Giant Hostess Ho Hos Cake

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Why yes, that is a giant Ho Ho cake. With this week’s challenge being “faux-stess” (or DIY Hostess products), I knew I had to go big. It actually turned out to be much easier than I had originally anticipated too – and I think I hit the flavors pretty much spot on.

Plus, it slices easily into perfect portions for any holiday party, for anyone wondering what they’d do with a HUGE Ho Ho other than try their best not to eat it all in one sitting.

The cake ingredients for this recipe include extra brown sugar, for added sweetness. Marshmallow fluff is also essential to getting the right texture to the cream filling. PRO TIP: As with most baking recipes, you’ll want the butter and eggs to be room temperature before beginning.

Begin by separating the egg whites and yolks. Whisk the whites in a stand mixer until they are light and fluffy, adding the white sugar a few teaspoons at a time until stiff peaks form. Slowly incorporate the brown sugar and whisk on low until it appears to have melted into the whites.

Next add the yolks and butter, then in tablespoon increments, add the flour, baking soda, and cocoa and stir until a smooth batter forms.

Butter a jelly roll pan then lay parchment down to stick to the butter. Then grease the parchment paper with more butter to ensure no sticking in the upcoming steps. The last thing you want while making the cake is for it to stick to the pan and ruin an otherwise perfect roll.

Spread a smooth 1/4 inch thick layer of the cake batter across the parchment paper, taking care to cover the parchment evenly. Bake the cake for 15 minutes at 350°F or until it’s puffed up and appears dry on top. Let it cool for about 10 minutes then lay another piece of parchment paper over the top of the cake, followed by a towel and a second, larger jelly roll pan. Invert the pans so the cake lands on the larger parchment and towel lined pan, and peel off the top layer of original parchment paper.

Let the cake cool entirely as you whip together the powdered sugar, marshmallow fluff, cream of tartar and water until a thick frosting forms.

Starting in the center, spread the cream filling to the edges of the cake. Then lift up the parchment paper on the short end of the cake, and roll and tuck the cake into itself. Continue to roll the cake into a cylinder shape. Wrap it tightly in parchment paper, then let chill for at least 8 hours or over night.

Once the cake is chilled through, remove it carefully from the parchment wrapper. Trim the ends of the cake to reveal the spiral center.

Going with the giant theme I created for myself, I also grabbed a few extra large Hershey chocolate bars for my chocolate covering. I realize the authentic Ho Hos likely use a different kind of chocolate, and if you are trying to get it suuuper close in appearance to the real deal, I’d recommend a darker chocolate to coat the cake. I however, do not like dark chocolate, so milk chocolate worked just as well for me.

Just melt the chocolate along with some shortening in the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between, until the chocolate is totally melted.

Using a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, I carefully poured all of the melted chocolate over the top of the giant Ho Ho. I lifted the cooling rack off the baking sheet and quickly rolled the parchment into a tube and was able to funnel it back into the pour cup and repeat this step a few times for an extra thick chocolate covering.

Finally, chill the cake until the chocolate covering is completely dry. Use a serrated knife to cut through the cake too, so you don’t smash it while trying to serve to your guests too!

In a side-by-side taste comparison, I don’t believe I could have gotten much closer. I think the original must use a kind of darker Dutch chocolate for the cake part, but the cream filling was definitely spot on.

I think this recipe takes the cake for being one of my all time favorites now, I know I’ll definitely be making it again for a party or event in the future for sure.

Giant Hostess Ho Hos Cake

The Starving Chef
A GIANT copycat version of the classic Hostess Ho Ho!
Prep Time 9 hours
Cook Time 15 minutes
Chill Time 8 hours
Total Time 17 hours 15 minutes
Course Copycat Recipes, Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Servings 8






  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on high speed until white and foaming. Slowly add the white sugar, one tablespoon at a time until stiff peaks form or about five minutes. Add the brown sugar and stir until the sugars have become completely incorporated.
  • Add the yolks and butter and beat on high until blended, then add the flour, baking powder, and cocoa a few tablespoons at a time, until a smooth batter forms.
  • Butter a jelly roll pan and then line it with parchment paper and butter the top of the parchment as well. Pour the batter onto the pan and spread out into an even 1/4 inch across the pan.
  • Bake for 15 minutes or until the cake is pulling away from the sides and is puffed up evenly. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10 minutes. While the cake is cooling, prepare another jelly pan by laying a towel over the pan, and a piece of parchment on top.
  • Place the second pan over the first (so the parchment on the second pan is on top of the cake, followed by the towel, then the pan) and flip the pans so the cake falls onto the second pan. Gently remove the first piece of parchment and let the cake cool completely.
  • As the cake is cooling, use a hand mixer to whip together the confectioners sugar, marshmallow fluff, cream of tartar, and meringue powder with the water. Use a much water as needed to create a sticky, but not runny, cream filling. Add more powdered sugar if it is too thin, and more water if it is too thick.
  • Spread the filling across the cooled cake all the way to the edges. Lift the edge of the parchment paper and gently fold the end of the cake into itself, then continue the roll into a cylinder shape. Tightly roll the cake in parchment paper, then place in the refrigerator for 8+ hours or overnight, until the cake is chilled through.
  • When ready to add the chocolate topping, melt together the Hershey's chocolate bars with the shortening. Melt in 30 second intervals and stir between until the chocolates are completely melted.
  • Place parchment on a jelly roll pan and place a cooling rack on top. Unwrap the cake carefully and trim the ends. Center the cake on the top of the cooling rack.
  • Pour the melted chocolate over the cake. Use the parchment that is lining the pan to funnel excess chocolate back into the pouring cup, and repeat until the chocolate has been poured over the cake several times.
  • Chill the cake until the chocolate has hardened again, then serve cold or room temperature. Serve and enjoy!
Keyword cake, chocolate
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