chocolate malted bundt cake

April 10, 2012

This cake is not just a cake.

This is a cake of success. This is also a cake of failure. This is mostly a cake of celebration.

At the end of the day, this is a cake that is following its dreams.

Spoiler alert: I am the cake.

I made this cake three times before I got it right. I mean I was getting it WRONG for a minute. To date this cake has been the only thing to physically explode in my oven. After it was done with that clean and lovely phase it proceeded to bubble away like an out-of-control lava flow for 55 minutes. I was too curious to put an end to the experiment but I found out the hard way that malt powder sure is a sneaky little buddy.

I realized after a few rounds of testing that it likes to hang out in a lil’ bit of milk before it gets mixed into cake batter. When malt powder is happy it bakes into a dream of a cake and makes the chocolate flavor taste better (as if that was possible).

Now is the time in our program where I take a break for exclaimation marks:


Then this turned into a celebration bundt. I made this cake several days before I received an email that made me burn a batch of cookies out of pure shock.

Butter Me Up Brooklyn was nominated as one of six Best Baking and Desserts Blogs in the 2012 Saveur Best Food Blog Awards!!!!!! (I just did a fancy blog trick there so you can’t see but that is actually 1 billion exclamation marks!)

This is a cake for you! Thank you for reading. Thank you for being here. Thank you for looking at pictures of cookies that I make in my cupcake-sized kitchen. (Nitty gritty: voting ends April 26. To prevent duplicate voting there is a quick sign-up process but it only takes a minute to vote!)

This is really about a cake following its dreams.

It is still hard for me to believe that less than a year ago I left my job at The Metropolitan Museum of Art to pursue a love affair with all things butter and sugar. Dream-following is about working hard every day at something you love. In my case that is thinking about baked goods 92% of the day. 4% is spent organizing my date book, I devote 3% to cocktails, and everything else falls into the 1% etc catchall category.

It is hard to quantify success, failure, and celebration all at the same time but I think that this chocolate malted bundt cake is up to the task.

What is not up to the task however is my counter top. This is what I am working with my friends. On the left is my stove; on the right is the sink. That tiny blip in the middle is my workspace. Good thing this recipe only needs two bowls, a spoon, and a bundt. [The under watched spin-off of Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place?!]

Come on – that was a good one!

Have you ever had a bundt stick in the pan? You know, just a quarter or so of the cake staring up at you like, “Oh what, you wanted me to leave this nice and cozy little bundt of a bed that I had going on? Yeeeeah. Right! Nice try.”

Solution: let your cake rest for 30 to 45 minutes and then Do The Flip. Also butter and flour (or in the case of the chocolate cake – cocoa) are required.

The icing on the cake – in fact, a nice chocolate malt variety – elevates this cake to a celebration cake. Make it for a fancy occasion. Make it to celebrate something. Make it because it is Tuesday.

Chocolate Malted Bundt Cake
Makes one bundt cake

1 1/2 cups (187 grams) flour
1/2 cup (30 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup (110 grams) sugar
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking soda
1 teaspoon (4 grams) baking powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt
2/3 cup (160 ml) milk
2/3 cup (84 grams) malt powder
1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) espresso powder
2/3 cup (160 ml) vegetable oil
2 eggs
2/3 cup (180 grams) sour cream
1 teaspoon (5 ml) vanilla

Preheat the oven to 350. Generously butter a bundt pan and dust the sides with cocoa powder. Set aside.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt.

In a medium bowl whisk together the milk, malt powder and espresso until the malt powder has dissolved. Whisk in the oil and eggs and beat until smooth. Stir the malt mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. In a small bowl (or measuring cup – one less dish!) stir the vanilla into the sour cream and then gently fold into the batter.

Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and let the cake rest in the pan for 30 to 45 minutes (this helps to make sure that half your bundt doesn’t decide to stay in the pan).

Turn onto your fanciest plate and frost with malted chocolate frosting (recipe below).

Malted Chocolate Frosting
Makes enough for one bundt cake

1/4 cup (32 grams) malt powder
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1/4 cup (15 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick or 60 grams) butter, softened
2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar
pinch of salt

In a medium bowl, whisk together the malt powder, milk and cocoa. Let the mixture sit for several minutes until the malt powder has dissolved. Add the butter, powdered sugar and salt and beat until the frosting is smooth and irresistible.


{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

eileen April 10, 2012 at 1:14 pm

yeah, lady! lots to celebrate 😉


Jean April 10, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Congrats. Signed up and voted, but beware to others voting. You haven’t registered your vote until you get a screen thanking you for your vote and telling you that you’ve voted for BMUB. Just seeing the checkmark isn’t enough.


Lillie April 10, 2012 at 2:25 pm

Yes! Thank you Jean! 🙂


Bowen April 10, 2012 at 2:34 pm

I’ve been wanting to experiment with malt and chocolate cake FOREVER. So simultaneous thanks for doing the legwork for me, and for giving me delicious photos to look at. Can’t wait to bake this one!


Lillie April 11, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Thank you Bowen! I’d love to hear how it bakes up for you!


shimsham April 10, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Congratulations! You are def. my favorite baking blogger so I will be voting immediately


Lillie April 11, 2012 at 12:17 pm

aw, thank you!!


thelittleloaf April 11, 2012 at 2:50 am

HUGE congratulations on the nomination – if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t have discovered your truly gorgeous blog.

I’ve never made a bundt cake, but would love to give one a go some time. Chocolate and malt is a match made in heaven so when I do, this is definitely the recipe I’ll use.


Lillie April 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

thank YOU!! You could make cupcakes too! it would probably make about 1 1/2 dozen..


Carrie April 11, 2012 at 9:47 am

Well done! Love your story and the sweet things you conjure up.


Lillie April 11, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Thank you Carrie!


Ali April 11, 2012 at 1:53 pm

So proud of you and so excited! That cake looks delicious and this nomination is so very deserved. You are the cake!! xxx


Lillie April 15, 2012 at 1:19 pm

haha! If only I could actually be a cake! Then my life would be complete. Sigh..


Katie April 11, 2012 at 8:05 pm

Congrats on the nomination! I’ve never tried baking with malt powder before, but it sounds like a lot of fun!


Lillie April 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm

Thank you! Malt powder is worth the experiment! It makes all things better 🙂


Dana @ FoodieGoesHealthy April 14, 2012 at 2:28 am

Congratulations on the nomination. I enjoy your voice and writing style. Keep writing. Best, Dana, a fellow food blogger


Lillie April 14, 2012 at 10:22 am

thank you so much Dana!!


amalia April 20, 2012 at 3:51 pm

how do you make the icing drip/drape so prettily???


Lillie April 20, 2012 at 5:33 pm

I use an offset spatula and dollop a bit of frosting on the top of the cake and then slowly tap it from the top with the spatula so that drips down. I continue to repeat that all around the cake and then finish with a few swirls. An offset spatula is worth the investment and really helps to make things pretty! 🙂


Christa April 21, 2012 at 12:15 am

My mouth has been watering over this cake since you posted. A little question…when you say malt powder do you mean malt powder or malted milk? Is there a difference?


Lillie April 24, 2012 at 11:11 am

I’m so glad you asked this question – yes, officially there is a difference but un-officially they often get referred to as the same thing. I used Carnation brand malted milk and since making this cake, I’ve been enjoying a spoonful stirred into milk as a perfect afternoon treat! 🙂


lesli May 9, 2012 at 6:24 pm

ok, anal question but what size bundt pan? I want to invest in one and want to get the most practical size….


Lillie May 10, 2012 at 4:11 pm

The standard Bundt pan is 12 cups in size. I have this one and would recommend it, but I know several friends who have this pan and love it (bonus: it is a slightly cheaper investment)! Happy Bundt-ing!


Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }