Ho Ho Cake

Ho Ho Cake

The Spruce / Kristina Vanni 

Prep: 45 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Chill: 60 mins
Total: 2 hrs
Servings: 8 to 10 servings
Yield: 1 cake
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
400 Calories
25g Fat
41g Carbs
6g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 400
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 25g 32%
Saturated Fat 15g 74%
Cholesterol 128mg 43%
Sodium 153mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 31g
Protein 6g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 60mg 5%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 140mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Sweet and fluffy, Ho Ho cakes are the perfect example of what an amazing packaged treat should look and taste like. With a perfect balance of decadent chocolate and a layer of creamy frosting, these rolls are a guilty pleasure that many of us have enjoyed over the years. There's no need for an excuse to go buy a few of these cakes because now you can make them at home, with simple ingredients and in a bigger size. Our recipe for a Ho Ho cake is the perfect copycat of the cream-filled chocolate snack cakes that Hostess produced and that gave so many of us happy memories.

To make this Ho Ho cake, you need a chocolate sponge, a fluffy whipped cream filling, and a rich chocolate ganache. Put together, this dessert is as good as it is pretty, and thanks to our super-sized take on it, you can serve eight to 10 slices.

Cake rolls look hard to achieve, but some care and attention to detail will allow you to assemble them without trouble. Serve this as a treat for a coffee break, or decorate it with fresh strawberries for a cute celebratory cake. No matter how you choose to eat it, this dessert will take you right back to the excitement you felt when finding a package of Ho Hos in your lunchbox.


For the Chocolate Sponge:

  • Unsalted butter, softened, for greasing the pan

  • 4 large eggs, separated

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 1/3 cup, divided

  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup water

For the Cream Filling:

For the Chocolate Ganache:

  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup

Steps to Make It

Make the Sponge

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Gather the ingredients
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni 
  2. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a 15.5 x 10.5 x 1-inch jelly roll pan with parchment paper. Generously grease the paper with unsalted butter. Either using a standing mixer or mixing by hand, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the granulated sugar, continuously beating until stiff peaks form. Set aside.

    Beat the egg whites
     The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. In a separate medium bowl, beat the 4 egg yolks and vanilla on medium speed for 3 minutes. Gradually add the remaining 1/3 cup granulated sugar and continue to beat for 2 additional minutes.

    Beat the egg yolks
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  4. In a third small bowl, stir together the flour and 1/3 cup of the cocoa powder. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt. 

    Mix the dry ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  5. Beating on low speed, add the cocoa mixture to the egg yolk mixture alternating with tablespoons of the water, just until the batter is smooth. 

    Mix the wet and dry ingredients
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  6. Gradually fold the cocoa mixture into the beaten egg whites until well blended. Don't overmix or you risk deflating the egg whites.

    Fold the egg whites into the batter
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  7. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until the top springs back when touched lightly in the center. 

    Bake the chocolate cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Roll the Warm Sponge

  1. While the sponge bakes, coat a linen or thin cotton tea towel with the remaining 1/3 cup of cocoa powder—it should at least cover the size and shape of the jelly roll pan.

    Prepare to roll the cake
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Once the cake is baked, immediately loosen it from the edges of the pan. Invert the cake onto the prepared towel. Carefully peel off the parchment paper. Roll the cake and towel together, starting from the narrow end. Place on a wire rack to cool completely—the trick is to coax the cake into a rolled shape while it is still warm to keep it from cracking.

    Roll the warm cake and let cool
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Filling

  1. Using a standing mixer or by hand, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla extract on medium-high speed until medium to stiff peaks form, or about 2 to 3 minutes. 

    Mix the cream filling
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Roll the Sponge With the Filling

  1. Carefully unroll the cooled cake. Spread the prepared whipped cream filling evenly over the top of the sponge, leaving about a 1/2-inch border around the cake. Gently roll the cake back up, this time without the towel. Place on a wire rack set on a baking sheet and refrigerate while preparing the ganache.

    Assemble the cake and roll
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni

Make the Ganache

  1. Place chocolate chips, heavy cream, and light corn syrup in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30-second intervals, stirring each time until the chips are melted and the ganache is smooth.

    Prepare the ganache
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  2. Pour the ganache all over the cake roll. Spoon up any dripped ganache and pour it over the cake again. Refrigerate for at least 30 to 60 minutes before slicing and serving.

    Cover in ganache and cool
    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni
  3. Enjoy.

    Ho Ho Cake

    The Spruce / Kristina Vanni