How to tide yourself over until someone restarts the Hostess brand

Well, the maker of Hostess Cupcakes (and other pre-packaged snack cakes that might survive a nuclear attack) has gone to Chapter 7 bankruptcy and is closing down. While it’s pretty clear that someone will buy their brands, it may be a while before you can get the Hostess Twinkie fix.

The people at America’s Test Kitchen published a recipe for a version of the classic Hostess Cupcake that I’ve used a couple of times. While it may not have the ability to be used as survival food, it’s pretty darn good.

This is based on the ATK original, tweaked to address some food allergies that I suffer from… There’s a rather neat trick here for filling the cupcake by cutting out a conic section, slicing off half, and then replacing and frosting over the top.

1 cup all-purpose flour
0.5 teaspoon baking soda
0.25 teaspoon salt
0.5 cup boiling water
0.3 cup cocoa powder
0.3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
0.75 cup sugar
0.5 cup sour cream
0.5 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons water
0.75 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
4 tablespoons (0.5 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
1.25 cups marshmallow creme
0.5 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • MAKE BATTER: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 12-cup muffin tin. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt in bowl. Whisk water, cocoa, chocolate chips, and espresso in large bowl until smooth. Add sugar, sour cream, oil, eggs, and vanilla and mix until combined. Whisk in flour mixture until incorporated. Divide batter evenly among muffin cups. Bake until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out with few dry crumbs attached, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool cupcakes in tin 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack and cool completely.
  • PREPARE FILLING: Combine water and gelatin in large bowl and let sit until gelatin softens, about 5 minutes. Microwave until mixture is bubbling around edges and gelatin dissolves, about 30 seconds. Stir in butter, vanilla, and salt until combined. Let mixture cool until just warm to touch, about 5 minutes, then whisk in marshmallow creme until smooth; refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Transfer 1⁄3 cup marshmallow mixture to pastry bag fitted with small plain tip; reserve remaining mixture for filling cupcakes.
  • ASSEMBLE CUPCAKES: Microwave chocolate and butter in small bowl, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 30 seconds. Cool glaze to room temperature, about 10 minutes. Cut cone from top of each cupcake and fill cupcakes with 1 tablespoon filling each. Replace tops, frost with 2 teaspoons cooled glaze, and let sit 10 minutes.