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Copycat Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

  • Author: Natalie
  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cupcakes 1x
  • Category: cupcakes
  • Method: baking
  • Cuisine: american


The nostalgic cupcake classic made healthier! Vegan Hostess Cupcakes with a grain-free cake, easy cream filling, and rich chocolate ganache!



Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 1 cup (240g) unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup (125g) nut/seed butter of choice
  • 1/3 cup (105g) maple syrup or agave
  • 2oz semi-sweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup (25g) coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup (30g) arrowroot starch (or corn/tapioca starch)
  • 2 tbsp (10g) cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Cream Filling*

  • 1 1/2 cups (180g) raw cashews, soaked at least 3 hours
  • 1/4 cup (60g) full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (80g) maple syrup or agave
  • ¼ cup (25g) coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

Chocolate Ganache


  1. Soak the cashews in warm water for at least 3 hours.

  2. Drain and rinse the cashews. Blend all the ingredients for the filling until very smooth. Chill to thicken at least 3-4 hours (or make it the day before!)

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°F. 

  4. In a large mixing bowl, melt the dark chocolate for the cupcake batter.

  5. Whisk in applesauce, nut/seed butter, maple syrup, and vanilla (make sure all are at room temperature).

  6. Add coconut flour, arrowroot starch, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine.

  7. Grease 8 cavities of a cupcake pan. Scoop the batter into the pan, filling each ¾ of the way.

  8. Bake 30-35 minutes at 350°F.

  9. Cool 15 minutes in the pan, then gently remove from the pan and cool completely on a wire rack.

  10. When the cupcakes are cool, use a cupcake corer or teaspoon to create a cavity in the middle of each. 

  11. With a piping bag or spoon, fill each cupcake with cream filling.

  12. Melt the ganache ingredients together, whisk until smooth. Cool 10 minutes or so.

  13. Cover the top of each cupcake with a layer of chocolate ganache and refrigerate until ganache is set.

  14. Use a piping bag with a small round tip to pipe the classic swirl design on top

  15. And eat!


*You will have some leftover, but if you try to make a smaller batch it will not work in the blender. This cream works wonderfully for the filling but is a little tricky to pipe for the swirls on top, so if you want to use a vegan buttercream instead try this recipe: (without the matcha and mint extract, sub 1 tsp vanilla)

Keywords: gluten free, grain free, kids, childhood, copycat, chocolate, cream, ganache, dairy free, healthy, dessert