The Friday before Valentine’s Day our church threw a couples event with 50’s flair, called Dinner at the Diner. Everyone showed up in their 50’s outfits, some which were quite amazing. Friends shared their candy cigarettes with us, and there were bubble gum blowing games along with who could hula hoop the longest. To bring out the music of the decade, a jukebox played hoppin’ oldies music all night long.
There was even a photo booth…
Although the meal was catered by a local deli, Ben was in charge of planning this event, so I really wanted to serve up something of my own. My contribution to the dinner were these chocolate malts in cupcake form! Who doesn’t think of chocolate malts when eating at a diner? But, it was impossible for us to keep that many malts from melting, so naturally (right?) cupcakes were the solution.
The cake part of these were amazing, but the frosting really stole the show. I honestly could not keep my hands (tongue) off it! (No worries, I kept things sanitary people!) It was chocolaty, and malty, and fluffy and just a dream to pipe. And, Ben even declared it the best frosting ever.
These cupcakes were a hit and really dressed up the dessert table with their festive paper straws. I would love to have a reason to make these again…and soon!
Chocolate Malt Cupcakes
Yield: 30 cupcakes
For the cupcakes:
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder (I used this blend of natural and Dutched cocoa)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 1/2 cups malted milk powder (original flavor)
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
1/2 cup malted milk powder (original flavor)
4 tablespoons unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder (see note above)
5 cups confectioner sugar, sifted
Chocolate Covered Malt Balls (such as Whoppers) and straws to garnish (optional)
To make the cupcakes:
Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line standard cupcake pans with paper liners.
In a mixer bowl, use the whisk attachment to blend the milk and malted milk powder. Mix until the powder is dissolved. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, sugars, baking soda and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture and the oil to the milk mixture, blending on medium-high speed until incorporated. Add eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl as you go. Stir in the sour cream and vanilla until just combined.
Divide the batter evenly into the cupcake liners, filling halfway. (To keep it from getting messy, I typically use a freezer bag to pipe the batter into the tins.) Bake, rotating halfway through, until passes the toothpick test (about 18-20 minutes.) Cool completely before frosting. (Meanwhile, clean the mixer bowl to make the frosting.)
To prepare the frosting:
Whip the butter and shortening together in a large mixer bowl on high speed for several minutes until very light and fluffy. (Be patient!) Stir in the malted milk powder and cocoa. Whip on medium-high speed for 1 minute. Slowly add the powdered sugar about 1/2 cup at a time. Mix until the frosting becomes thick and a stiffer consistency for piping.
Pipe large swirls of frosting on top of cupcakes and top with chocolate covered malt balls and straws, if desired.