Malted Vanilla Frosting

July 29, 2016
8 Ratings
Photo by Ken Carlson
  • Makes 4 cups
What You'll Need
  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup malted milk powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 4 cups (one 16-ounce box) confectioners' sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Combine the butter, malted milk powder, salt, and 2 cups of the sugar in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low speed until incorporated, about 1 minute.
  2. Add the remaining sugar and beat on medium speed until the frosting is pale and no longer grainy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and beat until the frosting is very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  3. Malted Vanilla Frosting will keep, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for 1 week. Before using, bring it back to room temperature and stir it vigorously or beat it again for best results.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Emily McKnight Wheeler
    Emily McKnight Wheeler
  • Amy Valchev
    Amy Valchev
  • GINA
  • Carol
Before her diagnosis, Caroline wrote a book on cakes called Cake Magic!. She started developing a birthday cake using her gluten-free mix found in that book. Check out other recipes she’s developing for her new life—and the stories behind them—on her blog, The Wright Recipes. Her next book, Soup Club, is a collection of recipes she made for her underground soup club of vegan and grain-free soups she delivers every week to friends throughout Seattle's rainy winter.

10 Reviews

Emily M. April 1, 2023
This frosting got a resounding "this is the best frosting I've ever had" from my Palm Sunday weekend guests. I don't even really like malted milk and this is spectacular. I used original Ovaltine, halved the vanilla and swapped the other tablespoon for a tablespoon and a half of almond milk, and piped it on doctored box chocolate cupcakes. 10/10 will make again.
Amy V. July 6, 2020
This frosting is DIVINE. I put it on top of chocolate cupcakes and BOOM - chocolate malt. It is so yummy and creamy. I will be making this again and again.
GINA May 12, 2019
I have gone grain free for the past two years but cut out sugar and have switched to swerve or maple syrup in most recipes. I avoid using any products that uses cane sugar or corn syrup. Do you have any recipes that omit cane sugars? Thanks!
Carol February 18, 2019
I really enjoy reading the comments about the vanilla malted icing. I guess we all have the same memories of the malted milk balls, and other malted drinks and desserts. Hopefully there is a genius Baker/ taster/ scientist among us that can capture that flavor that the celiacs among us can savor safely.
SK February 18, 2019
What is the benefit of using the malted milk powder, vs conventional frosting?
Carol H. February 9, 2019
this sounds great and I love malted milk. I would suggest, however, that this recipe appears in the gluten free cake magic flour recipe and you should caution your readers that malted milk powder is not gluten free.
Miranda January 24, 2019
I made this per the recipe amounts but only did one thing different. I beat the butter alone until it was creamy and pale before adding the rest of the ingredients as the recipe indicates. This frosting was delicious and a perfect consistency! Definitely do 2 tbsp vanilla, it enhances the flavor greatly.
Carol January 17, 2019
I was very excited when I saw the picture of the cake with vanilla malt icing. I have not been able to have malt for many years and had hoped that there was a gluten free substitute for the wonderful flavor that I remember. Alas, there is none that I have heard of. Malt is made from barley, and barley has the same gluten that rye and wheat does. For those of us with celiac disease, traditional malt powder is something that we can no longer have. Do you have any thoughts for a GF substitute? Otherwise, great recipes.
Helen D. January 14, 2019
Malt has gluten.
Kellie B. September 24, 2016
I found this recipe to be better the more the icing sat. I added a bit of heavy cream to thin out the icing and used 2 tsp of vanilla as opposed to the 2 tblsp listed in the ingredients. I used this on chocolate cupcakes and it really complemented the chocolate flavor.