Vanilla Malted Milk Cake

Vanilla Malted Milk Cake

A throwback to the malted milkshakes of the 1950s, this Vanilla Malted Milk Cake combines the rich notes of malted milk with warm vanilla. 

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Malted Milk Cake
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake
  • 1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams) vanilla sugar
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs (200 grams)
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (375 grams) cake flour
  • ¼ cup (31 grams) malted milk powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • Vanilla Malted Milk Icing (recipe follows)
  • Garnish: vanilla sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter and flour 3 (8-inch) round cake pans.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, malted milk powder, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Divide batter among prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread Vanilla Malted Milk Icing between layers and on top and sides of cake. Garnish with vanilla sugar, if desired.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Malted Milk Icing
Makes about 5 cups
  • 1½ cups (340 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (124 grams) malted milk powder
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1½ tablespoons (27 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 8 cups (960 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons (45 to 60 grams) whole milk
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, malted milk powder, and salt at medium speed until creamy, about 4 minutes. Beat in vanilla bean paste and vanilla extract. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar alternately with milk, beating until smooth. Use immediately.


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  1. The cake is amazing! The frosting is my favorite I have ever made. Next time I am going to make a chocolate cake and use the vanilla malt frosting so it tastes like a Whopper.

    • Hi Elizabeth,
      My comment is not getting a response, so I thought I’d reach out since you have experience making this cake! Is there any reason that you think that the batter would be unfit for cupcakes?

      • I bet it would work great. The frosting recipe makes a huge amount, way too much for a single layer cake. I bet the frosting would be enough to do massive fancy tops on the cupcakes without making any extra. The frosting is SO yummy if you are a fan of malt and the cake turned out nice and moist.

        PS: You can find malt in the store by the tea and hot chocolate. I spent way too long looking for it by baking supplies and ice cream.

        • That is really helpful, thank you so much Elizabeth! My dad raised me on a steady diet of vanilla malts, so I’m definitely a fan! Do you think that you’d prefer this as it is with just the vanilla flavor, or with chocolate incorporated into the frosting or cake?

          • The vanilla malt cake was awesome, but next time I am going to make the chocolate cake from the Black Velvet recipe and use this vanilla malt frosting on it. The malt flavor was subtle in the cake, so it mostly comes through in the frosting. I wouldn’t add chocolate to the frosting because the vanilla specks are so attractive on the finished product.

            Also, I substituted regular sugar instead for vanilla sugar in the cake because I didn’t have vanilla sugar.


  2. Hey folks, is the vanilla sugar made with granular sugar or powdered sugar? I will have to make my own and I am not sure which kind to make for this recipe? Any help would be appreciated.

  3. I made the sponge in a bundt and drizzled it with chocolate glaze which had malt in it. Delicious! Thanks for the recipe.

    • Hi Karen,

      That is wonderful– we hope you love it! Unfortunately, there is no way to post photos here, but please don’t hesitate to tag us on Instagram @thebakefeed because we would love to see it!

    • Hi Gary,

      Thank you for your question!

      Although we haven’t tested this recipe in a 9×13 pan, it should work. Typically, a 9×13 pan works best with about 6 cups of batter. You’ll also probably have to increase your bake time slightly, and will have to use doneness tests to determine when the cake is fully cooked (in this case, bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean).

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!


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