Hostess Cupcake Cookies
Hostess Cupcake Cookies are made with a rich chocolate cookie topped with a thick marshmallow meringue frosting, smooth chocolate ganache and the iconic white chocolate swirls you recognize from these favorite childhood Hostess treats!
If you’re a fan of Crumbl cookies, then you’ll recognize these as their chocolate mallow cupcake cookies — more affectionately known as hostess cupcake cookies! A few other recent Crumbl favorites I’ve created are the Crumbl Cornbread Cookies, Crumbl Biscoff Butter Cookies, and Boston Cream Pie Cookies!
Why This Recipe Works
- Perfect whipped marshmallow meringue frosting. I’m serious friends! This frosting is perfection. It doesn’t weep; it holds its shape; it tastes amazing; and it has a crazy amazing texture!
- Looks like a Hostess cupcake. This hostess cupcake cookies recipe is a trip down memory lane because they look just like the hostess treat from years ago! This cookie version incorporates everything from the hostess cupcakes like the chocolate flavor, the mallow filling and the chocolate frosting in rich, homemade way!
- Smooth chocolate ganache topping. The ganache sets beautifully, but still after it has been in the fridge, you can bite into the cookie and your teeth still glide through it!
- Light Corn Syrup: Even this small amount of light corn syrup makes a big difference when it comes to the chewy texture of your cookies. It will keep the cookies softer longer!
- Dutch Process Cocoa Powder: Dutch process cocoa powder is different than traditional unsweetened cocoa powder. With Dutch process you’ll get a richer chocolate flavor and a deeper color. Read more in my Best Cocoa Powder for Baking post.
- Cornstarch: The cornstarch helps keep the hostess cupcake cookies thick and moist.
- Egg Whites: The egg whites are beaten with the sugar while slowly heating to create a delicious meringue.
- Marshmallow Fluff: Using marshmallow fluff for the meringue frosting helps create a smoother texture in the frosting and removes the step of having to melt marshmallows.
- Semi-Sweet Chocolate: Chocolate chips, or finely chopped baking chocolate is fine
- Heavy Cream: The heavy cream help make the chocolate ganache topping thick and smooth!
- White Chocolate Wafers: You can use white chocolate chips, but you’ll also need 1 tsp coconut oil or vegetable shortening to help it melt better.
- Cream the wet ingredients. Add the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar to the bowl of a stand mixer and cream for 2-3 minutes on medium speed. Add the eggs, corn syrup, and vanilla extract and mix, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add the dry ingredients. Add the all-purpose flour, Dutch process cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. Mix until just combined.
- Form into balls. Using a 1/4 cup, portion into dough balls. Place 6 balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press down on each dough ball using the palm of your hand until they resemble a hockey puck. This will help them bake better.
- Bake. Bake at 365°F for 10 minutes or until the edges are set and have a slightly crackly texture and the centers are no longer shiny. Remove and let cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Make the marshmallow meringue frosting. Fill a small pot with 1-2 inches of water and simmer. In a separate large, heatproof mixing bowl, add the sugar and eggs whites. Place the bowl over the pot of water and whisk until the egg and sugar mixture reaches 160°F. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment until stiff peaks (about 5 minutes). Add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla extract and beat on high until stiff peaks form again. Place in a piping bag.
- Make the ganache. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Once boiling, place the chocolate in a separate bowl and pour the hot cream on top. Let sit for 2 minutes before mixing. Mix until smooth. Let sit to thicken slightly before using.
- Melt the white chocolate. Place the white chocolate in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds then stir. Continue microwaving in 30-second increments until melted. Transfer to a Ziploc bag and snip a very small piece of the corner off.
- Decorate the Hostess Cupcake Cookies! Pipe the marshmallow frosting on top of the cookies, add a dollop of the smooth chocolate ganache in the center, then pipe the loopy white circles on top to make these cookies look just like Hostess cupcakes!
A tip when making the chocolate ganache is to use a whisk and start mixing in the center. Then slowly whisk in a circle from the center to the exterior of the bowl until the mixture is smooth.
For the white chocolate loop decoration, you want the cut in the Ziploc bag to be very small because you want a really fine tip!
When making the marshmallow frosting, you want the meringue mixture to slowly heat so the eggs don’t scramble. Be sure to have the water in the pot on a simmer. Gently heating the mixture will temper the eggs (meaning you don’t have to worry about eating raw eggs here!) while keeping the texture smooth for the meringue.
Make Ahead, Storing, and Freezing
You can make the cookie dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Remove and let come to room temperature before baking.
Store the hostess cupcake cookies covered at room temperature for 3 days or in the fridge for one week.
My post on Freezing Cookie Dough explains everything about storing cookie dough, freezing cookie dough, and baking frozen cookie dough! You can also check out my Freezing Cookies post for tips on getting the best results on freezing baked cookies.
When it comes to freezing these Crumbl chocolate mallow cupcake cookies, the meringue frosting makes it tricky. You’d need to freeze the decorated cookies until firm, then be sure to tightly wrap in plastic wrap. When defrosting, I’d remove the wrap. You don’t want any condensation to build up or else it can affect the meringue frosting. Other than that, you should be good to freeze them.
Hostess cupcakes are something you’d buy from the packaged dessert aisle of your local grocery store or convenience store. They are very processed in my opinion, so I was excited to make a Crumbl copycat recipe to bring those flavors home in a delicious way! The hostess cupcake is a chocolate flavor with a marshmallow center, topped with a chocolate glaze and the white swirls like those you see pictured on my cookies!
I don’t think so! The company went out of business years ago and I haven’t seen them on shelves since. But you can reminisce about this childhood favorite by making these chewy hostess cupcake cookies right at home!
Yes you can. The reason I suggest baking chocolate is because it doesn’t contain stabilizers like chocolate chips do. The stabilizers help the chocolate chips keep their shape. Using baking chocolate will give you a smoother texture.
No. I highly highly recommend the dutch process cocoa powder! You don’t be disappointed. It will give you a richer flavor and a deeper color that will more closely match the hostess cupcakes you are so fond of!
More Crumbl Cookies
- Crumbl Mint Brownie Cookies
- Chocolate Oreo Cookies
- Chocolate Andes Mint Cookies
- Crumbl Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies
Hostess Cupcake Cookies
- 1 cup unsalted butter - softened to room temperature
- 1 cup light brown sugar - packed
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs - room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/2 cup marshmallow fluff
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Ganache & Topping
- 3 oz semi-sweet chocolate - chocolate chips, or finely chopped baking chocolate is fine
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup white chocolate wafers - or white chocolate chips (if using white chocolate chips you'll also need 1 tsp vegetable oil for melting).
- Preheat the oven to 365°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, set aside.
- Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment cream the butter, brown sugar, and sugar on medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Add the eggs, light corn syrup, and vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Add the flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt.
- Portion dough into ¼ cup sized balls. Place 6 balls of dough on the prepared baking sheet. Using the palm of your hand gently press down on each ball until it creates a thick disk. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges are set and slight cracks are appearing around the edges. Do not overbake.
- Remove from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Marshmallow Meringue Frosting
- Make the marshmallow frosting: Fill a small pot with about 1-2 inches of water. Heat to a simmer. In a large mixing bowl add sugar and egg whites. Place the bowl over the simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160°F on an instant read thermometer and the sugar has dissolved. Transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat with the whisk attachment on medium speed until stiff peaks form, about 4-5 mins. Add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla and mix on high speed until stiff peaks form (another 4-5 minutes). Place frosting in a piping bag.
Ganache & Topping
- Make the ganache: Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl. Add the heavy cream to a small pot over medium heat. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling pour the heavy cream over the chocolate and let sit for 2 minutes.
- Use a whisk and starting in the center, slowly whisk in a circle until smooth. Let the ganahce sit for a few minutes to help thicken just slightly before using on the cookies.
- Melt the white chocolate: Melt the white chocolate wafers in a microwave safe bowl in 30 second increments until melted. If using white chocolate chips add 1 tsp of vegetable oil to the white chocolate (this will help them melt easier). Place the melted chocolate in a small Ziploc bag, and snip the corner off (not too big because we want it to be a fine tip!).
- Pipe the marshmallow frosting to the top of each cookie. Add a dollop of chocolate ganache and swirl to cover some of the frosting. Pipe the signature Hostess cupcake loopy white circles across the center of each cookie with the melted white chocolate.