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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31 Responses to “Homemade Ding Dongs or Ring Dings or whatever you call them”

  1. #
    1
    SimplySweeter — May 24, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    Jen, I think I just died and went to heaven! Long live the Ring Ding!! LOL

    http://www.simplysweeter.blogspot.com

  2. #
    2
    Cara — May 24, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    Love this theme, so fun! The whole menu sounds delicious :)

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    3
    Jane — May 24, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Hi Jen,
    Wow! These babies look really authentic. I’ve seen a lot of faux Ding Dongs in my day, and yours rank right up there. Very nice job!
    :) Jane

  4. #
    4
    bridget {bake at 350} — May 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    Oh, I LOVE Ding Dongs!!! And yours look fabulous!

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    roxan — May 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    Even at 8a on a monday morning, I feel like I could eat a whole stack of those. Great job, they look delicious!

  6. #
    6
    Kasey — May 24, 2010 at 7:11 pm

    There is a local baking partnership here in the Los Angeles area that makes individual sized cakes and treats. They also recreate classic favorites such as the Ho-Ho. Thought you might enjoy the link. http://www.cakemonkey.com/

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    Memória — May 24, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Oh your Ding Dongs look perfect. Absolutely perfect!! They make me want to jump up and make them now. Goodness!! Thanks for sharing the photos and recipe with us. I’ve yet to make the 7-minute frosting, so I’m looking forward to that.

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    8
    Katherine — May 24, 2010 at 8:11 pm

    Oh my, what a great recipe!

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    Kara — May 24, 2010 at 11:31 pm

    You’re killing me! Now I have to think about when I can fit Ring Dings into my schedule this week! They’d be so much better from scratch than they would out of the box…

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    ellysaysopa.com — May 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    These & oatmeal creme pies were my absolute favorite as a kid. I think they were called King Dons when I ate them. I definitely need to try this!

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    oneordinaryday — May 25, 2010 at 3:32 pm

    Oh, how fun. WIsh I had a couple right now.

  12. #
    12
    Ingrid — May 29, 2010 at 1:44 am

    Ring Dings! :) But that’s what they were called when Drake’s made them and we lived in NYC. Once we moved to FL they were Ding Dongs. Or do I have that backwards, hmm now I’m not exactly sure. Either way it wasn’t I that ate them but my Mom. I’ll have to give them a whirl for her and score some brownie points, hee-hee!

    Hope you have a safe and Happy Memorial Day weekend!
    ~ingrid

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    13
    hannah! — May 29, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    omigosh YUM!! they sure do remind me of hostess cupcakes

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    14
    Katherine — July 4, 2010 at 1:30 pm

    Your ding dongs look perfect! Great job!

    I’ve been thinking of making these for my mother for her birthday next week…but since she LOVE chocolate peanut butter, I thought I would fill the cakes with a peanut butter version of the white cream. Any suggestions on what peanut butter cream I should fill them with??

    I would love your input, I trust you more than myself in this matter, haha.

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    15
    GadgetGirl — January 4, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    FYI for anyone interested, I made mine into cupcakes since I don’t have round cake pans. The cupcakes take about 25 minutes to bake at the same temp. Really good but tons of work! Oh yeah I got 32 cupcakes using 1/4 cup batter in each cup. I had plenty of filling but I had to made a little more ganache, BUT I was a little heavy with it in the beginning so if you keep that in mind you could have enough.

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    Souffle Bombay (Colleen) — January 6, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Love these…I am an East Coat gal and I knew what you meant lol! I will NOT buy these for my kids with what is used for ingredients, but you have inspired me to make them! Thanks!

  17. #
    17
    Carol — February 12, 2012 at 2:35 am

    Sorry to say but mine fell apart and it was entirely to much work. Much better to just go to the store and buy them.

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    18
    Kari@Loaves n Dishes — January 5, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    These look just like the original, but I bet they’re so much more tasty. Great job!

    • beantownbaker — January 5th, 2013 @ 11:44 pm

      They sure are better than the original – a lot more work though, but definitely worth it!

  19. #
    19
    Anna — January 17, 2013 at 9:38 am

    Can the coffee be substitutes with anything else?

    • beantownbaker — January 17th, 2013 @ 4:51 pm

      The coffee just enhances the chocolate flavor. You can just use water instead if you don’t have any coffee or don’t like coffee.

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    20
    jennifer — February 2, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    I just made these for my mothers birthday(ring dings are the only dessert she enjoys) they came out great! Awesome recipe

    • beantownbaker — February 3rd, 2013 @ 9:46 pm

      So glad you enjoyed them. Happy birthday to your mother!

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    Kathy — February 21, 2013 at 1:51 pm

    hey.. made these.. testing recipes for a summer camp job I start this June.. so good, but might stick with cupcakes for kids..
    took cake chunks and extra frosting.. made cake balls! Rolled in melted peanut butter then dripped chocolate over… YUM… love your site.. looking for more camp ideas.. kid friendly!

    • beantownbaker — February 24th, 2013 @ 10:28 am

      Cupcakes definitely would be less messy for kids. I really like the portability of bars and brownies. I have tons of those on my blog too.

      Making cake balls with PB and chocolate on top sounds amazing!

  22. #
    22
    Carmen — July 24, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Never had these before but look good! I might just use the whole cake and cut out rings with the cutter and fill them up in the whole cake then cover in choc. What if you put marshmallow filling? Do you think it would be to soft to cut into pieces of cake?

  23. #
    23
    Virginia — August 3, 2013 at 9:26 pm

    OMG Jen, just saw this recipe linked from HuffPo article! Sorry, can’t get the link on my phone. :( Slide show on manufactured foods that taste better homemade.

    • beantownbaker — August 4th, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

      Thanks for letting me know! I found the post.

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    Trisha — August 26, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    Amazing results. Rarely do I find the recipes that claim to be “just like” the original actually live up to those claims. This one did. LOVE.

    • beantownbaker — August 27th, 2013 @ 7:58 am

      So glad you enjoyed them!

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    25
    Jody — March 13, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    The recipe says to use filling same day. I need to make the cakes a day or 2 ahead of party. If I fill them right away, will they hold for a day or so in the refrigerator ? I don’ t want them to get soggy.

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