Chocolate Malt Cupcakes
Filed Under: Cakes & Cupcakes | Cupcakes

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

By Tessa Arias
August 15th, 2011
5 from 2 votes
5 from 2 votes

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes are like a super chocolate-y milkshake, but in delicious, cute cupcake form!

Yield: 28 cupcakes

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook: 20 minutes

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like a super chocolate-y malted milkshake - but better. Texture: The cake is perfectly moist while the frosting is rich and creamy. The malt ball on top adds a nice crunch. Ease: Not difficult at all, just dirties a few dishes. Appearance: The cute factor is the very best part of these cupcakes! Pros: Beyond adorable and delicious. Would be perfect for a 50s themed party or just when you're craving something chocolate. Cons: None. Would I make this again? Absolutely.

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes are like a super chocolate-y milkshake, but in delicious, cute cupcake form!

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Malted milk powder on it’s own is a bit strange. It smells… off. But when added to chocolate something amazing happens. The toasty, almost indescribable sparkle it adds to every chocolate treat is something to be relished. The 1950s might not have been the greatest time for women (or anyone who wasn’t a white man for that matter), but they were a great time for fabulous and adorable desserts.

You might also like Chocolate Malt Sandwich Cookies.

5 from 2 votes

How to make
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Yield: 28 cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes are like a super chocolate-y milkshake, but in delicious, cute cupcake form!


For the cupcakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups malted milk powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

For the buttercream:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/2 cup milk, plus more if necessary
  • chocolate covered malt balls to garnish
  • red and white striped paper straws to decorate (optional)


For the cupcakes:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, sugars, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk and malted milk powder until the powder is dissolved.
  2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat flour mixture, milk mixture, and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat until just combined.
  3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tested inserted comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cupcakes can be stores up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

For the buttercream:

  1. Beat butter, vanilla, and salt with an electric mixer until smooth. In a separate bowl, sift together sugar, cocoa powder, and malted milk powder. Gradually add sugar mixture alternatively with the milk in 3 additions. Beat until smooth, adding more milk until desired consistency is achieved. Remove frosting to a piping bag fitted with a tip of your choosing and pipe onto cupcakes. Place a malt ball on the top of each cupcake. Decorate with a striped paper straw cut to size, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating

  1. #
    Victoria — September 21, 2021 at 6:30 am

    I try to bake a cake or cupcakes from scratch 2x a year – once for each kid’s birthday. I’ve only ever repeated a recipe once in 8 years, but THIS ONE – the whole family says this is the best yet. A do-over for sure!!! The texture of both the cupcakes and the icing were incredible. And the flavors were so yum! Thank you!!!

    • #
      Emily — September 21, 2021 at 8:02 am

      So happy you loved this recipe! Thanks for taking the time to comment your rave review, Victoria! 🙂

  2. #
    Kristin — April 13, 2020 at 7:34 pm

    These turned out great! I will definitely be making them again.

  3. #
    Mahsheed — July 17, 2017 at 5:15 am

    Hey tessa. I keep visiting this page for this particular recipe again and again but never quite get to making them. I have a question, do you have any substitute for sourcream. I want to go for something healthier. Also, where i live sourcream and greek yoghurt arent really sold in the market. We do however get fresh whole mill yoghurt. Hoping you could help. Thanyou 🙂

  4. #
    Rasheeda — May 16, 2017 at 3:56 am

    Can this same recipe be used to make a two layered chocolate malt cake?

  5. #
    Lizzy17 — June 28, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    I think this is a great recipe but there is a very similar recipe which i prefer is better. It’s called Malted Milkshake Cupcakes and the website you can find it on is Easybaked. It is very yum with hardly any ingredients needed.

  6. #
    Lizzy17 — June 28, 2015 at 8:28 pm

    Not to judge but there’s another recipe similar to this one but is much better. Malted Milkshake Cupcakes and you can find the recipe on Easybaked website!

  7. #
    Amanda — September 17, 2011 at 8:39 pm

    those straws….soo cute!

  8. #
    debbie — September 14, 2011 at 3:36 am

    I made these cupcakes on the weekend and was very impressed. They turned out lovely and light and the frosting was great. Will be making these again.

  9. #
    KiKi — September 7, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    there are beautiful

  10. #
    Doll Wood — August 27, 2011 at 6:58 am

    They really look adorable! I think I will try them out!Thank you for sharing the recipe with us!

  11. #
    Tabby Tiger — August 25, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Divine and it looks yummy on the photos. I can't wait to try this at home.

  12. #
    Irishbaker — August 22, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    Your cupcakes look delicious and very cute!I made a very similar cupcake at the weekend, you can check it out on my blog if you want… .. Also was wondering is the malted milk powder hard to find in the shop?

    • #
      handleheat — August 22, 2011 at 11:17 pm

      Yours look adorable! I had no trouble finding malted milk powder – in my grocery store it was in the same aisle as the teas, coffees, hot chocolate drink powders, etc. If you can't find it in the shop King Arthur Flour makes a great powder –

      Just make sure you don't buy chocolate malted milk powder. Hope that helps!

      • #
        Irishbaker — August 23, 2011 at 10:49 pm

        Thanks for your help.Will look out for the malted milk powder in future 🙂

  13. #
    Eftychia — August 22, 2011 at 8:31 pm

    These cupcakes look delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  14. #
    Lauren @ KeepItSweet — August 18, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    These cupcakes look fantastic and are just so cute!

  15. #
    Ally's Oma — August 16, 2011 at 4:07 am

    I LOVE THEM!! Ally, My granddaughter, has a new favorite since she came to my house a couple of weeks ago….MALT BALLS! I bought a very large, clear candy jar and filled it with malt balls….when she gets to Oma's house, the first thing she does is run to the malt ball jar. (she informed me a few days ago, the jar was getting a little low). I can't wait to make these for her, she'll be in heaven. thank you thank you!!!!!

  16. #
    The Happening — August 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

    These not only look beyond delicious, but you also made them SO perfectly!! How did you manage to make them look SO good!?!? 😀
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  17. #
    Sasha — August 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    oh yummmm, perfection in a cupcake 🙂 i adore that malted flavour but have yet to bake anything malty, these look like the perfect place to start!

  18. #
    Sladie — August 15, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    That looks absolutely incredible. What an awesome idea for a chocolate cupcake jazzed up a bit. Thank you for sharing.

  19. #
    Tracey — August 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    These are so cute Tessa! I love the little straws 🙂 I made a chocolate malt cupcake a while back that is still one of my favorite recipes to this day. Such a good combo!

  20. #
    [email protected] — August 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm

    Yum! I've had malted milk shakes but never a cupcake. These look delish!

  21. #
    Maris — August 15, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    These are so adorable!

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