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Unofficial Snack Cake Guide: Homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes (2023)

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What is a Little Debbie Ding DongCraving something sweet? There’s nothing quite like a Little Debbie Ding Dong. That delicious combination of chocolate cake, creamy marshmallow filling, and smooth chocolate ganache is enough to make anyone weak in the knees! But have you ever thought about making your own homemade version? We’ll show you how easy it can be with our guide to Homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes.

Key Takeaways

  • Little Debbie Ding Dongs are iconic chocolate cakes filled with marshmallow.
  • Homemade Ding Dongs can be easily made with the right tools and ingredients.
  • The recipe for Ding Dongs involves using rich cocoa powder, sour cream, and a gelatin trick.
  • Ding Dongs are typically frosted with a chocolate ganache glaze and can be decorated by piping leftover filling.

What is a Little Debbie Ding Dong?

Though crafting homemade snack cakes may seem intimidating at first, with the right tools and ingredients, creating Little Debbie Ding Dong copycat recipes can be easy and fun. From an effective hand mixer and baking pans to cocoa powder, gelatin, and offset icing spatulas, you have everything you need for baking soft chocolate cupcakes, preparing marshmallow cream filling, and decorating with chocolate ganache.

Working step-by-step, you’ll soon master the process of assembling these yummy miniature cakes at home.

Kitchenaid Ultra Power Speed Hand Mixer Empire Red

KitchenAid 5 Ultra Power SpeedView On Amazon
You’ll appreciate the quiet power of this KitchenAid hand mixer in bold red for mixing up your Ding Dong cream filling. This compact, lightweight electric mixer features a powerful but quiet 60-watt motor.

It comes with dishwasher-safe beaters, a rubberized handle, push-button controls, and single-handed eject. Reviewers value the thorough mixing at lower speeds and quiet operation. Negative feedback noted the lack of a cord wrap or storage box and an ineffective voltage converter.

  • Quiet yet powerful motor
  • Multiple speed settings
  • Lightweight and easy to store
  • No cord storage
  • Voltage converter doesn’t work well

USA Pan Mini Cupcake Muffin Pan 24 Well Nonstick Steel

USA Pan Bakeware Mini CupcakeView On Amazon
Bake uniform mini muffins and cupcakes with USA Pan’s durable steel muffin pan. This high-quality baking pan features a heavy-gauge steel construction and a nonstick Americoat coating for even heating, easy release, and simple cleanup.

With 24 wells, you can make multiple mini muffin flavors at once. Users praise this commercial-grade pan for its durability and performance. The steel conducts heat well and withstands years of use. The nonstick surface releases mini muffins easily and wipes clean.

Made in the USA, this professional-style pan will level up your homemade baking.

  • Heavy-gauge steel construction
  • Nonstick Americoat surface
  • Even heat distribution
  • Easy release
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Handwash only
  • More expensive than basic pans
  • Not dishwasher safe

Silicone Spatula Set Heat Resistant Nonstick Reinforced Stainless Steel

Silicone Spatula Set, G.a HOMEFAVORView On Amazon
With these flexible, nonslip spatulas, you can stir up sweet memories in the kitchen. Give your baking a boost with this 6-piece silicone spatula set in pale green. The tapered heads are ideal for mixing, folding, and scooping batter for cupcakes, muffins, and more.

The BPA-free, food-grade silicone won’t scratch pans or bowls and is heat resistant up to 600°F. The reinforced cores add durability, while the stainless steel handles provide control.

  • BPA-free silicone won’t scratch surfaces.
  • Heat resistant up to 600°F.
  • Tapered heads for efficient mixing.
  • Ergonomic handles with reinforcement.
  • Requires handwashing.
  • Can retain odors over time.
  • Not as durable as metal spatulas.

Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set 3 Pieces 1QT 15QT 25QT

Pyrex Smart Essentials 3-Piece PrepwareView On Amazon
These durable Pyrex bowls let ya see what you’re mixin’ up. With three sizes, the 1-quart, 1.5-quart, and 2.5-quart round glass bowls are a handy and trusted set for preppin’, storin’, freezin’, and cookin’.

Made in the USA, Pyrex tempered glass bowls stand up to heat, cold, and daily use. The glass construction means no stains or smells linger. Ya get to keep an eye on ingredients as ya mix and microwave.

  • Durable tempered glass
  • Made in the USA
  • Withstands heat and cold
  • Stain and odor resistant
  • Allows visibility of ingredients
  • Microwave and oven safe
  • Range of sizes for tasks
  • Trusted quality and value
  • Not lightweight plastic
  • Not shatterproof
  • Handwash recommended
  • Small capacity for large tasks

Muchtolove Stainless Steel Measuring Cups Spoons Set

Muchtolove Measuring Cups and SpoonsView On Amazon
You’ll need the muchtolove measuring cup and spoon set for precise ingredient amounts when baking up those Ding Dongs. This 8-piece set provides all the essential measuring tools, with cups ranging from 250ml down to 15ml and spoons ranging from 5ml to 1.

25ml. The durable and rust-resistant stainless steel ensures longevity, while the non-slip wood handles offer a sturdy grip. Each piece is engraved with volume markings to ensure accuracy. This affordable set is suitable for both wet and dry ingredients, making it versatile for all your recipes, whether you’re baking cupcakes or prepping dinner.

  • Durable stainless steel
  • Non-slip wood handles
  • Engraved volume markings
  • Suitable for wet and dry ingredients
  • Affordable price
  • Inconsistent quality
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Packaging could be improved

Cake Icing Spatula Set Offset Stainless Steel Wooden Handle

Cake Icing Spatula Set ofView On Amazon
Offset your way to perfect frosting with this quality cake spatula set. The Awpeye spatula set includes four stainless steel offset spatulas and three plastic scrapers in an assortment of sizes to handle all your frosting, decorating, and spreading needs.

Sturdy stainless steel blades with ergonomic wooden handles provide good control for detailed work. While the handles could be of better quality, the set offers a choice of angles and lengths ideal for reaching into jars or frosting cake sides.

The set comes with its own zippered case, making it convenient for both baking and general kitchen use. The variety of angles and lengths accommodate different user preferences and tasks.

  • Versatile range of spatula styles and sizes
  • Sturdy stainless steel blades
  • Convenient zippered carrying case
  • Wooden handles could be better quality
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Lacks finger guard on blades

Morton Salt Regular Salt Pack of Three 26 Ounces

Morton Salt Regular Salt -View On Amazon
You can’t go wrong seasoning dishes with Morton’s salt pack. This classic 26-ounce container of plain table salt provides that familiar flavor you expect in your cooking. A sprinkle of salt can really make soups, meats, baked goods, and more come alive.

Made in the USA, Morton is a trusted brand that will meet your basic seasoning needs.

Some users find it more salty than expected, while others wish it had added iodine. Though reasonably priced, some felt the cost was higher than they hoped. But for a no-frills salt, you could do far worse.

  • Trusted brand
  • Good value
  • Anticaking agent prevents clumping
  • No iodine
  • Some find it overly salty
  • Higher price than generic brands

Hersheys Can Cocoa 8 Ounce

HersheyView On Amazon
Hershey’s can cocoa provides the nuanced flavor of unsweetened chocolate for your homemade ding dongs. This 8-ounce can contains protein and antioxidants from pure cocoa without added sugars. Measure out the rich powder to bake into your chocolate cake layers and cream fillings.

You’ll achieve an authentic chocolate taste without the artificial flavors of premixed products.

Use it daily in smoothies too for the health benefits of cocoa. This versatile product enriches all kinds of recipes from scratch.

  • Adds rich chocolate flavor without sweetness
  • Versatile for baking and cooking
  • Contains health benefits of cocoa
  • Allows control over sweetness level
  • Less expensive than premixed products
  • Packaging/seal issues reported
  • Can be messy to measure powder
  • Not as convenient as premixed chocolate
  • May require recipe adjustments
  • Some users found it too bitter

Knox Unflavored Gelatin Envelopes

Knox Unflavored Gelatin (4 Envelopes)View On Amazon
Adding Knox gelatin envelopes ensures your homemade Ding Dongs set up nicely with a smooth texture. These handy unflavored gelatin packets allow you to achieve the perfect creamy yet firm filling for your snack cakes.

Simply bloom the gelatin in water, then fold it into your creamy marshmallow mixture. The gelatin transforms the texture from a soft spread to a sliceable filling that won’t sink. It’s an easy way to replicate that nostalgic creamy filling we know and love in store-bought Ding Dongs.

You’ll love how these Knox gelatin envelopes:

  • Set the filling to the ideal creamy yet firm texture.
  • Allow you to slice and layer the filling cleanly.
  • Prevent the filling from sinking into the cake layers.

They dissolve quickly and smoothly and are easy to find and use.

Potential drawbacks include:

  • Imparting a slight aroma upon opening.
  • Requiring bloom time before use.
  • Adding an extra preparation step.

Exploring Different Snack Cake Styles

Exploring Different Snack Cake Styles
You’ve already learned about the classic Little Debbie Ding Dong, now let’s explore the wide world of snack cake styles and innovations.

Cream-filled chocolate cakes come in all shapes and sizes – round, rolled, plain, and more. Brands put their own spin on classics with new flavors like red velvet or salted caramel.

Packaging is part of the experience too, from the iconic yellow Twinkies box to the retro comic designs of Little Debbie. These snacks have cultural significance as nostalgic treats and symbols of indulgence.

Lately, there’s been a push for healthier options, but the core appeal endures. Whether homemade or store-bought, a fresh cream-filled chocolate cake satisfies a craving like nothing else.

Though new varieties come and go, you can always count on finding a tasty ding dong-style snack cake on the shelf.

Now that you’re an expert on all things snack cakes, go out and enjoy your favorite guilty pleasure without guilt!

Other Brand Favorites

Other Brand Favorites
You’re a snack cake lover who wants the scoop on Tastykake and Little Debbie. Of course, you should know that Tastykake has been delighting taste buds in Philadelphia since 1914 with cakes, pies, and other sweet treats made with quality ingredients.

What’s more, Little Debbie cakes like their signature Oatmeal Creme Pies and Ding Dongs have become iconic snacks across America, known for great convenience and value.

Tasty Kake

Your own hometown might even have beloved local brands of snack cakes to rely on.

  • Tastykake offers cream-filled chocolate cakes like their Kandy Kakes and mini donuts.
  • Comparing brands like Little Debbie and Hostess reveals slightly different textures and flavors.

When making homemade cupcakes, tips like using quality cocoa and chopped chocolate can make a difference.

The history of the Ding Dong dates back decades as a classic chocolate cake and cream snack.

Snack cakes can evoke sweet treat memories from childhood or simpler times.

Little Debbie’s Ding Dong stands out with its distinctive name and taste profile as a cream-filled chocolate snack cake. Tastykake and other brands also satisfy cravings for these sweet, nostalgic treats.

Little Debbie

Step it up from Twinkies—Hostess cupcakes got nothing on your homemade Ding Dong cupcakes. The humble beginning of Ding Dongs started with Little Debbie. Their array of family favorites includes the classic chocolate bells to more indulgent cream-filled Ding Dongs.

Recreation of the iconic chocolate cake and creamy filling, with its distinct foil wrap. Snacking nostalgia in every bite. Today’s offerings may include mini or topped varieties, but the original cake formula with smooth frosting endures.

Why This Ding Dong Recipe Works

Why This Ding Dong Recipe Works
This beloved recipe nails the rich chocolate cake and creamy marshmallow filling of a Little Debbie Ding Dong, triggering intense nostalgia with every perfect homemade bite.

  • Decadent Cocoa Powder: Using Hershey’s unsweetened cocoa develops deep, authentic chocolate flavor in the cake.
  • Sour Cream Addition: The tang of sour cream balances the sweetness and lends moisture.
  • Gelatin Trick: Adding gelatin to the filling allows it to set up nicely without becoming too firm.
  • Frosting Technique: Spreading chocolate ganache over the cupcakes results in an ultra-chocolaty glaze.
  • Decorative Accents: Piping leftover filling on top mimics the signature squiggle and completes the Ding Dong look.

With the ideal texture and true-to-the-original taste, this easy recipe yields snack cakes reminiscent of childhood delight. The chocolate-marshmallow combo evokes cozy memories, making these the perfect treat to recreate and share.

Step by Step Instructions for Homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes

Step by Step Instructions for Homemade Ding Dong Cupcakes
Once cooled, carefully cut a cone from the top of each cupcake and fill the hole with the marshmallow filling for a homemade Ding Dong treat.

Step 1: Make the chocolate cupcake batter and divide it between lined muffin cups.

Step 2: Make the marshmallow filling and refrigerate it until set. Also, make the chocolate ganache glaze and let it cool until thickened.

Step 3: Use a paring knife to cut a cone shape in the top of the cooled cupcakes.

Step 4: Pipe or spoon the marshmallow filling into the hole in each cupcake.

Step 5: Dip the tops of the filled cupcakes in the ganache glaze and let them set.

Follow this simple homemade Ding Dong cupcake recipe for a sweet treat reminiscent of the Little Debbie snack cakes. You can also try flavor variations like peanut butter or cookies & cream for fun twists.

To take things up a notch, consider decorating the cupcakes with sprinkles or drizzled caramel.

Can You Freeze Ding Dong Cake?

Can You Freeze Ding Dong Cake
However you choose to tag and wrap the slices, take special care that the cream filling is fully sealed from exposure before freezing your Ding Dong cake. Freezing homemade Ding Dong cake allows you to enjoy your delicious dessert for months to come.

  1. Allow the cake to cool completely before freezing. This prevents condensation inside the packaging.
  2. Use plastic wrap or aluminum foil to seal each cake slice, pressing it directly against the filling and ganache.
  3. Place individually wrapped slices in freezer bags or airtight containers, removing as much air as possible.
  4. Freeze cake slices for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.

With a quality freezer and proper packaging technique, you can capture the fresh homemade flavors of your Ding Dong cake to enjoy later. Wrap each slice carefully to prevent freezer burn. Label and organize your frozen treats.

Savor the last slice months down the line, and your efforts will be well rewarded! By freezing the cake, you can spread out the delight far beyond baking day.


You can now make your own Ding Dongs in the comfort of your own home with this simple yet delicious recipe. Every bite will be packed with intense chocolate flavor and a creamy marshmallow filling.

The homemade version of this Little Debbie classic is made with simple ingredients like cocoa powder, chocolate chips, sugar, and butter. With the help of a few kitchen tools like measuring cups, mixing bowls, and a silicone spatula, you can easily prepare these decadent treats.

Plus, you can freeze the cupcakes for up to three months for a future snack. So why not give this homemade Ding Dong recipe a try? You won’t regret it!

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is an author and software engineer from the United States, I and a group of experts made this blog with the aim of answering all the unanswered questions to help as many people as possible.