Chocolate Malted Cupcakes with Chocolate Malted Frosting

Chocolate Malt Cupcake
For my birthday this year I wanted to try something different and chocolate malt jumped out as a flavor I wanted.   I had made the Chocolate Malted Whopper Drops and really wanted to capture the chocolate malt flavor and texture in a cupcake.  I had recently purchased a cupcake tower and this was a perfect opportunity to try it out as a display showpiece.  The tower was everything I hoped for and I received a lot of compliments on it.   This is good because it will be making many repeat appearances!

Chocolate Malt Cupcake Tower
The recipe is an oil based one with cocoa powder.  I used a mixture of dutch-processed and regular baking cocoa, because that is what I had in the pantry.   I think that there is no problem using regular baking cocoa in many recipes as long as the batter is acidic enough for the baking soda to work.   These were good, but did not have the concentrated malt flavor that I was looking for.  The texture of the frosting was initially a little loose, probably because I didn’t quite let the melted chocolate cool enough before I added it to the buttercream.    The cupcakes were moist, but I just generally prefer the butter based recipes.  I will try another version of Chocolate Malted Cupcakes again.  I think I will put chopped Whoppers in the batter next time, though.

Chocolate Malted Cupcakes

adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes, makes about 28 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, room temperature
1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, both sugars, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk and malted milk powder until 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 combined.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cupcakes can be stored up to 3 days at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Chocolate Malt Buttercream

adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, cut into 16 pieces, at room temperature
4 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, melted and slightly cooled
1/4 malted milk powder
1/4 cup milk

Melt the chocolate and allow it to cool slightly. Whisk the malted milk powder into the milk until dissolved. In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar.  Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160 F on an instant-read thermometer), about 2 minutes.  Remove the bowl from the saucepan.  Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature , and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry), about 6 minutes.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition.  If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more.  Add the (cooled) chocolate and the malt/milk and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use right away.

Frost the cupcakes and top with a single whopper.

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