If you're on the hunt for the best, ultimate chocolate cake recipe, look no further! This chocolate malt cake is the best chocolate cake I've ever made or eaten (and my very picky husband agrees with me). It is rich, chocolatey, soft, moist and has a luscious chocolate cream cheese frosting. Oh, and, it's a one-bowl wonder. Sound too good to be true? Well, it's not! Let's curb your chocolate cravings, shall we!?
Before we dive into the details, check out this short video to see the cake in action:
THE STORY BEHIND THIS CHOCOLATE MALT CAKE RECIPE
I've always been a die-hard chocolate lover, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that I've tried countless chocolate cake recipes and eaten countless chocolate cakes around the world.
One cake that really blew my mind was from Nando's Pakistan. I know, that's very specific, but all my Pakistani readers will know! Legend has it, this cake is made by an Aunty who lives in Karachi and ships her cakes nationwide. This cake is almost muddy-thick in texture, and REALLY chocolatey.
Living in the US, I wanted to make my own version of this outstanding chocolate cake. So I started working on my own recipe. I tried many different recipes, ingredients and methods. And finally, I got what I wanted: the ultimate chocolate malt cake.
In some ways, my version was even better than the Nando's cake. I was baffled at how easy it was to make. I started taking it to parties, and all my friends fell in love with it. Any time I ask them what I should make for dessert, this cake is at the top of their list.
WHAT MAKES THIS THE BEST CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE?
Well, this cake is everything a chocolate cake should be:
- Rich and chocolatey in flavor. I hate chocolate cakes that don't taste like chocolate. Or are too sweet. Let the chocolate shine! The malt is the star of the show, we will talk about it shortly.
- Moist and dense in texture. No dry sponges here. And don't worry about the cake being too dense or muddy - it is just perfectly dense and balanced out with the light frosting.
- Coated in luscious, silky-smooth chocolate cream cheese frosting. Because buttercreams are too sweet and ganaches are too heavy. This is the perfect frosting for the perfect cake.
- Crazy easy to make. One bowl is all you need. No fancy ingredients, no complicated steps.
- Great both cold and warm. The cake is traditionally served cold (and doesn't lose its moist texture in the fridge). But I also love it warmed up for just 10-15 seconds in the microwave. It hits a different note!
Not to mention, this recipe is no-fuss, doesn't require a mixer, and pretty much comes together in one bowl!
THREE SPECIAL INGREDIENTS IN THIS CHOCOLATE CAKE
The full recipe is written below and is easy to follow, so let me share with you the three ingredients that make this cake so special:
1. Malted chocolate powder
The secret ingredient in this cake is malted chocolate powder. I use Ovaltine, but you can use any malted chocolate powder available where you live. Common brands include Milo, Horlicks, Carnation and Nesquik.
The funny thing is, malted chocolate powder doesn't actually have any chocolate or cocoa in it! It is made from malt (cereal grain), and has a distinctly nutty, sweet flavor which works together beautifully with the chocolate. It is mixed with milk and then added to the cake batter.
2. Hot coffee
You can either mix instant coffee / espresso powder with boiling milk like I do, or brew a hot come of black coffee. But don't skip this!
The hot water helps bloom the cocoa powder, making it richer in flavor. It also adds more moisture to the cake.
The coffee enhances the chocolate flavor. You will not taste it.
3. Sour cream
Why do we add sour cream?
Firstly, it helps add more moisture to the cake batter without changing the consistency, as sour cream itself has very similar consistency as cake batter.
Secondly, it has fat in it, which adds creaminess to the cake and makes for a very tender, moist crumb.
Thirdly, the acidity in sour cream helps activate the baking soda and allows the cake to rise better!
If you don't have access to sour cream, try making your own with heavy cream and lemon juice.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What is a substitute for Ovaltine?
I don't recommend skipping the malted chocolate powder as it plays an important role in the flavor and texture of the cake. You can use any malted chocolate powder available to you, such as Nesquik, Horlicks, Milo, and Carnation. If you can't find powder but can find malted chocolate milk, use 1 cup of that in place of 1 cup milk and ½ cup Ovaltine in this recipe.
What can I use instead of Sour Cream?
You should not omit or substitute the sour cream! If you don't have it available near you, make your own. Mix 1 cup heavy cream, 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar, and ¼ cup milk. Let sit at room temperature for 1 day in an airtight container, and then move to the fridge. This will make 1 ¼ cups of sour cream, and you will use ½ cup in this recipe.
If you're in a rush and forgot to make sour cream ahead of time, mix ½ cup heavy cream with ½ tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice, and whisk for a minute or two until the cream becomes thick (do not whip to stiff peaks).
Why is my cake not cooked in the middle?
Chances are, you are trying to bake a lot of batter in just one pan. I recommend splitting the batter between two 8" to 9" pans (I love these), and then baking for ~30 min until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Baking in smaller portions helps ensure the middle cooks through without overbaking the edges of the cake.
Why is my chocolate cake dry?
There are two common reasons why your chocolate cake can turn out dry:
- You added too much flour. Make sure you fluff up the flour and transfer to the measuring cup using a spoon (or just use a scale for best results)
- You overbaked the cake. Bake the cake in 2 pans and make sure not to let the cake overbake. Take it out of the oven when a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out with small moist crumbs attached to it
Ready to change your life with chocolate? Let's make this cake!!!
And if you want a quicker chocolate fix, try my ultra fudgy brownies!Print
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