Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes

by Jillian

A sweet vanilla version of the classic Chocolate Hostess Cupcakes, complete with a moist vanilla cake, fluffy marshmallow creme, a luscious vanilla glaze, and of course, those cute little squiggles!

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

A couple of months ago, I posted a recipe for Homemade Hostess Cupcakes, which turned out to be a HUMONGO hit!!

Hostess Cupcake

So this got me to thinking…why not create a white, or vanilla, version of this iconic American delicacy? When it comes to cakes, I tend to be more of a white cake fanatic, so for me, this HAD to be good!


 Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

Now, for those chocolate cake fiends out there, I still strongly encourage you to try these Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes out. They’re a great twist on the original, and you might be very pleasantly surprised by how much you’ll love the delicate vanilla flavor of these. The cake has just a hint of almond extract in it, which really enhances the rich vanilla flavor in these cupcakes!


For those of you who know me well, if I make a cake, it has to be moist! I don’t like any of that dry, hard, crumbly stuff. So how do we achieve this?

Greek yogurt!!

…Or sour cream, if it’s more accessible. 


Similar to my chocolate Homemade Hostess Cupcakes, I started with a boxed cake mix for this recipe as well. Now, I know there’s a lot of people out there who tend to stick their noses up at the use of boxed cake mixes. However, I believe that they serve as a great base for certain recipes, especially those that involve a lot of different components like this recipe. All it takes is a little doctoring up to make a super flavorful, delicately moist cake out of a plain old box of cake mix!


The creme filling is the same recipe that I used for the chocolate cupcakes. There really was no need to try and improve on the filling since it tastes JUST like the original. It’s fluffy, gooey, and temptingly sweet! Everything you love about those Hostess Cupcakes and Twinkies!

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

 I decided to go with a simple powdered sugar glaze for these cupcakes. Yet, I still wanted it to be thick enough to coat the tops without running down the sides too much. To achieve this, I made the glaze a little thicker than normal. I also took my time in allowing the excess to drip off when dipping the cupcakes, but if you’re fine with a little drippage, don’t stress it! I’m just too much of a perfectionist for my own good sometimes…

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

I went with red as the color for the squiggle icing since my cupcake liners were red, but any color will do! Blue, green, pink, purple, black, tie-dye! Well, maybe not tie-dye…but that would be pretty cool!

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

Although there are four different components to this recipe, I tried to make it as simple as I could for you. Hence, the boxed cake mix. However, it’s so worth it!

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

For a little instruction on filling these little clouds with fluffy goodness as well as dipping them, head on over to my post for the Homemade Hostess Cupcakes. Feel free to make those instead if you’re more of a chocolate lover.

Though if it were me, I’d make BOTH

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

Just sayin’.

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes | A baJillian Recipes

Vanilla Hostess Cupcakes

A sweet vanilla version of the classic Chocolate Hostess Cupcakes, complete with a moist vanilla cake, fluffy marshmallow creme, a luscious vanilla glaze, and of course, those cute little squiggles!
Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Refrigeration Time 20 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 2 Dozen


For the Cupcakes

  • 1 box white cake mix*
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup water
  • cup milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon almond extract (optional)

For the Filling

  • 2 teaspoons hot water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (7 oz) jar marshmallow creme
  • ½ cup shortening
  • cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the Glaze

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

For the Icing

  • ½ cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • 1 ½ teaspoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • Food coloring any color


For the Cupcakes

  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line a cupcake tin with liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the cake mix, flour, sugar, and salt. Add in the rest of the ingredients and stir for about a minute until combined.
  • Bake for 17-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow cupcakes to cool in tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the Filling

  • Combine the hot water and salt in a small bowl and stir until dissolved. Let mixture cool.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat together the marshmallow creme and the shortening until combined.
  • Add in the powdered sugar and vanilla and mix on high speed until fluffy--about 2 minutes.
  • Add the salt solution to the mixture and mix until combined.
  • Transfer filling to a pastry bag fitted with a tip.

For the Glaze

  • In a medium bowl, stir together all of the ingredients until no lumps remain.

For the Icing

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the powdered sugar, butter, milk, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add in a few drops of food coloring (any color) and stir until you've reached the desired color.
  • Transfer icing to a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip**

To Assemble

  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, push the tip of your pastry bag with the filling into the center of the cupcake and squeeze the filling out as you slowly pull the tip out. Smooth down any filling that is sticking out with a butter knife or offset spatula.
  • After all the cupcakes have been filled, dip the top of each cupcake one at a time into the glaze. Allow excess glaze to drip off and place on a wire rack or baking sheet. Refrigerate dipped cupcakes for ten minutes, allowing to set. Remove cupcakes from refrigerator and dip a second time. Return cupcakes to the refrigerator, allowing the glaze to set up once again.
  • Once cupcakes have set, you are ready to pipe on the icing. Using your pastry bag, draw curls across the top of the cupcake.


* You can also substitute yellow cake mix, if you don't have white.
**I used Wilton's #2 tip. You can also use a plastic zip-top bag with the tip of the corner cut off.
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Stephanie July 29, 2014 - 4:26 AM

I can’t wait to try these! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

Mary July 28, 2014 - 6:28 PM

These look fantastic. I’d much prefer a vanilla version of these. Definitely gonna pin these to make later!

Alesha @ Full Time Mama July 28, 2014 - 5:57 PM

I’m with you- Both is the way to go! 🙂 These would be fun to make and decorate like baseballs for a party, too!
Thanks so much for sharing with us at Delicious Dish Tuesday! We hope to see you back again tomorrow will another great recipe!

Katherines Corner July 22, 2014 - 11:53 PM

These are super!!! I am hopping over from tasty Tuesday. I hope you will share this at my hop on Thursday too. Hugs!

Jillian July 22, 2014 - 11:59 PM

Thanks Katherine! I’ll definitely hop on over to share them on your blog Thursday 😀


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