Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

Vegan hostess cupcake with a bite taken out of it showing the cream inside.

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Hostess Cupcakes are super nostalgic for all Millennials but I promise this vegan version holds up! Moist chocolate cupcakes filled with soft, vanilla buttercream and topped with rich chocolate ganache. These will heal your inner child.


Units Scale

For the Cupcakes

1 1/2 c all purpose flour

1 c sugar

1/2 c dutch processed cocoa powder

1 tsp instant espresso powder

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 c nondairy milk

1/2 c nondairy yogurt*

1/2 c canola oil

2 tsp vanilla extract

For the Filling/Icing

1/2 c non-hydrogenated shortening

2 tbsp vegan butter

1 1/2 c powdered sugar

1 tbsp nondairy milk

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of salt

For the Ganache

3 oz semisweet or dark chocolate

1/3 c vegan heavy cream*


  1. Prep: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 C) and line a cupcake pan with 12 paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Cake Batter: In a large bowl, whisk together the all purpose flour, sugar, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk together the nondairy yogurt, nondairy milk, canola oil and vanilla until completely smooth. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined. Do not over-mix.
  3. Bake: Fill each cupcake wrapper about 3/4 of the way full with cake batter. Bake on center rack of preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Allow cupcakes to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Filling: While the cupcakes cool, begin preparing the filling. Beat together the non-hydrogenated shortening and vegan butter until smooth using an electric hand mixer or a stand mixer. Beat in the powdered sugar, nondairy milk, vanilla and salt until a light buttercream comes together.
  5. Fill Cupcakes: Scoop about 3/4 of the filling into a piping bag fit with a small, round piping tip. Insert the tip into the center of each cupcake and squeeze lightly, pushing about 2 tbsp of filling into each one. The cupcake will start to expand slightly at the top.
  6. Ganache: Add the chocolate to a glass bowl. Pour the nondairy heavy cream into a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Whisk until completely smooth. Dunk the top of each cupcake into the ganache, shaking off any excess. Allow ganache to completely set on each cupcake before continuing.
  7. Icing: Transfer the remaining filling to a squeeze bottle fit with a narrow piping tip. Pipe the trademark Hostess loops across the top of each cupcake. Allow icing to set for 5 minutes before serving or storing.



*Cupcakes will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for 2-3 days or can be refrigerated for 3-4. Unfrosted/unfilled cupcakes can be frozen for up to 1 month.

*Nondairy yogurt and nondairy milk used for this recipe should be unflavored and unsweetened.

*If you are unable to find vegan heavy cream, full fat canned coconut milk is a good substitution.

*Recipe adapted from Homemade Hostess Cupcakes by Broma Bakery

Keywords: chocolate ganache, chocolate cupcakes, vegan, hostess, nostalgic, copycat recipe

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