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These copycat ding dong cupcakes are made with a signature cream filling, ganache icing, and a swirl on top! They’re gluten-free, paleo, and can be made AIP.

ding dong cupcakes on plate

Ding Dong Cupcakes

So, what are ding dongs exactly? Ding dongs are these little Hostess brand cakes that come in a box (or a wrapper of two). They’re chocolate cake filled with a cream filling, a ganache coating,  and a swirl on top!

The original obviously aren’t exactly gluten, soy, or dairy-free… not even close. This version is gluten-free, dairy-free,  paleo, and can even be made to be AIP!

The Ingredients for the Ding Dong Cupcakes

  • Tigernut flour & tapioca starch. This is the flour blend that I’ve found to work best. I haven’t successfully tested any substitutes.
  • Cocoa or carob powder.
  • Coconut cream, and palm shortening. This is for the frosting! You can also use store-bought frosting like simple mills if tolerated.
  • Chocolate (or carob chips) and coconut cream. You can use dairy-free chocolate chips like enjoy life if tolerated, or homemade carob chips for AIP, and coconut cream that hardens on the top of a can of coconut milk.

The Tools to Make the Ding Dong Cupcakes

  • Muffin tin & muffin liners.
  • Cupcake filling tip. This is the best way to fill the cupcakes.
  • Piping bag. You can also use a plastic bag if you don’t have a piping bag on hand.

ding dong cupcake in half on plate

How to Make Ding Dong Cupcakes

  • Make the frosting and set aside.
  • Combine the dry and wet ingredients for the cupcakes.
  • For the gelatin egg, add the water to a small saucepot and slowly sprinkle over the 1 tbsp gelatin.  Allow the mixture to rest and harden over 2-3 minutes. Place the pot on the stove and turn it on low heat. Slowly melt the gelatin and remove it from heat. Vigorously whisk the gelatin egg until it becomes frothy. Add the gelatin egg to the mixture immediately and mix to combine.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes or until baked through.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow to cool before decorating.
  • Using a piping bag, add the filling tip and fill the bag with the frosting. Place the filling tip about 2/3rds of the way into the cupcakes and fill with frosting. Set aside.
  • Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut cream together, stirring until melted and well incorporated.
  • Carefully each cupcake top into the ganache. Set aside and allow to harden. Use the piping bag to pipe a swirl on top of the cupcakes (if desired) and serve!

ding dong cupcakes on plate, one in hand

Can you make this recipe without the filling?

Technically you can, but that’s the best part!

Can you make this recipe without the ganache frosting?

You can! Of course, it won’t feel like as much of a copycat, but it’s still plenty chocolatey on its own.

half of ding dong cupcake in hand

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Copycat Ding Dong Cupcakes (Paleo & AIP)


  • Author: Michelle
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cupcakes 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Description

These copycat ding dong cupcakes are made with a signature cream filling, ganache icing, and a swirl on top! They’re gluten-free, paleo, and can be made AIP.


Scale

Ingredients

For the frosting

  • 1/3 cup palm shortening
  • 1/3 cup coconut cream (the cream that hardens on top of a can of coconut milk)
  • 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup

For the cupcakes

  • 1 cup tigernut flour 
  • 1/4 cup tapioca starch
  • 3 tbsp cocoa powder (sub carob for AIP)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (plus extra for greasing the pan)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp gelatin

For the ganache 


Instructions

For the frosting

  1. Combine the frosting ingredients until fully incorporated. Set aside.

For the cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line a muffin tin with muffin liners. You’ll have about 6 cupcakes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tigernut flour, tapioca starch, cocoa powder, and baking soda and mix to combine
  3. Next, stir in the melted coconut oil and maple syrup.
  4. For the gelatin egg, add the water to a small saucepot and slowly sprinkle over the 1 tbsp gelatin.  Allow the mixture to rest and harden over 2-3 minutes. Place the pot on the stove and turn it on low heat. Slowly melt the gelatin and remove it from heat. Vigorously whisk the gelatin egg until it becomes frothy. Add the gelatin egg to the mixture immediately and mix to combine.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 23-25 minutes or until baked through.
  6. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Allow cooling before removing the liner and decorating.

For the ganache/decoration

  1. Using a piping bag, add the cupcake filling tip and fill the bag with the frosting. Place the filling tip about 2/3rds of the way into the cupcakes and fill with frosting. Set aside.
  2. Using a double boiler, melt the chocolate and coconut cream together, stirring until melted and well incorporated.
  3. Carefully each cupcake top into the ganache. Set aside and allow to harden in the fridge for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Use the piping bag to pipe a swirl on top of the cupcakes (if desired) and serve!

Notes

All nutritional information are estimations and will vary. Estimations do not include optional ingredients.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 cupcake
  • Calories: 534
  • Fat: 40.6g
  • Carbohydrates: 34.2g
  • Fiber: 8.6g
  • Protein: 4g