Cupcake Hero: Cocoa-Malt Cupcakes with Malted Marshmallow Frosting

September 29, 2008 at 8:21 pm | Posted in cupcakes, events, sweet things | 13 Comments

cocoa-malt cucpakes with malted marshmallow frosting

Happy anniversary, Cupcake Hero!  I haven’t participated in CH for the past few months, but how could I not jump back in the game to help Laurie celebrate its first year?  The theme for this month is actually to choose two themes from the past year and combine them into one double-good cupcake.  In honor of the festivities, I went with cocoa and marshmallow, (two of the past year’s best) to come up with these Cocoa-Malt Cupcakes with Malted Marshmallow Frosting.

Ever since I cracked open my jar of malt syrup earlier in the month, I’ve been dreaming of malt!  A bit of a one-track mind, I know.  I decided to incorporate the flavor into a simple Devil’s Food batter made with cocoa powder.  The frosting is a “loose interpretation” of marshmallow, in that no gelatin is involved.  Rather than mess with a sugar syrup, I made a fluffy Swiss meringue, also flavored, of course, with malt.

I was a little nervous wondering whether or not the addition of malt syrup to the batter would affect the baking.  They took a full 25 minutes in my oven, and after removing them from the cupcake tin, they still felt a little soft.  I put them on a sheet tray (out of the tin) and stuck them back in the oven for another 5 minutes.  When we had them later that night, the cakes were soft and moist and perfectly baked.  And the marshmallow frosting was sweet and sticky, just like it should be.

Check out the new Cupcake Hero page for a run-down of all this month’s entries!

cocoa-malt cucpakes with malted marshmallow frosting 

Cocoa-Malt Cupcakes with Malted Marshmallow Frosting makes 6 regular-size cupcakes

For the cupcakes:

Note:  For a more traditional Devil’s Food cupcake, replace the malt syrup with a dash of vanilla extract or a sprinkle of instant espresso powder.

1/6 c cocoa powder
1/4 c boiling water
1/4 c sour cream
1 large egg, at room temperature
1/8 c vegetable oil
2 t barley malt syrup
1/2 c AP flour
1/4 c granulated sugar
1/4 c light brown sugar, packed
1/4 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t kosher salt

-Preheat the oven to 350°F.  Line a cupcake tin with 6 paper liners.

-Put the cocoa in a medium bowl, pour the boiling water over it and whisk to combine.  Let sit for a few minutes to cool slightly.  Add the sour cream, egg, oil and malt syrup and whisk to thouroughly combine.

-In a separate bowl, sift or whisk the dry ingredients (including sugars) to combine.

-Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and whisk just until blended.  

-Divide the batter among the cupcake cups.  The batter will be loose, so transferring it to a measuring cup and pouring it into the cups is probably easiest.

-Bake for about 25 minutes, until puffed and springy to the touch.

-Cool for 5 minutes and remove from the pans.  If the cupcakes feel soft on the bottom, set them on a baking sheet (not in cupcake tin) and pop them back in the oven for 5 minutes to firm up.  Allow to cool completely on a rack before frosting.

For the frosting:

Note:  Because this is meringue, it’s best to make the frosting just before topping your cupcakes (in other words, don’t make the frosting until you are ready to use it).  You can store the frosted cupcakes in the fridge overnight, if you have leftovers.  The meringue will be a little softer the next day, but still good!

1/4 c egg whites (about 2 whites)
1/2 c sugar
1 T barley malt syrup

-Combine sugar and egg whites in large metal bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Set bowl over saucepan of gently simmering water and whisk until mixture is hot to the touch and all the sugar has dissolved, about 2-3 minutes. Remove bowl from over water. Using the stand mixer fitted with the whip or a handheld electric mixer, beat meringue at high speed until very thick and billowy and room temperature, about 3-5 minutes.

-Add the malt syrup and whip on low speed for 1 minute.

-Spread or pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes.


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  1. The epitome of gorgeousness and scrumptiousness!! 🙂

  2. These are beautiful! I love the flavor of malt. I don’t have any of that malt syrup but I’ve got an open bottle of malt powder that I’ve been looking to use up.

  3. Nom nom nom… <— that’s me trying to eat my computer screen. HAHA. Cupcakes look awesome! I love meringue frosting!

  4. Oh, this is a decadent cupcake. It looks so good!

  5. woww cocoa malt cupcakes and malted marshmallow frosting yummy. this must be out of this world , good.

  6. Oh my goodness. This looks divine.

  7. These look fantastic!

  8. theyn look beautiful! How did you get your icing to look so perfect? did you pipe it on?

  9. This looks so delicious! I love the twist on devil’s food cake, and the frosting looks heavenly 🙂

  10. These sound/look so decadently good. I love the idea of marshmallow frosting. Can you find barley malt syrup in a regular grocery store?

  11. Thanks for the comments!

    MangerLaVille-If you have a large grocery store with a pretty comprehensive health food section, then there’s a good chance you can find malt syrup there. If not, a health food store or Whole Foods would be your best bet.

    Tammy-Thanks! Yes, I used a piping bag with a wide, plain tip.

  12. mmmmm what a sight to see before my breakfast! 🙂 These look like the perfect cupcake.

  13. Your cupcakes look so pretty. I’m not fond of chocolate but I’d have to give these a try if only for that yummy frosting!!

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