This decadent Chocolate Malt Cake captures classic malted chocolate flavors in a show-stopping two-layered cake perfect for Easter dessert.
There’s something nostalgic about malted chocolate. It always reminds me of Easter, when malted milk balls always seem to be hiding in one plastic egg or another.
This luscious two-layered chocolate cake with a creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting is decorated simply with a shaved chocolate nest with Robins Eggs nestled inside.
Since first posting this Chocolate Malt Cake recipe, we’ve made some improvements to the flavor and recipe, so this post has been updated with new instructions just in time for Easter!
What is Malted Milk Powder?
You probably know what it tastes like, but what really is malted milk powder, anyway?
Turns out, it’s made from malted barley, flour and evaporated milk. You can find it in classic candies, milk shakes, and desserts like this Malted Chocolate Cake.
You can easily find the malted milk powder in your grocery, usually with the powdered chocolate drink mixes. It’s also available online.
How to Make Chocolate Malt Cake and Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting
This Malted Chocolate Cake recipe is a little different from your typical chocolate layer cake recipe. It’s adapted from a recipe I clipped from a Cooking Light magazine.
You’ll start by making the delectable cream cheese chocolate frosting, which also forms the base of the cake batter.
To make the frosting, whip butter, cream cheese, vanilla extract, and confectioner’s sugar. These simple ingredients are the basis of classic cream cheese frosting, but we took things up a notch with melted chocolate.
Everything tastes better with chocolate, right?
To melt chocolate, place it in a small bowl. Microwave on HIGH for 1½ minutes. Remove the bowl from the microwave and let it sit for a minute. The chocolate will continue to melt. After a few minutes, give the chocolate a gentle stir until it’s smooth and creamy.
When the creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting is finished, measure out 2 ¾ cups (900 grams) of the mixture. Be sure to use a measuring cup or scale, as it’s important to leave the correct amount of chocolate mixture in the bowl to make the Chocolate Malt Cake batter.
Place the chocolate frosting in the fridge to chill for about two hours before using it.
Meanwhile, continue making the cake batter with eggs, baking powder, salt, flour, milk, and the secret ingredient: malt powder.
This special powder gives this Easter cake it’s malted flavor, so be sure to include it! It’s easy to find at the grocery store, typically with the powder hot chocolate mixes.
The finished batter can go directly into two greased and floured 9-inch cake pans to bake until fully set in the center. Then, all that’s left to do is to let the chocolate cakes cool and get decorating!
For a helpful how-to guide to baking the perfect layer cake post.
How to Decorate a Malted Chocolate Cake for Easter
What’s great about this recipe is that you already have your frosting ready.
To frost and decorate your Chocolate Malt Cake, first, be sure that the cake layers are fully cool.
Set one of the layers on your cake stand or large plate. Spread a thin layer of frosting evenly over the top of the cake.
Next, set your second cake layer on top of the frosting. Finally, spread the remaining frosting on the top and sides of the layer cake. I find it’s easiest to frost cakes like this chocolate layer cake with a small offset spatula.
Since I made this cake to celebrate Easter, I also added a fun nest on top with Whoppers Robin Eggs and shaved chocolate.
To make chocolate shavings, carefully use a knife or a potato peeler to cut off small shavings of a chocolate bar. You can use milk or dark chocolate for this, but choose one you like to eat (not the unsweetened chocolate you used for the batter).
Then, arrange your chocolate shavings in a small nest in the center of your Malted Chocolate Cake. Arrange a few colorful Whoppers Robin Eggs in the center to complete your adorable nest.
If you prefer, you can also sprinkle coarsely chopped Robin Eggs on top of the cake. The chopped Robin Eggs centers soften up overnight, so it’s best to decorate it this way the day you’re serving the cake.
More Recipes for Easter Treats
- This Easter Skillet Cookie is dressed up for the holiday with pastel sprinkles and M&M’s
- Use your pressure cooker to make dazzling dyed eggs with this recipe from Pressure Cooking Today
- Quick and Easy Robin Eggs No-Bake Cheesecakes make adorable party favors
- And with your Easter leftovers, enjoy FoodieCrush’s Curried Egg Salad Sandwich for lunch on Monday
Malted Milk Chocolate Cake
- 8 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 cups powdered sugar
- 5 tablespoons hot water
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate melted*
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
- 3 large eggs room temperature
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup malted-milk powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup milk
- Whopper malted-milk ball eggs
- Shaved Chocolate for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Coat bottoms of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray (do not coat sides of pan); line bottoms with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.
- Prepare Frosting: In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese, 3 tablespoons butter, and vanilla; beat at medium-high speed for two minutes.
- Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until smooth.
- Gradually add hot water; beat until smooth.
- Add melted chocolate; beat just until smooth.
- Reserve 2 ¾ cups (900 grams) chocolate mixture for frosting; cover and chill 2 hours.
- Prepare Cake Batter: Add 5 tablespoons butter to remaining chocolate frosting in bowl. Beat at medium speed of a mixer until well-blended (about 1 minute).
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine 1 ¾ cups flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk.
- With the mixer on low speed, add the one-third of the flour mixture to the chocolate egg mixture, then add ⅓ cup of milk, add half of the remaining flour mixture and the remaining ⅓ cup of milk, then add the remaining flour mixture.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Sharply tap pans once on counter to remove air bubbles.
- Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until the top bounces back when lightly pressed.
- Cool in pans 10 minutes on a wire rack; remove from pans. Remove wax paper. Cool completely on wire rack.
- Place 1 cake layer on a plate; spread with ½ cup frosting; top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake.
- Shave your chocolate for the nest, arrange in the center of cake leaving an indentation in center for the Whopper Robin Eggs. Place eggs in the center. (Alternatively, sprinkle the top of cake with chopped malted-milk balls.)
- Chill 1 hour. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.
Why is there No Sugar in the Cake batter?
With this recipe, part of the frosting is mixed in the batter, which saves steps. The sugar is in the frosting.
Instead of malted milk powder, couldn’t you substitute ~25% of the flour with light, dry, malted barley?
I’m sorry I don’t have any experience using malt barley. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes.
Thanks Mary – if I made it again, I think I would try the chocolate malted milk powder.
My husband would LOVE this…he is a malted milk ball addict