Ho ho ho! Time for a chocolate treat!
Can you believe I only heard about Ho Hos last month? And it was actually in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle...I know it's 10 years old tv show but it never gets boring to me.
After countless cakes breaking while trying to roll them, I finally nailed it. And the result is mindblowing. These vegan Ho Hos are incredibly soft, filled with a delicious cashew vanilla cream, and coated with a thin layer of chocolate. You get the contrast of the crispy chocolate shell, the softness of the chocolate cake, and the creaminess of the filling. These are very addictive, you have been warned!
If you are from Europe, you could compare these to kinder délice in a different shape, and with a coconut vanilla cream filling instead of the regular milk one.
The gluten-free roll was the most challenging part of the recipe, making a swiss cake that you can roll is not an easy task, especially when your rolls have to be small. To give the batter enough elasticity I relied on a mix of rice flour, tapioca starch, and xanthan gum. My first tries broke while rolling, the next ones were too elastic and had a gummy texture. I found out I was actually using too much xanthan gum, so once I got the amount right, the chocolate cake was soft and rollable with a fluffy texture.
I guess you could use guar gum instead, but make sure to double the amount as it is less powerful than xanthan gum.
Here are a few tips to get perfectly shaped Ho-Hos:
- Spread the batter as evenly as possible on the baking sheet, you want to have the same thickness everywhere otherwise the thinner areas will be crispy instead of soft and you will have trouble rolling it.
- As soon as the cake is cooked, transfer it to a clean damp towel. This will prevent it from drying, this way your cake will be soft and rollable. No need to flip it, just transfer it from the baking sheet to the towel (the baking paper being in contact with the towel).
- Do not overfill them, spreading too much vanilla cream will make it harder to roll: they might break and you won't get a nice swirl.
- Don't wait too long until you dip the rolls into the melted chocolate once they are rolled and filled with the cream. You don't want them to dry in the refrigerator and break, so I would recommend dipping them in chocolate just after, or less than 1 hour after rolling.
Then you can cut it into 12 even squares and spread each one with a thin layer of cashew vanilla cream. Roll them up tightly and chill in the refrigerator while you melt the chocolate for dipping.
The chocolate shell makes these rolls 10 times better, I mean who doesn't love a crispy chocolate coating with a soft, creamy inside? Plus it protects the rolls from drying, meaning they stay fresh longer. So, don't omit the dipping step!
To get a very thin shell, I melted the chocolate with some cocoa butter. If you don't have cocoa butter, then go with a chocolate with a high cocoa butter content, 70% dark chocolate is usually good.
Each roll is about the same size as a Mars bar, making it the perfect grab-n-go snack. I hope you will love this recipe, it's super chocolatey, creamy and you "get a big delight in every bite!"
Let me know in the comments if you try this recipe!
Vegan Gluten-Free Ho Hos
Vanilla Cream Filling
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked overnight and drained
- ½ cup coconut cream from one 13.5-ounce can full-fat coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 3 tablespoon melted coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoon lemon juice
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoon white rice flour
- 3 tablespoon brown rice flour
- ⅓ cup tapioca starch
- ⅓ cup coconut sugar
- 2 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ + ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ + ⅛ teaspoon xanthan gum
- 9 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tablespoon melted coconut oil (or other neutral oil)
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon applesauce
- 14 ounces dark chocolate for dipping, preferable 70%+
- ¼ cup cocoa butter optional, makes a thinner coating
Vanilla Cream Filling
- Combine all the ingredients in the bowl of a blender and blend on high speed for 30 seconds, or until you get a very smooth consistency. Transfer to a bowl, cover with plastic film to touch and place in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. You can speed up the process by placing the cream in the freezer. The cream will thicken as it cools. I usually make the cream the day before and let it harden in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Lightly grease a 10x15-inch baking sheet and line with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the white rice flour, brown rice flour, tapioca starch, coconut sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and xanthan gum.
- Stir in the almond milk, melted coconut oil, maple syrup, and applesauce. Whisk until smooth and well combined. The batter should have the consistency of a pancake batter.
- Pour the chocolate batter into the prepared baking sheet and spread it as evenly as possible using a spatula. This step is important to get the same thickness everywhere.
- Bake for 16 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Transfer the cake to a clean damp towel, this will keep it from drying.
- Let cool 10 minutes before cutting into 12 squares.
- One at a time, spread a cake square with a thin layer of the vanilla cashew cream (about 2 tbsp). Don't add too much or you will have trouble rolling the cake. Carefully roll up the cake to form a tight roll. Transfer the rolls to a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator while you melt the chocolate.
- Melt the dark chocolate over a double boiler, or in the microwave. Let it cool slightly. If you want, you can melt it with the cocoa butter, it will yield a thinner coating.
- Using a fork, dip each cake roll into the melted chocolate, starting with the ends and then the tops and bottoms. Shake to let excess chocolate drip into the bowl. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and repeat with the remaining rolls. Let cool completely before placing in the refrigerator.
- Ho Hos will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. I like to wrap each one individually and have them as a decadent chocolate snack.
Daryl Grant Lindsay
OH MY GAWD THOMAS!!!.....You are, quite simply put, A MIRACLE-WORKER!!!! This recipe is, truly, MIRACULOUS.....Why the hell aren't you famous? (.....with the accompanying "RICH"!!!)....I've not yet tried this recipe, but I WILL.....but I've rated it anyway, because I KNOW it is utterly MARVELOUS!!!....(Now, the NEXT thing I hope you'll try is "RING DINGS" (made by a company called "Drake's")....The night I came back from my divorce in December, 1977, I was so depressed I ate an entire BOX, consisting of 12 cakes (that was LONG before I got into health food as a way of life, and, specifically, PLANT-BASED health food, but I still see these little cakes at the store and I'm always SOOOOO TEMPTED...but I will NEVER buy them again!!....the idea for Ring Dings is probably the same for the cake, cream filling and chocolate coating as your Ho Ho recipe, but they are in the shape of little 2-1/4" x 1-1/4" round cakes.....SUCH JUNK FOOD, but SOOOOOOOOO GOOOOOOOD!!!! (and SOOOOOO bad for us!!!)........Thanks again Thomas.....your ingenuity and creativity CONTINUE to ASTOUND ME!!!!!!.....your ardent fan and admirer.......Daryl Grant Lindsay
Thank you so much Daryl! Happy to hear you like this recipe, it seems many people had these in their childhood 🙂
I have never heard of Rind Dings, does it has the same taste/texture? From what I read the ratio of cream seems to be a bit lower, and the chocolate shell thicker/softer maybe.
Ah, junk food often tastes the best 🙂
Daryl Grant Lindsay
Hi Thomas! . . . you know, every time I enter your site, I'm like a kid on xmas morning, frantically running around the tree, jumping up and down frenetically, not knowing where to begin to open my gifts. Excited to a feverish pitch by the anticipation of what's inside those beautifully-wrapped gifts, and enchanted by the beauty, the sparkling colors and twinkling lights all around me. That is PRECISELY how I feel as I view your recipes, look over the ingredients and directions and gaze at the gorgeous photos you've taken of your prepared recipes. I will often jump from recipe to recipe, wanting to try them all, but finding myself almost paralyzed with the adrenaline-rush that your wonderful creations create within me. Your perfectly clear and precise instructions add to the anticipation as I visualize going through whatever steps are necessary to reach "Recipe Nirvana": The successful reproduction of each of your recipe "gifts" to us all, and, of course, serving them to myself, friends and family and DEVOURING them. In a world filled with so many sad, ugly, terrifying and upsetting things, you, your recipes and your website here are like an oasis . . . a lovely bit of "heaven on earth" for me and, I'm sure, for many of us. I know I always "go on and on" (too much, really, I know!), but I just can't seem to help myself when I log onto your site. I go on like this because I believe creative artists such as yourself can NEVER be thanked enough for the time, the energy, the money and the love you spend in creating and sharing your creations. So, once again, I thank you, from the bottom of my heart! I appreciate you beyond words!!......Sincerely, Daryl
PS: In my exuberance, I forgot to answer your QUESTION regarding "Ring Dings". Actually, I'm sure the taste and texture is VERY similar to that of Ho Hos and some of the other, similar types of processed junk food snack cakes. I have, indeed, had Ho Hos (in my past life), but I always returned to Ring Dings because I found the flavor of the chocolate just a bit more "chocolatey" and the flavor, the amount AND the texture of the cream filling just a bit more satisfying. I looked online and saw that they do still produce Ring Dings, but I'm skeptical that the quality is what it used to be, as that seems to be the case for MANY things, food products or not, which I used to "adore" in the "olden days". Today it's all, apparently, about making a PROFIT, rather than producing a high-quality product, EVEN in the world of mass-produced junk food. To me, without yet actually making your recipe, I would venture to say that the taste and texture of your version is probably very similar to the original. And I would also suspect that the same recipe would work equally well for a "Ring Dings" type of cake, just in a different shape, and without having to do any "cake rolling". When I get around to making your "Ho Hos" recipe, I intend to try out that theory with at least a part of the batter and filling. I promise I won't eat 12 of them in one sitting! (Although the TEMPTATION, i'll bet, will be strong to do so!....hahaha!)
How do the cakes stay rolled up?
Hi Sophie, I'm not sure what you mean exactly. The cakes stay in shape because of the filling that is thick and sticks to the chocolate cake, then the chocolate shell helps even more.
HI Thomas, great recipe. I was wondering if it could be frozen before the chocolate dipping and if so for how long. Thanks
I haven't tried but I think it would work, even with the chocolate dipping.
I am a big fan of Malcolm in the Middle too! I cannot believe you nailed this recipe, and vegan too!! this is truly impressive work..genious
Thanks Albert! I'm still hoping for a Malcolm in the Middle reunion!
Wow! These look just like the real things! Love that they are gluten free and vegan!
Thanks Bethany 🙂
These are gorgeous!! I have always wanted to make ho hos, but a vegan kind?? Yum!!
Glad to hear you like the recipe Cathleen!
Wow, they look really yummy! 🙂 I want to make them with wheat flour but I guess I can't just replace the rice flour in your recipe. What do you recommend? Experiment? Or do you have a rollable chocolate sponge recipe with wheat flour?
Thanks in advance!
(I love your site)
Thanks for the kind words Eva! I'm afraid it won't work if you replace the rice flour with wheat flour... I tweaked this recipe to make it gluten-free so you might have to experiment and leave out the xanthan gum if you use whole wheat flour.
Your recipes look amazing! I'm in the process of making your blue cheese. I also made it for my YouTube channel and linked your website. Any chance you're working on a brie or Parmesan? I'm definitely going to make these hoho's. I frequently had these in my lunch growing up and loved them but stopped eating them as the original ones are so full of chemicals and unhealthy ingredients. Now, thanks to you I can have them again!
I was wondering to cut costs and easier to get can I sub coconut butter O found some organic Coconut butter the other day ornciuldnInuse vegan organic shortening? For the chocolate shell? Seems like the fat content will give it a good viscosity and I know it will solidified when refrigerated. Mahalo for recipe! I have a vegan sis-in-law.
Thank you for the recipe, and for being so detailed and specific with the instructions. Is there any reason why regular wheat flour can't be substituted for the rice flour?
You're welcome Louisa!
The reason is that not all flours act the same, some flours absorb more liquid for example. So if you use all-purpose flour, you might have to make some adjustments to get the right consistency.
I revisited this recipe today, thinking I'd make a batch of your ho-hos for my activist-friends at a fur protest tomorrow. But I had gotten this post about coconut oil this morning, and I just can't bring myself to continue cooking with it and pretend that it's an innocuous ingredient. I'm still waiting for the genius who figures out how to make firm non-dairy cheeses and creams without the use of coconut oil. Maybe I'll try using agar instead. I appreciate all the painstaking care you put into your photographs and recipe creations. I'm going to take another look at your cheese recipes. Thank you so much for all the work you put into this! https://nutritionfacts.org/video/coconut-oil-and-abdominal-fat/?utm_content=buffer67571&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Well, you can probably find good and bad things about any ingredient on the Internet. One study tells one thing, the other the opposite, etc.
Anyway, if you don't want to use coconut oil in the cashew cream, you can replace it with refined cocoa butter (use a bit less as it will make it slightly firmer), or more coconut cream. Hope this helps!
These were fabulous and my husband just asked me to make them again for dessert tonight. I have one suggestion that worked well for me the second time around- the roll came out much cleaner by leaving the cake whole and using the parchment to help make one big roll, which I then cut into pieces. Aside from that, awesome recipe- thanks!
P.S.- I knew them as Yodels 🙂
Thanks for your feedback and technique Jamie! I'm happy your husband liked them 😉
Yodels: I guess it's just a different brand, I'm not sure if there is much difference in flavor between both.
Hi! I tried to make these yesterday and everything worked well except that they wouldn't stay put when I rolled them.
I think it's just a matter of practice, I think I cut the pieces too small.
I wanted to say that I LOVED the base. I have tried to make so many chocolate cakes, and never been happy. I found myself eating the cake part of the ho hos and loved them. I think I might just try and make it into a cake? I came on to your site to see if yu have a chocolate cake but didn't find one.
Thanks for the feedback! Exactly, if the squares are too small you will have trouble rolling them. Also, the cream should be cold and thick, this way it keeps the rolls rolled up until you dip them into the melted chocolate.
Glad to hear you liked the chocolate roll! A chocolate cake recipe is coming 😉
How long will the Vanilla Cream Filling last in the refrigerator? Thank you.
It will keep for up to a week.
Can we substitute some of this ingredients
3 tbsp (25g) white rice flour
3 tbsp (25g) brown rice flour
1/3 cup (43g) tapioca starch
For almond flour?
And for this - 1/2 tsp + 1/8 tsp xanthan gum, what else can I use?
I'm afraid it won't work, it's this exact ratio of flours that makes the rolls "rollable". If you use almond flour you probably won't be able to roll them as they might break.
Regarding the xanthan gum, I guess you could use 1 and 1/4 tsp guar gum instead of the xanthan gum.
Wow Looks amazing! it doesn't look homemade at all !
Everything up till the last step was perfect. I noticed you didn't really say much about tempering the chocolate so I feel a little weird about the whole thing. Overall I really like the recipe but the last part. Had I not known about the tempering process after a previous fail I think I would have failed again. I swapped regular white rice flour for mochiko japanese rice flour and I doubled the cake part to accommodate my larger pan. Overall I love them and o greatly appreciate having plant based and gluten free recipes, so thank you.
Thanks for the feedback! Yes I didn't feel the need to explain the tempering process as there is already a lot of information about this on the Internet, plus it's not essential for this recipe.
Hi Thomas. These are soooo delicious however the problem I’m having is that they crack when I try to roll them. I followed the recipe the first time I made them and when I tried rolling them they cracked. Second time round i tried rolling the sponge while it was still a bit warm, however the same thing happened. I don’t know whether the sponge was thicker than it is suppose to be since the batter is a bit thick and I couldn’t spread it out as evenly as possible. I don’t mind if they are a bit messy but I want to perfect them and make them look as professional as yours. Maybe I need to let the sponge cool off completely before rolling it? Thank you so much and keep up the good work 🙂
I'm sorry to hear you are having trouble with the recipe. Did you add the xanthan gum? It's a key ingredient that gives the rolls enough elasticity to be rolled.
Usually, I let the thin sponge cake cool on a clean kitchen towel and can easily roll it after that.
Great send me recipe
Can i use regular flour instead?
I'm afraid it won't work well as I designed this recipe specifically to be gluten-free. You probably won't get the same texture if you use regular flour.
Do you think I could sub the various flours with the same quantity of all purpose gf blend? Thanks- these look amazing!
I have never tried, so I can't assure you it will work. There are many different brands of GF flour blends, some might work while others won't, that's why I prefer to use specific flours instead of a blend.
I have a tree nut allergy (walnuts, cashews, pecans, hazlenuts, and so on), what can I substitute the cashews for? Coconut is fine and so are peanuts.
Humm...I guess you could try to thicken the cream with potato starch or cornstarch. Maybe replace the 1/2 cup cashews with 1/4 cup almond milk, combine everything in a saucepan (with 1-2 tbsp starch), heat and whisk until it thickens. I haven't tried but I guess this would be an alternative.
This recipe is amazing! I was afraid it was going to be a #pinterestfail for me, but it was so easy and perfect! Any recommendations for the leftover filling? I definitely had a fair amount left over and being that it has [expensive] cashews in it, I didn’t want to waste it.
Thanks for your feedback! So glad you liked it 🙂
Regarding the leftover, you could use it as a sweet spread, dip, or as a cream cheese filling for cakes or muffins. You could also freeze it to use in another batch.
I don’t have tapioca starch. I can work have corn starch yes or no
While similar, I cannot affirm cornstarch will work exactly the same as tapioca.
These are so good, I have made them 5+ times and they never disappoint! Thank you so much! <3
Thank you Miyabi 😉
YUM, these are good. I make them whenever I want a fun creamy desert.
Kerin Ann Gordon
Damn you. Why such big and clear pictures?????? I want to yell "GET ON MY PLATE." Im too lazy to make these after I tried to make rice in banana leaves yesterday...what a mess but what didnt fall apart tasted good. Where can I buy these or something close to it but vegan of course??
Kerin Ann Gordon
Damn you. Why such big and clear pictures?????? I want to yell "GET ON MY PLATE." Im too lazy to make these after I tried to make rice in banana leaves yesterday...what a mess but what didnt fall apart tasted good. Where can I buy these or something close to it but vegan of course?? And the post about Ring Dings...damn you....I love love love ring dings. My mom would make devil dogs for me when I was in school, three times the regular size. They looked so homemade but I could trade them for chips and cookies.
Thanks for your message Kerin. I'm afraid I have no idea if vegan Ho Hos exist in stores, sorry!
Thomas you remember Kinder Paradiso??I am from Italy so I am not sure you had this in France (my french boyfriend says not really) but if you could make that vegan oh my goood I could die 🙂 Love this receipe I am gonna make it soon 🙂
I'm afraid I have never heard of Kinder Paradiso either! After checking it, the packaging doesn't look familiar to me. In France I think we only had Kinder Delice 🙂
Hi, how could I replace the coconut products? I have an allergy :/
Hi Jules, that's tough as coconut cream is one of the main ingredients. Recipe would have to be reworked completely.
For the filling, you could make a more simple buttercream frosting with vegan butter and powdered sugar.
Hello , Can this be done without nuts and using coconut milk or oat milk ? I want to make this recipe so bad but need it also Nut free (minus coconut.)
You could try using only coconut cream, but the coconut flavor will be more pronounced.
My sheet pans are a different size by several inches so I'm going to double the recipe. Could you give me an estimate as to how thick the batter is when it's in the pan? Looking at the photos it appears the baked cake is about 1/4 inch but I'm not sure how much it rises! I want them to roll properly and I know the thickness contributes to this. Thank you!
I would say about 4-5 mm thick before baking, it doesn't rise too much. If you use the xanthan gum and make sure the roll is not too thick, you shouldn't have a problem rolling it.
First, I would encourage people to *try to make* a recipe before commenting. It's not helpful to read "This looks amazing I can't wait to make them!" I really wanted to love this recipe, but alas, there were tribulations when I tried this. First, my cake roll turned our way too thick, and there was no way i could have rolled it. ( I used the right size pan - perhaps in recipe add guidance re: how think the cake layer should be when you pour it in? This way I might have put some batter into a different pan.) I made little sandwhiches. Next problem - chocolate coating. Two issues: what is the right thickness of chocolate necessary to be thick enough to cover the cake but not too thick? I ended up adding coconut oil to the chocolate at intervals. The larger issue how are we exepected to coat the roll by "using a fork to dip it into the chocolate." If I forked my little cakes they would have fallen apart and disintegrated into the chocolate. It probably would have been a lot worse for me if I had managed to make little rollls. I ended up holding the sandwhiches over the pot and attempting to coat them all-round with a spoon. The coating turned out uneven and the little cakes looked so messy, so I sprinkled crushed candy cane over them so they looked fesitve instead of a mess. Perhaps this recipe is only for more advanced bakers than myself. I thought I would add this review so others would have a more realistic perspective re: possible difficulties in trying this recipe.