Transform your favorite childhood snack cake into a decadent ho ho cake. Inspired by a Hostess ho hos, this dark chocolate cake is topped with cream filling and fudgy ganache frosting. Every bite takes you back to feeling like a kid again!
Chocolate cake lovers listen up because you’re in the right place! I have so many delicious chocolate cake recipes on the blog for you to make. Try this easy wacky cake, my favorite chocolate zucchini cake, or this fun whoopie pie cake!
If you grew up eating Hostess ho hos like me, you’re about to relive your childhood. This luscious, moist chocolate cake is tender and rich with every bite. Ho hos have a sweet layer of cream filling on top of the cake, followed by a layer of chocolate ganache. And this ho ho cake is the perfect “grown-up” version of the store-bought snack cake. This giant ho ho cake is a chocolate lover’s dream dessert! The creamy filling is made with my dreamy ermine frosting recipe and it takes this cake to the next level. And to finish it off, it gets a homemade chocolate ganache that is fudgy and decadent! Trust me, once you’ve had a taste, you won’t want to stop. It’s irresistible!
I love to recreate a store-bought dessert! It’s just fun to be inspired by favorite treats from growing up. But the best part is making them even BETTER by using better ingredients. Check out some of my other favorite copycat cakes. Make this fun ding dong cake, this Swiss roll cake, or my almond joy poke cake!
Here is a list of everything you will need to make this giant-sized ho ho cake! It’s three layers of rich yummy goodness. You can make it even easier by using a boxed cake mix if you’re short on time. This homemade cake recipe is definitely better, but you do you! Find the exact measurements in the recipe card below.
Vegetable Oil: Keeps the cake super moist and tender!
Warm Coffee: Gives the chocolate a serious flavor boost, making it extra rich and irresistible.
Large Eggs: Holds everything together and keeps the cake nice and fluffy.
Vanilla Extract: Adds that yummy aroma and makes the cake even more tasty.
All-Purpose Flour: Acts as the base of the ho ho cake.
Granulated Sugar: Sweetness to the max, making each bite a treat.
Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (not Dutch process): This star ingredient creates rich and intense chocolate goodness.
Baking Powder and Soda: So the cake has a perfect rise.
Salt: A pinch of flavor enhancer, balancing the sweetness.
Granulated Sugar: The sweet stuff that makes ermine frosting taste just right, not too sugary but perfectly delicious.
Flour: The secret ingredient that, when mixed with milk, creates the smooth and creamy base of ermine frosting.
Milk: The liquid magic that combines with flour to give ermine frosting its velvety texture.
Unsalted Butter: Adds richness and creaminess to the frosting.
Vanilla Extract: A splash of flavor that makes ermine frosting extra sweet.
Salt: Just a pinch to balance the sweetness and bring out all the tasty flavors.
Semi-Sweet Chocolate: For that deep chocolatey flavor. Either semi-sweet chocolate chips or a baking bar will work. You can also use dark chocolate if you prefer!
Heavy Cream: Makes the ganache nice and smooth. It’s like a creamy fudge layer on top of the ho ho cake and SO irresistible.
Now that your ingredients are ready to go, let’s make this delicious ho ho cake! I’ve separated the instructions into a few different groups so that it’s easier to follow along and make the recipe. Let’s do this!
Preheat Oven/ Prepare the Pan: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 19×13-inch cake pan with cooking spray and set aside.
Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl whisk together the vegetable oil, warm coffee, eggs, and vanilla until combined.
Add Dry Ingredients to Wet Ingredients: In a medium bowl sift together the flour, sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently whisk together until fully combined.
Bake: Fill the prepared pan with the batter and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back lightly when pressed on, or a toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
Milk Mixture: Add the flour, sugar, and milk to a saucepan. Cool over medium heat while whisking constantly until thick like pudding, about 10 minutes.
Chill: Remove from the heat and add to a heat-proof bowl or quarter sheet pan. Cover with plastic wrap so the plastic touches the top of the mixture and prevents a film from forming. Chill in the fridge for 40 minutes to allow it to finish thickening into a thick paste.
Whip: Add the room-temperature butter to a stand mixer and whip with the whisk attachment for about 8 minutes, until the butter is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed to ensure all the butter gets whipped.
Add in Flour: Add the chilled flour paste to the butter one scoop at a time until it is all incorporated
Add Vanilla and Beat: Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and switch to the paddle attachment. Add the vanilla and salt and beat on medium-high for 10-13 minutes, until smooth and fluffy.
Heat the Cream: Place the chocolate in a small bowl. Heat the cream in the microwave until steaming but not boiling, about 1 minute.
Pour Over Chocolate and Stir: Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and let it sit for a few minutes. Use a whisk to combine the chocolate and cream until smooth. If needed, heat the chocolate mixture for 10 seconds more to help melt the rest of the chocolate, but only if there are still little chunks of chocolate remaining after whisking well. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
Spread on the Cream Frosting: Use an offset spatula to spread the frosting evenly over the top of the cooled cake, getting it as smooth as you can.
Pour on and Spread the Ganache: Carefully pour the cooled ganache on top of the frosting and use a spatula or offset spatula to spread it evenly.
Chill and Enjoy: Let the cake chill in the fridge for an hour or so before serving.
Covert this cake recipe into a sheet cake by using a large baking sheet pan. The cake layer won’t be as thick, but it will feed a bigger crowd. You will LOVE the cake-to-cream ratio! This cake is my favorite cake to transform into a sheet cake. The only difference will be the baking time. The cake will bake faster, so the baking time will be reduced. Use the toothpick method and check the cake around the 20-minute mark. Cool and frost the cake following the recipe card below.
Let me help you make the ho ho cake of your dreams! Follow my tips and tricks below to give you the most success. I can’t wait for you to try it!
Use a Cake Mix: You may use a Devil’s Food cake mix or other rich chocolate mix instead for a quicker, easier recipe.
Keep the Oven Door Closed: Try to avoid opening the oven early to check the cake. This can cause a drop in temperature, which in turn can cause the center of the cake to sink.
Coffee: The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor of the cake, but if you don’t want to use coffee go ahead and replace it with buttermilk.
Ganache: For the ganache, you may use whatever semi-sweet chocolate you prefer! Mini chocolate chips will melt the quickest, but regular chocolate chips or chopped baking chocolate would be delicious.
Glass Pan: If you have a glass baking pan, this allows you to see the beautiful layers of cake, frosting, and ganache!
If you have leftover ho ho cake then it won’t last long! I’ve been known to sneak into the kitchen for a slice after the kids go to bed because it’s too good to resist! Follow my tips below for storing leftover cake in the refrigerator and freezer.
In the Refrigerator: This cake is best stored in the fridge for up to 5 days. Store in an airtight cake container or wrapped in plastic wrap.
In the Freezer: Wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then place them in a ziplock bag. Freeze for up to 3 months. Let the slices thaw overnight in the fridge before unwrapping them. Being a sheet cake, I do not recommend freezing it whole.
1 hr 5 mins
1 hr 5 mins
1 hr 40 mins
¾ cup vegetable oil1¼ cup warm coffee2 large eggs2 teaspoons vanilla2 cups all purpose flour1 ½ cup granulated sugar¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process1 teaspoon baking soda½ teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt
8 ounces semi sweet chocolate⅔ cup heavy cream