I Got It Right: Sturdy Chocolate Cupcakes with Malted Buttercream

malt cupcakes 2

These cupcakes are like fireworks, and they made my brain explode with wonder. All the best for my bstud frans.

First of all, the cake part is above and beyond exceptional (I expound on this below.).

Second of all, the malted swiss meringue buttercream is the love of my life (Extreme, but I’ve pined for it ever since i saw this magnificence.).

Third of all, they are the prettiest thing I’ve even tried to do in ages (Amidst all the weeknight bars and things, these really were a creative effort.).

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In case you happen to be turned off by the word ‘sturdy’ in relation to cake, let me be the first to tell you that ‘sturdy’ does not mean ‘dry,’ ‘hard,’ or otherwise ‘inedible.’ These cupcakes, as dreamed up by America’s Test Kitchen are not one-bowl or foolproof, but what you pay for in time and technique is rewarded by a standout cupcake. Somehow, it manages to come cleanly out of it’s liner and hold up while remaining moist and very chocolate-y. The one-bowl cupcakes from Martha that I usually use are flavorful, but very fragile, and I’ve always been annoyed by it.


Fragile Oppression would be a great band name. You can have that for free.

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Good night and good luck,


Sturdy Chocolate Cupcakes

From America’s Test Kitchen Cookbook

For the ganache filling:

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

For the cupcakes

3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine

1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed or regular cocoa

3/4 cup hot coffee

3/4 cup (4 1/2 ounces) bread flour

3/4 cup (5 1/4 ounces) white sugar

1/2 teaspoon table salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 teaspoons white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Make the filling: Place all three ingredients in a glass bowl and microwave until the mixture is warm to the touch, 20-30 seconds. Whisk until smooth, then refrigerate until just chilled, no longer than 30 minutes.

Make the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper liners. Place the chocolate and cocoa into a medium bowl. Pour the cover over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Refrigerate until cool, about 20 minutes. Whisk together the dry ingredients and set aside. Whisk together the wet ingredients into the cooled chocolate mixture until smooth. Add the flour mixture and whisk until smooth.

Divide the batter between the muffin tins. Place a slightly rounded teaspoonful of the filling mixture in each cupcake. Bake until the cupcakes are set and just firm to the touch, 17-19 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes, then carefully lift each out and let cool on a wire rack before frosting.

Malted Buttercream

Adapted from Food & Wine

3 large egg whites, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 1/2 sticks (20 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2-3 tablespoons malt powder, dissolved in 1 1/2 tablespoons of hot water

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water and whisk until the sugar is dissolved and the egg whites are just warm to the touch. Return the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk. Add the vanilla and beat the egg whites at high speed until firm and glossy, about 5 minutes. With the machine on, whisk in the butter a few tablespoons at a time. If the mixture begins to look curdled, continue to beat until smooth before adding more butter. Beat the dissolved malt powder.

4 Responses to “I Got It Right: Sturdy Chocolate Cupcakes with Malted Buttercream”

  1. 1 Ayanna April 22, 2014 at 10:12 am

    I completely understand the concept of a ‘sturdy’ cupcake and have been looking for a chocolate cupcake that meets this criteria for a awhile now… ‘sturdy’ cupcakes are much easier to fill! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe, I can’t wait to give it a try!

  2. 2 Lauren April 22, 2014 at 11:22 am

    Great! Let me know how it goes!

  3. 3 Ayanna June 13, 2014 at 10:01 am

    I just had to follow up… I made these cupcakes for someone’s birthday and they were PERFECT! Definitely sturdy, but still moist and chocolatey just like I like them. I posted a picture of them on my instagram… http://instagram.com/p/pL-EEPyVxR/
    Absolutely loved them… thanks for sharing this recipe!

  4. 4 Lauren June 13, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Checked them out–they looked amazing!!

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