Thursday, July 7, 2011

July Cupcake of the Month: Malt Shop Cupcakes

There was a frozen yogurt shop I used to frequent on my lunch hour, and my favorite day to go was Friday because this was when they had their malt chocolate yogurt.  Mmmm… similar to Wendy’s Frosty, but a bit more chocolaty.  So when I saw a recipe in the Bel Air and Raley’s Extra Magazine for Malt Shop Cupcakes, of course I had to try it.  I am a little behind, as the recipe is in the April/May/June issue.  But really, isn’t it always cupcake season?

I loved how the actual cake turned out; light and moist.  So often cupcakes can be dry.  I think it is the combination of butter and oil in the mix that made it so great.  I couldn’t really taste the malted milk powder in the cake, but maybe it did contribute to the nice texture.

The two ingredients you may not have in your pantry are the malted milk powder and the chocolate malt balls.  The milk powder can be found in the hot drinks aisle along with the hot chocolate, and for the malt balls I recommend purchasing some of the gourmet variety (I am not a big fan of whoppers). 

I found some gourmet chocolate malt balls at the local Hallmark store, but I know Trader Joe’s also carries them, probably at a lower price.  You can also use ‘Maltesers’ which are the British version of Whoppers but ten times better, and you can buy them at World Market (sorry if I am offending any Whoppers fans out there).  In my humble opinion it’s worth the splurge.

I changed the frosting recipe ever so slightly, adding an extra tablespoon of malted milk powder and decreasing the powdered sugar to three cups.  Crushed malt balls are also folded into the frosting.  If you have a little aggression to get rid of, you can place the malt balls in a sealed bag and bash them with a rolling pin or other blunt object.  I chopped mine coarsely with a knife, first cutting them in half so they wouldn't roll around on the cutting board.  I also only used half a malt ball for decoration on each cupcake, as the gourmet variety tend to be much bigger than Whoppers.

The recipe made 24 cupcakes so I put half in the freezer for another occasion or for when I have a sugar craving.  They freeze really well and are a perfect sweet treat as they don't take long to defrost. 

These, by the way, got a big thumbs up from my son-in-law when I made them for Father’s Day.  He said the chocolate cake was one of the best he had tasted.  Oh and the magazine recommends accompanying the cupcake with a glass of red wine – preferably Cupcake Red Velvet.

Here’s the link to the full recipe:  Malt Shop Cupcakes



  1. These look amazing! I have always loved malted milk balls... though Whoppers now are kind of disgusting. I swear it was a different recipe when I was a kid! I don't think it's just because I grew up. LOL

  2. I've never heard of using both butter and oil in the same recipe. But the whole thing sounds yummy and looks yummy too.

    I agree with you about how tasty Maltesers are. But I have to confess that the Trader Jo's one are delish too. I think I need to do a side-by-side comparison. :)

  3. I know Theresa, Whoppers have an artificial taste to me and the chocolate isn't very good either! The malt balls I got from Hallmark were delicious - almost as much chocolate as filling and really good chocolate too. Definitely worth the extra cost. The hardest part was not eating all the malt balls before they made it into the frosting!

  4. I'd be happy to help you with that taste test Susan ;-)

  5. When I was working in Washington, we had a lady that came to the offices with a "candy cart". It was from Colorado I think. She called it Mountain Lady or Mountain Candy or something - I believe she bought in bulk and repackaged. I'm not even a huge candy person and it was out of this world. Fresh and tasted like it was made with real food. The malt balls were dipped several times so they had a thick layer of real chocolate. I'm salivating, just thinking about it! LOL I'll have to try the Hallmark ones.

  6. Foodie in the KitchenJuly 9, 2011 at 6:12 PM

    Theresa, my first introduction to 'gourmet' malt balls was about 15 years ago when I was co-chairing a gift wrap fundraiser at my son's school. I think the company was Sally Foster and they had the best malt balls - really thick chocolate like you were mentioning. Our local Sally Foster rep gave us a ton of free merchandise to help promote the fundraiser and I remember somewhat overdosing on the malt balls!