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Hostess cupcake layer cake on serving platter

Hostess Cupcake Layer Cake

Hostess Cupcake Layer Cake is a layer cake version of the classic cupcake, made 100% from scratch. It's fun, nostalgic, and the best tasting cake ever!

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For the Devil's Food Cake:

  • 7 ounces 2 cups sifted cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 ounces 1/2 cup sifted cocoa powder natural or Dutch process (I used Valhrona)
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup sour cream room temperature*
  • 1/2 cup coffee cooled*
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten*
  • 4 ounces 1 stick unsalted butter room temperature*
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar

For the Marshmallow Buttercream Icing:

  • 1 1/2 cups Homemade Marshmallow Creme
  • 4 ounces 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup powdered sugar sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon milk or cream I used cream

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 2 ounces 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped fine*
  • 2 ounces 1/4 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine*
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons heavy cream


Prepare the cake:

  • Position an oven rack to the lower 1/3 of the oven, and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of (2) 9" cake pans with cooking spray, then line each with a parchment round. Spray the parchment round and sides with cooking spray, and set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder with the lukewarm water until the cocoa powder has dissolved. Set aside to cool. In another small bowl, whisk the sour cream, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside.
  • Place the softened butter in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until creamy, then add the sugars and beat on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 6-7 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, and add the eggs slowly (about 1 minute), and continue to beat until the mixture is velvety, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Add the cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until incorporated.
  • Remove the mixing bowl from the mixer stand. Add the sifted flour mixture in four parts, alternating with the sour cream mixture in three parts, stirring with a rubber scraper by hand after each addition until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and spread evenly. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the cake springs back when pressed gently with your finger and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes on a wire rack, then unmold and continue to cool completely on the wire rack.

Prepare the marshmallow buttercream:

  • Place the marshmallow creme and butter in a medium bowl and beat on medium speed until creamy. Add the sugar and pinch of salt, and mix until fluffy. Blend in the teaspoon of cream until smooth and creamy. Add more cream if you feel that it hasn't reached the desired consistency.

Prepare the ganache:

  • Place a large saute pan filled halfway with water on the stove top and heat over medium heat until warmed. Turn off the heat. Place the chopped chocolate and the cream in a heat proof bowl, and place the bowl in the warm water. Stir the chocolate and cream continually with a rubber scraper until the mixture has emulsified. Remove from the water and allow to cool until it has thickened slightly and is pouring consistency.

Assemble the cake:

  • Using a serrated knife or a cake leveler, remove the rounded tops off of each cake layer as level as possible so that the layers are flat on top.
  • Place a few pieces of waxed paper on your cake stand or serving platter, and place the bottom layer over that. Pour 2/3 of the marshmallow buttercream on the top of the bottom layer, and spread to within 1/4" of the edges. Turn the second cake layer upside down so the bottom of the cake is now the top with the trimmed side in the middle. This will make the top of your cake perfectly level. When the ganache has reached the right pourable consistency, pour it over the cake, spreading it gently to help it over the sides. Let the chocolate set before decorating, about 30 minutes to an hour at least.
  • Place the remaining marshmallow buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a #7 tip, and pipe the Hostess "squiggles" around the edges, and a little decorated squiggle in the middle. If you have any buttercream left over, pipe some in between the cake layers where ganache hasn't covered to make the filling more visible. Remove the waxed paper from the edges, serve, and enjoy!


  • Total time above includes 30 minutes for the cakes to cool, and 1 hour for the ganache to set before frosting. Cook time includes 10 minutes to cook the syrup for the marshmallow creme.
  • The cakes can be made the day ahead, and stored in an airtight container or wrapped well and kept at room temperature.
  • The marshmallow creme and ganache can also be made in advance. Simply warm the ganache to pourable consistency before ready to use.
  • *For the coffee, I used 1/2 cup boiling water and added 1 1/2 teaspoons instant espresso powder and stirred until dissolved. You can also use 1/2 cup of strongly brewed coffee.
  • *To get eggs to room temperature faster, place whole eggs in a bowl of warm water for 5-10 minutes.
  • *To get butter to room temperature faster, cut it up into small cubes and let sit out at room temp.
  • *For the ganache, you may use all semi-sweet or all bittersweet chocolate, if desired.
  • Cake recipe adapted from [Tante Marie Cooking School, San Francisco, CA, via Alice Medrich].  Ganache recipe by Flavor the Moments.


Serving: 1slice, Calories: 455kcal, Carbohydrates: 84g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 10g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 47mg, Sodium: 192mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 35g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Did you try this recipe?Be sure to tag @flavorthemoments with the hashtag #flavorthemoments on Instagram so I can see what you made!