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



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