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Vanilla Malt Cupcakes with a sparkler
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5 from 5 votes

Vanilla Malt Cupcakes

Oh so simple Vanilla Malt Cupcakes with vanilla malt frosting. They’re basically a milkshake in cake form. Just add malt balls for an extra splash of fun.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Worldwide
Servings: 10 Cakes


For the Cupcakes (makes 10 regular sized cupcakes - see notes)

  • 120 g/ 4 ½ oz Butter (unsalted) - softened
  • 30 g/ 1 oz Light brown sugar
  • 90 g/ 3 oz Golden caster sugar
  • 120 g/ 4 ½ oz Plain (all purpose) flour
  • 1 tsp Baking powder
  • 2 tbsp Malted milk powder (I used Horlicks) Do not use light or chocolate varieties
  • 2 Eggs (large, free range)
  • 2 tbsp Whole (full fat) milk
  • 1 tsp Vanilla extract

For the Buttercream (makes enough to cover 10 regular sized cupcakes - see notes)

  • 250 g/ 9oz Butter (unsalted) - softened
  • 300 g/ 2 ⅓ cup icing (confectionary) sugar
  • 4 tbsp Malted milk powder Do not use light or chocolate varieties
  • 3 tbsp Whole (full fat) milk
  • ½ tsp Vanilla extract


Make the Cupcakes

  • Preheat the oven 170C/ 325F/ GM3 and line a cupcake tray with 10 paper cake cases (or use 6 supersized cupcake cases on a baking sheet)
  • Using electric beaters, beat the butter and sugars together until light and fluffy
  • Briefly mix the eggs in a jug and gradually add a tsp at a time into the creamed butter & sugar, beating well in between each addition (adding the egg really slowly reduces the risk of the mix splitting)
  • Add the vanilla extract and milk, then beat again
  • Sift the flour, baking powder and malted milk powder into the bowl and gently & briefly fold in half using a large metal spoon (about 8 turns of the spoon). Add the rest of the flour and continue to fold in until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. Take care not to overwork the batter though
  • Divide between the cupcake cases - filling each case around ⅔ full - and bake for approximately 20 minutes (23 minutes for the larger cupcakes)
  • Test that the cupcakes are baked through: poke a cocktail stick into one of the cakes - if it comes out clean then the cakes are ready. If not, return to the oven for a couple more minutes, then test again
  • Once out of the oven remove from the baking tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack

Make the Buttercream

  • Put the butter into a medium bowl and beat until smooth and soft
  • Add the malted milk powder and beat again then add the milk and vanilla extract. Beat until smooth
  • Sieve in the icing sugar 1 tbsp at a time and beat well between each addition
  • Once the cakes have cooled completely pipe the buttercream on them and garnish with a Malteser. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days
  • Just before serving break up a few additional Maltesers and scatter over the cakes (don't be tempted to do this too early, since the honeycomb goes soft quickly)


I have used standard Horlicks (malted milk powder) in this recipe. Ensure you do not pick a light version. Also ensure you do not use Ovaltine or a chocolate flavoured Horlicks.
The cupcake cases shown in the photographs are larger than standard cupcake liners. They make cakes that are approximately 1.5 x the size of a standard cupcake.
The cake mix as listed will make either 10 regular cupcakes or 6 supersized cupcakes buttercream measure.
When it comes to the buttercream, there is sufficient to frost 10 regular cupcakes but you will need less if making 6 supersized cupcakes. Try making ⅔ of the listed buttercream recipe.
Maltesers do go soft and stale quickly once cut open. For this reason, scatter Malteser fragments over the cakes just before serving to ensure the fresh crunch is retained.