This chocolate malt cake recipe uses malted milk powder to create an incredibly moist cake. You are going to want this homemade cake topped with an easy vanilla malt buttercream for your recipe box!
Chocolate and the month of February just kind of go together, don’t they? Know what else goes really well together? Chocolate and malt.
Like, oh. my. gosh, go together. (channeling my best Big E there!)
You will love this homemade chocolate malt cake because it is simple to make, has a super soft and moist crumb and comes together quickly.
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WHAT IS CHOCOLATE MALT CAKE?
Chocolate malt cake is a chocolate cake with the addition of malted milk powder. Malted milk powder adds a barely nutty sweetness to the cake. The malt flavor is very subtle in the cake itself, but something about the malt brings SO much extra moisture to this cake. The vanilla malt buttercream brings much more malt flavor to the finished cake.
WHERE DO I BUY MALTED MILK POWDER?
Malted milk powder can be found in grocery stores near the powdered chocolate milk and hot cocoa. I use Nestle Carnation Original Malted Milk. You can also find it online at Amazon.
HOW TO MAKE A CHOCOLATE MALT CAKE
I love that this cake comes together without a mixer. Start by mixing the malted milk powder with the milk. Stir the two together to let the malted milk dissolve. Then prepare a 9×9 baking pan by either greasing it or lining it with parchment paper.
Next, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, egg and malted milk mixture. Then pour the wet ingredients into the dry. The batter is very thick at this point. Finally, add in hot water and whisk until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake.
If frosting on a cake isn’t your thing, you can stop the recipe right here and dig into this easy chocolate malt cake. One of my testers said, “The cake is delightful, but the frosting-free-cake purist in me thinks it would be awesome with just a glaze too”. Please remember the cake by itself does not have a very pronounced malt flavor.
MAKING VANILLA MALT BUTTERCREAM
I found adding malted milk powder to the buttercream was the best way to get the malt flavor to shine through. Plus, I love the contrast of the vanilla malt color with the chocolate cake.
The vanilla malt buttercream is fluffy and full of malt flavor. The fluffiness of the frosting comes from beating the butter for an extra long time.
After the butter is fluffy and whipped, add the malted milk powder and powdered sugar. Followed by some vanilla and heavy cream. Then whip it all together for some malty goodness buttercream!
HOW DID YOU GET ALL THOSE FLOWERS PIPED ON THIS CAKE?
I achieved this look by using Russian piping tips. Mr. two sugar bugs bought me these tips over a year ago and I finally pulled them out to play with them. I love the intricate look they bring to a cake! The tips are trickier to use than they look though. I’d venture to guess that I pipe buttercream more frequently than the average person and it did take a bit of playing around with these tips. If you look closely at the cake above, you will see that some of the tulips are incomplete or smooshed. With a little practice though, they can make anyone look like a pro! Here’s a tutorial from Bluprint, How to Use Russian Piping Tips to Make Buttercream Flowers. Happy baking and decorating!
MORE HOMEMADE CAKE AND CUPCAKE RECIPES
- Browned Butter Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Frosting
- Cookie Butter Cake
- Homemade Raspberry Cake
- Perfect Coconut Cake
- Pink Velvet Cake
- Ruby Red Grapefruit Poppy Seed Cake
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- 1/2 cup milk (I use 1%)
- 1/3 cup malted milk powder
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup vegetable or canola oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup hot water
Vanilla Malt Frosting
- 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup malted milk powder
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350° F and prepare a 9x9 baking pan. You can grease the pan (if you want to leave the cake in the pan for decorating) or you can line it with parchment paper and lightly butter the paper. Leave a little overhang with the parchment paper so you can easily lift the cake out of the pan after baking.
- Add the malted milk powder to the milk and stir until fully dissolved. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, both sugars, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, vanilla, egg and malted milk mixture. Then add the wet ingredients into the dry, whisking to combine. The mixture will be thick. Add in the hot water and whisk until fully combined. Pour batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs, about 25-30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting: Whip the butter on high with the whisk attachment on a stand mixer for 7 minutes; stopping once to scrape up and down the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and slowly add the malted milk powder and the powdered sugar. Stop and scrape up and down the bowl as needed until it’s all incorporated; you may have to up the speed a little to fully incorporate it all.
- Add the vanilla and heavy cream. Whip on high another 2-3 minutes on high until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Decorate the cool cake as desired.
Store any leftovers covered at room temperature for a couple days or in the refrigerator for up to one week.
I use Carnation Original Malted Milk Powder
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 328Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 47mgSodium: 200mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 1gSugar: 40gProtein: 2g
The nutrition information is an estimate and may not be entirely accurate.