Thursday, December 17, 2009

Jumbo 'Hostess' Binary Cupcakes

Not all of my cupcake batter went to making brains yesterday, I reserved half of it to make yet another go at the elusive Hostess style cupcake.

This has to be my fourth time making them. There have been some dramatic failures in the kitchen attempting these. Now the chocolate glaze and cupcakes themselves are not hard to make, it is that creme filling! What IS that stuff anyway? Not sure where to start with the filling, I did a little research into other peoples cupcakes of that type a few months ago and started trying new recipes.

Let me tell you all, there are some really gross filling recipes out there! One that I tried was basically sweetened country-style gravy. I gave it a shot because it was reminiscent of pastry cream--minus the egg yolks--and although I was skeptical, the recipe's reviewers seemed to like it. So I gave it a shot, and wow... it was so incredibly vile.

That was failure number one.

Two and three were much better but they either lacked the right texture or the filling absorbed into cake within 24 hours. Eventually, I figured that whatever was inside a hostess cupcake was not man-made and was created with technology on par with CERN's new Hadron Collider. So I gave up. That is, until I had a breakthrough while making fudge for the holidays...

I was going through a lot of marshmallow creme and while noshing on a spoon it came to me....this stuff is pretty close! Really close, actually. So I decided to give the cupcakes one more go and it resulted in my Jumbo Binary Cupcakes with creme filling. Fully edible and finally, a result better than the store bought variety.

I was going to put nucleotide bases across the tops of these cupcakes, but I changed my mind last minute and put binary on them because I haven't done anything computer-science oriented for the blog yet. I know programmers don't code in binary, but even with my Java and C++ background I couldn't come up with a clever 10 character, comp-sci oriented message to sprawl across the cake. Binary is instantly recognizable and cute, so I went with that.

(Though, Mr. Humble gave me flak for not attempting to write out "cupcakes" in binary, but that is probably 50 characters long!)

Anyway, that's enough rambling on about cupcakes. Let's get on to how they were made.

Not so Humble's Creme Filled Jumbo Binary Cupcakes:
To make these I rounded up the following:

one batch of devils food cake batter
jumbo sized muffin pans
18 paper mini cupcake liners
6 oz semi sweet chocolate finely chopped
1 tablespoon corn syrup
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
7 oz jar marshmallow creme
3 oz white chocolate

Since Hostess cupcakes don't have liners or crimping around them I wasn't going to put a paper liner into my jumbo muffin cups. Instead, I used a mini cupcake liner, flattened and placed it into the bottom of the cup. These things are exactly the right size when smoothed out to line the bottom of your large muffin tins. Great trick to help those muffins pop right out.

So I divided my batter among 18 of the muffin cups and baked according to the instructions (Yes, I know... I'm using cake mix, bad foodie move but also a busy mommy foodie today). I allowed them to cool completely, peeled the liner off the bottom and then got to work on the filling and glaze.

To make the filling, beat together the marshmallow creme and the butter and then put into the fridge to chill. Using a 1.5-inch biscuit cutter, core out the centers of the cupcakes and remove some of the cake from the middle. I prefer to do this over piping in the filling because it allows me to really stuff my cupcakes with the creme. Fill each cupcake with a heaping tablespoon of the creme and then replace the "core" you removed earlier, after trimming the excess cake off its bottom.

Now your cakes are ready to be glazed.

To make the glaze, place the finely chopped chocolate into a heat safe bowl and bring the cream and corn syrup to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and fold together until smooth. You can either dip the cupcakes into the glaze, or like I did, apply the glaze with an offset spatula (I like to load on as much as possible).

Allow the cupcakes to dry for about 30 minutes and then you can work on your binary decoration.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave, being careful as it can scorch fairly easily. Then using a piping bag with #2 tip, pipe on the ones and zeros to finish the cupcakes.

Let the glaze set for a few hours until it is no longer shiny and then they're ready to serve. That is, if you can wait that long.


  1. I love your creativity. I had to laugh because I used to make Hostess style cupcakes for my children back in the late 70s, early 80s. The recipe I had was easy because you baked the filling right into the cupcake. I know I probably have the recipe somewhere. If I find it I will send it to you. They tasted so much like Hostess that my kids could not tell the difference. My filling was made with cream cheese.

  2. That loooks just great. And lovely presentations1 Merry Chrsitmas

  3. Wooo I feel a sugar rush just looking at those cupcakes! MMMmmm...mmmm just perfect!!!

  4. I love your blog. I have an idea for the binary message if you decide to make these again:

    011110010111010101101101 (yum)

  5. I'm inspired and made some of my own nerdy cookies to celebrate the end of exams. They SO did not turn out as well as yours! You are very talented.

  6. These are TOO cute! i'm really getting a kick out of all the geeky desserts you're making. :-)

  7. Oh how I wish I was in your house right now! Love what you are up too...

  8. They look awesome! But as a comp sci geek, the message on top would be easy - "Hello World!"

  9. Yup! 'Hello World' was on my short list. I was a little worried the non-comp sci readers might miss the connection though.

  10. ok these look amazing....i was thissss close to buying the packaged version the other day but convinced myself to walk away.

  11. You should do some octal ones next:)

  12. wow! those look pretty close to the ones I see at the store, very impressive, actually they look more moist which is way better in my book

  13. Your creativity is amazing and your photography is ssssssooooo good.

  14. Wow those look great. I need to bring some cakes for our last day in the office so might have to give that recipe a try.

    Kate xx

  15. Oh! That's the best cupcake ever!!!

  16. They look and sound AMAZING!!!!

    I've been looking for something a little different to make for Christmas this year, along with the obligatory cookies, and these might fit the bill!

  17. Now I know what the rest of my marshmallows are destined for (er, [sic]). Also, when I saw these, I thought immediately what I will put on them: cup . Ha! HA! Get it? Ok, I may be the only one laughing.

  18. grr, argh, that was supposed to say cup open bracket cake close bracket but apparently the comments don't like that.

  19. I LOVE this blog!! I wish I was a good enough cook to recreate some of these culinary delights but looking at them is just as good...yummmm!

  20. Hi! I saw you were a Blogger "Blog of Note"& came to check you out.
    I am my ladie's group "cupcake queen", and have devised a Hostess CC knock-off. For the elusive filling, I used an ancient whoopie pie filling recipe which indeed included marshmallow Fluff. It also calls for confectioner's sugar which should help with thickening instead of refrigeration. I also add a teaspoon of vanilla, because I'm like that (but it helps to temper the sweetness a bit). Another awesome option, especially for Valentines day, is to mix in 5 or 6 whole frozen strawberries, thawed, into the filling mixture. Just let your mixer break up the berries. It turns a beautiful shade of pink and tastes terrific!

    1. been 3 years since this post...would be a miracle if you still have the whoopie pie filling recipe to compare with Ms Humble's marshmallow creme and butter recipe...but, if you do, please share?...i like idea of sugar and vanilla but would need a hint for the amount of sugar to use :)

  21. These look amazing! I love the idea of making them from scratch - I've never had one, packaged or homemade =D.

  22. Those cake look better than anything you could buy....

  23. Made these for D&D last night, my gaming group loved them!

  24. Hi - just found your blog. Love the cupcakes ~ they look delish!

  25. adorable. brilliant. amazing.
    this is a cream filling recipe i saw floating around on the interwebs a few months ago:

  26. I liked these cupcakes. Seem to be similar to cream-filled chocolate balls. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. These can make a Christmas treat!
    psp batterie

  27. So adorable! I was googling just now, looking for the intersection of programmers and cupcakes, and found your blog. I made some supremely nerdy #include cupcakes for a hardware co-op workday recently that delighted all the programmers in attendance. (I'm not a programmer, but my partner is. :)) Check it out if you're interested!

    Much peace,
    A vegan food & hospitality blog

  28. Yum! I like how the binary looks like the Hostess spiral at first glance.

    I believe the Hostess "creme" filling is suet spun with sugar. Suet is the fat around the kidneys. That's why twinkies list beef fat in the ingredients - personally I think having it in the filling is much grosser than deep-frying the twinkies in it.

  29. I'm not sure if you even see the comments on such older posts, but it sounds like you tried a roux-based filling which is a traditional frosting for Red Velvet Cake, technically the traditional one though most consider it to be cream cheese now. It's one of the most disgusting things I've ever tried on its own, but when you put it on/in chocolate cookies or cakes, it's amazing. You may want to try it again sometime, though with the amount of filling I'd like with these cupcakes, I'll probably pass on it for these.

  30. Those are the best looking Hostess cupcakes I have seen yet! Fourth times a charm i guess, I am excited to try these out!

  31. they look great, then i got super excited and thought "she can make sushi too" they still look yummy even though they're cupcakes

    If you're hopping today come see me
    Christy Home-Mom

  32. These look yummy! I've tried making them a few times, but also had epic fails with the creme. I think I'd prefer to just eat yours! =)


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