Malted-Milk Chocolate Cake

My entry for this month’s Master Baker challenge is a recipe I cut out of Cooking Light magazine in 1999. My kids are not crazy about malted-milk balls, so I never made the cake. But my husband and I love them, so when the Master Baker’s challenge this month was to bake something using Easter candy, I immediately thought of one of my favorite Easter candies from my childhood – Robin’s eggs. As a little girl growing up, I remember using the Robin’s eggs as lipstick. Nothin’ prettier than pink, blue, yellow and white lipstick – right?

Although my kids did not like the cake, everyone loved the frosting. The frosting, using reduced fat cream cheese, would be delicious on any cake! I liked the cake, but I thought it was a little dry and not chocolatey or malty enough. But the frosting….yum

Malted-Milk Chocolate Cake

Malted-Milk Chocolate Cake


  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter or stick margarine, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 (8-ounce) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, chilled
  • 5 cups powdered sugar (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons hot water
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup malted-milk powder
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup coarsely chopped malted-milk balls


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 wax paper. Coat wax paper with cooking spray; dust with 1 tablespoon flour.

Combine butter, vanilla, and cream cheese in a large bowl; beat at medium-high speed of a mixer 2 minutes. Gradually add sugar, beating at low speed just until smooth. Add hot water; beat just until smooth. Add chocolate; beat just until smooth. Reserve 1 3/4 cups chocolate mixture for frosting; cover and chill 2 hours. Add shortening to remaining chocolate mixture 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.

Lightly spoon 1 3/4 cups flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Combine 1 3/4 cups flour, milk powder, baking powder, and salt, stirring well with a whisk. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with the 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 a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 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 1/2 cup frosting, and top with remaining cake layer. Spread remaining frosting over top and sides of cake; sprinkle top of cake with chopped malted-milk balls. Chill 1 hour. Store cake loosely covered in refrigerator.

(In this recipe, the frosting is made first, then part is reserved to ice the cake and the rest is used in the batter. To melt chocolate, place it in a small bowl or custard cup; microwave at HIGH 1 1/2 minutes or until soft, stirring until melted.)