It just goes without saying that cupcakes are pretty much my favorite thing to make in the kitchen. I love the versatility, the creativity, and the individual portability of each one. There’s a billion recipes out there to try, tons of different piping tips to experiment with, and lots of days to brighten with impromptu cupcakes.
Growing up, I hated malted milk, chocolate malts, or Whoppers candies. My mom loves them. Whenever she would come home with a chocolate treat from the store, it was usually one of those big containers of Whopper candies. And, there it would sit in the kitchen, untouched by me, the girl who just wished she would have brought home some M&M’s or Junior Mints instead. I think this was her strategy. She knew that I wouldn’t touch them. If I was desperate, then they would suffice.
Later on, my dad turned me on to chocolate malts. I don’t remember when, but I do remember getting them with him at a local ice cream parlor as a kid. Yum. This malt flavor was growing on me.
Which is why, when a colleague requested chocolate malt cupcakes for his birthday, I was a little hesitant. I still don’t care too much for the malt flavor, but I figured…why not? It’s worth a shot…maybe I will be pleasantly surprised and remember why I started liking chocolate malts as a kid. And, since cupcakes are my favorite thing to make, it shouldn’t be so bad.
I went with Martha Stewart’s chocolate malt cupcake recipe…and it’s a very modest malt flavor. It’s there, but it’s definitely subtle. Not in-your-face-over-the-top malt flavor…which is just the way I like it. To add to the flavor, I decided for a rich, creamy chocolate malt buttercream for the top, with a few of those Whoppers on top, of course.
Taken with a glass of cold milk, these could definitely suffice.
Malted Milk Ball Cupcakes
Servings: approximately 24 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 and 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 and 1/4 cups malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup malted milk powder
10 tablespoons milk
For garnish: Whopper candies
1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. Line a cupcake pan with the liners of your choice; set aside.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, granulated sugar, brown sugar, baking soda and salt.
4. In another small bowl, whisk together the milk and the malted milk powder until smooth.
5. In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the flour and milk mixtures together on medium speed.
6. Slowly add the oil to the batter, and mix to incorporate.
7. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each one.
8. Add the sour cream and vanilla, mixing until just combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary.
9. Divide the batter among the prepared cupcake liners and baking until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes or so, rotating and switching the pans halfway through the baking time (if baking two pans at a time). Let cool completely before piping.
10. For the frosting: In the bowl of your standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using an electric hand mixer), beat the butter, vanilla, and salt at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
11. In a separate bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and malted milk powder.
12. In three separate turns and on low speed, alternate adding the powdered sugar mixture with the milk to the butter mixture, mixing until smooth and creamy. Pipe as desired onto the cupcakes.