Chocolate Malt Cake with Chocolate Malt Icing

5 from 2 votes

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Chocolate Malt Cake with Chocolate Malt Icing is a WIN. If you love chocolate, this chocolate layered cake with chocolate frosting topped with chocolate ganache is a total dream come true!

Close up of Chocolate Malt Cake with Chocolate Malt Icing

Chocolate Malt Cake

Oh boy…chocolate lovers, this one’s for YOU. This chocolate malt cake with chocolate malt icing is A-MAZ-ING. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I am drooling just thinking about it. This is a safe space, right? πŸ™‚

In all seriousness, this is quite possibly one of the best chocolate cakes I have ever had (and I’ve made it my personal mission to try as many as possible!). I wish I could take the credit for this chocolate malt cake recipe, but alas, the glory belongs to my cousin Jill, who gave me this recipe a few years ago.

If the images in this post are making your tummy growl, let me tell you that it tastes BETTER than it looks (seems impossible huh? But it’s true!). I made this for my hubby’s birthday and he absolutely loved it. He asked if he could have it for his birthday EVERY year…fine by me! Thank you so much, Jill! You are the cake QUEEN!

What is Malt?

Malt certainly has a distinct (and delicious taste) and this chocolate malt cake plays up the malt flavor in both the cake and the icing. If you’re curious what malt is, it’s a creal grain that is dried in a special germinated method, called malting. Fascinating, right?

Tips for Slicing a Round Cake

The chocolate malt cake can easily feed 12 adults when sliced properly. If you are anything like I used to be, the thought of slicing a round cake might make you a bit nervous. If so, don’t worry. You’ll be a cake-slicing pro in no time with this brilliant tip.

Rather than cutting the cake into even triangle wedges (who can do that anyway?), slice the cake horizontally all the way across into half-inch slabs. From there, cut the slabs into even rectangles. It’s much easier to understand if you see a visual, so check out this post here.

Chocolate Malt Cake with Chocolate Malt Icing Cut Open So You Can See The Layers

More Chocolate Desserts to Enjoy

How to Make Chocolate Malt Cake

Chocolate Malt Cake with Chocolate Malt Icing

5 from 2 votes
Chocolate Malt Cake with Chocolate Malt Icing is a WIN. Chocolate layered cake with chocolate frosting AND chocolate ganache is a chocolate lovers dream!
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12


  • 9 inch cake pans


Chocolate Malt Icing:

Chocolate Ganache:

  • 16 oz. bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate (we used chocolate chips)
  • 2 c. heavy whipping cream


  • Preheat oven to 350. Butter & flour 2, 9-inch baking pans (you may have a little leftover to make a cupcake or two if you want). In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  • In a small bowl, combine milk and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. Add milk mixture, oil and eggs to flour mixture, beating at a medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Add sour cream and vanilla, beating just until combined.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove cakes from pans and let cool completely on racks. Frost cakes, pour on ganache (after you pour the ganache over the cake. Place the entire cake in the refrigerator and let cool for at least an hour), and garnish with malted milk balls.
  • For the frosting: This makes a lot of frosting… the original recipe makes a little less but I made extra for the layers. The frosting is so good! In a large bowl beat butter and cocoa powder at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. In a small bowl, combine cream and malted milk powder, stirring to dissolve. Add cream mixture to butter mixture, beating at low speed to combine. Gradually beat in powdered sugar until smooth.
  • For the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate into a medium-sized bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a microwavable container and microwave for 3 to 4 minutes on high or until it just begins to simmer; be careful not to allow cream to boil over. Pour the cream over the chocolate and let stand for 30 seconds or so. Using an electric mixer, beat on low until chocolate mixture is smooth. Use as is for glazing.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 1242kcalCarbohydrates: 164gProtein: 19gFat: 64gSaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 140mgSodium: 424mgPotassium: 912mgFiber: 11gSugar: 106gVitamin A: 1167IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 241mgIron: 6mg

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About the author

Erica Walker

Erica lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, Jared, an attorney, and her beautiful three girls. Beyond the world of recipes, she loves adventuring with everything from kayaking, to cruising, to snowboarding and taking the family along for the thrill ride.

More about Erica Walker

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How many stars would you give this recipe?


  1. 5 stars
    Thank you for the tips on how to make a layer cake that not only tastes delicious but LOOKS beautiful too. Your instructions are spot on! This is SOOO good. The MALT. Never tried that before in a cake…but now I don’t think I can go without. Chocolate and malt are perfect together.

  2. Do you use “regular” Malted Milk powder or the chocolate Malted Milk powder? I bought a container of the chocolate Malted Milk powder to make a cake & frosting with, but now I can’t find the recipe I was going to use. I now MUST try this frosting recipe!

    1. I use the regular (mostly because that is what is most readily available) but you can definitely use chocolate! I know it will be amazing with the chocolate πŸ™‚

  3. What is the best way to cut the cakes in half to make the four layers? When there cold sound reasonable?

  4. I found Carnation Malted Milk powder at GFS after calling all the stores I could think of. I am making the cake right now and 20 minutes had the cakes still half raw, so I am checking every 3 minutes. So far so good!

  5. Hi there
    I would just like to thank you and let u know i used ur idea for my maltesers cake and it was a winner !!
    Thank you

  6. I made this yummy cake & it came out exactly like your pic, everyone raved over it, I divided the batter into 3 pans & it was perfect……….had left over frosting & ganache, I might use milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet for the ganache, I’m making this again tomorrow, my husband’s co-workers saw my post & pleaded for one, I loved the frosting is so creamy, fluffly………I piped the stars on top before placing the malted balls. Love it thanks so much u certainly made my day & my husband happy!

    1. It is not the same. Ovaltine has malted milk powder in it but also has added sugar and other ingredients. It may change the taste and texture of the cake. Carnation and Nestle both make a malted milk powder that works great with this recipe. I hope this helps!

  7. 30 minutes and counting, and the toothpick is still coming out dripping wet. I’ve followed the instructions precisely. I’m getting nervous…

  8. Could you put this in a 9×13 pan? Looks good really want to make for work. but would work better in a 9×13 for everyone to get a piece.

    1. I don’t think you would get the same results. I don’t know how you would do it in a 9×13 and have the center perfectly gooey! If you try it, come back and let us know how it turns out!

  9. Hey, Can you tell me the alterations i need to make in the recipe if I want a tall cake with three layers?
    also it is going to be topped with a fondant layer and and chocolate malt frosting doesnt hold up so well in warm temperatures. ganache on the other hand does. So should i just top and cover the cake with ganache or cover it with the malt frosting first and then cover it with the ganache completely?
    looking forward to your reply!

    1. I haven’t done it that way before… how warm of temperatures are we talking here? We have served this at room temperature and the malt frosting is fine. Can you refrigerate until serving?

  10. I’m very excited to make this cake. We used to make (what I think is) a version of this but with Nestle Quik. It was very good and got lots of compliments. Over the years I lost the recipe. So I’m excited to see this and try it.

  11. I have been wanting to make this cake for over a year. I could almost taste it from looking at the pictures. I made it a fews ago for my son’s 7th birthday. It was easy to make and the malt frosting is seriously DIVINE. More than one of our party guests said that this was the best chocolate cake they had ever tasted. My son loved it too. I love this site, everything I have ever made has been a huge hit with my hubby and 4 kids. The recipies are easy to make and you have such a diverse selection for every craving and tastebud. Thank you so much for sharing.

  12. Baked a cake for my dad’s birthday yesterday and wanted a recipe for malt frosting. I stumbled upon this blog and I have been drooling since. The cake I made is very similar to the recipe above, but yours looks so much more divine! It is bookmarked!

  13. Just made this and it looks AMAZING. While the cake turned out as stated I found that I had nearly two cups each of frosting and ganache left over. I must not have frosted as liberally as you. But I am at a loss for the ganache; what do I do with the extra 2 cups? Do you apply twice?

  14. Erica,

    I ended up using Ovaltine because it was all I could find… not the chocolate drink mix but the "regular" flavor that's a yellowish colour. It works great!! I don't know if it tastes exactly like yours, but I know it's DARN good! πŸ™‚

    Thanks soooo much for this recipe! The frosting is so amazing and I'm definitely going to use it for cupcakes too.

    Thank goodness you have a blog!

  15. I used the Carnation brand. I found it at our local grocery store. Sometimes it is found by the instant breakfasts, sometimes by the coffee creamers.. Your best bet is to ask one of your store associates. Depending on the store it could be tricky to find. I don't know if I would try the powder drinks, it might make the cake taste funny. Good luck!!

  16. Hi there!

    I can't wait to try this recipe but can't seem to find any malt milk powder! I have seen the Carnation Malt Milk Powder online but I can't find it anywhere.

    What brand do you use? Could I possibly use Horlicks or Ovaltine Malt Beverage powder instead? Will the "malt" flavour be strong enough from those drinks to use?

    Thanks a bunch in advance!!!

  17. Erica-thank you for this fabulous recipe. My hubby and I are junk food junkies, and we both agreed this is "THE best chocolate cake EVER". Absolutely amazing.

  18. @ Taylor — YAY!!!!!!!!!! I am so glad it FINALLY turned out.. and that you liked it with the malt! Thanks so much for letting me know! I am so happy to hear your family liked it. I was so baffled why it wasn't working out! I am so glad you figured it out. Now I know for SURE it doesn't work without the malt. I am sure my future readers will appreciate knowing that!
    Thanks for not giving up!!! –Erica

  19. Okay,made this cake for the 3rd time and it was the charm. I decided to put the malt in ( I can't even stand the smell of the stuff, but was determined for it to turn out RIGHT). Guess what… it really needs the malt πŸ™‚ I couldn't taste it (yeah) and it turned out amazing. It even helped the frosting somehow. I made it for a family party last night and everyone LOVED it. Thank you for a recipe that will be part of out family from now on. Your blog ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. Made this cake like I said I would for my husbands birthday on the Ausgust 13th. I was amazed at myself. It turned out FABULOUS! Thanks for the recipe! I will be making this cake again, and again, and again for special occasions. As for the other lady with frosting problems. I made it just how the recipe said and it was fine. I refrigerate the frosted cake for about an hour and then put the ganche over it. So if you don't like malt just leave it out of the cake like you did but put it in the frosting and it might turn out. My cake also took about 30 min to bake instead of 20. It could be the elevation.

  21. Well, let's just say, my cake doesn't look near as pretty as yours!! The ganache does kind of mix with the frosting and alot gathers at the bottom of my cake plate. None the less, this cake is amazing and the frosting tastes divine. I found I had to keep it refrigerated to keep the frosting and ganache from getting softer and drooping.

  22. The frosting isn't a thick, hard frosting like royal icing or even like a cream cheese frosting. The consistency is supposed to be like a whipped frosting, it should be a little lighter. Is it so soft that you can't put the ganache on?

  23. Okay I made the cake again… I am determined to get it right πŸ™‚ My cake took a lot longer to cook again, must be my oven. The frosting is so soft- I even let it sit over night in my fridge before I used it to frost the cake. So, I tried the frositng a 3rd time and I used more powdered sugar and less cream. Did your frosting seem soft? Thanks for answering all my questions. This recipe is amazing- I just want to perfect it, so I can make it for company or an event.

  24. @ Taylor-
    Yeah I think we refrigerated it for a bit while I made the ganache.. maybe an hour? I also had the ganache sit for a while so it wasn't like WAY warm when I poured it on. I am glad you liked it.. and the Winger's sauce (that is one of my hubby's FAVORITES)

  25. I forgot to mention that I used nesquick as a substitute for the malt in the cake batter. I don't know if it did anything or not, but the cake was delicious. I really appreciate your response. Oh, did you refrigerate your frosted cake before you poured the ganache on? I love your blog!!! We LOVED the Winger's sauce.

  26. @ Taylor-
    I don't know if by leaving the malt out made a difference or not. I haven't made it without the malt. The malt flavor isn't really strong.. I don't know if there is a good substitute for malted milk powder. I for sure only did the cakes for 20 minutes. If the toothpick comes out too wet, I would check it every 2-3 minutes until it comes out clean.. no one will know if you poke the cake a ton. The cake should be really moist and the frosting shouldn't be runny at all. You may have had the right idea by adding more powdered sugar for next time. I have never had that problem! Sorry it didn't turn out as expected!

    1. My cakes just took 40 minutes to bake all the way through! I had no extra batter—so maybe that has something to with it. Did you use convection baking? Shallower pans?

      1. It can vary by oven, pan, or cooking time.. no matter how you make it just make sure to pull it out as soon as a toothpick comes out clean after inserting it into the cake.

  27. I made your cake and it was yummy- but I have some questions. I baked it for 20 min- but the toothpick was very wet when I pulled it out. I baked it for more time, but may have dried it out. Is it really 20? Also, I am not a malt fan, so I left it out. My frosting turned out soft and it ran everywhere when I poured the ganache on it. Do you think the absence of malt did that? Maybe I should have used more powdered sugar. I am anxious to try this again. I look forward to your response.

  28. Made this cake for a girls get-together. You're right. It's fabulous!! The only problem is all the leftovers. I just had chocolate cake for breakfast. Bad, but it sure was yum! Thanks

  29. Thanks! Just made your yogurt pancakes, they were delicious. I will be making this cake for my husband birthday. It is August 13th. I will let you know how I did. I am so excited though!

  30. We just made your Big Kahuna Sandwhich over the weekend and it was amazing!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe, we will be making it again!

  31. haha I would love to! Can't have too many sisters, right? Maybe that is why my sisters and I are so close.. because we all like to eat.

  32. UM Excuse me – is your last name Anderson – because I'm fairly certain that you are my sister. My sister just called me because she saw the link on my blog to your blog and said, " Um hello does that girl live in my mouth." I was like UH YAH! now if you aren't are sister – do you want to be – trust me you do! just say yes now! Love this – thanks much! Jen

  33. That is not a stupid question at all– yes, I did cut the cakes in half so there were 4 skinny cakes.. then I loaded frosting in between each layer. You can just do the 2 layers if you don't want to slice up the cakes — I just think the 4 layers look pretty πŸ™‚

  34. So I see the picture and it looks great! I have never made a layered cake before though. Did you cut your cakes in half and frost, and then start layering or how do you get the frosting inside the cake? sounds like a stupid question probably but I would love to try it!

      1. No, just regular malted milk. However, the chocolate flavored malt would probably taste just as good. Thanks for asking!