These Copycat Vegan Hostess Cupcakes are so fun to make and a delicious vegan alternative that EVERYONE will love! Great for parties, holidays, or just because :)

I’ve been wanting to make these cupcakes for YEARS now and I’m excited that I finally got the chance to work on the recipe! I’m very proud of how these turned out and I can’t wait for you to give them a try.

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The base of the cupcakes is based off of my Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes recipe that I’ve been in love with for years. I also used my vegan ganache recipe for the topping. Once I realized that I already had the main elements of this recipe tested and ready to go, the whole thing came together pretty quickly.

chocolate hostess cupcakes from the top down with white swirled frosting on top

I’m not gonna lie to: these cupcakes are relatively simple to make BUT they do take a while to put together. There are several different elements to this recipe and while they’re all pretty simple on their own, it does take a bit of time to get everything ready.

HOWEVER, I promise that it’s totally worth it! :)

bite taken out of a chocolate homemade hostess cupcake wit more in the background

Ans don’t worry- I did you a favor on this one and did NOT even bother calculating the nutritional info on these. Sometimes It’s best to simply indulge in peace and ignorant bliss.

That’s it for today! I’m keeping this super short and VERY sweet! ENJOY!

bite taken out of a chocolate homemade hostess cupcake wit more in the background

Don’t forget to tag me on social media if you end up making this recipe! I always love to see what y’all are getting up to in the kitchen!

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chocolate hostess cupcakes from the top down with white swirled frosting on top

Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

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  • Author: Brita Britnell
  • Total Time: 0 hours
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


These Hostess Copycat Cupcakes are so fun to make and absolutely delicious!


Units Scale

For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups of organic cane sugar or granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup of cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of espresso powder
  • 2/3 cup of melted coconut oil (get unrefined if you want it to be virtually tasteless), vegetable or canola oil also work
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 1 1/2 cups of milk, any kind works here,, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of apple sauce unsweetened, at room temperature*

For the filling:

  • 1/4 cup of vegan butter, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening, at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon of plant based milk

For the ganache:

  • 4 oz of semisweet or dark chocolate (vegan)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons of thick coconut cream (the solid part and not the liquid)

The icing piping:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk of choice


For the cupcakes:

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 cupcake tins (makes roughly 18-20 cupcakes) and spray the inside of the liners with cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl or measuring cup, stir together the apple cider vinegar and milk. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or a large bowl with an electric mixer or even just a whisk), combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and espresso powder. Mix.
  4. Add in the oil, milk/ apple cider vinegar mixture, vanilla, almond extract, and apple sauce. Mix until just combined (be careful not to over mix), scrapping down the sides as needed.
  5. Pour the batter evenly between your cupcake tins filling each about 3/4 of the way full. I’ve made this where I filled them pretty high and got 18 cupcakes and another time where I ended up with 20.
  6. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Let cool before frosting.

For the filling:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat together the butter and shortening with an electric mixer or stand mixer until fluffy, about 2 minutes. 
  2. Add in the sugar and continue to beat for 3 more minutes. 
  3. Finally, add in the vanilla and milk and beat for 3 more minutes until it’s nice and fluffy. Place in the fridge to chill until ready to use. Once ready, place into a large piping bag with a thick tip.

For the ganache:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave (in 30 second increments) or in a double boiler. Whisk in the milk and oil until fully combined and smooth.

For the icing piping:

  1. In a medium bowl, beat the butter until smooth, about 1 minute. Add in the powdered sugar and milk and beat until combined and smooth. Place into a small piping bag with a thin tip.

To assemble:

  1. Taking one cooled cupcake at a time, place the tip of the filling bag into the cupcakes and press down lightly so that the tip is roughly in the center of the cupcake. Squeeze the filling into the cupcake slowly but steadily until it starts it puff up and come out the top a bit. keep squeezing as you gently pull the piping bag out of the cupcake. If you can spare a cupcake, I like to cut the first one open to see how well it was filled up so I know how much more to squeeze in the remaining ones. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
  2. Dip the top of each cupcake into the ganache filling and roll the top around gently so that the top is fully covered in the ganache. Repeat with all of the cupcakes. Place the cupcakes into the fridge to chill until the ganache is hardened and set.
  3. Once ready, pipe the icing on to the top of each cupcake in the classic swirled pattern.
  4. ENJOY!


I suggest storing the leftovers in the fridge and enjoying within 4 days.

  • Prep Time: 35 minutets
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: cupcakes
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american