Slab o’ bliss: Choco-Buzz

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Alas, Hostess Choco-Bliss… I knew ye well.

Your rich, moist chocolate cake… your creamy lighter-chocolate filling… your fudge-like topping, with its signature striations…

Sigh… Gone the way of wax lips and bubblegum cigars. Snack cake ancient history. A minor blip in Hostess’ corporate memory.

But still longingly remembered by those of us who loved you.

When the blogging crew here at King Arthur – MaryJane, Susan, and me – gathered to divvy up assignments for this Snack Cake Smackdown, I knew my cake of choice had to be chocolate on chocolate on chocolate.

Twinkies? Go for it, MJ. Funny Bones? Meh; Susan, you’re all over that chocolate/PB thing.

Much as I love that creamy-fakey white filling in Hostess cupcakes and Drake’s Devil Dogs, I was willing to sacrifice it, at least temporarily, for creamy CHOCOLATE filling, a much-less ubiquitous offering. In fact, I’m not sure there’s ANY snack cake out there right now with chocolate filling – is there? Tell me if I’m mistaken, please!

So I was forced (enticed?) to go back to the past, into the mists of time… Back to the groovin’ 1970s. And the John Travolta, “Staying Alive” disco ’80s.

Back to Hostess Choco-Bliss. (DO NOT fail to click on the preceding link, especially if you were in middle school in the ’80s. If, like me, your primo snack-cake days were in the ’60s and ’70s, go here. Then come RIGHT back to this blog – promise?)

These chocolate cake/chocolate filling/chocolate frosting delights have no current equivalent in Snack Cake Land.

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Hostess Zingers probably come closest. They’ve got that same moist cake, that same corrugated fudge frosting… but WHITE filling. Sigh…

Gee, what a shame. I’ll have to re-create Choco-Bliss myself.

Choco-Buzz, here I come!

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Before we start, let me once again plug my favorite cocoa powder: Double Dutch Dark Cocoa, our blend of Dutch-process medium and black (super-roast) cocoas. It doesn’t LOOK dark; but boy oh boy, the chocolate treats you make with it…

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First, preheat the oven to 350°F.

Mix 1 cup melted butter and 1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa.

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Add 1 cup hot water. Stir till smooth, and set the mixture aside.

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In a separate bowl, mix the following:

2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional but good
2 cups granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

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Pour the cocoa mixture over the dry ingredients, stirring to blend. Add 1/2 cup buttermilk or yogurt (low-fat is fine); 2 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla.

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Beat to make a smooth batter.

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Lightly grease a 9” x 13” cake pan; or line with parchment, and grease the parchment. I recommend the parchment here, especially if your 9” x 13” pan is prone to sticking; you have to be able to get this cake out of the pan in one non-crumbled piece.

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Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

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Bake the cake in a preheated 350°F oven for 30 minutes, or until it tests done. (You’ll smell the chocolate aroma, and the cake will begin to pull away from the edge of the pan). Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.

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When the cake is completely cool, loosen its edges with a table knife or spatula.

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Turn it out onto a rack, and peel off the parchment. Slicker ’n a smelt, as they say in Maine.

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Let’s take a moment to make our first Choco-Buzz/Zinger comparison. Goal #1: Height of cake. Looks like we guessed just right.

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Next, the filling. Place the following in a microwave-safe bowl:

1/3 cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

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Heat until the cream is very hot, and the chips have softened.

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Remove from the heat, and stir till the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, reheating briefly if necessary.

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Stir in the vanilla, and set aside.

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In a large bowl, beat together the following:

1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

Beat until fluffy. It’ll go through a crumbly stage; keep on beating and it’ll come together.

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Like this.

Can you use all butter, no shortening? I know some of you prefer not to use shortening. You can; the filling will be softer and not as stable at room temperature, and will taste somewhat different.

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Add half the chocolate mixture.

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Beat till smooth. See how this isn’t smooth? That’s because I thought I could get away with NOT sifting the confectioners’ sugar. Bad move; get out your sifter or sieve, and use it.

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Add  the remaining chocolate mixture…

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…and another 2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted.

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Beat again until the filling is a fluffy, spreadable texture; adjust the consistency with a little more cream, if necessary.

Can you do this all at once? Like, adding all 4 cups of confectioners’ sugar to the butter and shortening, beating, then adding all the chocolate? I haven’t tried it, and I’m not sure it would work. The initial sugar/butter mixture would never come together, with that amount of sugar.

But you know what? If you want to possibly save yourself some steps and try the “all at once” method, go ahead – no need to ask my permission. And let us know how (if) it works out.

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Turn the cooled cake out of the pan, and cut it in half crosswise, to make two 9” x 6 1/2” rectangles.

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There’s that Zinger again. Looks like once we add the filling and frosting, we’ll be exactly the right height.

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Using a long serrated knife, slice through the middle of each rectangle to make two halves (a top and a bottom) suitable for filling.

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A giant spatula moves the layers around effortlessly.

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Here we are, top and bottom, ready for filling.

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Spread half the filling (about 14 ounces, 393g) on one layer.

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You can spread it to the edges with a spatula…

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…or use your wet fingers, which is much more effective. Ah, hands – the best baking tool we have!

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Position the top layer of cake atop the filling.

Repeat with the other half of the cake, and the remainder of the filling. We’re getting there…

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Next, the icing. Combine the following in a microwave-safe bowl:

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup heavy cream

Can you leave out the corn syrup? Well, the icing won’t be as shiny/spreadable. If you avoid corn syrup, try substituting honey; just be aware it may add its own faint taste.

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Microwave until the cream is very hot, and the chips have softened. Stir to combine, reheating briefly if necessary.

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Stir till smooth.

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Next, you can go one of two ways. For a dark-chocolate icing, sift 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1/4 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder into a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture.

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Mix till smooth and shiny.

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Pour the icing atop the two filled cakes.

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For a lighter-chocolate icing, sift 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar into a bowl. Add the chocolate mixture.

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Pour the icing atop the two filled cakes.

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Spread the icing to the edge of the cakes. We’re nearing the finish line…

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If you’re really into cloning, dip a fork in hot water, and run it through the icing to make Choco-Bliss’ signature grooved top. It won’t be the perfect, machine-made corrugation you’ll find on a Zinger; but it’ll be a nice approximation.

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Here are the two types of frosting: dark on the left, lighter on the right.

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Cut each cake into nine 2” x 3” snack cakes. You’ll have a total of 18 cakes.

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Zinger vs. homemade Choco-Buzz.

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Sorry, Zinger, you’re looking a little sad next to Choco-Buzz.

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Ready… set… enjoy!

I tell you, there’s a lot of steps to making these babies, but they are definitely MMM-MMM good! And if, like me, you’re still lamenting the demise of Choco-Bliss – you’ll find this an enjoyable project.

Read, rate, and review (please!) our recipe for Choco-Buzz.

Buy vs. Bake

Buy: Hostess Zingers, package of 3, 4.25 oz. total, $1.39

Bake at home: Choco-Buzz, 5 oz. cake, 56¢

PJ Hamel
About

PJ Hamel was born in Wisconsin, grew up in New England, and graduated from Brown University. She was a journalist in Massachusetts and Maine before joining the King Arthur Flour Company in 1990, where she's been ever since. Author or co-author of three King Arthur ...

comments

  1. Erin in PA

    Looks outstanding PJ! (although I am a vanilla fan myself) I am pretty sure that from time to time Tastykake (go Philly!) makes a chocolate cupcake filled with chocolate icing – although it’s not a year-round thing I see in the grocery stores. Another weekend of baking awaits! :)

    Wish I had more access to TastyKakes, my Philly-native Dad’s favorites. We’ll VERY occasionally see one or two varieties at gas station/stores around here… PJH

    Reply
  2. Daria

    Another winner – thank you!

    Those commercials brought back memories. It’s good to consider that, while time consuming, these homemade treats will kick anything store-bought to the curb.

    Reply
  3. Joni M

    Oh my, while reading the recipe with peanut butter filling on the blog yesterday, I kept thinking (even though I love peanut butter filling–chocolate is by far my favorite!) that wow, if there was just a chocolate cake, chocolate filling with whoa the best looking glossy frosting–now that would really “take the cake,” and low and behold–here it is!!! You are making it very difficult for me to NOT want to spend the whole weekend in the kitchen creating, and yikes, I’m almost out of holes in my belt…but–this is one I will be making–thanks so much for all the variations in snack cakes!!! Hugs to ALL of you, and thanks for all your experimenting so we can just get to the great recipes!!!

    I’m with you, Joni – I’m down to the LAST hole in my favorite belt… but I’ll hit the gym every morning and keep enjoying! :) PJH

    Reply
  4. Sue

    Oh my! Those “take the cake”. haha! If I weren’t so bogged down with work I’d definitely be baking these smackdown recipes right a long with you. I was definitely a kid/teenager in the sixties and seventies, but I have no memory of Chocolate Bliss from Hostess!! How can that be!? Do you suppose they didn’t distribute them where I grew up? Heaven knows that if they had I would have tried them.
    These look infinitely better anyway.
    These and the Twinkies are definitely going on the list to try some day.

    Sue, I think Choco-Bliss was more ’70s and ’80s; definitely not ’60s. And they never did catch on as big as the cupcakes, Snowballs, etc. I barely remember them, and I would have been all over them if they were available regularly, and everywhere. Actually, I think Ring Dings are STILL my favorite, to this day… PJH

    Reply
  5. Christina

    I am exceptionally glad my 3yo isn’t reading with me, because she’d be ready to make them…right. now. We are all chocolate fanatics in our house!

    They look fantastic! I think I’ll have to make these and have a nice cup of coffee with them very, very soon!

    Though I am amused with all this talk of Fluff and TastyKakes the past few days because here in Texas we don’t have either!

    I feel your pain, Christina – no FLUFF? :) PJH

    Reply
  6. Sue

    Ring Dings, Ding Dongs! What great names, and great memories. I also loved the Ding Dongs. I haven’t had one in years. Suzy Q’s were also a big fave.

    Suzy Q’s were definitely the most filling per amount of cake – that kind of ratio is very important when you’re, oh, 12 years old… Heck, maybe even now! PJH

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  7. Pat

    I am going to try this. my memory of a snack cake was in high school(“69 grad) the snack lady in the lunch room always had a Ring Ding for me.

    Reply
  8. Winifred

    Can you substitue butter for the shortening? I’m opposed to shortening on general principle. How about substituting honey for the corn syrup?

    Winifred, These are certainly do-able. But we have not tested them. Butter and Shortening have two very different melting temperture, which may or may not effect the final result. Likewise honey will introduce another flavor, as cornsyrup is neutral. Experiment, have fun! Frank @ KAF.

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  9. Erik

    My friends and I couldn’t get enough Choco-Bliss growing up – we ate them as often as we could get them. They are still the best cake ever made by Hostess, why they stopped making them is beyond me. As for the Zingers – no comparison, it just doesn’t work as a substitue. Shame on Hostess for letting a great thing go. And kudos to KAF for taking the time to recreate this awesome little goodie! Your recipe looks great, I can’t wait to try it at home. Thanks for helping to bring back a long lost favorite!

    Reply
  10. sangeetha

    I am one of your latest blog reader and am absolutely smitted by your work….Really lovely work!!! choco buzzs looks tempeting and awesome….I like you presentation.Thank u for sharing

    Reply
  11. Judith

    In regards to the shortening problem…I have used clarified butter rather than shortening with excellent results. Any good basic cookbook should have instructions on how to make clarified butter. One thing, use only un-salted butter to make it.

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  12. Gregg

    This looks amazing! My sister e-mailed me the link to this recipe, saying that it has my name written all over it, and she’s right. I only need to make a quick trip to the store for some heavy cream and I’m ready to go. Now I know what I’m doing tomorrow afternoon. Ah, chocolate, the fifth basic food group (and my favorite one).

    Like your style, Gregg- PJH

    Reply
  13. Rachel M

    While the topic of snack-cakes is still fresh, how might one go about recreating the “devil dog”? Those were MY favorite growing up, and they’re just about the only time that I can think of where the goal is dense and dry chocolate cake. :) I’m assuming I could use the filling given for twinkies here, but how would I go about getting that texture in the little cakes? Thanks for any ideas!

    Rachel, it’s the same texture that’s in those Drake’s Cakes chocolate cupcakes – dry and fine, just mildly chocolate. Not sure how you’d get that, exactly, but if you figure it out let us know! PJH

    Reply
  14. Kari

    The choco-buzz hands down!!
    Never had much use for the Hostess cakes. Always had home made ones ready for us kids when we got home from school. Guess we were very fortunate to have a Gram that loved to bake. Berry dump cake,danish apple cake, danish coffee cake…,all handed down through the generations. Mom had to work but we did get special hand decorated cakes from her.

    Reply
  15. Cathy in MD

    Oh my! I clicked on the Choco-Bliss link to see the commercial. Wow, that takes me back. My best friend Alison had a red beret just like the girl in the video. I bet your recipe tastes just like I remember. Unlike Zingers, which taste terrible to me now.

    I was going to make the Funny Bones from the previous post. Now I’m torn. Make both. You only go around once! Let us know which one you like better. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  16. Jarrett Smith

    You Snack Cake Queen competitors rock!
    Anyone willing to take on the Banana Flip?
    Hi Jarrett,
    At the risk of being beheaded as a cretin , what’s a Banana Flip? ~ MJ

    Reply
  17. Joyce

    These recipes look great and certainly bring back memories of childhood! But I have a question about your equipment. A number of months back the pictures in your blogs were using the new beater blades on your KA stand mixers. In recent blogs, it looks like you are back to using the standard blade. What’s your opinion of the beater blades now that they have been around for while? We no longer carry that item. KitchenAid has said that the use of them voids the 1-year warranty as the beater blades weren’t manufactured by them. I believe they worked quite well. Mary @ KAF

    Reply
  18. Mark Leveene

    At the end of the “icing” there is a suggestion for those who prefer less sweet. How about the “filling” part? Can I add more cocoa and/or less sugar than one pound of sugar? My taste runs to Lindt 70% chocolate as an eating snack and I use 60% chocolate when ever a recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate. (same with chocolate chips-I’m using Ghriadelli 60% chips).

    Thanks

    I didn’t test it any other way, Mark, and you need that amount of sugar for its bulk. But you could certainly try using unsweetened chocolate instead of chocolate chips in the filling – that’ll cut back on the sweet taste. PJH

    Reply
  19. Pam J W M

    I am making this tonight! Ok, I admit, I’m shrinking the recipe down – no matter how much I make, I will eat them all till they’re gone, so I’ve learned to do my fractions and make smaller recipes. I’ll also be forgoing the corn syrup and shortening. Let’s hope they turn out half as good as the ones in the picture!

    Pam, a smaller batch is FINE – though be aware they freeze beautifully, individually wrapped. And you’ll get a slightly different result without corn syrup and shortening, but I’m sure delicious. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  20. Jayme

    oooooh my! I was a lover of the late and great Choco Bliss. I still remember that rippled top frosting, sort of dry firm. I practically lived on those things! I am SO excited to try this recipe! I bake treats to put in my children’s lunches and this one will be next up.

    Reply
  21. Pam J W M

    Wow. Just wow. What an incredible taste. Mine didn’t stay together, but what it lacked in presentation it made up for in flavour. Definitely the bliss I needed at the end of my week!
    I think the batch was *too* small, it’ll soon be gone!

    Pam, Pam… what didn’t stay together? The cake itself? Top and bottom layers? We can fix this… PJH

    Reply
  22. Sharryn

    Ohhhhh, I can’t wait to try this. We are getting ready to go south for the winter so won’t be able to try it until then. I purchased a hair pick about four inches wide to use for drawing lines, in place of the fork.

    Reply
  23. Pam J W M

    It’s my own fault for assaulting the recipe the way I did – my husband teases me that I can’t leave a recipe alone! The cake fell apart, and the filling was a bit runny. I actually skipped the icing, because I had extra filling, and I saw the recipes were similar. It was 11 pm and i was cutting some corners. I also think if I’d let it cool properly, it might have stayed together better. The cake was in a mini-loaf pan (I cut the recipe down so small that I was starting with 1/8 cup of butter). I also didn’t use KAF flour, because I’ve never seen it around here in Canada, the flour I used is a stoneground whole white flour with added wheat germ, that acts similar to a whole wheat pastry flour. I also subbed the egg for more plain yogurt so I didn’t have to crack an egg just to use a tablespoon of it. For the filling, I used all-butter, and I was using a hand-blender to mix it, so it didn’t whip up like I thought it might, so it was runny, and still warm when I plopped it on the broken cake.
    The bit of cake that was left I put in the fridge, hoping that an overnight chill would solidify it some.
    All in all, I best if I actually followed your recipe it would have been much better!

    Holy mackerel… I guess you did change the recipe a bit, eh? You know, when cake falls apart, you can ALWAYS make trifle – just whip up some instant pudding and combine with the cumbled cake. It takes each to new and much more interesting heights! Thanks for checking back, Pam – PJH

    Reply
  24. Gregg

    I’m happy to report that my high expectations for Choco-Buzz have been surpassed. I followed the directions to the letter and am very pleased with the results. I’m also glad that I found the printable version of this recipe, especially the part where it says that individual pieces freeze well. Otherwise, I would have been forced to eat the whole thing by say, Wednesday of next week. :) The tip about spreading the filling with wet fingers was very useful, also. Thanks for sharing this terrific recipe!

    Oh good, Gregg – thanks for your feedback. Always nice to hear about successes! And yes, PLEASE freeze some. I can’t tell you what a treat it was to freeze them individually, and then when the chocolate urge hit, to know that I could pull one from the freezer, divide it in half, and have half right then, half later. Like money in the bank, as they say… PJH

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  25. Diane

    All these smackdown recipes look so good. Can’t wait for the weather to cool down some so I can try them all. My favorites were ring dings and devil dogs. My son loves the oatmeal cookies with cream inside. Any chance one of these will be one of the lucky makeovers? How many do you have on-line and is there a link to get a list of all of them at one time instead of searching through the website?
    The KAF site is great. It is the first place I go when I need a recipe.
    Thanks.

    Diane, they’re not grouped online, and we only have (I think), beyond these three, a Butterscotch Krimpets clone. We have more in our back issues of “The Baking Sheet,” which, thankfully, are now available on CD – 10 years’ worth. I can’t remember if we did the oatmeal cookies with cream inside, though it does ring a long-ago bell with me… How about trying these oatmeal cookies with the Twinkie filling? PJH

    Diane: The issue we first did all these in was in Autumn 2003. Unfortunately, the buzz got out when the issue was published, and the back issues all sold out. I can probably help you with more specifics, though, if you email me at susan.reid@kingarthurflour. I’m on vacation this week but will get back to you when I’m back in the office. Susan.

    Reply
  26. Ann

    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. My tummy is groaning. I couldn’t finish one piece – saved half for tomorrow or maybe Monday. Living in Tastykake land, Hostess cakes were hard come by so I never had the opportunity to taste them. I can’t imagine anything quite this sweet. I followed the recipe to the letter – turned out fine but overwhelming. I do love chocolate but I think you should reconsider the quantities for the filling and icing. I believe I could have done 2- 9″ x 13″ cakes with the amount the recipe made.

    Well, Ann, the 9″ x 13″ cake itself was quite thin, only a bit over an inch high, as I recall – not sure I would have been able to successfully split it in half if it was any thinner. Are you sure you were baking in a full-sized 9″ x 13″ pan? You can certainly cut back on the filling and icing, which are the richer parts… PJH

    Reply
  27. deb z

    I just made these tonight…they are AWESOME! I made some changes. I had no espresso powder, so I used strong coffee in place of the hot water in the cake. I also used the KAF buttermilk powder in place of the regular buttermilk or yogurt…I did have real difficulty getting the large square cake out of the pan and onto my cooling racks….ended up with cake pieces…and lots of scraps to taste test….the next time I make this (and there will be many next times) I will use 2 8″ pans instead of the large one. I think it will just make i t more manageable. So although I had multiple pieces to work with I had several large ones. They were soft so I put them in the freezer for a bit to firm them up. That also made them easier to split for the filling. The filling was decadent and delicious and since I knew they were going to be cut into indiviual pieces I was not as upset that I had cake pieces to work with. They went together and looked like the pictures and tasted FANTASTIC! I am a baker and known for my delectable goods. These scored highest marks from my husband and daughter and dinner guests. Thanks for a great recipe.

    Glad it worked well for you, Deb – aside from getting the cake out. If you want to try the 9″ x 13″ again, cut the cake into smaller pieces before taking it out of the pan, then lift each out with a spatula – kind of like serving big brownies. Also, if you didn’t use parchment, try that – parchment is my best friend when it comes to turning cakes out of pans without crumbling. Thanks for connecting – PJH

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  28. Lish

    This is the recipe for my mom’s “devil dog cookies”, which are shaped like whoopie pies. But the cake is like a true devil dog.
    2 cups ap flour
    1 1/4 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp salt
    5 T. cocoa
    6 T. shortening
    1 cup sugar
    1 egg
    1 cup milk
    Sift dry ingredients. In separate bowl beat shortening sugar and egg till blended. Add sifted ingredients and milk, mix well. Drop by teaspoonful onto cookie sheets and bake 10 minutes at 375. Can be piped into devil dog shapes easily. The filling is like the cooked filling from the twinkie recipe. Mix 5 T. flour and 1/2 cup milk, and cook till thick. Cool and beat with 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup shortening 1 cup sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. Beat till thick. If you don’t beat a long time it will be gritty, in a good way, but if you want it really creamy beat a good long time. Yummy either way!
    Sounds delicious! Molly @ KAF

    Lish, I’m copying this – thank for sharing! PJH

    Reply
  29. ancameni

    I have made these last night. the filling is absolutely fantastic. My teenager told me, she would never speak to me again, if i don’t make these again.
    I had a little bit of a problem cutting the cake in half, it was really osft, May have been my fault for not letting in bake a bit longer. I wonder if you could bake these in Half sheet pan? Hmmh.

    But no, they were fantastic. Just like your Butterscotch finger. I was going to make these as well, but ran out of time. There is always next weekend…..

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  30. Antonia

    Hi! I am Italian! This is a wonderful cake and I will try it soon!I would like to know some recipe for a soft cake with chestnut flour and a bit of honey….May you publish something about my request above?I will be very happy if you like to please me! I appreciate very much your experience and how it works!! Thanks in advance…

    Reply
  31. Nicole Shugars

    Earlier you mentioned having back issues of The Baking Issue available on CD — how do we get our hands on that little treasure? The new CD will turn up on the web site towards the end of November. Keep looking for it, it’s fantastic! Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  32. Lesley

    This recipe and the one before it both make thin chocolate cakes to be filled and frosted. The ingredients are pretty close but the proportions are different. How do the two cakes differ from each other? I’m not experienced enough with cakes (or with the originals) to tell which one I would prefer. One has a chocolate filling the other peanutbutter. Try them both to see which one you like! Molly @ KAF

    Reply
  33. Adam

    In response to Winifred: A better sub for corn syrup than honey is agave nectar. There are also trans fat free shortenings made by a number of companies, including Crisco and Earth Balance.

    Reply
  34. Cathy from MD

    After being challenged by you guys to “make both”, I did the next best thing. I made the cake from Choco-Buzz, cut it in half, and made half batches of the filling and icing for both this and the FunnyBones clone. The cake was very tender and chocolatey. It was a little fragile, but not too hard to handle with spatulas. Freezing the filled cakes before slicing them definitely made the cutting process easier.

    And the results…My husband and I liked both cakes, but the peanut-butter cake won in our house. I especially liked the little bit of crunch that the chocolate coating added. Now I’m dreaming of replacing the peanut butter with caramel and peanuts. Mmm…

    Great tip for handling a tender cake (that can be used with other recipes)! Thanks for sharing your suggestion! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  35. Angela

    After eating one of these my 14 year old son told me that he loves me and gave me a hug! Thanks for the great recipe.

    We’re thrilled to be part of the this tender moment, but maybe the phenylethylamines in the chocolate should get the credit! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  36. Beth

    PJ, did I miss something, or misunderstand? I thought Zingers were going to be part of your Smackdown. I can pass on just about everything (okay, maybe not those Krumpets), but when I see Zingers…. oh well, I shouldn’t be eating them anyway.

    No, Beth, I just used the Zingers for comparison to Choco-Bliss. But you can easily take the Choco-Bliss and fill with the Twinkie filling for a Zinger clone… I’m STILL stuck on Ring Dings, myself. :) PJH

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  37. Beth

    PJ, I didn’t realize there were 2 kinds of Zingers. The one I’m talking about is the little white cake with creme filling, and the raspberry and coconut on top. You can see the pinkish-reddish raspberry color under the coconut. I just looked them up, and it said they were/are made by Dolly Madison not Hostess. Now I’m thoroughly confused. (But I’m still craving for them). .

    Reply
  38. Lee Buehrle

    Okay, I made both of the chocolate recipes. I froze half and took the other half of both recipes to work this morning. Everyone flipped over the Choco Buzz, but it was unanimous, they could take or leave the peanut butter ones. I have been looking for recipes that freeze well so that we don’t feel compelled to eat all of it and yet have a little something when we want it, looks like Choco Buzz fits the bill, thanks Again King Arthur Kitchen. The winners in this contest are all of us…

    Reply
  39. Fran

    Oh YUM! All these snack cakes bring back some mighty good memories. Loved Devil Dogs – and does anyone remember Yankee Doodles? Those were my all time favorite and I’m not a big chocolate fan! Yummy chocolate cupcakes with that devil dog type filling in the middle. They used to come in a package of 3 cupcakes. I can taste them now!!!

    Reply
  40. Barbara

    I’m about to make this but I noticed the recipe states 1 cup butter and the blog states 1/2 cup…. help.

    Good catch, Barbara, thanks. I’ve amended the blog – the recipe is correct, 1 cup of butter. PJH

    Reply
  41. Flour Floozie

    I made these yesterday. The cake was very tender and a little hard to handle but I got it done and they look great, In fact one of the little boys I share treats with looked at them and said “I think thats the BEST thing you ever made.” LOL before even tasting. All the rest of the crew gave 3 thumbs up.I’ve never had a Zinger but somehow don’t think they could possibly be as good. Thanks for another great recipe.

    You’re welcome, FF – we aim to please! PJH

    Reply
  42. Candace

    Just trying to decide what my favorite is. Probably was Devil Dogs, but I had a major crush on those Drakes cinnamon struesel (? spell) coffee cakes. You could get a larger single one, or a package of, I think, two smaller ones. Any chance of recreating those? Cause, you know, “Sometimes you just feel like a Drakes Cake!”

    Reply
  43. Annie

    Hi PJ!

    These look absolutely yummy! I do have two questions….one can you bake these in a glass 9×13 Pan? I do not have a metal version…or can the batter take on 2 9×2 round cake pans? Dying to try them…wondering if I could use the 9×2 cake round cake pans instead? :)
    Hi Annie,
    You shouldn’t have trouble using a glass pan as long as it is prepared the same way. Also, try reducing the oven temperature by 25°, as glass is a great heat conductor. For the round pans, we didn’t try this in the testing, so give it a go and let us know the results. ~ MaryJane

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  44. Lynne

    I conned my sister into making these for me, as she has been doing some home catering. They turned out soooo delicious! Of course, they did take up four and a half hours of her Sunday afternoon. The things sisters will do for each other :)

    Reply
  45. Mary Costello

    When my kids were little, these were known as Chocolishious (St Louis). They had chocolate jimmies on the top too. I used to pop them in the freezer and have them frozen with a cup of strong coffee…yum. Then Hostess decided to make muffins instead and we lost our favorite snack cake. My son made these and said they were wonderful so I have to make some and freeze them.
    Ring Dings must be what I know as Ding Dongs and a Banana Flip was like a twinkie cake but shaped like a tortilla with banana filling and it was folded like a taco on its side…horrible stuff.

    Reply
  46. Dino

    the filling for the choco bliss recipe looks exactly like the frosting that goes on top of the tastykake chocoalte cupcakes. i have been searching for a recipe for a similar frosting , can anyone help confirm this ? or does anyone know of a recipe thats close ? much appriciated . thanks in advance.

    Sorry, since we dont have the recipe for TastyKake cupcake ising, can’t confirm it’s the same. But I can confirm that this filling was developed by Susan Reid, who’s made a Butterscotch Krimpet clone and done lots of research on snack cakes in general and TastyKakes in particular… PJH

    Reply
  47. Eddie K

    I used to be a Hostess salesman, and I remember selling Choco-Bliss when they came out in the mid-80’s. I went to the sales meeting we had before the introduction and won a Phil Simms jersey because I was the only salesman to raise his hand on how many Choco-Bliss I could sell weekly. They were an excellent piece of cake, and not too many people know this, but a Mint-Choco-Bliss was test marketed but didn’t make it. It had mint icing in the middle and were actually very good! I miss them too! I used to eat Choco-Bliss and wash them down with a Yoo-Hoo.

    Eddie, you’re a man after my own heart. I lived on Hostess cupcakes as a kid – 10¢, back then.The mint Choco-Bliss sound – well, blissful. And Yoo-Hoo? I’m with you, totally. Thanks for reminding me – :) PJH

    Reply
  48. Muffy

    Quick question and a request:
    Will using waxed paper in place of the parchment work as well?This looks great, and as my birthday is in 2 days, I think I will make them for myself.

    Now, the request… Any chance you wonderful bakers at KA could come up with a Peanut Butter filling for this recipe? MY favorite snack cake was, and is, Funny Bones. Bad luck for me; I live in AZ, and Drakes products are NOT distributed here. Also, none of the snack makers produce anything close! If you did devise a PB filling, I think it would pretty much be equivalent to Funny Bones. Very likely better.
    Thanks!

    Here’s your peanut butter filling, Muffy – and your Funny Bones! Waxed paper doesn’t work as well as parchment, but it should work OK – I think. Sorry, I can’t remember, haven’t used it in years! All you want is for the cake not to stick in the pan, so if you have a good non-stick pan that you trust, don’t worry about the paper. Have fun – PJH

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  49. Katherine Isham

    ¬.¬

    Is anyone thinking of tackling my personal fav, the Zebra Cake?

    How about those oatmeal sandwich cakes with the cream filling?

    Katherine, try the filling in these whoopie pies with these oatmeal cookies. Are Zebra Cakes Little Debbie’s? What’s inside, vanilla cake and vanilla cream filling? And are they, like, hexagonal? Just trying to get my snack cakes straight here! :) PJH

    Reply
  50. Suzanne Balvanz

    I just, and I mean JUST, finished ordering my stuff from KAF this morning. If you guys had just posted this recipe a little earlier, I could’ve ordered some Dutch Cocoa powder….maybe next order :)

    This definitely look scrumptious….

    And…it definitely IS scrumptious! I do like the Dutch-process cocoa… but if you don’t ant to wait, try the European-style Hershey’s makes. It’s not as good, but it’ll do in a pinch… Enjoy, Suzanne – always nice to see your name here, and I enjoy your blog. :) PJH

    Reply
  51. Julie

    My husband still desperately haunts through the Hostess shelves, looking for one last Choco-Bliss. He was thrilled when he found this recipe!
    I just made it today for his birthday and it turned out beautifully. I love the way that you wrote out the recipe. It may be a lot of steps, but they’re perfectly written and easily followed.

    It’s been so long since I’ve had a Choco-Bliss that I can’t really remember what they taste like. My husband assures me that your recipe is dead on.

    Thanks again, Julie

    Julie, please tell your husband he can stop haunting – Hostess stopped making Choco-Bliss long ago, so anything he might find tucked away in a dusty corner isn’t going to be very appetizing! Glad we could help with this recipe; and thanks for your kind comments. PJH

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  52. psiam

    The cake is cooling as I type . . . but I have a question. Is the butter softened prior to making the filling, or should I use it straight from the fridge?

    You’ll get more fluff and less lumps using softened butter. Happy Baking! Irene @ KAF

    Reply
  53. mousiemomma

    hi! this looks like a great recipe and i can’t wait to try it! oh, and if anyone out there is a real stickler for the frosting looking like the one on top of the zingers, i believe wilton makes an icing tip that is flat with little teeth on one side that would give the more uniform corrugated look. i think it’s even available in a couple of different widths…it’s been a while since i’ve looked at all their different icing tips. also, does anyone have a recipe for swiss cake rolls? they’re made by little debbie and are basically a moist chocolate cake rolled up jellyroll style with a white cream in the middle (reminds me of twinkie cream) and then coated in chocolate. i may try experimenting with it if i get a chance, but if anyone has a starting point, that would be awesome!
    Hi there,
    I don’t know of a specific recipe for the cake rolls, but check out the filling recipe on our Twinkling Good Vanilla Snack Cakes. It’s pretty darn close to what I remember from those rolls. ~ MaryJane

    Reply
  54. pat15712

    This looks really yummy. I did not see how much vanilla to use in the filling–please advise.
    I did not see a place to print this recipe so I copied the whole thing. I definitely want to try this.
    Find recipe for this cake here. It calls for 1 teaspoon of vanilla and you can click on the “printable version” icon on this page to reach a more printer-friendly format. ~Amy

    Reply
  55. rllbtex

    Oh Heavens! Its really humid here today so I plan on making these late tonight when the humidity (and ac) are low!

    I have enough cocoa, KAF to make one last goody before ordering my stock supplies.

    Maybe cut the sweetness with some homemade vanilla ice cream (smirk).

    Happy Birthday!!!!!

    Texaswonder( aka rllbtex)

    Reply
  56. Sandi3

    I just saw Twinkies at the “Hostess” store that had chocolate filling. I got all excited and bought a package, to try it, before I splurged on an entire box and I was glad that I did … the texture of the filling is all wrong, wrong, wrong! I won’t be buying those again. I guess it just goes to show you that when something is already “perfect”, you should just leave it alone :-)

    Good strategy, Sandi, not buying the whole box before you taste-tested… I confess to enjoying the occasional classic Twinkie, though usually my tastes run more to chocolate. You’re right – let a Twinkie be a Twinkie, and leave the chocolate to Choco-Buzz! PJH

    Reply
  57. Betsy

    Have a question. Your filling and icing recipes both call for melting ingredients together in a microwave. I do not have one. How would I need to alter the recipe to accomplish these tasks in a double boiler on a stove top? Thanks

    Betsy, heat the ingredients in a double boiler over simmering water until the cream is very hot’ when the cream is hot, start stirring; when the chips are melted and the mixture is smooth, it’s ready. Enjoy – PJH

    Reply
  58. MemphM

    I just made these for a retirement party/lunch in my honor…They are just wonderful…lots of steps and I cut them up wrong but whose to know!
    I am so glad these worked for you! Happy retirement! More time to bake? Elisabeth

    Reply
  59. Vickie

    I am confused with one part of the recipe. You make the filling and cover half the cake with it then put the other half of the cake on top and it says to cover with the other half of the filling. However I don’t see the other half of the filling added to the pictures. If you add the other half of the filling do you just pour the frosting on top of that?

    Reply
    1. The Baker's Hotline

      This recipe makes two full size cakes. Your 9×13 cake is cut in half and then both halves are split and filled with the filling. Jon@KAF

  60. Bob

    Well, I’ve tried these twice and the cake fell apart both times. Apparently, I’m not the only one with this problem. Greasing the pan and turning it upside down might be a bad idea for this cake. Next time, I’ll use parchment paper and lift it out. If that fails too, I’ll switch to a different cake recipe.

    Reply
    1. PJ Hamel , post author

      Sorry about that, Bob; I did see another reviewer had this issue. I wonder what caused it? Most people seem to do just fine with the recipe. Are you using cake flour or pastry flour? That would result in a more tender cake. At any rate, I hope you have better luck with the parchment. PJH

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