Protein Copycat Hostess Cupcakes
These protein copycat Hostess cupcakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in sugar with added protein from collagen powder! Even though they're healthy, the hubby and kids said they taste just like the original. I'm just happy to skip all the artificial additives of the packaged kind ;)
Did you know? A review of 11 studies mostly in women found that taking 3–10 grams of collagen per day for an average of 69 days led to improved skin elasticity and hydration. (source)
I use and love LIV Body Marine Collagen because it's flavorless, highly bioavailable, and rich in Type I collagen which we need most. You can use my code NOEXCUSES for 20% off all LIV Body products! Of course, another brand can work too, but quality is important.
If you want to make these without collagen, I would suggest adding one-quarter cup of pure pumpkin or unsweetened applesauce plus one-quarter cup dairy free yogurt to moisturize. The amazing thing about collagen is that it makes baked goods more moist! For this reason, I cannot recommend using another protein powder in this recipe.
I personally used gluten-free baking flour in this recipe, but you can also use all-purpose flour, cake flour, cassava flour (Paleo), fine oat flour, sorghum flour, spelt flour, or whole wheat flour. I cannot recommend coconut flour or almond flour in this recipe because you really want a nice fine texture.
For these cupcakes, I used pyure organic stevia blend, a sweetener that's twice as sweet as sugar with no aftertaste. Feel free to use whatever calorie-free sweetener you like, be it erythritol, monk fruit, allulose, or baking stevia. If using a sweetener that measures 1:1 like sugar, you may need twice as much to get the desired sweetness. If using concentrated drops, check the brand-specific conversion chart!
This recipe calls for egg whites, but you can also use one whole egg, or a vegan egg replacer for egg-free. It also calls for dairy-free yogurt, but nonfat plain Greek yogurt works well too! Just make sure whatever brand you use has some protein and not too much added sugar.
The avocado oil can also be swapped for melted coconut oil or buttery spread. I don't recommend subbing applesauce here as you want some fat for a tender texture. Lastly, the vinegar helps with the tenderness of the cupcakes. You can use distilled white vinegar, natural rice vinegar or cider vinegar.
For the cream filling, all you need is dairy-free whipped topping (I used Cocowhip), powdered sweetener (I used Lakanto powdered monk fruit), and pure vanilla extract. If your whipped topping isn't thick enough, add a couple tablespoons of cornstarch or tapioca starch.
For the ganache, you can use sugar-free or dairy-free dark chocolate as needed. The only other ingredient is milk! You can use unsweetened almond milk, coconut milk, cashew milk, rice milk, oat milk, dairy milk... whatever you like.
Here's the printable recipe for these Protein Copycat Hostess Cupcakes! I hope you'll rate or comment below if you try them :)
This post contains affiliate links and is sponsored by LIV Body.
Protein Copycat Hostess Cupcakes
These protein copycat Hostess cupcakes are gluten-free, dairy-free, and low in sugar with added protein from collagen powder! Even though they're healthy, the hubby and kids said they taste just like the original. I'm just happy to skip all the artificial additives of the packaged kind.
3/4 cup (90g) gluten free baking flour*
2/3 cup (60g) collagen protein powder* (I used LIV Body Marine Collagen, use code NOEXCUSES for 20% off)
- 1/3 cup calorie-free sweetener (I used one that’s twice as sweet as sugar)
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 cup (2 large) egg whites*
1/4 cup dairy free yogurt*
2 tbsp. avocado oil*
- 2 tsp. vinegar
- 4 oz. dairy-free whipped topping (I used Cocowhip)
1/4 cup calorie-free powdered sweetener* (I used Lakanto powdered)
2 tbsp. tapioca starch (or cornstarch)
- 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1.5 oz. dark chocolate (can use dairy-free or sugar-free)
1 1/2 tbsp. unsweetened almond milk* (or milk of choice)
*See blog post for more substitutions.
- Whisk together dry ingredients (through salt) in a medium mixing bowl.
- Add wet ingredients (through vinegar) and mix until no dry clumps remain.
Line nine wells of a muffin pan with silicone liners OR use paper liners coated with cooking spray.
- Divide batter between cupcake wells, about halfway full.
- Bake cupcakes for 18-22 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix filling ingredients just until combined. Spoon into a piping bag with a medium tip. Keep bag in fridge until ready to use.
Once cupcakes are out of the oven and completely cool, press tip into the center of each cupcake, and fill just until top starts to swell. Repeat for all 9 cupcakes.
To make ganache, combine chocolate with 1 ½ tbsp. boiling hot milk (I heated mine 30 seconds in the microwave). Stir until glossy and smooth, then spread 1 tsp. over each cupcake. Place cupcakes in fridge until ganache is set and not wet.
Finally, replace the medium tip on your piping bag with a fine tip and swirl remaining filling on top in the classic Hostess pattern! See photo.
- Store finished cupcakes in the fridge in an airtight container until ready to eat, up to 3 days.
Calories (per cupcake, including optionals): 139kcal, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 15g, Fiber: 2g, Protein: 9g, Sodium: 139mg
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