Make Ahead

Malted Chocolate Cheesecake

October 14, 2019
4 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Prep time 6 hours
  • Cook time 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Makes One 9-inch cheesecake
Author Notes

This malted chocolate cheesecake, my ode to the chocolate malt milkshakes of my youth, is pretty much the perfect cheesecake in my book. With malted milk powder in the chocolate cookie crust, creamy filling, *and* chocolate ganache topping, it’s a cheesecake lover’s (and malt lover’s!) dream. The malted milk powder adds complexity to each layer, and the nutty brown butter in the crust ups the flavor still. I’ll never turn down a slice of classic cheesecake, but this nostalgic, reimagined rendition is exactly the type of cheesecake I want to serve to my friends and family (and eat straight from the pan when no one is looking). —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

This recipe was developed in partnership with Miele. —The Editors

What You'll Need
  • 9 ounces (255 grams) chocolate wafer cookies, such as Nabisco Famous Chocolate Wafers
  • 8 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1/4 cup (22 grams) malted milk powder (chocolate or plain), such as Ovaltine or Carnation
  • 3 8-ounce packages full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (88 grams) malted milk powder (see note above)
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (240 grams) sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup (22 grams) malted milk powder (see note above)
  1. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper.
  2. TO MAKE THE CRUST: In a food processor, pulverize the cookies until they’re finely ground.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and cook until it turns brown and smells nutty, about 4 to 6 minutes. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom so they don't burn. Remove from heat, and let cool slightly.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the crumbs and malted milk powder, then add the brown butter. Stir together until evenly integrated. Transfer crumbs to the prepared pan, and press them up the sides of the pan, then evenly over the bottom of pan. Chill the crust (either in the fridge or freezer) while preparing the filling.
  5. Heat oven to 325°F
  6. TO MAKE THE FILLING: In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese, sugar, and malted milk powder on medium-low speed until ultra-smooth, about 3 to 4 minutes, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. (Resist the temptation to mix on high speed, which will introduce air into the batter, causing it to rise, then deflate and crack, in the oven.) Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add sour cream and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  7. Pour filling over the crust. Bake for 65 to 75 minutes, or until the edges are dry and puffed but the center is still jiggly and wetter looking. (Optional: use a water bath to ensure an even distribution of heat from edge to center--or the steam function on your oven if you have that!). If the edges crack a little, don’t worry—they won’t affect the taste or appearance since you’re going to cover the whole thing with malted ganache!
  8. Cool on the counter, then refrigerate until fully chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 2 days.
  9. TO MAKE MALTED GANACHE: Heat cream in a small saucepan until steaming (but not boiling). Add malted milk powder, whisking until evenly incorporated. Off the heat, whisk in chocolate until smooth and glossy. Cool for about 10 minutes. Pour onto chilled cheesecake and spread to the edges. Return cheesecake to the fridge until the ganache sets, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Becky Brown
    Becky Brown
  • Scott Barnes
    Scott Barnes
  • Rob Azevedo
    Rob Azevedo
  • EmilyC
  • Zoë Lester
    Zoë Lester

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

16 Reviews

Becky B. March 20, 2021
Great recipe, very tasty. I use splenda instead of sugar for my husband. It works great. Thanks for sharing recipe!
Emily E. May 11, 2020
Made this for Mother's Day and it was a huge hit! So unique and rich. I couldn't find chocolate wafers for the crust, so I used regular graham crackers and it turned out great. I used chocolate Ovaltine for the malt powder. Yum!
Scott B. November 13, 2019
Thank you for this inspired idea! Made my first one of these yesterday, and it will not be the last. I did vary the recipe in two ways: 1). I added melted chocolate to the filling--an option you included--to make a thoroughly chocolate cheesecake; 2). In each element (crust, filling, ganache) I substituted a single tablespoon of malted barley syrup for one of powder. It's very thick stuff, but blends well when heated and deepens the malt flavor, which, of course, is what we're all after here. And for the malt powder, I've found that Horlick's (an English brand available via Amazon) is maltier than Carnation, so I used that. The result was just out of this world.
Note: it's important to keep malt powder bone dry or it will clump stubbornly and become very difficult to mix in with anything else. Once you open a jar, seal it tight and keep it in a cool, non-humid place.
EmilyC November 13, 2019
Thanks Scott! I'm so happy that you liked the cheesecake, and I've got Horlick's in my Amazon cart as I type! Can't wait to try it! : )
Mary November 9, 2019
Crust note: The malted milk clumped up and got sticky when I added it immediately to the brown butter. I had to toss it - no way would it blend into the cookie crumbs. Second try I mixed the malted milk into the crumbs, let the brown butter cool a bit, and then stirred it into the crumb/malted milk mixture. Came out perfectly
EmilyC November 9, 2019
Oh interesting—I’ve never had this experience! What brand of malted milk powder did you use, out of curiosity? Glad the second try worked regardless!
Zoë L. November 27, 2019
This happened to me too, but I'd seen your comment so trying again your way. I am using carnation malted milk original.
EmilyC November 27, 2019
Hi Zoe -- sorry this happened to you too but thanks for your note! I just updated the instructions to reflect Mary's technique (thanks Mary!). As Scott pointed out above, malt powder can clump terribly if not bone dry. (I guess I've been lucky in never having this experience myself!) Hope you enjoy the cheesecake Zoe -- let me know how it turns out! : ) Happy Thanksgiving!
Aisha_hanif November 3, 2019
This looks so delicious! I absolutely love the flavor of malted milk powder and I love cheesecake so this seems like an absolutely wonderful combination. Can extra slices be frozen? I wouldn't trust myself to have the entire thing in the fridge.
EmilyC November 4, 2019
I don't see why not! I hesitated a bit on the chocolate ganache, but I'm seeing from a quick Google search that people successfully freeze cakes and other desserts with chocolate ganache, so I think you'll be fine going this route! Hope you enjoy the cheesecake if you try it. : )
Rob A. October 21, 2019
Hiya! I am thinking the ingredients meant to list chocolate malted milk powder, and not just malted milk powder. I bought regular malted milk powder and the color and I assume the flavor is not as they are supposed to be. Thanks!
EmilyC October 21, 2019
Hi Rob! Either type works just fine! (I’ve used both.) The chocolate malted milk powder will make the filling a bit more chocolaty (and a slightly darker color) but regular malt powder still gives the filling plenty of oomph. So feel free to go either route!
Rob A. October 21, 2019
Awesome! It’s still in the oven so that’s great to hear! Thanks so much!!
EmilyC October 21, 2019
Great! Let me know how it turns out! : )
Rob A. October 22, 2019
Turned out great! Super decadent. Will definitely make it again!
EmilyC October 23, 2019
So happy to hear this, Rob! It's definitely decadent. : ) Thanks so much for trying it and circling back!