Vegan Hostess Cupcakes

by Jill Dalton

Hostess Cupcakes

Jill Dalton
Hostess Cupcakes were one of those childhood treats that my husband Jeffrey grew up enjoying. I was working on cake recipes when we realized we had recreated the flavors of Hostess Cupcakes, and so this new recipe was born. This could very well be our best dessert recipe so far! It still amazes us after all these years that we can achieve this decadent flavors and textures with whole food plant based ingredients that are gluten-free, refined sugar and oil free, and absolutely delicious.
4.50 from 12 votes
Servings 9 people
Prep 20 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Total 40 minutes

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  • 1 cup cashews, Soak the cashews and dates together for 2 hours in water. Drain before using.
  • cup deglet dates
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ cup water




  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • For the filling, add all filling ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • For the frosting, add all frosting ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth.
  • Place both filling and frosting into the refrigerator until the cupcakes are completely cooled.
  • Lightly grind oats into a flour in the blender and pour into a mixing bowl.
  • Add the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda to the bowl with the oat flour and stir together.
  • Add the dates, soy milk and vanilla to the blender and blend until dates are pulverized.
  • Pour into the dry mixture and blend well.
  • Spoon mixture into silicone muffin tin or lined muffin tin, making 9 muffins.
  • Bake for 20 minutes.
  • Let cupcakes cool in muffin tin for a few minutes and then remove them from the tin to let them cool completely.
  • Cut a wedge out of the top of each of the cupcakes to make a well for the filling.
  • Put almost all of the filling into a piping bag, leaving about 2 tablespoons to put into a smaller piping bag with a small piping tip or plastic sandwich baggie. If using the sandwich baggie, cut a tiny piece off of the corner of the sandwich baggie to make a small piping hole.
  • Pipe the filling from the larger piping bag into the well you made in the cupcakes, filling it up even with the top.
  • Frost the top of each cupcake with the chocolate frosting, gently going over the filling so that they don’t mix together.
  • Using the small baggie or piping bag filled with the 2 tablespoons of the filling, pipe the swirl pattern onto the top of each cupcake.
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Nutrition info

Calories: 258kcalCarbohydrates: 37gProtein: 8gFat: 12gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 133mgPotassium: 463mgFiber: 7gSugar: 19gVitamin A: 157IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 124mgIron: 3mg

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Susan June 26, 2021 - 12:19 pm

They look scrumptious!

Susan June 26, 2021 - 12:29 pm

OMGoodness! These look delicious!!!

Barb June 26, 2021 - 4:48 pm

Hi there! Thanks for your efforts, but oats are not edible for any of the celiac/gluten free people i know. They make us sick.

Diane June 27, 2021 - 10:55 pm

While I’m sure that’s true for you and your friends, some of my friends and relatives who are celiac/gluten free are able to eat certified gluten-free oats, but not regular oats.

As I’m sure you know, oats are naturally gluten-free, but they are frequently contaminated with gluten during harvest, storage, transportation, processing or packaging because the same equipment is used for gluten-containing grains, such as wheat, rye and barley.

prairie99 April 26, 2022 - 2:08 pm

I agree Diane! I have what is called an allergy to gliaden (found in all gluten containing products and I can handle organic oats.

Teresa Briggs June 28, 2021 - 7:20 pm

Bobs Red Mill I can eat. I am very sensitive, so I am very pleased with that 🙂

Terrell June 29, 2021 - 7:23 pm

Hey i have the same issue and when I buy gluten-free specific oats, I don’t have a problem, I guess everyone’s system is different.

Brooke July 7, 2021 - 5:24 pm

Celiac/ GF people are usually well aware of GF oats.

Lindsey June 26, 2021 - 5:57 pm

I’m so excited to see this recipe! Like Jeffrey, I ate a lot of Hostess cupcakes as a kid. These will be great to share with friends and family who think the WFPB diet must be dull and joyless. Many thanks to you and all the other food bloggers out there for creating delicious, inventive, and healthy recipes.

Carla A Sokol July 5, 2021 - 5:02 pm

I’m unable to eat nuts so I don’t use almond flour. Can you recommend a substitution?

Jill Dalton July 6, 2021 - 10:43 am

It will probably work using all oat flour but it might be a bit dry.

Esme July 8, 2021 - 12:39 pm

I made these and they were delicious! Thank you! My favorite part is the frosting. To give the filling a little more texture, I added cornstarch and whisked on the stovetop.

Davene Jeffrey July 8, 2021 - 3:08 pm

Hi Jill. I love these cupcakes. Making my second batch now 🙂 Just thought I would mention that the time seems to be off. I find they need significantly more time to bake. It takes at least 10 to 12 more minutes for them to pass the toothpick test.

Ninni July 9, 2021 - 6:46 am

wow !!!! awesome, I want some …. sure I hv to make them myself ….

Emma July 13, 2021 - 8:55 pm

Jill, thank you so much for this recipe these are so good! I’ve already made them twice! I did make a couple of changes though – instead of making the chocolate frosting your way I just melted some chocolate chips with some soy milk to make a ganache-type frosting – so good! Also the second round I added some peanut butter to the filling to make them chocolate peanut butter hostess cupcakes! Honestly I can’t even tell they are gluten free they are so fluffy and moist – mine baked perfectly at 19 minutes. Will be sharing these with my coworkers tomorrow! Thanks so much for making whole food plant based so delicious… it’s people like you who make the recipes that will get people to open their eyes to the possibility of switching over to eating this way for good! Thanks again, Jill!

Jill Dalton July 16, 2021 - 10:50 am

I am so happy that you are enjoying the recipe and have adapted it! I hope your coworkers enjoyed them too. =)

Karen Ricketts February 14, 2022 - 12:14 pm

I love so many things about these cupcakes – they’re a beautiful dessert for company (or just us), no refined sugar or oil, gluten-free and delicious!

Mary July 21, 2021 - 5:19 pm

These cupcakes are so delicious! I love all your recipes . They are easy to make and all taste amazing. Thank you for all your hard work. I do have a question: why is your frosting white and mine is tan color.🤪

Karen Corbett July 24, 2021 - 11:11 am

These were so delicious. A perfect birthday treat. My only question is how many cupcakes the recipe makes. My muffin pan is average size, not large. I made 6 cupcakes. Anyone else have this happen?
Lots of leftover filling, frosting, a few crumbs. Mixed it all together and put in the freezer. Kind of like ice cream.

Jill Dalton July 24, 2021 - 1:18 pm

Mine makes 9 cupcakes. My pan must be a bit smaller.

Rachel October 11, 2021 - 11:43 am

I loved these cupcakes so much! I knew that I would want to enjoy them for several days so I tripled the recipe. The filling and frosting are so delicious that I love to put a little bit of each on a spoon and enjoy them like that as well as with the cupcakes. My kids and husband raved too! Thank you for sharing!!

Wendy October 28, 2021 - 11:16 pm

Hi Jill, I can’t have cashews, do you think raw almonds would maybe work? I’m having a lot of trouble finding recipes because of my food restrictions (I’m celiac and have fructose malabsorption). Cashews are a biggie in baking, so is applesauce, but I’m figuring out ways around that….maybe. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Jill Dalton November 1, 2021 - 9:31 am

Yes, raw almonds will work great.

Wendy November 2, 2021 - 6:08 pm

Thank you!!

Jana Castelli November 13, 2021 - 9:08 pm

Hi Jill 🙂 How do you get your “white swirl” on top of the Hostess cupcake to actually be white? Mine is beige due to the cashews’ color and the dates’ color.

Jill Dalton November 18, 2021 - 9:17 am

It might be because I use deglet dates and they are not quite as dark in color like medjools. Also when we take the photos the lights are really bright and it makes it look a bit more white.

Danielle November 24, 2021 - 9:49 pm

I can’t believe how easy and tasty this is! Thank you so much for sharing this. It was so much fun to make.

Kaitlin January 10, 2022 - 5:38 pm

Jill, my husband and I recently discovered your YouTube channel, as we are making the WFPB transition. These cupcakes are the first recipe of your we’ve tried, and I just wanted to let you know we adore them! Can’t wait to try out more of your recipes! Thank you for your testing and sharing, and for helping make the switch just that much easier!

Sarah February 28, 2022 - 9:41 am

Hi Jill! I am wondering how these hold up in the freezer. I want to make them for my hubby’s bday but I need to make them a few days ahead of time. Do you (or does anyone here) know how they hold up when frozen?

Jill Dalton March 4, 2022 - 12:27 pm

I think the cupcakes will do well in the freezer. The fillings: I would do the white frosting on the day because it starts to go greyish in color after a day. The chocolate frosting will do well in the fridge for a few days too.

Chelsea March 28, 2022 - 11:56 am

Thank you for putting the gram measurements!! Can’t wait to try these.

Spring April 9, 2022 - 12:36 am

We enjoyed these today. Yum yum

Tamia August 24, 2022 - 1:07 am

I absolutely loved these. Definitely absolutely delicious!! They truly satisfy a chocolate craving and 1 is definitely enough, with the regular ones, one was never enough. But with these 1 is enough, That’s the power of Whole Foods! God bless you Jill & your family.

Kathy September 2, 2022 - 8:35 pm

Will Date Powder work in place of dates?

Jill Dalton September 3, 2022 - 3:02 pm

Hmm that is a good question. I have never tried baking with date powder. I think it would work but not sure about the measurement.

Moriah September 12, 2022 - 1:23 pm

Made these yesterday and they turned out AMAZING! I have extra chocolate frosting and cream filling that will not go to waste 🙂 Will definitely be making these again! Thank you Jill for the amazing recipe!

Carla Sokol October 1, 2022 - 3:30 pm

I would LOVE to take these for dessert to a wedding where everyone eats SAD, there will be lots of kids and makes fun of me. Could I substitute silken tofu for the cashews in the frosting since I can’t have nuts?

Jill Dalton October 1, 2022 - 5:58 pm

I think it would work but I haven’t tried it with this recipe to see how it tastes

Carla Sokol October 1, 2022 - 6:38 pm

Thanks, Jill. When I try it, I’ll let you know.

Ole Ersson December 15, 2022 - 5:53 pm

I could not get the frosting to blend properly. It was so thick it stuck to the sides of the blender. I added a little more liquid but even then it was rather chunky with date pieces. I used a Vitamix model VM178 that looked like a Nutribullet.

Ole Ersson December 15, 2022 - 9:55 pm

I found there was quite ample frosting and cream filling so made a 2nd batch of the cupcakes to use it up. It worked great!


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