Go Back
+ servings
Malted Milkshake Cake
Print Recipe
5 from 3 votes

Chocolate & Vanilla malted Milkshake Cake with Italian Buttercream

This Chocolate & Vanilla Malted Milkshake Cake contains 3 delicious layers of malted sponge cake all wrapped up in smooth and silky vanilla malted Italian buttercream. Top with malted chocolate balls or mini eggs for the ultimate milkshake inspired cake.
Prep Time1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 1024kcal


  • This recipe uses 3 x 6 inch baking tins - please see notes for scaling up the recipe for large tins


For the Vanilla Malt Layer

  • 60 g/ 2 oz Butter - soft
  • 60 g/ 2 oz Caster sugar
  • 60 g/ 2oz Plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 tablespoon Malted Milk Powder (I used Horlicks original) Do not use light/ chocolate variants
  • ½ teaspoon Baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 Egg - large, free range
  • 1 tablespoon Whole (full fat) milk

For the Chocolate Malt Layers

  • 120 g/ 4 oz Butter - soft
  • 120 g/ 4 oz Caster sugar
  • 90 g/ 3 oz Plain (all purpose) flour
  • 30 g/ 1 oz Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tablespoon Malted Milk Powder (I used Horlicks original) Do not use light/ chocolate variants
  • 1 teaspoon Baking powder
  • 2 Eggs - large, free range
  • 2 tablespoon Whole (full fat) milk
  • t teaspoon Vanilla extract

For the Malted Milk Italian Buttercream

  • 400 g / 14 oz 2 cups White sugar
  • 120 ml/ ½ cup Water
  • 5 Egg whites (from large eggs)
  • ¼ teaspoon Cream of tartar
  • 500 g/ 17 ½ oz/ 2 ¼ cups Butter - soft
  • 3 tablespoon Whole (full fat) milk - hot
  • 2 tablespoon Malted milk powder (e.g Horlicks)
  • ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • Cocoa powder (optional)

Decoration - optional extras

  • Malted chocolate balls or mini eggs
  • chocolate flakes


Make the Cakes - do the following for each flavour cake in separate bowls (you can make them simultaneously)

  • Preheat the oven to 180C/ 350F/ GM4 and grease & line 3 x 6-inch cake tins
  • Cream the butter and sugar(s) together using electric beaters until light and fluffy
  • Beat in the malted milk powder
  • Add the egg(s) and beat in, then add the milk & vanilla extract & briefly beat to combine
  • For the vanilla cake - sieve the flour and baking powder together and stir into the cake batter
    For the chocolate cake - sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder together and stir into the cake batter
  • Put the vanilla flavoured batter into 1 cake tin and divide the chocolate cake batter between the remaining 2 tins then bake all of the cakes for approximately 20 minutes 
  • When fully baked the cakes should be well risen and a cocktail stick poked into the centre of the cake should come out clean. Remove from the oven when sufficiently baked. Let cool in the tin for 2 minutes, before unmolding. Remove the parchment and allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack

Make the Italian Meringue Buttercream

  • Dissolve the malted milk powder in the hot milk and leave aside to cool completely
  • Put 325g/ 11 ½ oz sugar and the water into a medium saucepan then place on medium-low heat and cook until the sugar dissolves. Keep on a low heat while you prepare the egg whites, then, when the meringue reaches the soft peak stage, raise the heat and cook until the syrup reaches a temperature of 115C (240F)
  • Beat the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add 75g/ 3 oz of sugar spoonful by spoonful and then keep beating until soft peaks form. When the temperature of the sugar syrup reaches 110C (230F) beat the meringue on high until the stiff peak stage
  • Once the syrup reaches 115C (240F) drizzle it slowly into the stiff egg whites whilst the mixer is still running. Take care to pour the syrup into the side of the bowl directly onto the meringue and not onto the metal whisk (to avoid the risk of the incredibly hot syrup splattering you)
  • Continue to whip the meringue until it is lukewarm
  • Switch to a paddle attachment. Add room temperature butter into the running mixer one tablespoon piece at a time, then add the vanilla extract and the cooled malted milk. Beat until everything is combined and the mixture has reached a silky consistency
  • Use approximately ⅔ to sandwich and cover the cake and flavour the remaining ⅓ with cocoa powder (sieved) - I added 1 ½ teaspoons, removed half of the buttercream and added another 1 ½ tsp to the remaining. This added a little colour variation and flavour intensity to the piped buttercream

Assemble the Cake

  • Place 1 layer of chocolate cake on a plate/ stand and spread with a heaped tabpsoon of vanilla malted buttercream 
  • Place the layer of vanilla sponge on top and spread with another heaped tablespoon of buttercream
  • Top with the remaining layer of chocolate cake and cover the cake in buttercream
  • Use any remaining vanilla buttercream and the chocolate buttercream to pipe a simple design onto the cake. I used Wilton Open Star 8B and Wilton Open Star 4B tips. 
  • Add a handful of chocolate flakes and some malted chocolate balls or mini eggs to complete the look
  • Best eaten on the day it is made. Eat within 3 days


This recipe uses 3 x 6-inch baking tins. Do not stretch the recipe as listed to fit larger tins - it will end up being a flat cake.
For 8 inch tins double the recipe. The chocolate cake batter will be sufficient to fill 2 x 8-inch tins perfectly. However, there will likely be a little too much vanilla cake batter - fill the tin ⅔ full and use any excess batter to make a few cupcakes.  Bake the 8-inch cakes for 23-25 minutes.
I have not made this cake in large tins, but my guess is that slightly more buttercream would be needed to frost the cake as pictured. Either increase the recipe - maybe scaling up to use 7 egg whites - or make the buttercream in the proportions given and opt for a lighter thickness of buttercream around the edge giving the cake a naked style appearance.


Calories: 1024kcal | Carbohydrates: 93g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 45g | Cholesterol: 246mg | Sodium: 684mg | Potassium: 294mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 75g | Vitamin A: 2222IU | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 2mg