Jeff Mauro's Favorite Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Malted Frosting Beauty, as seen on The Kitchen, Season 33.
Recipe courtesy of Jeff Mauro

My Favorite Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Malted Frosting

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min (includes cooling time)
  • Active: 45 min
  • Yield: 8 servings
The key to baking this cake is to underbake it, just long enough so wet crumbs cling to a toothpick. You nail the cake; the rest is gravy. Guaranteed, this is the best frosting you will ever eat. Don’t skimp on the salt. It ignites the malt, which gives the cake an undetectable yet familiar old-time flavor that tingles the tongue.


Chocolate Cake:

Chocolate Malted Frosting:


  1. For the cake: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F, with a rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and then line each with a circle of parchment. Properly grease the parchment as well.
  2. Heat 1 cup of water and add in the instant espresso powder. Stir until dissolved and let cool.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. You can use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to help sift the dry ingredients through the sieve. Add the granulated sugar and salt.
  4. In a second bowl, add the milk, vegetable oil, cooled espresso, vanilla and eggs. Whisk until combined. Mix in the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. Some clumps might remain; that is A.O.K. The batter will be loose and pourable, so pour it directly into the prepared pans, dividing evenly.
  5. Bake until a toothpick comes out SLIGHTLY CRUMBLY, 20 to 30 minutes. Do not overbake. Remove from oven. Let cool in the pans for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from pans and cooling on a wire rack. Let cool completely before frosting.
  6. For the frosting: In a food processor, add the butter. Sift the cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar and malt powder through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl; add to the food processor along with the salt. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl halfway through. Add the corn syrup, vanilla and melted/cooled chocolate chips and pulse until smooth, about 20 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer to a bowl and keep covered at room temperature.
  7. If necessary, cut the domed tops off the cakes. Line the edges of a plate or cake stand with 4 or 5 wide strips of parchment so that no plate is exposed when the cake is on top. Place a dab of frosting in the center of the plate and place one of the cake layers on top (cut-side down if the top is trimmed). Place a heaping cup of the frosting onto the center of the cake and spread to the edges with a spatula into a smooth, even layer. Place the second layer on top of the frosted bottom layer (cut-side down if the top is trimmed). Frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Remove the parchment strips before serving.