Chocolate Cake with Malt Topping


Rich and moist, with the perfect amount of crunch, this decadent malted chocolate cake beautifully replicates the classic childhood sweet treat. Short on time? This fantastic cake can be made ahead and frozen for up to 3 months!

Chocolate Cake with Malt Topping
Photo: Jason Donnelly
Prep Time:
25 mins
Bake Time:
17 mins
Cool Time:
10 mins
Chill Time:
3 hrs
Total Time:
25 mins


  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • 2 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon baking soda

  • cup butter, softened

  • 1 ¾ cup sugar

  • 3 eggs

  • 4 ounce unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled

  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

  • 1 ½ cup milk

  • Chocolate Malt Frosting

  • 2 cup malted milk balls or miniature malted milk balls

Chocolate Malt Frosting

  • 2 cup whipping cream

  • cup malted milk powder

  • 2 11.5 ounce package milk chocolate pieces

Malted Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup sugar

  • ¼ cup water

  • cup vanilla malted milk powder

  • 2 tablespoon milk

  • 5 pasteurized whole eggs, whites only*

  • 2 cup unsalted butter, softened


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease three 8x8x2-inch square or 9x1 1/2-inch round baking pans. Lightly dust each pan with 1 teaspoon of the cocoa powder; set pans aside. In a medium bowl stir together the remaining cocoa powder, the flour, baking powder, and baking soda; set aside.

  2. In a large bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add sugar; beat until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating for 30 seconds after each addition. Beat in chocolate and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to beaten mixture, beating on low speed until thoroughly combined. Divide batter among prepared pans, spreading evenly.

  3. Bake for 17 to 20 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the centers comes out clean. Cool cakes in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

  4. To assemble cake, spread 3/4 cup of the Chocolate Malt Frosting on tops of two of the layers; stack on a serving plate. Add top layer; frost the top and sides of the cake, reserving some of the frosting for piping. Place the remaining frosting in a decorating bag fitted with a medium round tip. Starting from the bottom, pipe a zigzag pattern on sides and top edge of cake. If desired, coarsely chop or halve some of the malted milk balls. Decorate the cake with malted milk balls. Cover and chill until ready to serve. Cover and store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Chocolate Malt Frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan heat cream over medium-high heat just until boiling. Remove from heat. Stir in malted milk powder. Add milk chocolate pieces (do not stir). Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir until smooth. (Mixture will be thin.) Transfer to a large bowl. Cover and chill about 3 hours or until frosting is thoroughly chilled. Set the bowl of frosting in a larger bowl of ice water. Beat frosting with an electric mixer on medium speed about 3 minutes or until fluffy and of spreading consistency. (The frosting will turn light brown during beating.)

Malted Buttercream Frosting

  1. In a small saucepan combine sugar and water. Heat over medium-high heat just until boiling, stirring to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until just golden.

  2. Meanwhile, combine malted milk powder and milk; set side.

  3. In a large mixing bowl beat egg whites with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peak forms (tips curl); reduce speed to medium. Carefully pour the hot syrup down the side of the mixing bowl while beating (pour very slowly to avoid scrambling the egg whites). Once all the syrup is added, beat on high speed until meringue is cooled, about 15 minutes. Gradually beat in butter, a tablespoon at a time, until creamy and smooth (the mixture may appear curdled during beating, but will become creamy when all of the butter is added). Drizzle in malted milk mixture and beat until combined.

Prepare cake as directed through Step 3. Place cake layers on baking sheets; freeze until firm. When firm, place cakes in large freezer bags; seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw at room temperature for several hours. Assemble as directed in Step 4.

Blogger Variation by Jennifer Farley of Savory Simple

For Jennifer's version, use Malted Buttercream Frosting.


We recommend using pasteurized eggs for this recipe. Using regular eggs without heating them properly can introduce harmful bacteria into food. For best results use the whites separated from whole eggs marked as "pasteurized" rather than refrigerated egg whites.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

540 Calories
32g Fat
61g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 540
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 17g 85%
Cholesterol 83mg 28%
Sodium 263mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 61g 22%
Protein 8g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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