Chocolate Malt Cake


Mar 23

Chocolate Malt Cake – tender, lightly flavored chocolate cake layers, chocolate malt buttercream, crushed malt balls and vanilla malt buttercream.

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Chocolate Malt Cake

I thought I’d never love another chocolate cake after creating my go-to chocolate cake recipe. It’s the chocolate cake that you’ll see in nearly every single recipe that includes chocolate cake layers. It’s rich, and dark, and simply what every chocolate cake should taste like, in my eyes.

Trial and Error

However, it’s a little too dark and too rich to add malt flavor to. I know from experience! I used my dark chocolate cake recipe in the first round of this cake and it totally masked the malt flavor.

After the first failed attempt, it dawned on me that I needed to have a cake with less cocoa flavor so the malt flavor would stand out more. I immediately thought of my Red Velvet Cake. A traditional Red Velvet Cake is known for having just a few tablespoons of cocoa powder in it, but is still considered a chocolate cake.

So for round 2, I switched to my Red Velvet Cake recipe and started making some tweaks. Obviously, I’m not using any red velvet flavoring or red food coloring. And because malt powder has sugar in it, I reduced the sugar elsewhere in the recipe so I didn’t weigh the cake down too much.

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I also added some chocolate Ovaltine malt powder to the buttermilk. Adding it to the buttermilk helps the powder to dissolve and blend into the batter nicely. If you don’t have Ovaltine or have another brand you like better, feel free to use it!

The result was a perfectly tender and moist, malt chocolate cake layer that I’m super proud of and truly love as much as my dark chocolate cake. If you don’t love dark chocolate or just want a lighter chocolate flavored cake, this cake is perfect for you.

Buttercream

For the buttercream, I actually decided to go with two! One buttercream flavor uses the chocolate Ovaltine malt powder (which is also in the cake) and the other uses the regular Ovaltine malt powder. Both are delicious but the vanilla malt buttercream definitely has a stronger malt flavor to it. I love the combination of both, but if you want to only use one, go with the vanilla malt and make an extra half batch.

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Malt Balls

I debated whether or not to crush the malt balls, and ultimately decided to do it. I didn’t crush them too much – just a bit to break them up. Actually, a few were left whole. I wasn’t sure if the buttercream would dissolve the centers or if we’d still get a little crunch. The answer? Both actually! The smaller pieces were a little soft and dissolved in the buttercream, and the bigger pieces were still crunchy. And the ones that dissolved a little didn’t bother me at all! You still get an extra punch of malt flavor from the malt balls, so I say they’re a must no matter what!

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Thick Cake Layers

You’ll notice the cake layers are slightly thicker than my usual layers. This is on purpose 🙂

I’ve been asked about how to create thicker layers from my recipes and here’s how you do it:

  • 1.5x any of my recipes (like I did here)
  • If you have odd number of eggs, round up
  • Divide the batter evenly between pans (will be closer to 20-22 ounces of batter in each 8-inch pan)
  • Bake at 325 degrees F
  • Time will increase about 10-15 minutes

Easy as that!

Hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

 

Chocolate Malt Cake

Chocolate malt cake layers with chocolate and vanilla malt buttercreams.

Course Dessert
Cuisine Cake
Keyword chocolate malt cake
Servings 20 people

Ingredients

FOR THE CAKE

  • 3/4 cup (169.5) g) unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (165 g) brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 large or extra large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (120 g)sour cream at room temperature
  • 3 1/4 cups (390 g) all-purpose flour
  • 4 tbsp. (40 g) regular (not dark) cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. (8 g) salt
  • 2 cups (480 g) buttermilk at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (70 g) chocolate Ovaltine powder or regular flavored or other malt flavored powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. (21 g) white distilled vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. (10 g) baking soda

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MALT BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 cup (226 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 4 ounces chocolate chips
  • 3 cups (375 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1/2 tsp. (2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (47.5 g) chocolate Ovaltine or other malt flavored powder
  • 4 tbsp. (45 g) heavy whipping cream

FOR THE VANILLA MALT BUTTERCREAM

  • 1 1/2 cups (339g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 4 cups (500 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • 1 tsp. (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (95 g) regular Ovaltine or other malt flavored powder
  • 1/3 cup (77 g) heavy whipping cream
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping, you’ll want to make an extra 1/2 batch.

GARNISH

  • 1-2 cups malt balls I used Whoppers

Instructions

FOR THE CAKE

  1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch round pans with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray again. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine buttermilk and ovaltine powder. Set aside

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt and cocoa powder. Set aside.

  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugars. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another minute.

  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, being sure to mix and scrape down the sides of the bowl between each addition.

  6. Add the sour cream and mix until combined. (Don't worry if the mixture looks slightly curdled).

  7. With the mixer on low speed, add 1/3 of the flour mixture, followed by 1 cup of the buttermilk mixture. Continue with another 1/3 of the flour, the second half of the buttermilk and then the remaining buttermilk. Stir until combined.

  8. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar and baking soda. The mixture will bubble. Add the mixture to the cake batter and stir on low until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and mix again for another 20 seconds.

  9. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans (21 ounces in each of the 8-inch pans). Bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.

FOR THE CHOCOLATE MALT BUTTERCREAM

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and the malt powder. Don't worry if the mixture is a little thick.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

  3. Stream in the melted chocolate and mix until well combined, making sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

  4. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar.

  5. Add the vanilla, followed by the cream and malt mixture.

  6. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

FOR THE VANILLA MALT BUTTERCREAM

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream and the malt powder. Don't worry if the mixture is a little thick.

  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy.

  3. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar.

  4. Add the vanilla, followed by cream and malt mixture.

  5. Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until light and fluffy, about 3 to 5 minutes.

FOR ASSEMBLY

  1. Place the first cake layer top side up, in the center of the cake board. Gently spread 1/2 of the chocolate malt buttercream over the cake layer (about 1 - 1.5 cups). Remember to get eye level with the cake to make sure you spread the buttercream evenly.

    ***If you want to use a little of the chocolate malt buttercream to create an ombre look, similar to mine, reserve 1/3 cup of the buttercream.

  2. Crush one cup of the malt balls and sprinkle about half over the buttercream and press into place with your hand. Don't crush the malt balls too much. Just a little. Big pieces are okay.

  3. Place the second cake layer on top of the buttercream. Evenly spread the other half of the chocolate malt buttercream over the cake layer and sprinkle with more malt balls.

  4. Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the buttercream.

  5. Using the vanilla malt buttercream, apply a thin layer of buttercream over the entire cake. This is the crumb coat. Freeze the crumb coated cake for 15 minutes.

  6. Once the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining vanilla malt buttercream and chocolate malt buttercream.

3 thoughts on “Chocolate Malt Cake

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  1. 5 stars
    I love this cake! Love the flavor the buttermilk gives the cake it definitely has that Red Velvet Cake tang that I love. I decorated this cake with malt eggs for Easter it turned out really cute. Thanks for the great recipe Courtney!

  2. 5 stars
    So excited to make this for my dad- chocolate malt is his favorite! I am wondering- can I use regular flavored Ovaltine throughout the entire recipe, or will the flavor suffer if I don’t use chocolate at least for the cake and the chocolate malt buttercream?

    Also, do you like semi-sweet chocolate chips or milk chocolate chips for the frosting? Thanks so much!