Chocolate Malt Espresso Cupcakes

The perfect combination of chocolate, malted milk and coffee. They are insanely rich and chocolatey, with hints of malt and a kick of espresso.

These one bowl cupcakes are probably one of the easiest recipes ever, yet one of the most mind-blowingly delicious! The rich, moist and fudgy, cupcakes are topped with a light creamy chocolate malt espresso frosting, a drizzle of simple chocolate glaze and finished with a tiny swirl of sweet vanilla buttercream and a chocolate malt ball on top, pure decadence.

Chocolate Malt Espresso Cupcakes

Yield: 14 cupcakes 


  • 3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (105g) all-purpose flour, weighed or spooned and leveled
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (30g) unsweetened cocoa powder, dutch processed or "Special Dark"
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or instant coffee granules
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

Malt Espresso Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick/4oz) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (1/2lb) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee/espresso powder
  • 1/4 cup malted milk powder
  • 4-6 tablespoons heavy whipping cream (sub half and half or milk if necessary)

Chocolate Glaze Drizzle:
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon light corn syrup
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • chocolate malt balls


Prepare Cupcakes:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a cupcake pan with baking cups.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cocoa and sugar. In a measuring cup whisk together oil, egg, vanilla and sour cream. Gently stir into dry ingredients. Dissolve instant espresso or coffee in the boiling water and stir into batter. Batter will be thin and liquidy.

Fill cupcake liners just over 1/2 full, about 3 tablespoons of batter per cup. Bake for 16-19 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. (For mini cupcakes, fill with about 1 1/2 tablespoons batter each and bake for about 8-10 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

Prepare Frosting:
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until smooth and pale in color, about 2-3 minutes. On low speed, beat in vanilla and salt. Sift together cocoa and  powdered sugar, and beat it in, about a half cup at a time. Stir instant coffee/espresso powder and malted milk powder into 1/4 cup of the cream and add to frosting. Increase speed to medium-high and beat for about 3-5 minutes until smooth, light and fluffy, adding additional cream if necessary.

Prepare Chocolate Glaze:
Microwave chocolate, butter and corn syrup in a microwave safe bowl/cup on 50% power for 30 second intervals, stirring every 30 seconds until smooth (or melt in a small saucepan over low heat). Stir in vanilla. Pour glaze into the corner of a small plastic sandwich bag and seal. Set aside.

Frost completely cooled cupcakes with chocolate malt espresso buttercream. Snip a tiny piece off of the corner of the bag of chocolate glaze and drizzle on top of frosting. Pipe a little swirl of vanilla frosting on top. Finish cupcakes with a malt ball for garnish.