Malted Milk Chocolate Frosting

October 22, 2013
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 5 cups
Author Notes

The template for this frosting is Rose Levy Beranbaum's White Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream found in The Cake Bible. It's a buttercream that doesn't require making a sugar syrup or meringue, and has a nice layer of tang from the cream cheese and lemon in it. I wondered if milk or dark chocolate would work in place of the white chocolate. I decided to try milk chocolate, then take it in a slightly savory direction by adding malted milk powder. The tangy cream cheese flavor didn't work with the malt, so I swapped it for mascarpone with much better success. The resulting frosting is mildly sweet with an almost savory character from the malted milk powder. It is soft when first made, but upon standing firms up to a mousse-like texture from the malted milk powder. It's perfect on top of yellow cake or cupcakes with a few lightly crushed malted milk balls for decoration. —hardlikearmour

Test Kitchen Notes

The end result looks and tastes just like the inside of a Three Musketeers bar, my favorite childhood treat. The malt powder reins in the milk chocolate nicely. This would be a perfect complement to devil's food cupcakes. —mitschlag

What You'll Need
  • 9 to 10 1/2 ounces high quality milk chocolate like Green and Black (three 3 to 3.5 ounce bars)
  • 1/2 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 16 ounces mascarpone cheese, at cool room temperature
  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  1. Melt chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl at 50% power, stirring every 15 seconds. Once it is mostly melted let the residual heat finish the job. (Feel free to melt using a double boiler or bowl set over simmering water instead). Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine malted milk powder and heavy cream in a mixing bowl. Mix until the malted milk powder has dissolved, and the mixture is like a thin paste. Add the mascarpone and beat at low until combined, then at medium (high if you're using a hand mixer) until smooth and creamy.
  3. Gradually beat in the cooled chocolate mixture. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber/silicone spatula. Beat the butter in, 2 tablespoons at a time until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract, and beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl once during the process.
  4. Use to frost cake or cupcakes shortly after making (within an hour or two) as the buttercream will firm up to a mousse-like texture with time.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Midge
  • aargersi
  • mrslarkin
  • hardlikearmour
I am an amateur baker and cake decorator. I enjoy cooking, as well as eating and feeding others. I live in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with my husband and our menagerie. I enjoy outdoor activities including hiking, mushroom hunting, tide pooling, beach combing, and snowboarding.

10 Reviews

Alison January 20, 2019
Outstanding. Next time I might actually add a bit more malt. Loved this!
AlAnoud January 10, 2017
definitely trying this, but u topped it over what? is it a pound cake and if you may share the recipe please...
hardlikearmour January 10, 2017
I'm not sure what cake the editors made, but I like it with yellow cake. My go to recipe is Rose Levy Beranbaum's "All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake".
Alpana February 2, 2015
This frosting is truly amazing. The malt flavor really shines through, which is surprisingly hard to find in most recipes. The mild milk chocolate fades into the mascarpone, creating a secondary malty note. As the author states, it is not very sweet. Perfect if you are using malt balls to decorate for a sweeter tooth, but also excellent as is.
Midge October 22, 2013
Yum! I love that you made this less sweet.
hardlikearmour October 22, 2013
Thanks, Midge! I often find frosting to be too sweet, so I find it a nice change. My biggest worry is it won't be universally appealing, but I guess I can only make what I like and hope others like it as well :-)
aargersi October 22, 2013
I love Whoppers but can't eat too many because they are so sweet - so this is PERFECT. Love it!!!
hardlikearmour October 22, 2013
I like the bigger malted milk balls better than the smaller for that reason -- they have a better ratio of less sweet malted filling to saccharine sweet chocolate coating.
mrslarkin October 22, 2013
holy yum!
hardlikearmour October 22, 2013
Thanks, MrsL! It tastes a lot like a less sweet Whopper. I'm worried it's not sweet enough -- I really like it, but I'm not sure how others will feel.