcakes are in the oven.

The cupcakes taste best if you have them within a day of preparing.

Yield: 18 – 20 cupcakes or 36 – 40 mini cupcakes

 

 Filling Ingredients

  •  1 egg white – fresh or reconstituted from powder (I use Deb-El powdered egg white)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  •  3 Tablespoons water
  •  1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  •  1/2 teaspoon vanilla (recommended- Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)
  •  1/8 teaspoon salt

 

 Filling Equipment

  •  Hand-held mixer
  •  Pastry bag fitted with “beak” leaf tip such as Wilton # 352
  •  Heatproof bowl and a pan that it fits in as a double-boiler
  •  rubber spatula

 

Cupcake Ingredients

  •  1 package Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake Mix
  •  1 (3.9 oz/110 g) package Jello instant chocolate pudding
  •  1/4 c. sugar
  •  3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  •  1/2 teaspoon salt
  •  3/4 c. buttermilk (remember to shake up the buttermilk!)
  •  1/2 c. oil
  •  4 eggs

 

Cupcake Equipment

  •  electric mixer
  •  # 40 portion scoop
  •  rubber spatula
  •  2 -12 well cupcake pans with liners or mini cupcake pans
  •  Toothpicks

 

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 recipe of Chocolate icing – recipe here

 

Doodle Ingredients (optional, you can also use leftover filling to make doodles)

  •  1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  •  1 teaspoon water, to start, more as needed
  •  bowl and mixer
  •  pastry bag fitted with small round tip such as Wilton #5

 

 

Filling

The filling is basically a small recipe of seven-minute frosting. I modified it to reduce the risk of graininess, but I have to say that while graininess drove me crazy, none of my taste testers cared at all. Since this is a small batch, the cooking time may be less than seven minutes. Time will vary depending on the size and shape of your double boiler setup, but my frosting is usually done between five and six minutes.

Extra frosting can be used to make the doodles on the top of your cupcakes, or it makes a great topping on a cup of hot chocolate. Then frosting will become grainy if stored in the fridge.

 Filling Instructions

I use re-hydrated egg whites for the filling. If you have not used them before, when you combine the powder and water, things will not look promising:

 

Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes with an occasional stir, and the lumps will work themselves out and you will end up with something that actually looks like an egg white.

 

 

 

Have a pastry bag prepared with a “beak” leaf tip such as the one shown below. They do a great job of piercing the cupcake and allowing you to squeeze in much more filling than you could with a round tip.

the "beaky" leaf tip that you want

Select a bowl and pan that will fit together as a double-boiler. Put 1 – 2” of water in the pot and bring to a simmer. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl when it is in place. While the bowl is off the heat, combine the egg white, water, sugar, and corn syrup. Mix to combine with the electric mixer for about a minute. Place the bowl over the steaming pot and stir continuously with the electric mixer. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to cook the filling until it thickens , holds a medium peak, and a layer sticks to the side of the bowl when you scrape it down. This will take 5 – 7 minutes, depending on your double-boiler configuration. When the filling is cooked, remove it from heat and continue to whisk for one to two more minutes as the mixture cools.

Scoop the filling into the prepared pastry bag and set aside.

cooked filling

 

Cupcake Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly combine together all of the dry ingredients: cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, and cocoa powder. Add the eggs, oil, and buttermilk. The batter will initially look thick and grainy, like a brownie batter. It will smooth out and thin out as you continue mixing, about two more minutes. Make sure to scrape down the bowl at least once during mixing.

Once the batter is mixed, scoop into cupcake wrappers. Scoop two portions scoops (three tablespoons) for full sized cupcakes, and one scoop (1.5 tablespoons) for mini-cupcakes. Half-fill any empty pan cavities with water.

 

Bake mini cupcakes about 18 minutes, and full sized cupcakes 22 – 24 minutes. Check cupcakes with a toothpick for done-ness. Use caution when opening the oven door- there will be a lot of steam.

chocolate cupcakes

 

Doodle frosting instructions

 

Beat the butter and add one teaspoon of water. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and add more water as needed to get the desired consistency. The frosting does not need to be as stiff as a traditional decorating icing.

 

Assembly instructions

 

Fill the cupcakes while they are still slightly warm. Stick the tip in the cupcake and squeeze the filling into the cake. Try not to overfill the cupcakes – the filling will ooze out and the cake will break. Fill one hole in the mini cupcakes, and two holes on the larger cupcakes. If you have filling left over at the end, add a third hole to the large cupcakes.

If some of the filling does ooze out, knock it off with a tooth pick. Give the cupcakes about 20 minutes for the filling to crust over before you frost them. If you do not have prepared frosting, make it while you wait.

Frost the cupcakes and allow to set up for another 20 minutes. Once the icing has set, pipe on the doodles and enjoy!

 

 

 

Easy to print recipe:

Yield: 18 – 20 cupcakes or 36 – 40 mini cupcakes

Filling Ingredients

  • 1 egg white – fresh or reconstituted from powder (I use Deb-El powdered egg white)
  • 3/4 c. sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons water
  • 1 Tablespoon corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (recommended- Nielsen-Massey Vanilla Bean Paste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

 

 Filling Equipment

  • Hand-held mixer
  • pastry bag fitted with “beak” leaf tip such as Wilton # 352
  • heatproof bowl and a pan that it fits in as a double-boiler
  • rubber spatula

 

 Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 1 package Betty Crocker Devils Food Cake Mix
  • 1 (3.9 oz/110 g) package Jello instant chocolate pudding
  • 1/4 c. sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 c. buttermilk (remember to shake up the buttermilk!)
  • 1/2 c. oil
  • 4 eggs

 

 Cupcake Equipment

  • electric mixer
  • # 40 portion scoop
  • rubber spatula
  • 2 -12 well cupcake pans with liners or mini cupcake pans
  • Toothpicks

 

Chocolate Frosting

  • 1/2 recipe of Chocolate icing – recipe here

 

Doodle Ingredients (optional, you can also use leftover filling to make doodles)

  •  1 Tablespoon butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon water, to start, more as needed
  • bowl and mixer
  • pastry bag fitted with small round tip such as Wilton #5

Filling Instructions:

I use re-hydrated egg whites for the filling. If you have not used them before, when you combine the powder and water, things will not look promising. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes with an occasional stir, and the lumps will work themselves out and you will end up with something that actually looks like an egg white.

Have a pastry bag prepared with a “beak” leaf tip such as the one shown below. They do a great job of piercing the cupcake and allowing you to squeeze in much more filling than you could with a round tip.

Select a bowl and pan that will fit together as a double-boiler. Put 1 – 2” of water in the pot and bring to a simmer. The water should not touch the bottom of the bowl when it is in place. While the bowl is off the heat, combine the egg white, water, sugar, and corn syrup. Mix to combine with the electric mixer for about a minute. Place the bowl over the steaming pot and stir continuously with the electric mixer. Occasionally scrape down the sides of the bowl. Continue to cook the filling until it thickens , holds a medium peak, and a layer sticks to the side of the bowl when you scrape it down. This will take 5 – 7 minutes, depending on your double-boiler configuration. When the filling is cooked, remove it from heat and continue to whisk for one to two more minutes as the mixture cools.

Scoop the filling into the prepared pastry bag and set aside.

Cupcake Instructions

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, thoroughly combine together all of the dry ingredients: cake mix, pudding mix, sugar, and cocoa powder. Add the eggs, oil, and buttermilk. The batter will initially look thick and grainy, like a brownie batter. It will smooth out and thin out as you continue mixing, about two more minutes. Make sure to scrape down the bowl at least once during mixing. Once the batter is mixed, scoop into cupcake wrappers. Scoop two portions scoops (three tablespoons) for full sized cupcakes, and one scoop (1.5 tablespoons) for mini-cupcakes. Half-fill any empty pan cavities with water.

Bake mini cupcakes about 18 minutes, and full sized cupcakes 22 – 24 minutes. Check cupcakes with a toothpick for done-ness. Use caution when opening the oven door- there will be a lot of steam.

Doodle frosting instructions:

Beat the butter and add one teaspoon of water. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar and add more water as needed to get the desired consistency. The frosting does not need to be as stiff as a traditional decorator icing.

Assembly instructions:

Fill the cupcakes while they are still slightly warm. Stick the tip in the cupcake and squeeze the filling into the cake. Try not to overfill the cupcakes – the filling will ooze out and the cake will break. Fill one hole in the mini cupcakes, and two holes on the larger cupcakes. If you have filling left over at the end, add a third hole to the large cupcakes.

If some of the filling does ooze out, knock it off with a tooth pick. Give the cupcakes about 20 minutes for the filling to crust over before you frost them. If you do not have prepared frosting, make it while you wait.

Frost the cupcakes and allow to set up for another 20 minutes. Once the icing has set, pipe on the doodles and enjoy!

 




Comments are closed.