A show stopping Malteser Cake filled with vanilla butter cream and covered in a trio of Horlicks, chocolate and vanilla buttercreams, then topped off with a cheeky knobbly layer of Maltesers.
Hats off to my mum, Karen, for this one. She whom my own kids reliably informed me that they considered (and still do) her to be a cook of a Michelin star quality (it's true though she is).
So she created this cake for my lovely little nieces who were so enamoured the eldest immediately commissioned another for her 8th birthday.
As usual when my mum comes up with a top notch recipe I commandeer it for the blog. It would be rude not to. It took me a couple of attempts to get the cake right. I am not a world class cake decorator by any means but I am pretty pleased with the result, so don’t be scared give it a go, home baking doesn't have to be perfect 😁.
Malteser Cake though, I mean just imagine....chocolate cake, filled with vanilla butter cream and a covered in Horlicks, chocolate and vanilla buttercream. It can only be a good thing.
Do have a go and I’d love to know how you get on, so please do drop me a comment if you can.
If you enjoy a slice of chocolate cake why not try my
Sunken Chocolate Cake with Amaretti Cream
Why bake this Malteser cake?
Moist chocolate cake ✔️
Covered with 3 flavours of buttercream: vanilla, Horlicks and chocolate ✔️
Great for a special occasion ✔️
Can be kept simple or pimped with a bit with elaborate icing ✔️
You get to have loads of fun with a Wilton 3 colour piping nozzle and bag ✔️
Unsalted butter: we use unsalted butter so that we can control the amount of salt in this Malteser Cake. You can use salted butter instead, if so omit the pinch of salt.
Golden caster and soft light brown sugar: I prefer to use golden caster sugar because it is unrefined and has a more caramelly flavour than white sugar. Linked in with some soft light brown sugar, which has an even deeper caramel flavour, and we have a great flavoured base for our Malteser Chocolate Cake.
Self raising flour: if you only have plain (all purpose) flour add another 3 teaspoons of baking powder.
Horlicks powder: if you can't get Horlicks you can use Ovaltine instead.
Cocoa powder: try to use good quality cocoa powder, it really makes a difference to the flavour. I use Food Thoughts 100% Organic Cocoa Powder as it is excellent for baking. You will find the best cocoa powders for baking are usually with the baking products in the supermarket.
Pinch of salt: this works out to about ½ of a ¼ teaspoon of salt. Salt helps to bring out the flavours in the Malteser Cake.
Baking powder: we bake this cake in a moderate oven to ensure we don't get a lofty peaky point in the middle of the cake. Baking powder lends a hand in this process.
Large eggs: must be at room temperate to ensure that they trap air when beaten and give the chocolate cake a light texture.
Vanilla extract: for a dash of extra flavour.
Natural yogurt: or you can use buttermilk, either is fine. Adding yogurt gives our cake extra moistness.
Warm milk: is added to turn our Horlicks into a paste so that it can be mixed into our buttercream.
Dark chocolate: again try to use a good dark chocolate of 70% cocoa solids. I use Green and Blacks
Icing sugar: for our buttercream, it doesn't need to be sifted first.
Maltesers: Malteser Cake would definitely be missing something without the Maltesers, you will need snack pack sized bag of Maltesers, about 30 are required.
See end of post RECIPE CARD for precise quantities and instructions.
Malteser Chocolate Cake
- Beat together your butter and sugars until they form a soft, light, paste like consistency.
- Sift your flour, Horlicks, cocoa, salt and baking powder together.
- Beat together your eggs, vanilla extract and yogurt.
- Add ¼ of your egg mixture along with a heaped desert spoonful of flour mixture to your butter mixture and beat in slowly until combined.
- Repeat until all of the eggs have been used up.
- Add the rest of your flour mixture and mix in on a low setting.
- Scrape down the sides and base of the bowl. This will ensure all of the mixture is incorporated.
- Beat your Malteser cake batter on a medium-high setting for about 10-15 seconds to ensure it is all beaten together well and the Malteser cake batter is nice an airy.
- Divide the mixture equally between your two sandwich tins.
- Bake for 30 minutes then leave to cool.
Malteser Cake Buttercream
- Beat together your butter and vanilla extract until soft and fluffy.
- Gradually beat in your icing sugar.
- Melt your dark chocolate and leave to cool a little.
- Mix together your Horlicks and and warm milk, ensuring no lumps remain, and leave to cool.
- Place one of your sandwich cakes onto your lazy Susan or turntable.
- Split your butter icing into four equal parts.
- Set one portion of buttercream aside for piping later, then with the 3 remaining:
- With one portion of buttercream:
- spread half onto the base of one of the sandwich tiers and then place the other tier on top;
- spread the rest over the sides and top of the cake, this is called crumb coating and will give your final iced cake a smooth finish.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes to set.
- With one portion of buttercream:
- Once your crumb coat has set:
- With another portion of buttercream:
- mix in your melted chocolate;
- spread half over the bottom of the sides of your crumb coated cake;
- spread a thin layer over the top of the cake.
- With your last portion of buttercream:
- Mix in Horlicks and milk mixture;
- spread half over the top of the sides of your cake.
- With another portion of buttercream:
- Take your cake scraper and placed the edge vertically against the side of the cake just lightly touching the edge your butter icing.
- Hold the scraper in the same position whilst turning your turntable, so that it runs over the sides of the cake whilst the turntable moves. This will give an even finish and blend the Horlicks buttercream and chocolate buttercream together.
- Separately, add your 3 butter creams into your three piping bags of your Wilton 3 colour swirl piping set using the 1m star nozzle. So you should have one filled with your vanilla buttercream which you put a aside to start with with, one filled with what is left of your chocolate buttercream and one filled with your leftover Horlicks buttercream.
- Ice swirls on the top of the cake. For guidance on using the Wilton 3 Colour Swirl Piping Bag see this video. For guidance on how to pipe a swirl see this video.
- Pipe star shapes around the base of the cake but just gently squeezing and then lifting your piping bag away.
- If you do not have a Wilton 3 colour piping set you can achieve the 3 tone buttercream effect by:
- taking a large piece of cling film (plastic wrap) and spreading the 3 buttercreams separately in strips down the centre, do not mix together;
- roll the cling film up tightly and twizzle at the ends to secure, so that you have a cracker shape;
- cut off the end of a piping bag and place a 1m star nozzle into it so that ⅔s of the nozzle sticks out;
- cut the end of your "cracker" icing and pop it into the bag;
- squeeze the buttercreams down from the top and off you go!
- To incorporate your icing sugar without coating the kitchen in a cloud of icing sugar add your icing sugar gradually to your butter and work in with a spatula before starting to beat it. Or cover your mixing bowl with a clean tea towel to prevent a cloud of icing sugar billowing out.
- Your cake sides need to be level so that you ice a straight cake. To achieve this you may need to slice cake from top to produce a flat tier. Do the same with the sides.
Depending on your level of confidence you can create this cake as simply or as decoratively as you wish.
Whatever way the 3 flavours of icing are iced onto the Malteser Cake they will ensure the cake tastes the same, so ice it however you feel confident to do so.
If you are feeling really adventurous you could try adding a chocolate drip along the top edge of the cake, this would look very effective.
This Malteser Cake will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight tin.
You can free this cake once frosted. To do so, first totally freeze the cake as it is, uncovered, then cover it in cling film (plastic wrap) and return to the freezer.
When you want to eat the cake, remove from the freezer, remove the cling film and then allow to fully defrost for a few hours.
Did you try this recipe? Please do leave a ⭐ rating in the Recipe Card at the end of this post if you can. Thank you.
Why is this caked baked at a lower temperature?
Why is it important to beat eggs slowly into creamed butter and sugar?
How do I ensure each sandwich tin has the same amount of Malteser Cake batter?
- 2 x 20cm (8 inch) sandwich tins
- Stand or hand mixer
- Large bowl
- Fine mesh sieve
- Lazy susan (or other turntable)
- Small palette knife (or a butter knife)
- Cake scraper
- Wilton 3 colour swirl piping bag
- 225 g unsalted butter softened (US = 1 cup)
- 125 g golden caster sugar (US = ¾ cup)
- 100 g soft light brown sugar (US = ½ cup)
- 225 g self raising flour (US = 1½ cups) or use All Purpose (plain flour) and another 3 teaspoon of baking powder
- 3 tablespoon Horlicks original or Ovaltine
- 4½ tablespoon cocoa
- pinch of salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 4 large eggs at room temperature
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoon natural yogurt (or buttermilk) at room temperature
Malteser Buttercream and Filling
- 350 g unsalted butter softened (US = 1 cup and 1 tablespoon)
- 600 g icing sugar (confectioner's sugar) powdered/confectioners' sugar (US = 4 cups and 3 tbps)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoon Horlicks
- 2 teaspoon warm milk
- 20 g dark chocolate 1½ tablespoons
- 1 large bag of Maltesers you will need about 30 Maltesers
- Set your oven to 150°C Fan/170°C/340°F/Gas mark 3
- Grease your tins then line the bases with circles of grease proof paper.
- Beat together your butter and sugars on medium-high setting until light and fluffy. This will not take long if you sugar is soft, so make sure you don't overbeat.
- Sift your flour, Horlicks, cocoa, baking powder and salt together and set aside.
- Whisk together your eggs, yogurt and vanilla extract.
- Add ¼ of your egg mixture along with a heaped desert spoonful of flour mixture to your butter mixture and beat on a low speed until incorporated.
- Repeat three more times until your eggs have all be mixed in.
- Add the rest of your flour mixture and beat in, starting on a low setting, then pausing to scrape down your bowl to ensure all of the mixture on the base and sides is incorporated.
- Then give the mixture a fast beat on medium-high setting for about 15 seconds.
- Add equal amounts of your cake batter to each tin and then bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
- Leave to cool in your tins for 5 minutes on a cooling rack before inverting onto your cooling rack and leaving to cool fully.
- Beat your softened butter and vanilla extract until pale and fluffy.
- Gradually add your icing sugar, using a spatula work it into your beaten butter or cover the bowl with a clean tea towel to stop it billowing up. Then beat it in with your hand or stand mixer.
- Place the tier you are going to use as your base tier on your lazy Susan (or turntable).
- Split your butter cream into 4 equal parts.
- Take one portion of your butter cream and spread half of it over the Malteser cake base as a filling. Place the other tier on top then cover the whole cake with the rest of the butter cream. Use your palette knife or butter knife to even the butter cream out and then use your cake scraper to level the sides.
- Place your cake in your refrigerator to set for 20 minutes.
- Mix your Horlicks with your milk until all the lumps have gone. Mix into one of your remaining lots of butter cream.
- Melt your chocolate (you can do this in short 10 second bursts in your microwave). Mix the chocolate into another of your lots of butter cream.
- You will now have one Horlicks butter cream, one chocolate and one vanilla.
- Taking your palette knife spread some of your chocolate butter cream over the lower half of the side of your Malteser cake.
- Spread some of your Horlicks butter cream over the top side of the cake, making sure it meets or slightly overlaps the chocolate butter cream.
- Cover the top of the cake with some chocolate butter cream.
- Take your cake scraper and run it around the cake to great a smooth surface.
- Take your Wilton fill 3 colour swirl piping bags and pipe swirls around the edge of the cake.
- Pipe stars around the the base.
- Fill the centre of the cake with Maltesers.