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Hostess Cupcakes: Back to School Treat Week

A week dedicated to all the sweet things found in a lunchbox…
My daughter’s name is Emma.
And, as all daughters are, she’s completely wonderful.
She’s going through a pretty destructive phase right now (ahem, laptop), but she’s completely wonderful all the same.
Towards the end of my pregnancy with Emma I developed preeclampsia and was induced about a month early. All things considered, everything still went extremely well.
Emma was a little on the small side, but nothing extreme. She needed some help breathing, but only for a few hours. And she had jaundice, but, again, nothing extreme. She was fine within a week.
Ultimately, the whole ordeal of being born a little early started her out on kind of a “slow foot.” Our doctor told me that I could reasonably expect her to hit most of her first year milestones 1-2 months late. That turned out to be pretty accurate as she was a little slow to roll over, crawl, and walk.
The trend has continued, and she is now 26 months old. Otherwise known as two :)
She’s been a little speech delayed, so we’ve been working with a toddler development program, and they’ve been doing a tremendous job in teaching me how to teach her. She’s really, really coming along. Just a couple of months behind, as usual.
No complaints here, though. I don’t mind if she’s a little bit behind. I worried at first, thinking maybe she’d never catch up. But now I know she just has her own pace for doing things. She’ll get there.
The point of all of these baby-toddler ramblings is….. due to her developmental delays, we’ve been strongly encouraged (and felt really good about) enrolling our baby girl in pre-school for this fall!
Which means: this is our very first “Back to School” year as a family, and we are so excited to celebrate this new part of Emma’s life!

And so, in honor of this new, fun time for us– it’s Back to School week on Something Swanky! I’ve made some of my very favorite lunchbox treats from my childhood, and I’ll be posting the recipes for them all week.
Happy Back to School, everyone!
Hostess Cupcakes Copycat Recipe
For the Cake:
  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 1 small pkg instant chocolate pudding mix
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chocolate milk (the good kind)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
For the Ganache:

  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • approximately 1 cup heavy whipping cream (don’t measure it out)
 For the Retro Cream Filling:
  • 1 – 7 oz. jar Marshmallow Cream
  • 1/2 c. shortening
  • 1 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2-3 Tbsp. milk
Optional: canned white frosting for the Little Debbie swirl up top
  1. Whisk together all cake ingredients (reserving the chocolate chips) until a smooth batter forms. Fold in the chocolate chips. Distribute batter evenly among 24-36 liners (do not over fill– you don’t want domed cupcakes for this). Bake at 350º for 20 minutes. Let cool.
  2. Using an electric hand mixer, beat together the shortening and the marshmallow cream in a very large bowl (there will be splatter– you’ve been warned). Beat in the powdered sugar, 1/3 cup at a time. Add the vanilla and the salt. Beat in the milk, 1 tbsp. at a time, beating in between additions, until mixture is smooth and fluffy.
  3. Cut out small circles from the tops of the cupcakes. Use a ziptop bag to pipe the fluff filling into each hole. Replace the cupcake top over the filling and press gently to flatten.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, heat the chocolate chips and whipping cream for 1 minute. Whisk until smooth. Let cool for 5 minutes. Spoon over each of the cupcakes.
  5. Let the ganache cool for at least an hour if piping on the Little Debbie swirl on top. (I just used canned frosting for that part– but feel free to use whatever frosting you’d like!)

You can save this recipe to your own Recipe Box via ZipList. And they’ll take the ingredients from the recipe and generate a shopping list just for you accessible on your computer or mobile device! I use mine all the time. If you aren’t already using this really awesome recipe tool, take a minute to sign up at ZipList.com (it’s free)!

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Ashton Swank

Ashton is the owner and author of Something Swanky. Although first and foremost a wife and mother, she considers herself an online entrepreneur, freelance writer and photographer, and brand ambassador. Her focus is in food styling, food photography and recipe development.

One comment on “Hostess Cupcakes: Back to School Treat Week”

  1. My friend brought these to the Superbowl Party yesterday and they were so GOOD!!!!
    I can’t stop thinking about them. I just featured your recipe on my blog http://rhondassaucyadventures.blogspot.com/2013/02/hostess-cupcakes.html, I will also be featuring them on my CUPCAKE BLOG (obsessedwithcupcakes).
    Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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