Homemade Ding Dongs or Ring Dings or whatever you call them

Our cooking club theme last month was Gourmet Kids Menu. We were all tasked to “gourmetify” a favorite kids food. We watched the movie Big while chowing down on some lobster mac and cheese, pizza with caramelized onions, goat cheese, and prosciutto, and other grown up kids foods.

Homemade Ding Dongs

Since I always make desserts, I wanted to find a classic childhood dessert and make it from scratch. I immediately thought of all the varieties of packaged desserts cakes and cookies that we always had in our lunch boxes growing up. My mom would let us choose a box of our favorite treat for our lunches. I always loved Swiss Cake Rolls and Oatmeal Cream Pies. Another favorite of mine was the Ding Dong.

Homemade Ding Dongs

Now I had no idea there was such a huge debate about these little guys, but apparently there is. Hubby of course had no idea what a Ding Dong was. I blame that he grew up on the East Coast. Once I found out the name he knew them by (Ring Dings) we were on the same page about the fact that it would be fun to try to recreate them from scratch. If you’re interested in learning more about the Ding Dong debate, check out this page on slashfood or this page on wikipedia.

Homemade Ding Dongs

Once Hubby was on board with my idea, I set out to find a recipe. I had no idea how hard that would be, but decided to rely on one of my favorite bloggers, Deb from Smitten Kitchen. I made the cake in two nine-inch pans and after reading the comments realized that I’d have enough batter leftover for some cupcakes too – score! Instead of turning it in to a layer cake, I cut out rounds of cake (once again using those round cookie cutters my Dad thought I’d never use). Then I filled them with the whipped filling and coated them in ganache.

Homemade Ding Dongs

Let me tell you, these little Ding Dongs were amazing. The chocolate cake is so rich and moist. And how can you go wrong drenching anything in ganache? They were quite the labor of love though. I ended up using a brush to basically paint the ganache onto each one individually.

Homemade Ding Dongs

The filling was perfect as well. I have made fauxstess cupcakes before using the exact same filling recipe. This time it was much more fluffy and I definitely preferred it over the last time. Maybe I did it wrong last time, who knows.

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Homemade Ding Dongs

Ding Dongs are a classic childhood lunch treat. Homemade Ding Dongs taste even better than you could imagine!

Yield: makes 12

Ingredients:

For the Cake
3 ounces fine-quality semisweet chocolate
1 1/2 cups hot brewed coffee
3 cups sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder (not Dutch process)
2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 tsp salt
3 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups well-shaken buttermilk
3/4 tsp vanilla

For the 7 Minute Frosting
2 egg whites
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 Tbsp water
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

For the Ganache
1 cup heavy cream
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
12 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped into 1/2-ounce pieces

Directions:

For the Cake
Preheat oven to 300°F. and grease pans. Line bottoms of 2 10-inch round cake pans with wax paper and grease paper. If you don't have 10-inch cake pans, you can make 2 9-inch cake pans and a dozen cupcakes.

Finely chop chocolate and in a bowl combine with hot coffee. Let mixture stand, stirring occasionally, until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.

Into a large bowl sift together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another large bowl with an electric mixer beat eggs until thickened slightly and lemon colored. Slowly add oil, buttermilk, vanilla, and melted chocolate mixture to eggs, beating until combined well. Add sugar mixture and beat on medium speed until just combined well.

Divide batter between pans and bake in middle of oven until a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes.

Cool layers completely in pans on racks. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert layers onto racks. Carefully remove wax paper and cool layers completely. Cake layers may be made 1 day ahead and kept, wrapped well in plastic wrap, at room temperature.

For the 7 Minute Frosting
Combine frosting ingredients with a pinch of salt in a metal bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water and beat with a handheld electric mixer at high speed until frosting is thick and fluffy, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove bowl from heat and continue to beat until slightly cooled. Use frosting the day it is made.

For the Ganache
Heat the heavy cream and the butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil.

Place the semisweet chocolate in a 3-quart stainless steel bowl. Pour the boiling cream over the chocolate and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth.

To assemble the Ding Dongs
Once the cake layers have cooled completely, use a small round cookie cutter to cut small circles of cake out of the layers. Enjoy the scraps or save them for cake balls.

Using the cone method, scoop out a small portion of cake from each circle. Fill with 7-minute frosting and replace top of cake.

Using a pastry brush or spoon, cover individual cakes with ganache. Allow ganache to completely set up before serving.

Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

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23 Responses to “Banana Split Cupcake”

  1. #
    1
    stephchows — September 15, 2009 at 12:47 pm

    Great cupcake hero entry!!! yum!

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    2
    oneordinaryday — September 15, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    You’re right – it’s a freaking cute cupcake! I especially love that frosting and how you got it to look like a scoop of ice cream. Nicely done!
    This is my first CH and I can’t wait till the voting begins! : )

  3. #
    3
    Amanda — September 15, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Wow, what a yummy looking cupcake! Great idea!

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    4
    oneparticularkitchen — September 15, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    This is ADORABLE!! I love it!

  5. #
    5
    Xiaolu — September 15, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    Gorgeous cupcake, Jen! I love how the cherry stands out. How do you get that black background if you don’t mind me asking? I’m pretty new to this food photography thing 8)

  6. #
    6
    Amy Kingman — September 15, 2009 at 5:41 pm

    Yummmm!!!!!

  7. #
    7
    Jen — September 15, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    Xiaolu – It’s actually just my black table. I’ve also had luck using a plain black piece of construction paper (most of my backgrounds are the 12×12 scrap-booking papers) or a black towel to get the background all black.

    Here is an example using paper, and one using a towel.

  8. #
    8
    Xiaolu — September 15, 2009 at 5:59 pm

    Thanks! That’s really helpful.

  9. #
    9
    Joanna — September 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

    Yum! Great idea 🙂

  10. #
    10
    Stephanie Wagner — September 15, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    Awesome idea!

  11. #
    11
    bcallegra — September 16, 2009 at 2:04 am

    Very creative and it looks great!

  12. #
    12
    The Novice Chef — September 16, 2009 at 3:15 am

    What a cute idea! I love it!! And I know my nieces would be in love!

  13. #
    13
    nutmegnanny — September 16, 2009 at 3:33 am

    Great idea…they look delicious!

  14. #
    14
    jesstyler — September 16, 2009 at 4:08 am

    holy deliciousness! I NEED one of those! 🙂

  15. #
    15
    Kerstin — September 16, 2009 at 4:48 am

    How creative, I love them! So cute and tasty with that cherry on top!

  16. #
    16
    Ingrid — September 16, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    Very cute looking! I like your idea.
    ~ingrid

  17. #
    17
    lifeoftheparty — September 16, 2009 at 7:25 pm

    These cupcakes are pure genius… you’ve definitely got my vote!

  18. #
    18
    Jigginjessica — September 17, 2009 at 12:34 am

    Cute idea! What a great entry!

  19. #
    19
    thegreatpantryraid — September 17, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Wow – super cute! A lot of work, I’m sure, but such a big payoff! Great job!

  20. #
    20
    Kami — September 17, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    So stinkin’ cute!

  21. #
    21
    Caroline — September 19, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Very cute, indeed and loving the pineapple in the frosting. I can just imagine how delicious this would taste. What a great idea.

  22. #
    22
    Keiara Wells — September 19, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    MMM, it looks fantastic! I’ll have to try this one 🙂 xox

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    Sweet and Savory — October 15, 2009 at 5:55 am

    These cupcakes are precious besides, I am sure, being delicious. What a great idea.

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