Easy Ding Dong Cake

Easy Ding Dong Cake is a semi-homemade chocolate cake with cream filling, made in a 13×9 inch pan. And yes, it tastes like a Hostess Ding Dong!

ding dong cake slice on a plate with a bite taken out and a fork next to it.

Who doesn’t love a gooey slice of chocolate cake? This Easy Ding Dong Cake takes it up a notch, with a layer of chocolate cake, a layer of cream filling, and a rich fudge icing.

The recipe can best be described as semi-homemade—you’ll use a store-bought cake mix and a store-bought chocolate fudge icing. These shortcuts make this cake really easy to whip up!

The recipe is from a church cookbook from the 1980s. Hostess Ding Dongs were invented in 1967, and I just love that someone was clamoring to make them at home, in the form of a cake.

And they did not disappoint! The cake really does taste like a Ding Dong.

Read on for how to make it!

This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links support Gift of Hospitality at no additional cost to you. I receive a commission if you choose to make a purchase through these link.

Ingredients

ingredients for ding dong cake on a white table.

This cake comes together in a snap thanks to a few store-bought helpers.

  • Chocolate cake mix is the base of this recipe (check the back of the box for additional ingredients needed—you’ll be following the directions to make the cake)
  • The cream layer is made up of shortening, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla extract, and sugar.
  • The final layer is a simple can of store-bought frosting. Choose a dark chocolate or darker hued chocolate frosting to make it look like a ding dong!

How to make easy ding dong cake

Start by greasing a 13×9 inch pan with cooking spray or butter.

Then, prepare the chocolate cake using the directions from the back of the box. If there are directions to bake the cake at 325°F, use those directions. The lower temperature helps prevent the cake from getting a large dome.

baked plain chocolate cake in a 13x9 inch pan.

If the cake ends up getting a large dome shape on top, don’t worry! You can leave it as-is (it’ll still taste great, of course). Or you can use a large serrated knife to slice off the dome (remove the cake from the pan for easiest slicing). Either one is just fine!

Let the cake cool completely before proceeding.

Next, place the shortening, butter, evaporated milk, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on low until combined, then beat for 15 minutes on medium speed, or until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

yellow stand mixer with a whisk attachment beating a creamy butter and sugar mixture.
This is my grandma’s KitchenAid mixer from the 1970s—it’s still going strong!

Spread the cream mixture over the completely cooled chocolate cake. I like using an offset spatula for this.

Frosting the ding dong cake

To frost the cake, open the can of frosting and peel off ALL of the foil seal.

We’re going to put the can in the microwave, so it’s important that there is no foil left on the can. If you can’t get it off, just transfer the frosting to a microwave-safe bowl.

Place the can of frosting in the microwave for 30 seconds. Give it a stir, then microwave for 15 seconds more. Stir again—you want a frosting that is just barely pourable.

Pour the frosting over the cream layer, and spread it evenly across the cake.

hand pouring a can of chocolate frosting over a cake in a metal pan.

Let the frosting set for about 30 minutes at room temperature. Then, slice the cake and serve!

slice of ding dong cake in a cake pan, surrounded by more cake.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use more butter instead of shortening?

For this cake, shortening is the best option. It creates a light and fluffy texture, and is more stable than butter, so it’s more sturdy under the chocolate layer. So, I don’t recommend substituting butter for the shortening.

What type of chocolate cake mix is best for Ding Dong Cake?

Use a dark chocolate, devil’s food, or chocolate fudge cake mix for this cake. All three of those mixes have a darker, more chocolate-y flavor and color, which is similar to a Ding Dong.

What type of chocolate frosting is best for Ding Dong Cake?

Dark chocolate or fudge frosting is best for this cake. Take a look at the color of the frosting on the cans at the grocery store—the photos will show you how dark the frosting will be!

Make it ahead

Ding Dong Cake can be made up to 2 days before you plan to serve it. Once the cake is frosted, cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, or put a lid on the pan.

Then, place it in the refrigerator for up to one week (it will start to dry out after about 5 days). I recommend making it up to 2 days in advance.

When you’re ready to serve it, take it out of the refrigerator one hour before you plan to serve it. The time at room temperature will allow the frosting and cream layer to soften slightly, which is the ideal texture for this cake.

slice of ding dong cake on a white plate with a colorful napkin underneath and a fork nearby.

Can I freeze ding dong cake?

Yes! Cut the cake into slices and wrap individually in plastic wrap. Then, place those wrapped pieces in a storage container or freezer bag.

Freeze the cake for up to 2 months. Defrost on the countertop overnight.

More 13×9 inch cake recipes

And if you’re on the hunt for another cake made in a 13×9 inch pan, don’t miss these gems!

And if you love nostalgic treat, here’s another: Strawberry Crunch Topping. It’s the exterior of a Good Humor strawberry ice cream bar, made into a topping for ice cream and cakes!

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

slice of ding dong cake in a cake pan with more ding dong cake in the pan.

Easy Ding Dong Cake

Published by Kate
This semi-homemade chocolate cake really does taste like a Hostess Ding Dong!
4.58 from 176 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 15
Calories 428 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (15.25 oz) package chocolate fudge cake mix
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • cup shortening (such as Crisco)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup evaporated milk
  • 1 (16 oz) can chocolate fudge frosting

Instructions
 

  • Bake the cake mix according to package directions using a 13×9 inch pan at 325°F. The lower temperature will help prevent the cake from doming. Let the cake cool completely.
  • Once the cake is cool, beat the butter, crisco, sugar, vanilla, and evaporated milk in a stand mixer on high for 15 minutes. The mixture will be smooth and creamy. Spread over cooled cake.
  • Remove the lid from the frosting can. Remove the foil seal completely (see notes if the foil doesn’t come off completely). Place the can of frosting in the microwave for 15 seconds. Stir and microwave for an additional 15 seconds or until the frosting is pourable.
  • Pour the frosting over the cream layer, and spread into an even layer. Let sit at room temperature until the frosting hards (about 2–3 hours) or refrigerate for 45 minutes. Cut into slices and serve.

Video

Notes

If any portion of the foil seal is still on the frosting can, scoop the frosting into a microwave-safe bowl before microwaving. Foil cannot go in the microwave!

Nutrition

Calories: 428kcalCarbohydrates: 51gProtein: 3gFat: 26gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 300mgPotassium: 181mgFiber: 1gSugar: 39gVitamin A: 211IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 2mg
Keyword 13×9 inch cake, ding dong cake
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

29 Comments

  1. I could not get the filling to be light and fluffy and it tasted awful. I followed the recipe exactly and have many years experience so not sure what went wrong.

    1. Hi Kara, did the filling get smooth after beating? It should be like a dense buttercream. As for the taste—I’m not sure what to tell you! I wouldn’t necessarily eat it with a spoon since it’s just butter, shortening, sugar, and evaporated milk, but it’s really nice with the cake + chocolate frosting combo!

  2. I make a layered cake version of this cake. However, for the “fluff” I mix one box of powdered sugar and one large tub of cool whip and a splash of vanilla. Easy and soooo yummy!

  3. 5 stars
    Can you use 2 round cake pans, put the white in the middle & the chocofrosting on the outsideover all?

    1. Yes! Maybe get two cans of frosting just in case—I’m not sure if one will cover both the top and sides of a round cake.

  4. 4 stars
    Only gave this 4 stars because the white cream filling ended up silky smooth, and not light and fluffy. I followed the directions precisely. I’m thinking of using either all shortening next time or maybe margarine instead of butter. The filling tastes delicious, but isn’t like what you say it should be. I’m a seasoned Baker and cook (been doing both for over 50 years). My kitchen shouldn’t have been too warm. My thermostat registered 70⁰F at the time. The only thing I can think of is perhaps using Crisco shortening bars rather than canned shortening might have caused an issue? Any helpful hints would be appreciated. Thank you.

    1. Hi Christine! I also used Crisco bars so I don’t think that was it. Was your butter at room temp? Let me know what you think if you try all shortening next time!

  5. I made this last night for my parents’ anniversary! We’re eating it tonight but I know it will be delicious! I definitely should have cut a little off the top. The icing didn’t stay on top and went all to the sides. Thankfully, this is just for my family and they won’t care what it looks like!

  6. 5 stars
    Thank you so much, I lost this recipe for filling years ago. I use to pipe into cupcakes. Grandkids love this recipe.

  7. Does anyone know if this can be frozen? There are only 3 of us and that’s a lot of cake to finish…

  8. I am going to put ganache frosting on this cake. Will let you know if i got approval for ganache !! We’re a ganache family!!

  9. Hello! This looks amazing! I’m wondering if I can make my own frosting or if it’s best with the store bought? Any thoughts? Thank you!

    1. I haven’t tried it with homemade frosting! I suspect that homemade frosting may be a little bit more difficult to spread on the cake since it won’t be able to be microwaved like store-bought frosting. But that depends on the consistency of the frosting, of course. If you try it, please let me know!

      1. Hi,

        The store was out of fudge frosting so I made my own. The cake tasted fine but the end result didn’t look pretty. I think I should have put the frosting from the stove to the cake rather than beating it. After I beat it, I put in microwave to melt it. When I poured over, the butter was separating. Still tastes good but next time will definitely use the store bought frosting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating