This Ding Dong Cake has chocolate cake layers, a creamy filling and is topped with a chocolate ganache. It's like eating a Hostess Ding Dong....but better!Jump to Recipe
Did you grow up eating Hostess brand goodies? Twinkies, HoneyBuns, HoHos, Ding Dongs, etc.....such delicious and nostalgic childhood classics!!
A few weeks ago, I posted a copycat Twinkie Cake and the Pinterest world LOVED it. So, I decided to put together a Ding Dong cake and I'm so glad I did! It. Is. Freakin. Delicious!!!
Alright, so you're going to scroll down and snag a copy of the recipe. I'm warning you....it looks long and scary. But trust me, it's not difficult! I just wanted to be as clear as possible so your cake turns out amazing. It's worth every step - I promise!!
How do you make Ding Dong Cake?
In very short form, you'll make two 9x13 chocolate cakes, put a filling between them and spread chocolate ganache on top. Here's a quick video! (See in more detail in the paragraphs below!)
First, make the cake layers.
It's really important to prepare these pans so the cakes are easy to remove. You'll grease two 9x13 pans and then line the bottom with parchment paper. This will pretty much guarantee no cake casualties! 🙂
To make the batter, you'll combine the dry ingredients in a mixer. Then in a separate bowl, you'll combine the wet ingredients. Next, you'll pour the wet into the dry and mix!! (Easy, right?)
Then you'll distribute the batter evenly between the two pans. I recommend using a kitchen scale or a measuring cup to make sure you have equal amount of batter in each. That way, they'll be done baking at the same time and the layers will look nice and uniform. Then you'll bake the cakes and let them cool.
Next, make the filling.
The filling is an ermine frosting....ever heard of it? Some people also call it a boiled milk frosting, but that doesn't even sound good. And this stuff is GOOD.....so we'll just call it "filling."
First, you'll cook a mixture of flour and milk on the stovetop and bring it to a boil, making a thick mixture. Then in a stand mixer, you'll combine the remaining ingredients until nice and fluffy. (This will take a few minutes as you'll mix until the sugar is dissolved and no longer grainy). Then you'll add in the cooled flour/milk mixture and beat until smooth.
Spread the filling over one of the chocolate cake layers and then press the other cake layer on top.
Finish it with chocolate ganache!
Chocolate ganache sounds fancy, but it's really simple to make. However, to make sure it's nice and smooth, there are a couple important notes...
You will heat up heavy cream in the microwave to the point where it's super hot, but not quite boiling. You'll pour that over some chocolate chips and DO NOT stir. You want to let this sit for at least two minutes. Then, you'll add corn syrup and when you stir, it'll be nice and smooth!
Lastly, you will pour the ganache over the cake (while the ganache is still warm) and spread with a spoon. Then, refrigerate the cake until you're ready to serve!
Why do you add coffee in the chocolate cake layers?
When you add a hot liquid to cocoa powder, it helps it “bloom,” meaning it enhances the flavor of the chocolate. You can “bloom” the chocolate with any hot liquid (milk, water, coffee, etc), but I always choose coffee for my chocolate cake.
Why do I use coffee? Because coffee actually brings out even more chocolate flavor. Are you concerned you’ll taste the coffee? You won’t! I know it seems odd, but really it just helps deepen the flavor of the chocolate.
How should I store the cake?
Ding Dong Cake should be stored in the fridge. However, you can certainly let it sit out for 30 minutes before eating, if you'd like!
Can I freeze leftover Ding Dong Cake?
Yes, you sure can! Here's what I like to do:
- Cut the cake into single serving pieces.
- Wrap each piece in cling wrap.
- Place the pieces of cake in a large freezer bag or air-tight container.
Then when you're ready to enjoy, simply take one (or two...) out of the fridge and let it set at room temperature for 30 minutes and enjoy!
If you liked this cake, here are a few other cakes you might enjoy!
And here you have it - copycat Ding Dong Cake!!! It looks long and complicated, but it really isn't. And I can promise you....it's 100% worth it!!!!
Ding Dong Cake
- 2 cups flour
- 2 cups sugar
- ¾ cup cocoa
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup hot coffee
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup shortening
- ½ cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ⅔ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- ½ cup heavy whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
Make the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Grease two 9x13 pans and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Add flour, sugar, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and baking soda to your mixing bowl (I use a stand mixer with the whisk attachment). Stir until combined.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla. Once combined, add in the coffee slowly so you don't cook the eggs.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir slowly until combined. Then mix on high for two minutes, scraping the sides halfway through.
- Distribute the batter evenly between the two prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (A few moist crumbs sticking to the toothpick is fine, but you don't want it gooey)
- Cool cakes for a few minutes. Run a butter knife around the outside of each pan, and turn the cakes out onto a cooling rack and carefully remove parchment paper. Let cool completely.
Make the Filling
- In a saucepan, mix flour and milk with a whisk. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thick. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- In a large bowl (or stand mixer with a whisk attachment), beat the shortening, butter, sugar, salt and vanilla until fluffy.
- Add the cooled milk mixture and beat until smooth.
- Place one of the cakes back into the pan, spread filling over the cake and top with the other cake layer.
Make the Ganache Topping
- Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl.
- In a microwave safe bowl (or glass liquid measuring cup), heat the heavy whipping cream in 15 second increments until it's very hot but NOT boiling.
- Pour the cream over the chocolate chips and let sit for two minutes.
- Add the corn syrup and stir until smooth and glossy. Pour over the cake and spread with a spoon.
- Refrigerate cake for at least 2 hours to let everything set. Enjoy!
Donna A Pollock says
you are so right about this filling,I have made this so many times and I use it for evrything. I love it too. Thank you for sharing this recipe with all of us. I do hope everyone will try this it is so darn good
Yes!!! Isn't it the best?! 🙂
anne jefferies says
made this for family, everyone loved it!
Thanks Anne! Glad you all loved it! 🙂
This recipe looks awesome! I am going to try this cake in three 8 inch round pans- I’ll let you know how it works out! 🙂
Please do!! I hope you love it! 🙂 -Kelsey
Hey! Did you try the recipe with three 8 inch rounds? I am wanting to do that myself and needed your feedback. Thanks!
Hi Amy! Great question. That would work perfectly fine. I'd line the bottom of the pans with a round piece of parchment, so they release easily. Then you'll likely have to decrease the baking time. Otherwise, it should work as is! 🙂
I can substitute coffee with something else or not use it all together? Thanks
You can just use hot water instead! 🙂
Do you use unsweetened or sweet cocoa and can you use Dutch cocoa? Thank you!
I typically use Nestle or Hershey's (unsweetened) Cocoa Powder.
Can I use a box cake mix. I’m pressed on time.
Made it this evening and it was so yummy! We all loved it!
So happy to hear, Melisha!!! 🙂 It's one of my very favorite recipes on the blog - so chocolatey and tasty! -Kelsey
Could shortening be substituted?
Hi Gayle - I don't recommend using any substitutions for the shortening (I use Crisco shortening) as it won't have the same flavor or texture.
Can I use all butter instead of shortening and butter ?
Hi Lucy - I don't recommend it as it'll give a very different flavor to the filling.
I am going to do something crazy with this recipe. No, I am not altering any of the ingredients other than the amount. I am going to make a 16" Ding Dong Cake for my husband's 60th Birthday in June. I will be taking it to an Anniversary-Birthday celebration. I am going to try and make it look exactly like a Ding Dong. I will update you on the outcome. Thanks!
Donna Sharp says
The massive cake was a massive hit! The compliments were unending. One of our friends even went as far as to say that I should audition for one of those baking contest shows, lol. I DO bake a lot of cakes and cheesecakes for our friends. This one is definitely a keeper!
It weighed between 15 - 20 pounds since I quadrupled the entire recipe, so thank goodness that I didn't have to carry it too far. I just used different extracts for the cake (chocolate and coffee) and I kept the filling as is, although I may reduce or completely omit the salt called for in the filling. I also used a 2 - 1 ratio for the ganache, chocolate to cream and I am glad that I did. When I was trying to line up the top layer after I put the filling on the bottom, a big chunk broke off (SO close!) and I had to do some patch work with the rest of the filling and the ganache covered my repairs. No one knew until it was cut into, lol. I used 24 ounces of Callebaut semi-sweet pieces in the ganache and made truffles dipped in white chocolate and dusted with a ground coffee, cocoa powder and organic sugar mixture for decoration on the top. The only thing that I regret is not taking a picture of the completed cake. It was absolutely gorgeous!
I will definitely be making this cake again, in regular size. I won't make it that large again unless I get a bigger deep freezer so I can freeze the layers for easier assembly. It was delicious and I have this saved to a folder dedicated to your blog on my home screen. Thanks again, Kelsey!
Soooo happy to hear!! Glad this cake was a hit. And I love that you made such a huge cake, haha!!! I could go for a slice of that cake right about now! 🙂 Thanks so much for the rating and review. It helps my small business more than you know! 🙂 -Kelsey
Donna Sharp says
First and foremost, thank you for posting this recipe. My husband's 60th birthday is on June 13th and I will be making two double batches (for a 16" round layer cake 😳) for a large celebration. Go big or go home, right? The only thing I will be switching is the extract. I will be using chocolate and coffee extracts because that makes chocolate confections shine more than vanilla. Depending on the thickness of the cakes, I will probably triple the filling recipe and double the ganache using acetate around the cake to pour and set the ganache and decorating the top with white chocolate (writing included). I will let you know how well it was received after this coming Monday.
How far in advance can I make this cake? It looks amazing!!
You could certainly make it a couple days in advance. It's one of my all-time favorites on the blog - I hope you love it!!! -Kelsey
T Wounder says
Looks good and I want to make cake ,is the butter unsalted and is the flour all purpose?
Hello! I use salted butter and yes, all-purpose flour! -Kelsey