Ho Ho Cake

This Ho Ho Cake combines fluffy chocolate cake, cream filling, and rich chocolate ganache to mimic the flavor of Ho Hos!

A Homemade Hostess Classic

Slice of ho ho cake on a gold polka dot paper plate.

Y’all. This. Cake.

This cake is what your childhood dreams are made of.

This cake is the pillow you want to bury your face in while you dream about this cake.

This cake will make you totally forget about that company… what is it again…Hostess?…yeah, you’ll forget all about it.

We’ve already made my favorite packaged dessert, Oatmeal Creme Pies, but now it’s time to bring that same energy to the world of Hostess Cupcakes, Ho Hos, and Ding Dongs.

While the form factor is a bit different in each of these beloved treats, the basics are the same:

  1. Fluffy chocolate cake
  2. Sweet and creamy cream filling and
  3. Rich chocolate frosting

That, my friends, is exactly what we’re making in this delicious and easy Ho Ho Cake.

Slice of ho ho cake featuring chocolate cake with a layer of white cream filling and a layer of chcoolate ganache.

Why You’ll Love My Ho Ho Cake Recipe

  • It’s decadent. I mean, just look at it! Running a knife through that glossy chocolate ganache feels positively sensual. Trust me, when you’re craving something chocolatey and rich, this Ho Ho Cake is the answer.
  • It’s perfect for social gatherings. Chocolate desserts are a crowd-pleaser, and this cake is no exception. My recipe makes 15-20 servings, so there is plenty to go around!

Key Ingredients for Ho Ho Sheet Cake

I use my Chocolate Crazy Cake recipe as the base of this ho ho cake. It’s a super quick and easy one-bowl recipe that produces a rich, moist, and fluffy chocolate cake. The fluffy cream filling and chocolate ganache are also homemade, but don’t fret! Each component is pretty easy to make and uses ingredients you likely already have on hand, like:

  • Cocoa powder- We can’t have a chocolate cake without cocoa! I use natural unsweetened cocoa powder, not Dutch process.
  • Baking staples– Sugar, flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and vanilla extract.
  • Oil– Choose a neutral cooking oil like vegetable or canola. 
  • Water and vinegar– Crazy Cake is considered crazy primarily because it doesn’t have any eggs! Instead, a combination of water and vinegar is used to create lift.
  • Shortening– I use shortening for the base of the cream filling in this ho ho cake. You could substitute half of the shortening for butter if you prefer, but I find that a shortening base tastes the most like store bought ho hos.
  • Milk– The other part of the filling is made with milk thickened with flour. I don’t recommend substituting non-dairy milk for the filling.
  • Heavy whipping cream and semisweet chocolate chips- The only two ingredients needed for the best chocolate ganache!

Fork taking a bite out of a slice of ho ho cake.

How to Make My Ho Ho Dessert 

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. Whisk together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. (Note: If your cocoa powder is clumpy, you may need to sift it before whisking in).
  3. Add the wet ingredients. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. 
  5. Bake. Pour in the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool.

For the cream filling:

  1. Whisk together flour and milk in a sauce pan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking often, until bubbly and thickened. This will take several minutes, but once it starts to thicken it will go quick, so keep an eye on it. The mixture should be about the consistency of mayonnaise. (I know, gross, but it’s the best comparison for the thickness). Remove from heat and allow it to cool to warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, shortening, vanilla and salt. Add cooked mixture to shortening mixture and beat on medium high speed until thick and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Spread evenly over the cooled cake.

For the chocolate frosting:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream until just barely simmering, then pour over the chocolate chips. Whisk until chips are melted. Cool until the ganache is still pourable, but slightly thickened. Pour over the filling and gently spread to the edges. Allow the ganache to set up completely before slicing and serving.

FAQS 

Can I use a box cake mix for Ho Ho Cake?

You can definitely use a box cake mix. In fact, that’s what I originally used in my ho ho cake recipe. In my opinion, the Crazy Cake has a richer flavor and better texture, but a box cake tastes more like store bought ho hos.

How do I store Ho Ho Cake?

Ho Ho cake should be stored in the fridge. I like to place the cake in the fridge and allow the ganache to get firm, then cover in saran wrap. A pan with a lid, like this one, is even better, if you have it. That way it doesn’t mess with the frosting!

Can I make Ho Ho Cake ahead of time?

Yes! This cake keeps really well and can be made up to three days in advance.

How to serve Ho Ho Dessert

This cake can be served cold, at room temperature, or warmed for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Warmed cake is my personal favorite!

Why is my filling lumpy?

If your cream filling has little lumps, it’s likely because the flour clumped together when you were cooking the milk and flour together. To prevent this, make sure to whisk the flour and milk together very well before turning the heat on, and whisk constantly while it’s cooking.

Slice of ho ho cake with a fork taking one bite out of it.

More Easy Sheet Cake Recipes

I’m a biiiiig fan of simple desserts. I have an easy sheet cake recipe for any season! 

For spring, you can make my Carrot Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting or Rhubarb Upside Down Cake

For summer, try out my Pineapple Sunshine Cake or Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

For fall, try my Banana Crumb Cake or  Apple Crumb Cake.And for colder months, you can’t go wrong with this Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Snack Cake.

Slice of ho ho cake on a gold polka dot paper plate.

Ho Ho Cake

Yield: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Additional Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Layers of fluffy chocolate cake, whipped vanilla filling, and chocolate ganache make up this impressive Ho Ho Cake.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 6 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cream frosting:

  • 5 Tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • Pinch salt

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Instructions

For the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, flour, salt, soda, and baking powder. (Note: If your cocoa powder is clumpy, you may need to sift it before whisking in).
  3. Make a hole in the center of the dry ingredients, then pour in the water, oil, vinegar, and vanilla.
  4. Mix all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour in the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool.

For the cream filling:

  1. Whisk together flour and milk in a sauce pan. Heat the mixture over medium heat, whisking often, until bubbly and thickened. This will take several minutes, but once it starts to thicken it will go quick, so keep an eye on it, and keep whisking. The mixture should be about the consistency of mayonnaise. Remove from heat and allow to cool to warm.
  2. Meanwhile, in an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, shortening, vanilla and salt. Add cooked mixture to shortening mixture and beat on medium high speed until thick and fluffy, about 5-7 minutes. Spread evenly over the cooled cake.

For the chocolate frosting:

  1. Place the chocolate chips in a bowl. Heat cream until just barely simmering, then pour over the chocolate chips. Whisk until chips are melted. Cool until ganache is still pourable, but slightly thickened. Pour over the filling and gently spread to the edges. Allow the ganache to set up completely before slicing and serving.

Recommended Products

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 396Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 17mgSodium: 296mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 2gSugar: 38gProtein: 4g

Please note nutritional information for my recipes is calculated by a third party service and provided as a courtesy to my readers. For the most accurate calculation, I always recommend running the numbers yourself with the specific products you use.

Did you make this recipe?

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3 Comments

  1. Yes indeed. I tried my hand at this Ho Ho cake. It all went very smoothly. Haven’t tasted it yet, though. Letting it set up, a bit before slicing.

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