Ding Dong Cake

4.62 from 26 votes
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Ding Dong Cake – this is a rich chocolate cake that is a copycat of the classic Hostess Cupcake! It has the creamy filling, chocolate cake and topped with a decadent chocolate ganache.

When I was a kid one of my aunts always brought Ho Ho Cake or Ding Dong Cake to get togethers. Being that I am a huge chocolate lover, it was one of my favorites. That chocolate ganache with the creamy filling is just so darn good.

I have never been a huge fan of the Hostess cupcake because I think the chocolate tastes a little waxy. Obviously you don’t get that with the homemade version, and the chocolate cake is so rich and chocolate-y. If you like the original you are going to LOVE this one!

slice of ho ho cake on a white plate with a fork

 

We were more of a Little Debbie fan in our house when I was growing up. Which is why these Cosmic Brownies are still one of my favorites. But the hostess cupcakes always looked so good I wanted to like it. But there was just something about the cake that didn’t taste chocolate-y enough and the frosting kind of waxy.

So when my aunt started making this, I was all over it. It was an actual chocolate cake with real chocolate for the topping. So much better than any store bought kind for sure.

pouring cake batter into pans

What You’ll Need

  • Flour
  • White Sugar
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Baking Soda
  • Baking Powder
  • Salt
  • Buttermilk
  • Eggs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Hot Water
  • Whole Milk
  • Butter
  • Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
  • Heavy Cream
spreading cream filling on cake

I get it, the ingredient list is long. But you have 3 separate components to make, and trust me is it worth it! You can also work in stages by baking the cake one day. And then making the filling and assembling it the next.

I solved the problem of the cake from the original by using my favorite Chocolate Cake Recipe. It is super chocolate-y, rich, and almost fudgy.

top layer of cake placed over the cream

How To Make Ding Dong Cake

  1. Start by making the cake. Whisk together all of the dry ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together all of the wet ingredients (minus the water) in a bowl, and slowly mix them together. Stir in the hot water at the end. Pour into 2 8-inch cake pans and bake until they are cooked through.
  2. Once the cakes have baked let them cool completely before you start making the cream filling.
  3. To make the cream filling whisk together milk and flour until there are no lumps and it is completely smooth. Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is thick like pudding. You want to stir the entire time, it takes time, but you are looking for the consistency of pudding.
  4. Once the filling is thick remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Then let it COOL. You want it to be completely cooled or it will melt the butter in the next step.
  5. Once the mixture is cool start creaming your butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes. You want the mixture to be super light and fluffy. Slowly pour in the milk mixture and keep mixing until it is the consistency of a whipped cream frosting. Don’t worry if it separates at first and appears to curdle, keep going! Once you get past that stage it comes together and forms a whipped frosting.
  6. To assemble the cake place one cake on a plate or serving platter, then spread the cream filling over the top. Place the second cake over the filling. Then you just pour over your ganache (separate instructions below) and let it set up!
spreading chocolate ganache on cake

To Make Chocolate Ganache

Normally when making a ganache I like to heat the heavy cream and then stir in the chocolate until it melts. But because this is such a large amount, the instructions are just a little bit different.

  1. Pour chocolate chips and heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl. Heat for 1 minute.
  2. Remove from the microwave and stir until everything is smooth and completely melted.
  3. Pour over cake long the top and down the sides.

The Cream Filling

You don’t want to mix the cream filling together ahead of time, wait until you are ready to assemble the cake. it will set up and not spread easily if you make it ahead of time. My grandma always called this Boiled Milk Frosting. I even have a separate recipe card from her with this recipe. So if you want to use it as frosting on a cake or cupcake you definitely can!

ding dong cake with a slice missing

How To Get Cake Not To Stick To The Pans

My Number One Tip is to use parchment paper. They sell rounds that are already cut, but those seem like a waste to me because I don’t bake enough cakes. So I just take a piece of parchment paper, but the cake pan over it, use a pencil and trace the outline of the pan. Then take a scissors and cut just inside that line.

Place the parchment round in your and and then grease or use baking spray to spray the rest of the pan. That is the fool-proof way to not have the cake stick to the bottom of the pan!

ding dong cake on a white plate

Storage

I like to store this cake in the fridge. I just think it lasts longer and holds together better, but that isn’t necessary. If you do store it in the fridge, let slices come to room temperature before serving.

Yes, you can also freeze cake. It is easiest and you get the best results if you freeze individual slices. Just wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and place in an airtight container. Then just let them thaw in the fridge before serving.

You can can also freeze just the cake portion before you assemble. Wrap the cake in plastic wrap and store in the freezer until you are ready to assemble. Let the cake thaw in the fridge and come to room temperature before you assemble and frost.

close up ding dong cake for pinterst

More Tasty Chocolate Dessert Recipes

cropped close up ho ho cake
4.62 from 26 votes

Ding Dong Cake

By Erin
Ding Dong Cake – this is a rich chocolate cake that is a copycat of the classic Hostess Cupcake! It has the creamy filling, chocolate cake and topped with a decadent chocolate ganache.
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 45 minutes
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 10

Ingredients 

Cake

  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 whole large eggs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot water

Filling

  • 5 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extrat
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Ganache

Instructions 

To Make The Cake

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare 2 8-inch, round cake pans with parchment rounds (instructions in post above) or by greasing well and coating with flour. Set aside.
  • Whisk together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl whisk together buttermilk, eggs, vegetable oil and vanilla until well combined.
  • Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture and stir until mixed.
  • Pour in hot water and mix until well combined.
  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared baking pans.
  • Bake for 25-27 minutes until a tester comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and let cool in pans for 10 minutes, before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make Cream Filling

  • Whisk together milk and flour until there are no lumps and it is completely smooth.
  • Pour into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until it is thick like pudding, stirring frequently.
  • Be patient, this will take a few minutes. But you want it to be the consistency of pudding.
  • Once the filling is thick remove it from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Then let it COOL completely.
  • Once it is cool cream butter and sugar together for 4-5 minutes until it is light and fluffy.
  • Slowly pour in the milk mixture and keep mixing until it is the consistency of a whipped cream frosting. Don't worry if it separates at first and appears to curdle, keep going! Once you get past that stage it comes together and forms a whipped frosting.

To Make Ganache

  • Pour heavy cream and chocolate chips into a microwave safe bowl.
  • Heat for 60 seconds.
  • Remove and stir until completely melted and smooth.

To Assemble Cake

  • Place on cake on a plate or serving platter. Spread the cream filling evenly over the cake.
  • Place the second cake over the filling.
  • Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake and spread evenly over the top and down the sides.
  • Let the ganache set for about an hour before serving.

Notes

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 573kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 33g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 77mg | Sodium: 495mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Author: Erin
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert Recipes
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 573
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About Erin S

Welcome to Dinners, Dishes, & Desserts where my love of food meets my busy life. My name is Erin and I’m a casual home cook who loves to feed people. On this blog, you’ll find hundreds of quick and easy recipes made mostly from scratch. My days are spent in the kitchen, creating new recipes to share with family and friends.

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9 Comments

  1. It looks awesome! I do need a bit of help… I am in need of high altitude (over 6200 ft) instructions for the cake or the cake will turn into a giant brownie (). Thank you for your help.

    1. What kind of help do you need? At altitude you usually add about 2 Tablespoons of flour for each cup called for in a recipe. So if 2 cups are called for, use 2 1/4 cup. And you also increase the liquid by about 1/4 cup. Whatever alterations you normally made when baking, you would use those in the cake portion of this recipe.

  2. I made this and everything went great but the filling. Never got fluffy and was separated. I did use margarine instead of butter could that of been the problem? Mine was runny no matter how long I mixed.

    1. You need to use real butter, margarine has way more water and way less fat and will not act the same way in a recipe like this.