Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Malt Buttercream

Make your Monday a little sweeter with these intense chocolate fudge cupcakes with decadent vanilla malt buttercream. This cupcake recipe will be perfect for your next baking project! 


I love sharing all my new cupcake creations on the blog, so this time I turned to another of my absolute favourite chocolate sweets.

You may be familiar with Maltesers? They’re malt balls covered in a thin layer of milk chocolate. They’re crunchy, sweet and I could definitely eat an entire sharing bag all to myself!

For these cupcakes I used my favourite chocolate cupcake recipe. It’s made using a combination of dark chocolate and cocoa powder for rich chocolate flavour. Don’t be alarmed when you’re making these cupcakes because like any good chocolate cupcake the batter will be very runny. Through experimenting I’ve found a more liquid batter leads to a fudgier and far moister cupcake. My tip is to use an ice cream scoop (mainly for ease) when distributing the mixture between the cupcake cases – this way you won’t make any mess!


Each cupcake is swirled with a generous amount of vanilla malt buttercream. The best thing is the buttercream tastes exactly like the centre of a Malteser. I have to admit after I finished the first cupcake I was reaching for another straight away!

I’m pretty sure you’ll have the same problem when you make these! 😉

If you are a Malteser lover just like me then you’ll love this cupcake flavour combo. Bake the cupcakes for parties, a girls evening in or even for afternoon tea. They are sure to be an instant hit! The cupcakes got a resounding thumbs up from the taste testers, particularly one who had just come home from a long day at work and devoured two of these cupcakes in one sitting!

(Makes 12)


Chocolate Cupcakes:

85g (3 ounces) dark chocolate, finely chopped

35g (1/3 cup) cocoa powder

180ml (3/4 cup) hot brewed coffee or boiling water

105g (3/4 cup) bread flour (can be substituted with plain/all-purpose flour)

170g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

½ teaspoon table salt

½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Malt Buttercream:

227g (1 cup/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened (I leave mine out overnight)

250-300g (3 cups) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

38g (1/3 cup) malt powder (such as Ovaltine or Horlicks)

4 tablespoons double cream or milk, plus extra if needed


  1. To make the cupcakes: Place the chopped chocolate and cocoa in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the hot coffee/water over and whisk until smooth and all the chocolate has melted. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C / 350F / 160 Fan / Gas Mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt and bicarbonate of soda until thoroughly combined.
  3. Whisk the oil, eggs, vinegar and vanilla into the now cooled chocolate mixture and finally add the flour and continue to whisk until you have a smooth batter.
  4. Divide the batter between the paper liners – I find using an ice cream scoop or a jug best for doing this. The batter should only fill about halfway up each cupcake case. Bake for 17-19 minutes, or until the cupcakes are well risen and a cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  5. To make the buttercream: Cream the softened butter, icing sugar and vanilla until fluffy and pale for 5-7 minutes. Now add the malt powder and beat until combined. Finally, add the cream and continue to mix until it has been fully incorporated. Fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle and fill with the frosting. Pipe swirls of frosting onto each cupcake. Decorate each cupcake with crushed and whole Maltesers before serving. The cupcakes will last in an airtight container at room temperature for 3 days.

Recipe Notes:

  • Room temperature eggs are required for this recipe. To quickly bring eggs up to room temperature, place the eggs in a bowl or glass of warm water and leave for 5-10 minutes.
  • The cupcake batter will be very liquid. I like to use an ice cream scoop or jug to distribute the batter into the cupcake cases.
  • If you don’t have bread flour, it can be substituted with plain/all-purpose flour.
  • Adjust the icing/confectioners’ sugar depending on how sweet you like your buttercream.
  • I prefer using double/heavy cream rather than milk in my buttercream as it results in a creamier and much lighter texture. As instructed in the recipe, you may need to add more cream/milk until you reach your desired piping consistency.
  • The cupcakes are decorated with whole and chopped Maltesers (Whoppers are the US equivalent). I used a sharp knife to cut the Maltesers up into smaller pieces – be really careful doing this.



More cupcake recipes you might like to try!

cupcake biscoff

Biscoff Cookie Butter Cupcakes


Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes



Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here 

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext 

23 thoughts on “Chocolate Cupcakes with Vanilla Malt Buttercream

  1. Thank you Jessica for yet another lovely looking recipe; I was just wondering, what benefit does using bread flour bring to these cupcakes? I’ve seen it used in cookies, but not cupcakes before, and your recipe caught my intention and intrigued me enough to want to find out more. If you are able to let me know it’s ‘purpose’, I would be really grateful. Thank you so much. I hope the cupcakes were as yummy to eat as they are to look at 🙂

    • Hi – thanks so much for your kind comments. The bread flour helps the gluten development and improves the structure and also the texture of the cupcake. The cupcakes were really delicious. I’ve actually shared this recipe before on the blog but I wanted to update the recipe and photos to share it again.
      Let me know if you have any other questions and enjoy the cupcakes! 🙂

      • Ooh thank you. Thank you for taking the time to respond to my comment. I thought I had seen these cupcakes previously, but these lovely new photos were too eye catching not to take another peek 🙂 Do you use bread flour own in cupcakes then, or just occasionally? I think I do have some bread flour amongst my baking things, or if not, I am sure I can get some, I would like to give your recipe a try, that’s for sure! Thank you Jess, so much for your help. x

  2. These cupcakes look awesome, Jess! Whenever I feel a cupcake craving, I know I can just bounce over here and find all sorts of cupcake awesomeness! 🙂

  3. These cupcakes are beautiful and so fun, Jess!! You make the prettiest cupcakes, and these are no exception! Plus they sound seriously delicious… and kinda dangerous, because I’m pretty sure no sane person could only have one of these beauties! Cheers, friend!

  4. I’m crazy about malt balls, so I love the sound of that buttercream! These are so pretty and look so delicious!

  5. I love malted milk balls! In the US we have Whoppers and I’m addicted to them- they come in a milk carton type box and me and my friends always finish one on movie nights 🙂 Delicious!

  6. Well, these just look amazing! I’m a sucker for cupcakes of all kinds so ya know I’m obsessed over these 🙂

  7. Hi Jessica! Your pictures looked so good I just had to try these for myself, but I’m having a lot of trouble with the frosting. I don’t expect you would know the fix for this (as where I live – in a climate that’s very hot and humid – is very different from yours), but it’s way too liquid right after I mix it and doesn’t hold any shape at all, and after i put it in the fridge to cool for a while, after i get past that too-hard-to-pipe stage, it suddenly turns super liquid again. there doesn’t seem to be a sweet spot in between. if you have any ideas on what might be the problem i would really love to hear them!

    • Hi Michelle – yes, buttercream/frosting can be very difficult to make when the weather is hot and humid. It’s definitely the humidity that’s causing the problem. I always have the same difficulty in the summer months when it can get quite warm. I would recommend the same as what you did by putting the buttercream in the fridge to allow it to harden slightly but not to leave it in there for too long as it will get too hard and won’t be able to be piped. Also if you have air conditioning or a fan it would be helpful to use it and maybe add less or none of the cream/milk to buttercream mixture if it’s too runny. Hope that answers you question!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s