This Ding Dong cake is homemade big version of the Hostess Ding Dongs! This a two layer chocolate cake filled with a cream center. The cake is topped with a chocolate ganache. It has all of the best features of Ding Dongs, but in a homemade cake!
This Ding Dong cake is a homemade cake with all of the flavors and the look of a large Ding Dong. It tastes and feels like a fresh Ding Dong, with moist chocolate cake and a fresh homemade cream filling. The ganache on top of the cake completes the look.
Why This Ding Dong Cake Recipe Works
- Better than Ding Dongs- This cake takes everything great about a Ding Dong and improves it! It has that chocolate cake and fluffy cream filling, but the flavors and textures are even fresher!
- Perfect texture- This Ding Dong cake has moist cake with a tender texture.
- Creamy filling- The cream filling has that same texture as a Ding Dong, but fresh and homemade!
Ingredient Notes For Ding Dong Cake
Here are some notes on the ingredients. For a full list of ingredients, check out the recipe card below.
- Unsweetened cocoa powder- I strongly recommend dutch process cocoa powder for a more rich chocolate flavor. This is the one I used.
- Oil- Use canola oil, vegetable oil, or olive oil.
- Eggs- Pull the large eggs out 2 hours before baking to get room temperature eggs.
- Buttermilk- Use full fat or reduced fat buttermilk. Pull this out 2 hours before baking.
- Hot water- The water needs to be steaming. The hot water helps to bloom the chocolate. You can also use hot coffee instead.
- Chocolate Chips- Use semi-sweet chocolate chips for the best flavor as milk chocolate will be too sweet.
- Milk- Use any kind of milk.
- Dairy free- You can use your favorite dairy free options for this recipe!
- Gluten free- I haven't tested this gluten free. Let me know if you do.
- Buttermilk- You can also do 1 cup of milk with 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice. Let it sit for 10 minutes before using.
Step By Step Instructions- Chocolate Cake Layers
Here is how to make and bake these Ding Dong cake layers.
STEP 1: Prep. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Then, spray two 6-inch round cake pans with baking spray. Line the bottoms of the pans with parchment paper and spray them again.
STEP 2: Dry ingredients. Sift the all purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt together in a medium bowl.
STEP 3: Wet ingredients. Use a stove to heat the water until steaming. Meanwhile, add the eggs, oil, vanilla extract, and buttermilk to a separate bowl. Add the hot water to the wet ingredients while continuously mixing. Go slowly so the eggs do not cook.
STEP 4: Combine. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix them until they are just combined. Be careful not to over mix them.
STEP 5: Divide batter. Pour the batter evenly between the 2 cake pans.
STEP 6: Bake. Bake the cakes for 25-28 minutes. They are done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
STEP 7: Cool. Let the cakes cool in the hot pans for 10 minutes. Then, transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Step By Step Instructions- Cream Filling
Here is how to make and bake the cream filling. This recipes uses a stand mixer.
STEP 1: Thicken milk. Add the milk and flour to a saucepan and heat it over medium heat on the stove. Continuously whisk it until the milk mixture has thickened. This will take about 2 minutes after the milk is heated up.
STEP 2: Cool. Pour your milk mixture into a bowl and let it cool completely.
STEP 3: Beat butter and sugar. Use a mixer to beat the butter and sugar together on high speed for 3 minutes. While still on high speed, slowly add the milk mixture and then vanilla.
STEP 4: Beat filling. Once the ingredients are all mixed in let the mixer run on high speed for 5 minutes. The filling should be close to whipped cream in texture.
Step By Step Instructions- Assembly
Here is how to make the ganache and assemble the Ding Dong cake.
STEP 1: Level cakes. Use a serrated knife to cut any uneven domes off the top of your cakes.
STEP 2: Place layers. Place the first cake layer down on your decorating space. Then, spread 1 cup of the cream filling evenly over cake. Place the second cake layer with the flat bottom side facing up for a flat top.
STEP 3: Smooth filling. Use an icing spatula to smooth out the filling around the edge of the cake. Fill in any gaps and make sure there is only a light layer of filling on the outside.
STEP 4: Freeze. Place the whole cake in the freezer for 10 minutes.
STEP 5: Heat ganache. While the cake is freezing, add the heavy cream to a small saucepan. Heat it over medium-low heat on the stove until it begins steaming. Then, place the chocolate chips in a bowl and pour the steaming cream over them. Let this sit for 2 minutes.
STEP 6: Mix ganache. Mix the ganache together with a rubber spatula. Make sure it is smooth with all of the chocolate melted in.
STEP 7: Pour ganache. Place the cake on a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch the ganache drips. Then, pour the ganache over the cake making sure to coat the entire cake.
STEP 8: Chill. Place the cake in the freezer to let the cake cool for 10 minutes before serving it.
Optional: Decorate the cake with the classic Hostess swirl.
Expert Baking Tips
- Properly measure the flour- Make sure the flour is spooned and leveled. If you stick the measuring cup directly into the flour, it will compact the flour. Compacted flour can cause the cake to be dry.
- To easily remove the cake from the pan, make sure to first spray the pan with baking nonstick spray. Missing a spot can lead to the cake sticking to the pan.
- For high altitude baking add 2 tablespoon of flour to the cake batter.
- When adding the cream layer use an offset spatula to spread it in an even layer.
- For a cleaner cut use a sharp knife and clean it off between cuts.
A Ding Dong is a small snack cake made with chocolate cake, a cream filling, and chocolate coating on the outside. This layer cake mimics that with chocolate cake layers, a cream filling that matches the texture, and a ganache coating.
Yes you can make the cake ahead of time! Once the cake layers are done cooling, wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Then, freeze up to 30 days. Pull them out 1 hour before decorating.
Yes it can! This recipe makes 12 cupcakes. If you put the filling inside the cupcakes they will be just like the Hostess cupcakes!
- You can make this into a three layer cake.
- To save time you can skip the swirl on top of the cake.
Storing and Freezing
Store this Ding Dong cake in an airtight container like a cake carrier. Store in the fridge up to 5 days.
You can freeze the Ding Dong cake in individual slices. Place the cake slices in an airtight container and freeze up to 30 days.
Other Chocolate Layered Cake Recipes To Try
Try These Chocolate Cakes
- Triple chocolate cake
- Mint chocolate chip cake
- Blueberry chocolate cake
- Chocolate ganache cake
- Oreo cake
Ding Dong Cake
- 1 cup All-purpose flour
- ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- 1 teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- 2 Large eggs room temperature
- ½ cup Oil canola or vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Buttermilk room temperature
- ½ cup Hot water steaming
- 2 tablespoon All-purpose flour
- ½ cup Milk
- 1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup Unsalted butter room temperature
- ½ cup White granulated sugar
- 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cup Heavy cream
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Spray two 6-inch cake pans with baking spray. Line the bottoms with 6-inch parchment paper circles. Spray again.
- In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda. Add the sugar and salt. Set aside.1 cup All-purpose flour, ½ cup Unsweetened cocoa powder, ½ teaspoon Baking soda, 1 teaspoon Baking powder, ½ teaspoon Salt, ¾ cup White granulated sugar
- Heat the water on the stove until steaming. In a separate bowl, add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and buttermilk. Then, slowly mix in the hot water. Go slow to not overcook the eggs.2 Large eggs, ½ cup Oil, 1 teaspoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ cup Buttermilk, ½ cup Hot water
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry and use a whisk to mix until just combined. Be sure not to over mix.
- Pour the batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Let the cakes sit in the hot pans for 10 minutes. Then, transfer to a cooling rack. Cool the cake completely before using.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, add the milk and flour. Continuously whisk the milk. Do this until the milk mixture has thickened. Once the milk heats up, this will only take about 2 minutes.2 tablespoon All-purpose flour, ½ cup Milk
- Pour the thick the milk mixture to a separate bowl. Cool completely before continuing.
- Using a mixer, beat the butter and sugar on high speed for 3 minutes. Keep the speed on high and very slowly add in the milk mixture. Then, add in the vanilla.1 tablespoon Pure vanilla extract, ½ cup Unsalted butter, ½ cup White granulated sugar
- Once all mixed in, beat on high speed for 5 minutes. The result will be almost like whipped cream.
- Heat the heavy cream in a saucepan over medium-low heat until steaming. Pour the chocolate chips into a large bowl (I used glass to keep the heat). Pour the hot cream over the chocolate chips. Let it sit for 2 minutes.¾ cup Heavy cream, 1 cup Semi-sweet chocolate chips
- Use a rubber spatula to mix the chocolate together until smooth.
- Use a serrated knife to cut off any uneven domes on the cakes.
- Place the 1st cake layer down. Spread 1 cup of the cream filling evenly over the cake. Place the second cake layer with the bottom of the cake facing up.
- Use an icing spatula to smooth the cream filling around the side of the cake. Make sure all gaps are filled. It should be a very light layer.
- Freeze for 10 minutes. Start the chocolate ganache now. Place cake over wire rack with a cookie sheet underneath (to catch the mess). Pour the chocolate ganache over the cake. Pour until the cake is completely coated.
- Place the cake in the freezer for 10 minutes before serving. Optional: Top with Hostess ding dongs.