Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Malted Frosting

Me: I’m such a dork. I’m totally bummed that there are so many people who won’t be coming out for my 30th birthday party on Saturday.

Friend: You’re not a dork. People are busy, and Jim didn’t start planning this thing until a week ago.

Me: True. So, I’m thinking I’ll be making chocolate cupcakes with vanilla malted frosting for the party.

Friend: What? You’re making your own birthday cupcakes? Now that makes you a dork.

Me: That’s what’s clinching it? Well, if I don’t make them, who will?

Friend: What about Jim?

Me: Really? Who would want to eat that?

Friend: Well, then buy them.

Me: Buy them?!?!? Why? I can make some that taste better and don’t cost as much. Seriously though, I don’t mind, and I’m excited to try out a new creation.


So, even at the risk of pronouncing my dorkiness to the entire blogosphere, I am presenting you with my newest cupcake. Inspired by the Crunchy Chocolate Malt Cupcakes from the January/February issue of Food Network Magazine, I decided to use my tried and true chocolate cupcake and top with an adaptation of our new favorite buttercream. I really like how this frosting came out, and it’s not a frosting that I would plan on coloring. It’s got a pretty color and look from the malted milk powder and the specks of vanilla bean. There is a great flavor too, and it smells delicious, which is something I’ve never really noticed about buttercream before. The batter made 1 ½ dozen regular cupcakes and 2 dozen minis, and the buttercream yielded more than enough to generously top them all.


Oh, and as for my dorkiness? After 30 years of living with it, I really think it’s time to fully embrace it and live proudly as the food dork I was intended to be. Coolness be damned, if they turn out as great as these, I plan on making my own birthday cupcakes for years to come.




  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened Cocoa powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup hot, strong brewed coffee


  • 1 ¼ lbs (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 cups Confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped
  • ¼ cup heavy cream




  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tins with cupcake liners, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Sift together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in the bowl of stand mixer.
  3. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla extract.
  4. Add to mixer, and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Stir in hot coffee, and pour into muffin tins, filling about 2/3 to the top.
  5. Bake 17 to 20 minutes for full size and 10 to 12 minutes for minis, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


  1. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.
  2. Add salt and half of the sugar; beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds. Add the rest of the sugar and continue mixing until combined.
  3. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla and heavy cream, and beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds.
  4. Add in malted milk powder, and stir at medium to combine.
  5. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

5 thoughts on “Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Malted Frosting

  1. islandeat says:

    Hi, Jaime. This looks enticing – especially the vanilla malted frosting.

    This brings to mind two items I had baked: a chocolate malted cake (Nigella Lawson’s recipe) and a chocolate malt cookie (Dorie Greenspan’s). As you might guess, I am a big fan of chocolate and malt together! I am particularly intrigued by your vanilla-malt buttercream on a chocolate cake…kind of like drinking a vanilla malt with cake!!

    I just posted on cayenne-cocoa cupcakes with a lime cream cheese frosting, if you’re into more unusual cupcake combos.

    Thanks again for your twist on chocolate-malt,


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