I love the nostalgia behind the classic Hostess cupcakes and thought that an elevated handmade version would make such a sweet and happy Valentine’s Day treat. The cupcakes are light, yet moist and chocolatey, the filling is scrumptiously airy and not too sweet, and the semi-sweet chocolate glaze is a deliciously and slightly grown up version of the classic.

This recipe really comes together in three parts. The cupcakes, the filling, and the chocolate glaze (and the signature decorative loopy line).

To get started, bake the cupcakes. (I used a heart-shaped cupcake pan but a regular muffin pan would work great too. Because mine were heart-shaped, I didn't use cupcake liners but if you're making standard (round) cupcakes you could use liners if you'd like.

Cupcake Ingredients:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cups cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Cupcake Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour your heart cupcake pan or fill muffin pan with cupcake liners and set aside to fill once batter is made. Add all ingredients, except the boiling water, into a mixing bowl. (I recommend a batter bowl to easily pour the batter into the cupcake liners). Beat with a hand blender, stand mixer, or by hand with a wire whisk, until batter is completely combined and smooth. Add the boiling water, and whisk, just until blended. (Don't be alarmed - the batter appears watery). Evenly ladle (or pour) the batter into the liners. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the center of the cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool.

While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the filling.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Filling Directions:

Pour eggs and sugar into your stand mixer bowl and whisk. Fill a medium-sized saucepan with about two cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, place the stand mixer bowl with the egg whites and sugar on top of the pan (Making sure the mixing bowl does not touch the water) and whisk until the mixture is hot - approximately 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove bowl from pan and place on your stand mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and sugar on high speed for about four minutes, or until they reach stiff peaks.

Once the cupcakes have cooled, it's time to add the filling. Fit a piping bag with a tip conducive to filling (I like the Wilton filling tip #230 but any tip with a larger round opening will do). Add filling into prepared piping bag. Hold cupcake upside down and insert filling tip straight into the center bottom of the cake. Give a good squeeze of the piping bag until you see the top of the cupcake begin to bulge a tiny bit (Don't overdo it, or you'll split the cupcake). Pull out tip and continue filling each cupcake until they're all done.

Next, prepare the Chocolate Glaze.

Chocolate Glaze Ingredients:

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (you can substitute milk chocolate chips if you prefer)
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Chocolate Glaze Directions:

Pour heavy cream into a small mixing bowl and microwave until it just begins to completely boil. Remove from microwave and stir in chocolate chips and butter until completely smooth.

Now it's time to glaze the cupcakes. Simply turn the cupcake upside-down and dip the top fully into the warm glaze. Flip back over and shake slightly to remove any excess glaze and to slightly smooth out. Continue with each cake until they've all been glazed.

And last of all, to finish them off, pipe a loopy line across the center of each cupcake, using the remaining filling and a #3 Wilton tip.

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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