Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

I should probably fess up, I have a serious obsession with malted milk powder. It’s been an ongoing thing for the past two years. Maybe you’ve noticed – I’ve made ice cream, chocolate sauce, blondies, and a bundt cake. Have you ever baked with malted milk powder? If you haven’t and are curious about why it’s such a great addition, it imparts a rich, mildy sweet, slightly nutty flavor to desserts. So, so good!

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m compelled to try almost every recipe I come across that includes malted milk powder. It doesn’t even matter if it’s similar to something else I’ve already made. Take these malted milk chocolate cupcakes, for example. There are already two malted chocolate cupcake recipes on my site, but still, I had to make these. The first recipe is quite different from this one – the chocolate flavor in those cupcakes comes only from cocoa powder whereas this recipe uses unsweetened chocolate. And those were topped with a vanilla buttercream rather than the malted milk chocolate frosting here. The second recipe was more similar – the cupcakes also got their chocolate flavor from unsweetened chocolate and featured a milk chocolate frosting – but there were other differences (the fat used being one) that still made it worth trying a third version.

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes

I’m so glad I did because they were fantastic! Besides, you can never have too many chocolate cupcake recipes, right? These cupcakes are rich and chocolatey and though they bake up with a fairly tight crumb that’s not a bad thing because they’re still very moist. The frosting might have been my favorite part though. It’s made with milk chocolate, so it’s sweet with a mild chocolate flavor. It also includes malted milk powder so you’re getting that malty flavor not only in the cupcakes but also the frosting. The consistency was great for piping too, always an important consideration in my book. These cupcakes went to work with Shane and from what I hear were devoured in record time so I wasn’t the only one who loved them :)

Just a note: the frosting includes a 2-hour refrigeration period so you’ll want to factor that into your plans if you’re going to make these!

Malted Milk Chocolate Cupcakes
barely adapted from Vintage Cakes by Julie Richardson

Cupcakes
2 cups (10 oz) all-purpose flour
2 cups (14 oz) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (5 oz) malted milk powder
6 oz unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1/2 cup (4 oz) unsalted butter
1/4 cup canola oil
1 3/4 cups whole milk, at room temperature
3 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Frosting
12 oz milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup (5 oz) malted milk powder
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature

malted milk balls, optional garnish

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line muffin pans with paper liners.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and malted milk powder. Whisk until well combined. Add the chocolate and butter to a microwave-safe bowl and microwave in 30-second bursts on 50% power, stirring in between each, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the oil until combined. Add the chocolate mixture to the bowl with the dry ingredients, along with 1 cup of the milk and beat on low speed until combined, stopping to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl once or twice. In a measuring cup, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup milk, eggs, and vanilla. Pour half of this mixture to the mixer bowl and beat on low speed until incorporated then add the second half and beat again on low speed until everything is combined (scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl as necessary).

Divide the batter evenly among the liners, filling each about 3/4-full. Bake for about 20-24 minutes, or until the cupcakes spring back when lightly pressed and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove the pan to a wire rack and let the cupcakes cool for a few minutes, then remove them to the rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting: Add the chocolate to the bowl of your stand mixer. In a small saucepan whisk together the malted milk powder and heavy cream. Set the pan over medium heat, and stirring almost constantly, bring the mixture to a simmer. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate (do not stir yet) and then cover the mixer bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside for 5 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and gently whisk the mixture until the chocolate is melted and smooth (it’s important that all of the chocolate is completely melted – if not, you’re going to wind up with chunks of chocolate in your frosting). Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 2 hours, or until well chilled.

Place the bowl on your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Cut the butter into 1/4-inch cubes. Start mixing on low, and gradually add the pieces of butter to the chocolate mixture in the bowl – let one incorporate before adding the next. After you’ve incorporated all the butter, increase the mixer to medium-high speed and beat until the frosting is smooth and thick. (You can chill the frosting again if it is too soft, but I didn’t have to.) Transfer the frosting to a large pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip. Pipe frosting into a swirl on each cupcake. Garnish each cupcake with a malted milk ball, if desired.

Makes 24 cupcakes