Ding Dongs: Got A Craving? Make Your Own!

With the news that Hostess has filed for bankruptcy and is soon shutting down business forever comes the hope that some gracious company will scoop up the name and all the recipes and keep the Twinkie...
Ding Dongs: Got A Craving? Make Your Own!
Written by Amanda Crum
  • With the news that Hostess has filed for bankruptcy and is soon shutting down business forever comes the hope that some gracious company will scoop up the name and all the recipes and keep the Twinkie/Ding Dong legacy alive forever; however, the uncertainty is keeping many Hostess fans on edge and have sent some on shopping sprees to stock up on their favorites.

    But I have a secret, chocolate fans: you can make your own.

    It’s difficult to make your own version of a beloved treat; they rarely taste the same. But after scouring the internet, I found a recipe for what looks to be a really good (if not a bit time-consuming) imitation of a Ding Dong. You’re welcome.

    (Makes about 15)

    What you’ll need:

    2 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
    1 cups hot brewed coffee
    2 cups sugar
    1 2/3 cups flour
    1 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
    1 1/3 tsp baking soda
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp salt
    2 eggs
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    1 cup well-shaken buttermilk
    1/2 tsp vanilla

    What you’ll need to do:

    Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper. If you don’t have 10-inch cake pans, you can make 2 9-inch cake pans and a dozen cupcakes.

    Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

    Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

    Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 1 hour.

    Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

    Seven Minute Frosting

    1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
    3 large egg whites
    1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

    In large metal bowl, whisk together 1/3 cup water, sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt. Set bowl over pan of barely simmering water and mix with handheld electric mixer at low speed. Gradually increase speed to high, beating until mixture holds stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.

    Transfer bowl from pan to folded kitchen towel on counter and continue beating until mixture is cool and billowy, about 2 minutes more. Beat in vanilla. (Frosting can be made 4 hours ahead and chilled, covered.)


    1 cup heavy cream
    1 Tbsp unsalted butter
    12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces

    Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

    Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.


    Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a small round cookie cutter to cut small circles of cake out of the layers. Enjoy the scraps or save them for cake balls.

    Using the cone method, scoop out a small portion of cake from each circle. Fill with 7-minute frosting and replace top of cake.

    Using a pastry brush or spoon, cover individual cakes with ganache. Allow ganache to completely set up before serving.

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