Monday, December 6, 2010

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

I can't believe it's been months since I last updated! Life has gotten the best of me lately with getting settled into our new home, finding and starting a new job, and planning and preparing for the holidays. Life has been full of numerous blessings and they're keeping me busy. With homeowner duties and a new job fighting for my time, I haven't been baking as much as I used to. With the holidays in full swing I've set my mind to baking at least one new treat each week. The hubby and I have friends over every Sunday night to watch Dexter and The Walking Dead and I've been baking various treats for our guests. Last week I made Gingerbread Cupcakes. Yesterday I made Ham and Smoked Cheddar Thumbprints and these Chocolate Malt Cupcakes, both of which I thought were delicious.

I really loved the flavor and texture of the cupcakes and found they baked up beautifully! I'm curious to try adapting the recipe, removing the malt powder, for a plain chocolate cupcake. The buttercream was light, not overly sweet, and was dream to pipe. Decorated with a single malted milk ball and a paper straw, I thought these were darling to look at.

The recipe and my decorating inspiration came from The Culinary Chronicles. When I saw these cupcakes, I knew I had to make them myself!

Chocolate Malt Cupcakes
adapted from The Culinary Chronicles
makes approximately 30 cupcakes

For the cupcakes:
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
½ cup granulated sugar
¾ cup packed brown sugar
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1½ cups malted milk powder
1 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup vegetable shortening, at room temperature
½ cup malted milk powder
4 tablespoons unsweetened dutch-process cocoa powder
5 cups confectioner sugar, sifted

Chocolate Covered Malt Balls and Straws to garnish (Optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, cocoa, both sugars, baking soda and salt. In another bowl, whisk together milk and malted milk powder until powder is dissolved.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat flour mixture, milk mixture and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add sour cream and vanilla, and beat just until combined.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each halfway. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 18-20 minutes.

While cupcakes are cooling, prepare frosting. In a large mixer bowl, whip the butter and shorting for several minutes until very light and fluffy. Sprinkle in malted milk powder and cocoa powder. Whip for 1 minute. Slowly add the powdered sugar a few spoonful at a time, letting it incorporate until the frosting becomes thick and stiff.

Fill bag with the frosting and pipe* large swirls on top of cupcakes. Top with candies and straw garnish. Enjoy!

*I used the Ateco 829 large star tip to frost these cupcakes.
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