Chocolate Malt Layer Cake

This chocolate malt layer cake was created for my Sister, who may or may not have passed it off as her own cooking. It consists of layers of devil’s food cake, malted chocolate buttercream, and mucho mucho crushed maltesers sprinkled throughout the construction of the cake. It’s rich, I won’t lie, but the malt in the icing and the maltesers stop this from being too ultra-chocolatey, or too sweet.

The layers of cake are moist and springy with a strong chocolate flavour. The malt buttercream has a light moussey texture, with a slight grainy texture from the malt powder, and a bitter edge from melted dark chocolate. I’m sure I don’t need to tell you about the joys of maltesers, but when crushed between the layers they provide a nice textural crunch to this cake overall.

As evidenced by the Momofuku-inspired creation of a few weeks ago, this is one of my favourite forms of cake construction. Mainly because it saves me two or three extra dishes washing up! Instead of baking 3 round layers, you just bake one big flat layer, and then chop it into three. Then you just stack em up!

Chocolate Malt Layer Cake

For the cake layers, I used Nigella Lawson’s Devil’s Food Cake recipe, which you can find here. I baked the cake in a 26x33cm baking dish for 35 minutes at 180C, until the centre sprung back when touched.

Choc Malt Icing (original recipe by The Sugar Hit)

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup Malt Powder (I used Ovaltine)
  • 2 cups icing sugar
  • 100g dark chocolate, melted
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche or sour cream

Whip the butter until light and creamy in a mixer, or with an electric whisk. Add the malt and icing sugar and continue to whip. The mixture will look quite dry, but continue mixing until you have a stiff paste. Add the creme fraiche at this point, and continue to whip, then reduce the speed to low and drizzle in the melted chocolate. Resist the urge to go too fast! But continue to mix until well incorporated and smooth, with a moussy texture. Use immediately, or keep at cool room temperature. This icing will set hard, and be difficult to use once refrigerated.

Cake Assembly

  • 155g bag of Maltesers, crushed with a rolling pin!
  • 2 short skewers

Trim the top of the cooled cake so that it is more flat than domed, trim away the edges, and slice the cake into three even rectangles. Place one of the layers on the dish you will be serving on (If any are broken, use these on the bottom), and spread a thin layer (about 2tbsp) of icing on this layer. Pipe a thick border of icing around the edges of this layer, and then fill the middle area with a third of the crushed maltesers.

Place a second layer of cake on top of this iced and ‘tesered layer and spread thinly again with about 2 tbsp of icing. Pipe another border, and fill again with maltesers. Place the final layer on top, and ice again, this time with a thicker layer of icing. Once the icing is on, take your two skewers and cut them to just less than the height of the cake, and then stick each skewer down through the cake, to keep it stable, smoothing over the icing to hide the skewers. Then decorate with more icing and maltesers as you please! I piped blobs on the edges and dotted with whole maltesers and sprinkled with crushed.

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