Chocolate Malt Cake
Let’s celebrate spring with this pretty pastel Chocolate Malt Cake!
This cake starts with my favorite chocolate cake recipe, then is topped with delicious chocolate malt frosting and pretty spring malt ball candies!
I think this cake would sure be a beautiful addition to an Easter meal or even a spring birthday or baby shower!
The malt flavor in this recipe is subtle, but it’s just enough to make this cake a bit different and special.
I enjoyed one nice slice (and served my family the same) and then had to give away the rest to a few neighbors so I didn’t eat it all myself!
I love the pretty pastel colors (of these spring malt eggs) against the rich chocolate, but this Chocolate Malt Cake could be enjoyed any time of year by using traditional (brown) chocolate malt balls (such as Whoppers).
Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Malt Frosting
Yield: 1- Two layer 7" or 8" cake
A perfectly moist and flavorful chocolate cake is topped with delicious chocolate malt frosting!
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (best quality available)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 3/4 cup whole milk (or use skim milk and add a little cream)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup very hot water (or hot coffee)
Chocolate Malt Frosting
- 3/4 cup malted milk powder
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream (or half and half)
- 1 cup unsalted butter, left at room temperature about 10 minutes (but still cool)
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (best quality available)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2-4 cups powdered sugar
Prepare the cake
- Heat oven to 350*F.
- Prepare cake pans by rubbing the sides of the pans with a little oil or butter and dusting with flour. Line bottoms of pans with parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl (the bowl of an electric mixer), stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
- Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Beat on medium speed for one minute.
- Stir in hot water or coffee (the batter will be thin, don’t worry, this is right).
- Divide batter evenly between prepared pans.
- Bake until the top of the cake is smooth and has a slight dome and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I baked the cake shown in two 7" pans and baked them 35-40 minutes. You will need to adjust the bake time based on the pans you choose.
Make the frosting
- In a small bowl add malt powder and heavy cream and stir well. This will make a thick paste. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter until smooth.
- Add cocoa powder and blend until well incorporated.
- Add 1 cup of powdered sugar and continue to blend.
- Add the malt powder/cream mixture and blend well.
- Add vanilla.
- Add and additional 2 1/2 to 3 cups powdered sugar (while slowly mixing) until you've reached a nice thick consistency. The frosting should be thick, smooth and fluffy.
- Frost fully cooled caked as desired (notes below for cake pictured). Top with chopped or whole malt ball candies, if desired.
Notes- Look for malted milk powder near powdered chocolate milk mix.
Adding coffee in the cake portion will not add coffee flavor to the finished cake, it simply enhances the chocolate flavor.
The cake pictured was baked in two 7" cake pans. I like to use 7" pans to produce a slightly taller cake. This recipe would work perfectly well with either 6", 7" or 8" cake pans, but the finished cake height will vary according to the pan size.
Feel free to bake this cake in a 9"x 13" pan for a simple, single layer sheet cake.
The cake is fully baked when the top is smooth and has a slight dome, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Recipe source - Glorious Treats (cake recipe adjusted slightly from Hershey's)
Once the cake is baked and fully cooled, use a large serrated knife to level the layers (as needed), add a small dab of frosting to a cake turntable, then place a cake board (the same size as your cake) and add another small dab of frosting (on top of the cake board). Add one layer of cake, a generous layer of frosting, and then your top cake layer.
Using a small offset spatula, spread a thin layer of frosting around the cake to create a “crumb coat”, or a layer of frosting that seals in the crumbs. This layer of frosting should be relatively smooth, but does not need to be anywhere near perfect, it’s simply a base layer.
It is very difficult to successfully frost a cake without a cake turntable! The one I use is this simple Wilton cake turntable and cost less than $20, which I think is a bargain for all the cursing it prevents! =)
Once you have your first thin layer of frosting (the crumb coat), place the entire cake (and the turntable) in the freezer (or fridge) for about 30 minutes. This will allow the frosting (and cake) to firm up and make the final frosting layer much easier (and neater).
Once the first layer of frosting (the crumb coat) has chilled and the cake and frosting are firm, add another layer of frosting all the way around the cake, a bit thicker this time. After smoothing the icing a bit you can add some texture by holding the offset spatula horizontally and dragging the end of the (rounded) blade through the icing (while turning the turntable). Work your way up the cake, then use the same motion to create a spiral in the icing on the top of the cake.
For the cake pictured, I reserved a bit of frosting and after creating the horizontal lines (and swirl pattern on top), I put about a cup of frosting in a large piping bag fitted with a closed star tip (such as a Wilton 2D) and created a little shell boarder around the top edge of the cake.
I finished the cake with whole and chopped malt ball candies (or I guess they’re more malt eggs). I used Brach’s Malted Milk Eggs (I found at Target) and I also used some candies labeled “Mighty Malts” from Dollar Tree. The Brach’s ones were a bit tastier (they are the ones pictured with chocolate on the inside as well as the malt), but the Dollar Tree ones were such pretty colors I wanted to use them too.
I added some mixed pastel sprinkles for the final touch.
Beautiful and delicious… my favorite combo! =)
Happy spring baking!
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