Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

So, cupcakes: I’m at a loss as to why I had a bee in my bonnet to whip up a batch. I don’t think I’d ever actually made cupcakes before, which is a touch odd when you consider my willingness to tackle layer cake on a semi-regular basis.

I lifted this recipe (making only minor changes) from Culinary Concoctions by Peabody. In the pros side, we have excellent chocolate and malt flavors and luscious, light-textured frosting. In the cons side, we have the fact that the frosting didn’t yield quite enough for all the cupcakes – which was my fault in a way for being generous in its application, perhaps, but I think of a cupcake as primarily a small frosting vehicle, so recipes should be written accordingly – and the fact that, while flavorful, the whipped cream-based frosting doesn’t bear up to extended time in the fridge as well as a traditional buttercream would have.

This was only a problem because this recipe makes 18-24 cupcakes (depending on how full you fill the tins). I was hoping for only a dozen and presumed that was the standard quantity for cupcake recipes. Live and learn, eh?

Caveats aside, this really is a wonderfully tasty cupcake. I would recommend preparing them only when you’ll be able to polish them off within a day or two and making perhaps a recipe and a half of frosting. The frosting is good stuff, and I enjoyed the cupcakes that had a thick, goopy coat of it far more than those on which I had skimped, perceiving that the frosting was about to run out.

For the malt, I used Carnation malted milk powder. The local grocery store that carries this has gone out of business, so now I order it in three-packs from amazon. The alternative – a malt-free life – is too gruesome to contemplate.

Chocolate Malted Cupcakes

Cupcake batter:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used dark cocoa powder)
¾ cup malted milk powder
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ½ cups whole milk (I made it buttermilk-ish by adding a tablespoon of vinegar and letting it stand a few minutes)
1 tsp vanilla extra

Preheat oven to 325F. In small bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, malt powder, and cocoa together and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Alternately add flour mixture and milk. Add vanilla a beat well.

Spoon batter into cupcake papers, filling cups about 2/3 full. Bake for 25(15 minutes for mini) minutes or until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool.

Chocolate Malted Milk Whipped Cream Frosting
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons malted milk powder
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (still using dark cocoa powder)
1 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Add sugar, malt powder, and cocoa powder. Beat until stiff.

Frost cooled cupcakes with whipped cream frosting – I used a Ziploc with a corner cut off to just pipe big swirls onto the cupcakes, as shown. Top with crushed Whopper (malted milk balls) pieces if you want – I didn’t do this, but I’m sure it would have been tasty.

Printable recipe here.


  1. I never think of malted anything any more... it was a childhood thing.. malted milk and such. Interesting to try in a cake... now you have me thinking!

  2. I guess I never outgrew my love of malt. It's good stuff! :)