Cakes & Cupcakes Chocolate

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

October 19, 2020

Rich, ultra chocolatey cupcakes topped with swirls of luscious chocolate malt buttercream. These seriously delicious chocolate malt cupcakes are a chocolate […]

Rich, ultra chocolatey cupcakes topped with swirls of luscious chocolate malt buttercream. These seriously delicious chocolate malt cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s dream!


I’ve always considered myself a bit of neat freak. I love to organize a junk drawer, file papers into color coded folders, and I can fold sweaters like I was just crowned employee of the month at the GAP. But after binge watching the entire season of The Home Edit in one {yes…one} night, I was super inspired to give my pantry a major overhaul. As you know, I bake A LOT and that means my stash of flours, sugars, chocolates and such can get a teensy bit out of control at times. Nothing makes me happier than a productive weekend project so I spent the better part of Sunday clearing out and cleaning up my pantry. Not surprisingly, I found tons of ingredients I didn’t even know I had tucked away in the far back shelves {hello canned pumpkin!} and lucky for me, most were in perfect shape and not yet expired. As any good household project does, this one ended with me deciding I deserved a treat. As per the usual, I was craving something chocolatey. The first thing that came to mind was cupcakes. They are always fun to make and easy to whip up at a moments notice. And now we have a left over canister of malt powder found in my now perfectly organized pantry to thank for these dangerously delicious chocolate malt cupcakes.


If you’ve ever had malted milk, you know that it has a subtle kind of sweetness that pairs perfectly with chocolate. This extra fluffy, super thick malted chocolate buttercream piled high on top of a rich, dark chocolate cupcake is a combination I’ll never say no to. The hint of malt flavor in the buttercream is just perfect in my book. Not so subtle you don’t know it’s there but not at all overpowering. And it’s so easy to make perfect swirls with this dreamy frosting…it’s positively luscious. Good luck not licking the bowl clean! You can find malt powder in the baking aisle, in the same vicinity as cocoa powder. When you crack open the container your first impression might be that it doesn’t smell great. You would be right. But just you wait. These cupcakes taste like a super chocolatey, malty milkshake. Except they are even better!


These chocolate cupcakes are for real deal chocolate lovers. They are rich, perfectly chocolatey, and super moist. All you need is two bowls and a whisk which makes this recipe one worth repeating over and over again. Cupcakes are fairly straightforward but take a quick glance at this list of tips and tricks for perfectly baked cupcakes every time.

Do not over mix. Cupcake batter should never be over mixed so use a light hand when whisking the ingredients together. Once you add the dry ingredients, fold together gently using a spatula or wooden spoon for best results and only mix until the ingredients are barely incorporated.

Only fill the liners half way. If you’re like me, more is always better and you might be tempted to fill the cupcake liners past the half way point. Take it from my dozens of baking fails and trust that over filled cupcakes will balloon up and over the top of the pan while baking leaving you with crispy, broken tops and centers that sink. If you remember only one thing from this post, remember to only fill your cupcake liners half way.

Watch your oven. The thing I love most about cupcakes is that they bake up almost instantly which means you can be face to face with that mile-high buttercream in no time. All ovens run differently so be sure to keep careful watch over yours to be sure your cupcakes don’t over bake. The centers should be set and a toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean or with a few crumbs remaining. Cool the cupcakes in the pan for 5-10 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cool completely and top with heaps of frosting. If you’re in a hurry for that double chocolate malted cupcake fix, pop the cupcakes in the fridge for 15-20 minutes before frosting. Then pile high with swirls of rich and delicious chocolate malt buttercream using a large star tip or create a mound of frosting using an offset spatula. The cupcakes are sturdy enough to hold plenty of frosting so feel free to pile on the buttercream nice and tall.



Okay, these cupcakes are great and all but the real shining star is the chocolatey malty buttercream. It’s smooth and rich, perfectly sweetened, and it has that hint of malted milkshake flavor we all know and love. This buttercream comes together in just five minutes using a stand mixer, but if the lazy baker in you wants to use a regular bowl and whisk, I’ll leave you to it. This frosting is so ridiculously delicious I bet you’ll be tempted to eat it by the spoonful!

Use softened butter. For best results, be sure to use butter softened to room temperature. It will mix up beautifully with the dry ingredients for a silky smooth, creamy frosting.

Sift the cocoa powder. I’m not a fan of lumpy bumpy buttercream so I’m all for taking an extra minute to sift the cocoa powder. You’ll be glad you did!

Use whole milk or heavy cream to thin the frosting. The great thing about a basic buttercream is that you can add a little of this or a little of that to get just the right consistency. Too thick? Add more milk or heavy cream. To thin? Add more confectioner’s sugar. The frosting is ready when it’s thick enough to hold its form but pipes smoothly through a piping tip for fancy swirls.


These chocolate cupcakes stay moist for days which makes them the perfect make ahead treat. Feel free to bake the cupcakes a day early and store them tightly covered at room temperature. Frost them the day of and store any leftovers in a cool dry place for up to 4 days. I like to keep frosted cupcakes in the fridge and set them out a few minutes before eating to allow the frosting to soften slightly. Serve with a cold glass of milk and you’ll be in pure chocolate heaven!


Happy baking!

If you love these Chocolate Malt Cupcakes, check out these other chocolate desserts…

Salted Caramel Chocolate Espresso Cupcakes

Devil’s Food Cupcakes

Extra Dark Chocolate Snack Cake

The Best Chocolate Pound Cake

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Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Browned Butter Blondie
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 20-22
  • Total Time: 35
  • Yield: 12 1x


Rich, ultra chocolatey cupcakes topped with swirls of luscious chocolate malt buttercream. These seriously delicious chocolate malt cupcakes are a chocolate lover’s dream!




1 cup all-purpose flour, scooped and leveled (125 grams)

¼ cup Dutch-process cocoa, sifted (30 grams)

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

⅓ cup neutral oil

½ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup brown sugar, packed

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

⅔ cups buttermilk, room temperature

2 teaspoons instant coffee

Chocolate Malt Buttercream

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup Dutch process cocoa powder, sifted

3 1/4 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1/3 cup malt powder

3 TBSP heavy cream or whole milk

1 1/2 tsp vanilla

pinch of salt



Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, sifted cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk together oil and sugars in a medium mixing bowl.

Whisk in one egg at a time. Add in vanilla extract.

Measure out buttermilk in a measuring cup and add the coffee to it.

Alternate mixing in half of the dry ingredients and half of the buttermilk to the wet ingredients until everything is added. Mix until just combined.

Fill each liner two-thirds full of batter.

Place the pan in the oven for 20-22 minutes. The cupcakes are done when a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Malt Buttercream

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix the butter on medium high speed until light and creamy.

Add the sifted confectioner’s sugar, malt powder, cocoa powder and salt, mixing on low speed until incorporated.

Once the dry ingredients are mixed well, increase speed to medium high and mix for one minute.

Add the heavy cream and vanilla, mixing on high speed until smooth and creamy. If buttercream is too thick, add more heavy cream. If too thin, add more sugar.

Transfer the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip and pipe swirls of frosting onto the cooled cupcakes.





Store tightly covered in a cool, dry place.

  • Reply
    January 30, 2023 at 7:25 pm

    Can I make these with malt extract instead?

    • Reply
      Heather Mubarak
      January 30, 2023 at 8:53 pm

      I haven’t made this recipe with malt extract – let me know how it goes if you give it a try!

  • Reply
    February 25, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Heather,
    Greetings from India…
    I browsed through Pinterest and came across your yummy recipe of Chocolate Cake…
    I browsed through your website too..
    Please add me to your newsletter for any future updates.
    Thank you
    Monica Joseph India

  • Reply
    Julie G
    March 19, 2021 at 9:10 pm

    These. Are. Delicious!! Easy to make and I love that the recipe makes 12 perfectly sized cupcakes. But, that frosting…omg..the malt makes it. We loved these cupcakes!

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