Childhood Favorites for Valentine's Day 2021

I don't always support charities but when I do, I try to go all out to the best of my ability and my household's financial needs. In the past I have teamed up with Good Cookies Food Blogger's events for Christmas and for Valentine's Day. This year is their Fifth Annual Good Cookies Food Bloggers' Valentine's Event and I have joined again.

The problem with creating a post for a new to me recipe for Valentine's Day and posting it today along with all the other food bloggers doing so, is that Valentine's Day is 13 days away! 

I wanted to use the Baked with Love: Dixie Crystals Celebrates 100 Years cookbook I was sent by Dixie Crystals because they are one of the corporate sponsors for the Good Cookie events. I wanted to try something brand new to me but which my entire family would love. Pages 50-51 of the cookbook has a "Homemade Ding Dongs" recipe and my entire family grew up loving ding dongs and other pre-packaged goodies. The cake part of the recipe seems feasible but the filling part, that didn't ring true. The inside of Ding Dongs is not marshmallow but something else. Not only that, but my hubby can't eat pure marshmallows or marshmallow cream/fluff because of the stickiness. I'd have to find another way. I ended using the recipe as more inspiration than Bible.

I went looking for other recipes for homemade Ding Dongs specifically for a different type of filling. There were a lot out there on the Internet. Some of their ingredients like cream cheese didn't feel right either in terms of flavor. Some simply wanted to use a vanilla frosting but also is not the right consistency. 

I saw this in the grocery store -- Ding Dongs for Valentine's Day!

Since I have a heart shaped baking pan that makes 5 hearts, I decided to use them for the ding dongs.

So using using several sites as inspiration and most, but not all, of the Dixie Crystals cake instructions, I gave this idea a try.

Valentine's Day Homemade Ding Dongs

By TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

Makes: 10-12 desserts based on size

Cakes Recipe:

Ingredients: Cakes

1 C all-purpose flour

1/2 C dark cocoa powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 C granulated cane sugar

1 tsp baking powder

4 T liquid egg substitute

1/2 C whole milk

1/4 C vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 C hot water

Directions: Cakes

1. Preheat oven to 325°F then grease and flour heart-shaped pans. Mine make 5 medium sized hearts that are about the size of a cupcake.

2. Using a standing mixer and the whisking attachment, beat together the egg substitute and whole milk.

3. Start shifting together flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and baking powder into another bowl while the mixer works.

4. Add oil, extract, and salt to the wet ingredients. One these are smoothly mixed, which to a paddle attachment.

5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until smooth.

6. Slowly add in the hot water, about 2-3 tablespoons at a time, waiting until the batter is smooth before adding more water. The resulting batter will be liquidity so you can pour it into the pans.

7. Pour the batter into the heart shaped molds about 2/3 of the way full. I needed to cover the batter with plastic because I had only pan to use. If you have two, use them.

8. Place into the preheated ovens on a centered rack and bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

9. Remove from oven and place on cooling rack for 15 minutes. Cover another baking rack with wax paper.

10. Loosen the sides of the hearts and then turn them upside down onto the wax paper and let fully cool.

While the cakes area cooling, make the filling.

Filling Recipe:

Ingredients: Filling

1/2 13 oz jar of marshmallow cream

1/2 Cup of whole milk

1 stick butter, softened to room temperature but not melted

2 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp flavoring of your choice (I used vanilla)

Red food coloring (I used gel food coloring so it took less.)

Directions: Filling

1. Using a standing mixer with a paddle attachment, beat butter, milk, and flavoring until smooth.

2. Spoon in the marshmallow cream/fluff and blend until smooth.

3. Blend in the powdered sugar 1/4 C at a time.

4. Add food coloring one drop at a time while the mixer runs until the fluff is the color you want.

Preparing the Cakes:

1. Cut a section from the bottom of the cake. Be careful not to cut out too much. This may take practice. With my leftover batter, I made an oval cake to try first before tackling the hearts.

2. Cut the section in half horizontally and save the bottom portion. Eat the leftovers or give them to your family to test out the cake.

3. Fill the hollowed-out section with the fluff leaving enough for the save bottom part of the cake to reattached. You can use a spoon or a frosting bag or other tool, whatever you feel most comfortable using.

4. Reattach the save bottoms and leave the cakes setting bottom side up on a baking tray. Set waxed paper underneath the racks to catch the ganache that will drip off.

Chocolate Coating Recipe 


24 ounces of 54% real chocolate

1 tsp coconut oil


1. Break half of the chocolate into small pieces and place in a microwave safe bowl.

2. Melt at 30 second intervals, stirring at each interval until you have smooth melted chocolate after about 20 stirs.

3. Add in 12 tsp coconut oil and stir until it is smoothed into the chocolate.

Enrobing the Cakes:

1. Immediately spoon out the chocolate onto the bottom of each cake, smoother it outward as you go so it slightly drips off the side. Do not smooth out too thin or it will not hold.

2. Let set until the chocolate hardens.

3. Gently flip over the cakes on the cooling racks.

4. Repeat step one and apply layer of chocolate to the top of each cake.

5. Let set until the dripping stops then gently move the cake to a platter and place in the refrigerator until you eat them. If you put them in an airtight container, they may last up to three days.

Here are the results:

Homemade Heart Ding Dongs

Warning: This is a dessert that took an entire Saturday to create and that was with help at the hollowing-out phrase while I was working on the filling. This is not a recipe I would create again on my own, especially not in my current kitchen.

Help The Chocolate Cult and Good Cookies make a difference in the fight against cancer in children by donating to Cookies for Kids' Cancer! Our goal is to raise at least $3000. Because these three companies: OXO, Mediavine amd Dixie Crystals have each pledged to match our donations raised through this campaign up to $3000! That means when we raise $1, it turns into $4! Thank you to so many of you who have already donated, please help us reach our goal so we can get the full matching donations and help us make an even huge difference! Donate here today.