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Ding Dong Cake Recipe

Ding Dong Cake is like a grown up version of the classic Hostess snack cakes. But even better when made from scratch!

Making this cake brought back so many childhood memories of unwrapping those little foil-covered treats.

That moist chocolate cake, the gooey cream filling, all coated in a layer of rich chocolate is dessert perfection. If you grew up loving those classic Hostess Ding Dongs, you’ll love this homemade cake version.

Rich and creamy ding dong cake with buttercream filling
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Why You’ll Love This Copycat Hostess Ding Dong Cake

There are so many things to love about copycat Ding Dong cake.

Rich & Moist Chocolate Cake. This yummy treat features not one but TWO layers of rich, sweet, ultra-moist chocolate cake. And with a whole cup of strong black coffee in the mix, it’s beyond delicious!

Ultra Creamy Filling. Silky smooth and deliciously creamy, it’s everything you love about buttercream and more.

Decadent Chocolate Ganache. Finally, the dreamy ganache topping makes every bite melt in your mouth.

Ingredients

Since this cake is homemade, it requires quite a few extra ingredients. But luckily, most of them are pantry staples you probably have on hand.

Let’s take a look at what you’ll need:

  • Flour and Cocoa Powder: Regular all-purpose flour goes in the cake and the filling. Meanwhile, be sure to grab regular unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process cocoa powder.
  • Sugar and Salt: Granulated sugar sweetens the cake and the filling, while the salt ensures it’s perfectly balanced.
  • Baking Powder & Baking Soda: These leavening agents that make the cake layers rise.
  • Eggs and Oil: They’re the binding agents that hold the cake ingredients together. Both add richness, and the eggs also help with lift.
  • Buttermilk and Whole Milk: Buttermilk is the secret to super tender sponge cakes. Whole milk is used in the filling, so it’s not too stiff.
  • Coffee and Vanilla Extract: Cooled coffee draws out the richness of the chocolate, making it extra tasty. The vanilla offers a hint of sweet warmth.
  • Butter. Butter is the star ingredient in the buttercream. Unsalted works best.
  • Chocolate Ganache: A blend of melted chocolate and heavy cream. It pours over the cake and sets beautifully.
Chocolate cake with buttercream filling and chocolate ganache at the top on a cooling rack

How to Make Ding Dong Cake

If you want the complete list of steps, jump to the recipe card below.

For now, here’s a brief overview:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and grease and flour two cake pans. Tap out the excess flour and set aside.

2. Start the buttercream. Whisk the flour and milk in a saucepan over medium heat until the mixture thickens. Then, pour it into a shallow dish and leave to cool.

3. Make the cake batter. Combine the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in two separate bowls. Gently stir them together until smooth, then divide between the pans.

4. Bake the cakes for 30 to 35 minutes. Remove them from the oven and let them cool in the pans for 10 minutes before inverting them onto wire racks.

5. Finish the buttercream filling. Mix the vanilla, butter, and sugar into the cooled flour paste until thick and fluffy.

6. Assemble the cake. Spread the buttercream filling over the top of one cake layer. Top it with the other cake layer, cover with plastic and refrigerate.

7. Make the ganache. Pour heated heavy cream over chocolate chips and stir until smooth. Let cool slightly.

8. Finish the cake and chill. Pour the ganache over the cake, using a spatula to spread it evenly, and then place the whole cake in the fridge to set. After an hour, slice, serve, and enjoy.

Thick, rich and decadent ding dong cake with buttercream filling

Recipe Tips & Tricks

Though the recipe may seem involved, it’s really straightforward – I promise.

That being said, I do have a few tips to ensure the process goes smoothly:

  • Use room-temperature ingredients. Get everything out of the fridge about 30 minutes early. It makes mixing and blending much easier.
  • Sift the dry ingredients. It helps distribute everything evenly and keeps the batter from becoming lumpy.
  • Save time with a boxed cake mix. It won’t taste as good as homemade, but if you’re in a rush, I won’t tell!
  • Don’t rush the ermine buttercream. That first step takes 5 to 7 minutes, then it needs to cool – overnight, if possible. If you try to speed things up, it won’t turn out right.
  • Level the cakes. Use a serrated knife to carefully cut off the rounded top.
A chocolate cake with a slice taken out of it, fresh strawberries on the side

How to Store

The good news is, you can make and assemble this cake up to four days in advance. Which is ideal if you’re making it for a party.

Alternatively, you can make the different elements and assemble them when you need them.

You just need to know how to store everything properly:

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To Make Ahead: Make and assemble the cake and place it in a cake carrier in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Or make, cool, and refrigerate the three elements in airtight containers for up to 4 days. Melt the ganache in the microwave (in 15-second intervals) before assembling.

To Store: Transfer leftovers to an airtight container and store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Note: If you make the cake ahead, the leftovers won’t last as long.

In general, the cake (assembled or not) is fresh for up to 4 days. So, if you made and stored it for 2 days, the leftovers will only last about 2 more days.

Can You Freeze Ding Dong Cake?

If you want to extend the life of leftovers, you can freeze this Ding Dong cake.

Here’s how to do it:

  • To Freeze a Whole Cake – Chill the cake until the ganache is firm. Then, double-wrap it in plastic wrap and a layer of foil.
  • To Freeze Slices – Place leftover slices on a tray and freeze until solid. Then, double-wrap in plastic and place in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container.
  • To Freeze the Elements – Wrap the cooled cakes in 2 layers of plastic and place them in a freezer bag. Transfer the buttercream and ganache into 2 separate airtight, freezer-safe containers.

For each method, freeze for up to 3 months. Let the whole cake, slices, or elements thaw in the fridge overnight.

More Chocolate Cake Recipes To Try

Moist Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Pound Cake
Copycat Portillo’s Chocolate Cake
Easy Chocolate Dream Cake
Chocolate Kahlua Cake

Ding Dong Cake

Course: DessertCuisine: American
Servings

12

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Chill time

30

minutes
Total time

1

hour

If you love Ding Dong snack cakes, you’ll love this homemade Ding Dong cake! It’s rich, extra chocolatey, and everything about it screams indulgence!

Ingredients

  • For the Cake
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 cups sugar

  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 teaspoons baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 1 cup strong black coffee, cooled

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • For the Ermine Buttercream Filling
  • 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup whole milk

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • For the Ganache
  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans, tapping out the excess flour. Alternatively, grease the tins with cooking spray and line the bottoms with parchment paper.
  • In a medium saucepan, whisk 5 tablespoons of flour with 1 cup of whole milk (for the frosting) over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens into a paste – about 5-7 minutes. Transfer the paste to a shallow bowl, cover it with plastic (press it down so it touches the surface), and leave to cool. (For the best results, place in the fridge overnight.)
  • For the Cake
  • In a large mixing bowl, stir the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl, gently whisk the eggs, buttermilk, coffee, oil, and vanilla. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour bowl and beat with an electric mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes. (The batter will be thin.)
  • Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then invert onto wire racks to cool completely.
  • For the Ermine Buttercream Filling
  • While the cakes cool, place the cooled flour paste into a large bowl. Beat until smooth, then add the vanilla extract, softened butter and granulated sugar. Beat on high speed until the filling is smooth and resembles whipped cream. Set aside.
  • For the Ganache
  • Warm the heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it just begins to simmer. Stir frequently so the bottom doesn’t cook – do not boil.
  • Place the chopped chocolate in a large, heat-proof bowl. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate, let it sit for a few minutes, then stir until smooth and glossy. Set aside to cool – it should be thick but pourable.
  • To Assemble
  • When the cakes are cool, use a serrated knife to cut off the dome so they’re both flat. Then, spread all of the Ermine filling over the top of one cake. Gently place the second cake layer on top.
  • Pour the cooled ganache over the assembled cake, using a spatula to spread it over the top and sides.
  • Place the cake in the fridge for at least 1 hour. Then, slice, serve, and enjoy.

Notes

  • Decorate the cake with sprinkles, chopped nuts, or mini chocolate chips for an extra touch.
  • Don’t rush the ermine buttercream. That first step takes 5 to 7 minutes, then it needs to cool – overnight, if possible. If you try to speed things up, it won’t turn out right.
Ding Dong Cake

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author avatar
NaTaya Hastings
NaTaya Hastings is a food and recipe writer for Good Recipes. She’s an educator, boy mom, dog mom, and whatever-stray-enters-the-yard mom. As a result, she's constantly cooking for both humans and animals.

Luckily, she enjoys it!

Though born, raised, and still living in Alabama, her specialty is NOT down-home Southern cooking. Instead, she loves to experiment with Asian, Mexican, Italian, and other ethnic cuisines. She has two mottos when it comes to cooking. “The more spice, the better!” and “There’s no such thing as too much garlic!”

She’s also pretty good with desserts. Especially the easy, no-bake ones.

Her favorite things are cuddling with her four giant dogs, traveling, reading, writing, and hanging out in nature. She’s also pretty excellent at Dominoes.

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