Sunday 27 June 2010

Malteser Cupcakes

Someone once said that the cupcake is merely a vehicle for frosting.  That is certainly the case for these Malteser Cupcakes.  This malt frosting is out of this world.  I ate it by the spoonful.  It tastes exactly like the inside of a Malteser (or 'Whoppers' in the US) so if you are a fan of those little chocolate covered malt balls you have to try these Malteser Cupcakes!

At C's work, there's a tradition of bringing in something sweet to share around on your birthday.  C's bday was last week and since he likes to keep me on my toes, he surprised me by asking me the day before if I could bake him something for him to take into work the next day.  He was in luck...we happened to have a jar of Horlicks and one of my homemade cake mixes in the pantry and so he got to take Malteser cupcakes as his birthday treat.

Maltesers rank highly on my top 10 favourite chocolates of all time.  In fact, they are second only to the greatest chocolate invention of all time: Cadbury's Dairy Milk Black Forest.  I bought them for pretty much every Fun Food Friday I was rostered on at work and I always have a bag with me at the movies (even if I do sneak in supermarket bought packets because I'm el cheapo).

I've tried Martha Stewart's recipe for Chocolate Malted Cupcakes before, but found you couldn't really taste the malt.  So, a little while ago, when I saw this recipe on my regular trawl of tastespotting, it went straight to my must bake list.

Since I was a little pressed for time, I used one of my homemade cake mixes I had in the pantry.  As you probably know by now, I love my wee homemade cake mixes.  Or even store bought ones in a pinch.  Oh don't get me wrong, if I have time on my hands I would definitely go the whole hog and start from scratch but these wee premade mixes have are so convenient, easy and consistent, they have saved my bacon quite a few times! 

The icing, as I mentioned is insanely good.  I could eat a whole bowl of the stuff.  But I was really gutted to find that the incredible malty flavour gets drowned out by the chocolatey-ness of the cupcake.  So next time I think I will combine the malt frosting with Martha's cupcake recipe and see if we can't get the malt to shine through.  I would also top the cupcakes next time with chopped up Maltesers (we didn't have any in the house at the time, packets of Maltesers do not last long at our place).  Although, do remember to only add the chopped up Maltesers just before serving as they will melt into the frosting if you sprinkle them on the night before.

Chocolate cupcakes with malt frosting

Chocolate Cupcakes
adapted from cake mix doctor recipe

2 cups flour
1 3/4 cups caster sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 1/4 tsp salt
4 Tbsp shortening

1 cup buttermilk
1/2 cup oil (canola)
1/2 cup water
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence

Makes 24 cupcakes

1. Combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Stir to mix.  Add shortening and beat to mix until there are no lumps.  You may need to get your fingers in there to rub out some of the lumps.  (You can keep this mixture in a ziplock bag or jar for several months)

2. Preheat oven to 180oC.  Line two 12 cup cupcake tins with cupcake wrappers.

3.  Add buttermilk, oil, water, eggs, and vanilla to the dry ingredients and beat for 1.5 minutes till combined.  Fill cupcake wrappers to 3/4 full.

4.  Bake for 20 - 25 minutes (rotating pans, back to front and top to bottom at 15 minutes) or until skewer comes out clean.  Remove from pans immediately and cool completely on wire rack before frosting.

Malt Buttercream Frosting
adapted from Sugar Cooking

225g butter, softened
2/3 cup Horlicks (malted milk powder)
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup milk
4 cups icing sugar

1. Cream butter till light and fluffy.  Add Horlicks and beat.  Add vanilla, then milk and beat to combine.

2. Add icing sugar 1/2 cup at a time.  Add more icing sugar if the icing is too oozy.

Optional: Sprinkle cupcakes with chopped up Maltesers just before serving, or grate chocolate on top.


  1. Yum - I'm definitely going to try these sometimes, with loads of maltesers on top, sounds like perfection! Also, you are so right in that Cadbury Black Forest is the best invention of all time!

  2. Seriously, if you like maltesers you will have trouble leaving some frosting to top the cupcakes! Don't you reckon the best bit about Black Forest are those little bits of cherry lollies that get stuck in your teeth? It's like the gift that keeps on giving ;)

  3. You say 4 shortening, is that 4 tablespoons or 4 ounces?

  4. Whoopsies, sorry about that! It's meant to be 4 tablespoons shortening. Have corrected that now. Thanks for pointing that out Fiona!

  5. Brilliant. I'm going to give these a go. Do you think I can substitute Milo for Horlicks? I know it will change the colour but is it the same sort of thing?

  6. Hiya Fiona, you can definitely use Milo but it might taste different. Using Horlicks makes it taste really similar to a malteaser. Horlicks is just malted milk powder and Milo is a cocoa malted milk powder so using Milo will give it less maltiness and an added cocoa flavour. Ovaltine would work too but that also has cocoa in it. In a scale of maltiness I's say Horlicks then Ovaltine then Milo. Hope that helps! Good luck with the cupcakes :)

  7. Mmmm....what a terrific idea.
    Just wondering if you could use Copha instead of the shortening...& have you tried Nigella Lawsons Malteser cake from her Feast book?
    I cant find the Martha Stewart recipe so I'm gonna try Nigellas cake but the recipe for the icing you posted =)

  8. Hi Sars, I haven't heard of Copha before but a quick google tells me it's a vege shortening made of coconut oil and that in New Zealand its marketed as Kremelta...which was what I use! So yeah totally :) I have to admit I've never tried any of Nigellas baking recipes - would love to know how you get on! Martha's recipe is here: if you wanted to give that a go as well :)

  9. Thanks for that Nessie...Marthas recipe looks good too. I did try Nigellas recipe but i made a cake instead but had to up the Malt as is aked for only 2 Tbsp...which I thought just wasnt I upped it to 3/4c instead...after the taste test of 1/2c wasnt enough. Very malty! =) & I tried the icing you made but it was abit too runny so I had to add more icing sugar & in the end I doubled the malt to 1 1/3c...all I can say is it turned out Divine! & I topped it with whole Malteasers too =D

  10. Stoked you liked the recipe. Sometimes my icing gets too runny as well...not sure why. I just add more icing sugar then if it gets too sweet more butter. Yum I'll try it with double the malt too next time! Re Nigella's recipe - did you decrease the flour or just add the extra malt? I am definitely going to have to try your version. Thanks heaps for the update :)

  11. Your welcome Nessie =)
    As with the runny icing I think the milk might be the culprit...I'm going to halve that in the next batch & as for Nigella's cake I just added the extra malt as you have to melt it with the milk & Hubby complained about the cake being too heavy but everyone else loved it! but then he's more of a Cookie person =)

  12. That frosting looks incredible! I can't wait to make it.

  13. Made this frosting for some chocolate malt and vanilla cupcakes this past weekend for a friend's 30th (his last name is Horlick - his grandpa or great grandpa started the Horlicks company and he'd always had hot milk and Horlicks as a child) so I'd been talking about finding a good recipe for a Horlicks cake this past year or so. This icing was the best icing I've ever had in my entire life. And many people said the same thing! People are STILL raving about this frosting. And there's a difference between Horlicks from the UK and Horlicks from India and the Indian stuff was darker and maltier so made a better frosting! I was definitely eating it right out of the mixing bowl!

  14. Amity: Thanks so much for trying the recipe and for your super sweet comment. So stoked that you liked the recipe!! I ate so much of the frosting when I was making it I gave myself the sugar shakes. I can't believe you actually know someone who is related to Mr Holicks!! Thanks again for stopping by :)



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