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