Saturday, April 8, 2023

Easter Chocolate Fudge Cake with Malted Buttercream

This fudgy chocolate cake with a decadent Malted Buttercream icing is the real deal for an Easter extravagance. It's not too late, this cake doesn't take long to make. I've previously posted this Chocolate cake with Nigella's Coffee Buttercream, and because I am absolutely smitten with this cake, I am posting it again with the Malted Buttercream. 

My daughter Shannon and I have just made this choccy cake together this morning for Easter Sunday tomorrow. It was lovely to bake with her, we don't often have the chance, living in different parts of Sunny Queensland. She has extra little baking tips to pass on to me as well, but being busy at work, leaves little time for baking for her. Like moi, she's in her happy place when she bakes.

One of the challenges with baking a double layer cake, is ensuring the cake batter is distributed evenly between the two tins. It's not as easy as it sounds. Shannon took this on board this morning, and weighed each tin individually, after pouring in the cake batter, and the result is two perfect cakes, evenly matched in height. Do you weigh each cake tin after filling them with batter if baking a double layer cake? If not, I recommend it.


Thanks to Emelia Jackson, winner of the Australian Masterchef  series for this recipe. It's from her latest cookbook, First, Cream the Butter and Sugar, as featured in the Australian Women's Weekly.


320 g unsalted butter, softened

400g icing sugar

300g good-quality milk chocolate, melted and cooled

150 g malted milk powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste


Firstly, the butter needs to be slightly firm, not too soft.  This is so that the buttercream is easy to work with.

Fit the paddle attachment to your electric mixer and cream the butter and icing sugar for 3-4 minutes until completely smooth. Scrape down the side of the bowl a couple of times so that the mixture is evenly mixed and very smooth. 

Add the melted chocolate which has cooled down, the malted milk powder and the vanilla.

Mix all of this for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is as it should be, smooth and fluffy.

For a special occasion such as a birthday, fill and cover the cake with the melted buttercream.

Then shave some chocolate over the top.

Fudgy Chocolate Cake


Makes a 20 cm two tier cake. 

380 g light brown sugar

250 g cake flour (store bought or see tip below for making your own)

100 dark Dutch cocoa powder (I used Plaistowe premium Dutch processed from Woolworths)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon fine salt

2 teaspoons instant coffee powder

200 ml boiling water

100 ml neutral-flavoured oil, such as vegetable or canola

200 g sour cream

4 eggs

chocolate shavings to garnish (optional)


Preheat the oven to 160 deg. C (140 deg. C fan forced)

Line two 20 cm round cake tins with baking paper

Whisk the brown sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt to ensure that there are no lumps. (No need to sift)

Dissolve the coffee in the boiling water in a largish jug, then add the oil, sour cream and eggs and whisk until thoroughly combined. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in the egg mixture. Fold until just combined. We want a lovely tender cake, with a good crumb, overmixing will prevent this from happening.

Split the batter between the cake tins and bake for 50 minutes. This was perfect for my oven but test it with a skewer inserted into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is cooked.

Leave the cakes to cool for 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Pauline's baking notes:

  • Adding coffee to the cake batter enhances the flavour of the chocolate. You can't taste the coffee.
  • What I also love about this cake is that it doesn't sink in the middle as some do.
  • Cake flour: After making this cake, I am really on board with using cake flour, for a superior and tender cake crumb. Cake flour is a low protein flour that creates a very tender fluffy and light cake. You can make your own. Just measure out 430 g plain flour, then add 70 g corn flour and sift together. By adding the corn flour, the gluten content in the plain flour is reduced from 11 per cent to between 7 and 9 per cent. (Emelia Jackson). I've started making it in a large batch, so I am always prepared for a cake making session.
  • As I said at the beginning, weighing each batter filled cake tin, ensures an even distribution of batter throughout the tins.
  • My only disappointment with the buttercream was that it was lighter in colour than I expected. I chose Cadbury's milk chocolate but perhaps it wasn't dark enough in colour. There's a lot of chocolate in this butter cream though. Next time I make it I'll add some extra cocoa to darken up the buttercream a little if it needs it.
Wishing you a very happy Easter.

Pauline x


  1. Seriously, this is one of the best chocolate cakes that I have ever seen! My...wish I could have a slice!

    1. Angie thanks so much. that means a lot coming from you.

  2. Una torta super golosa! Complimenti e buona Pasqua!

  3. This cake sounds delicious, Pauline! I do also weigh the batter and divide it evenly into pans. It's an extra step, but it's not too hard - and it makes sure the cake layers all bake in the same amount of time. I've also used malted milk powder in desserts before, but never in a frosting. I should give that a try sometime!!

  4. The malted buttercream is to die for! Cannot wait to make this! Hope you had a lovely Easter!

    1. David, we had a really nice Easter, thanks so much. Hope you enjoyed your Easter as well.

  5. Yes! That is exactly what I do. I tare the weight of the prepped pan, and then I weigh the batter as I pour it in. Then I make a note of it so that next time I make the same cake, I will know what I'm aiming for. But anyway, malt frosting! Wow!

    1. Thanks Jeff, I think you are probably the most thorough with your baking techniques. The malt frosting was really good.

  6. Thanks Tandy, Your hot cross bun cake looked amazing.


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