Desserts

Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

If you love those cream-filled chocolate cupcakes from the grocery store, then save yourself a trip and make this healthier version at home instead! These Vegan Hostess Cupcakes are decadent, indulgent and made with healthier ingredients. It's a rich chocolate cupcake that is filled with a cashew cream center, then topped with a dairy free ganache and a swirl of icing.

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vegan and gluten free hostess cupcakes on a wire rack with the one in the center having a bite taken out of it to show the cashew cream filling.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Vegan Hostess Cupcakes are decadent, indulgent and made with healthier ingredients.
  • As written, this recipe is dairy free, plant-based, vegan and gluten free.
  • It’s filled with a cashew cream center that is perfectly sweet and tangy.
  • The chocolate cupcake is soft, moist and fluffy.
  • The topping is a sweet, two ingredient coconut ganache that is very decadent.
  • SO good, you’d never believe they are healthier.
  • MUCH better than the store-bought version.
  • If you loved this one, be sure to check out my Cosmic Brownies for another throwback recipe.

Ingredients And Substitutions

These are the main ingredients and substitutions for Vegan Hostess Cupcakes. Scroll down to the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and instructions.

To keep this recipe gluten free, it’s important to use a 1:1 gluten free flour. I prefer King Arthur’s, but Bob’s Red Mill works great too- it just tends to have a more gummy texture.

Cacao powder will create that deep rich chocolate flavor.

To enhance the chocolate flavor, I added in melted dairy free chocolate chips.

I used coconut sugar in this recipe to sweeten it up, but you can easily swap for cane sugar if desired.

Baking soda and baking powder will work together to create a fluffy texture.

A touch of salt to balance out all the flavors.

To keep this recipe dairy free, I used almond milk. Oat milk, cashew milk, or coconut milk will work the same. If you do not need this recipe to be dairy free then regular milk works great too.

Vanilla extract is necessary for any baked good.

Coconut oil will add a nice moist texture to these muffins. You can sub for any other oil if preferred.

Apple sauce is a well-known substitute for butter and oil in baking recipes, it’s used for moisture and overall flavor. You can substitute for more oil or dairy free butter.

A squeeze of lemon juice adds nice acidic and also helps to activate the baking soda and baking powder in this recipe. You can add in apple cider vinegar or white vinegar instead.

all the ingredients you need to make these cupcakes

How To Make

ONE: Start by making the cupcakes, combine the dry ingredients, then add in the wet ingredients. Use a whisk to combine until you have a thick batter.

TWO: Immediately add batter to coated muffin liners and bake. Let cool for 45 minutes.

THREE: In the meantime, make the cashew cream filling. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you’re ready to use.

FOUR: When ready, use a pipping tip to remove the center of each cupcake and then fill with the cream filling. Add the cupcake top back over the filling and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

FIVE: Make the chocolate ganache in the meantime, then dip each cupcake into the ganache and place back in the fridge for 20 minutes, remove and dip a second time. Return to the fridge for 20 more minutes.

SIX: Lastly, add the swirl icing on top and enjoy!

Tips And Tricks

This recipe is not hard to make, it just takes time so be patient with each step to avoid and mess ups.

It’s important to allow the cupcakes to cool completely before removing the center. Use a pipping tool for this, press it in gently but firmly and then turn it slightly as you pull up. Use a toothpick to poke it out. Leave it whole so it’s easy to place back in the center.

The cashews must be soaked in boiling water before blending. This will allow them to blend smooth and creamy with no clumps.

Double coating the cupcakes in the chocolate ganache is not necessary, but it’s highly recommended for the best texture.

How To Serve And Store

Enjoy these Vegan Hostess Cupcakes straight out of the fridge, once the chocolate ganache and icing has hardened.

Store in the fridge in an airtight container and enjoy up to 3-5 days.

a hand holding one of the cupcakes with a bite taken out of it.

Taste And Texture

These Vegan and Gluten-free Hostess Cupcakes taste like the real deal! They have a rich and indulgent chocolate flavor, a fudgy and creamy topping that is delicious to bite into with the most insane sweet and tangy cashew cream filling.

Frequently Asked Questions

If i’m not gluten free, can I use regular all purpose flour?

Yes! it’s a 1:1 swap.

Can I use almond flour or coconut flour?

No unfortunately, it is not a 1:1 swap for the gluten free flour blend.

What can I use instead of cashews for the filling?

You could use a simple dairy free buttercream frosting, or use marshmallow fluff.

Other Recipes You May Like

If you make these Vegan Hostess Cupcakes, I would really appreciate a comment and rating down below, under the recipe card. Don’t forget to take a picture and tag me over on InstagramTiktok or Pinterest!

Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

If you love those cream-filled chocolate cupcakes from the grocery store, then save yourself a trip and make this healthier version at home instead! These Vegan Hostess Cupcakes are decadent, indulgent and made with healthier ingredients. It's a rich chocolate cupcake that is filled with a cashew cream center, then topped with a dairy free ganache and a swirl of icing.
Pin Recipe
PREP TIME:
1 hour 30 minutes
COOK TIME:
20 minutes
TOTAL TIME:
2 hours, 30 minutes
Author - Hannah

Ingredients

Hostess cupcakes

  • 1.5 cups 1:1 gluten free flour, may sub all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup cacao powder
  • 1 cup coconut sugar, can sub cane sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/4 cup melted dairy free chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted. may sub any other oil
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce, can sub more oil or butter
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Cashew filling

  • 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2/3 cup coconut cream (1-15oz can, thick part only)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup, may sub agave or honey
  • 1/4 cup vegan cream cheese
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Chocolate Ganache

  • 2/3 cup coconut cream (1-15oz can, thick part only)
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy chocolate chips

Icing for the swirl

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 tsp almond milk

SCALE:

1X

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and prepare a cupcake tin by lining it with liners. Coat each liner with non-stick spray and set aside.
  2. Start by making the cupcakes, in a sifter, over a large mixing bowl, add in gluten free flour and cacao powder and then sift into the bowl. This ensures there are no clumps.
  3. Next, add in the coconut sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Whisk until dry ingredients are well incorporated.
  4. Add in almond milk, melted dairy free chocolate chips, vanilla, melted coconut oil, apple sauce and lemon juice. Use a whisk to gently combine ingredients until just combined. Don't over-mix batter.
  5. Use a double cookie scoop and add batter to prepared muffin liners and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before transferring cupcakes to a wire rack to finish cooling completely- about 35 minutes. Be careful transferring them as they are delicate. Use a spoon to help take them out of the muffin tin.
  6. In the meantime, make the cashew cream filling. Add all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth and creamy, about 30-45 seconds. Pour filling into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until you're ready to use.
  7. When ready, use a pipping tip to remove the center of each cupcake. Gently, but firmly press it into the center and then twist to the right as you lift up. Use a toothpick to push out the cake from the tip and set aside.
  8. Add the cashew cream into a pipping bag, you can also use a ziplock baggie, you won't need to full amount- only about half of what the batch made. Cut off the tip and then fill each cupcake with the filling. Place the cut-out cake back into the cupcake to cover the cream.
  9. Place cupcakes in the fridge to set for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  10. When ready, make the chocolate ganache. Add the thick part ONLY of the coconut cream into a small saucepan with the chocolate chips. Mix consistently over low heat until the two are combined together. You should be left with a thick ganache. Pour the ganache into a small bowl.
  11. Remove the cupcakes from the fridge and dip each top into the ganache and place back in the fridge for 10 minutes, remove and dip a second time. Return to the fridge for 20 more minutes.
  12. Lastly, make the icing for the swirl on top. Combine powdered sugar and almond milk until you have a very thick frosting. Add mixture into a pipping bag and cut off the end.
  13. Remove cupcakes from the fridge and add the swirl icing on top.
  14. Place back in the fridge for 10 minutes to firm up and enjoy!!

Notes

  • This recipe is not hard to make, it just takes time so be patient with each step to avoid any mess ups.
  • It's important to allow the cupcakes to cool completely before removing the center. Use a pipping tool for this, press it in gently but firmly and then turn it slightly as you pull up. Use a toothpick to poke it out. Leave it whole so it's easy to place back in the center.
  • The cashews must be soaked in boiling water before blending. This will allow them to blend smooth and creamy with no clumps.
  • Double coating the cupcakes in the chocolate ganache is not necessary, but it's highly recommended for the best texture.
  • For the icing swirl on top, you want a really thick icing. So add in more powdered sugar if needed.

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