Chocolate frosting for those who hate chocolate frosting.

I’m one of those people. Unless it’s a really rich, milk chocolatey frosting smothered on a yellow cake, I’ll pass. I feel the same way (or even more so) about chocolate cake. I guess you could say I’m not that much of a chocolate fan… until I discovered the secret to making flawless, loved-by-all, chocolate frosting.

There are a few amazing baking blogs that I have to credit with seriously helping me perfect the art of cupcaking and baking in general. One of those is Joy The Baker. Not only is she an amazing baker, she is a damn good cook. I have made several of her actual cooking recipes and she knows what she’s doing. One day when I was sifting through her dessert archives, I came across her recipe for The Best Chocolate Buttercream. I’m not sure why it caught my eye this particular day, given my history of shying away from chocolate anything. I think I was particularly in need of new recipes and needing to try something different than vanilla-based cakes/frostings. Upon scanning the ingredients and seeing Ovaltine, I was instantly intrigued.

Unfortunately, much to my chagrin, my local [un-American, I might add] grocery did not carry Ovaltine. They did however carry an off-brand, Spanish-labeled “choco drink mix” which I decided would have to do…. and it DID! So the good news is, although Ovaltine is preferred, it’s not necessary if you find yourself unable to find any.
HOWEVER: Hershey’s drink mix will not do. The powder consistency is not thick enough for what we’re trying to accomplish, therefore I do not recommend using that particular kind.  

For my birthday this year, I wanted to try out some chocolate pudding cupcakes. Naturally, I employed the use of this delicious chocolate frosting, with a bit of a twist. If you’re not a fan of malted milk balls, this isn’t the recipe for you. If you are, this is amazing.

Chocolate Malt Buttercream


  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2-3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 t vanilla or the scrapings of 1 vanilla bean
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 2 Tblspns heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup malted milk powder



  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the milk, heavy cream and malted milk powder. Set aside.
  2. Using an electric mixer cream together the butter, cocoa powder, and salt. It’ll be super thick. Turn off the mixer and scrape the sides of the bowl. Add 2 cups powdered sugar. Turn the mixer on low and drizzle in 1/4 cup of the milk mixture and vanilla.
  3. Turn mixer to medium and add as much more of the milk mixture until you’ve reached your desired consistency. Feel free to add more powdered sugar and then add more of the milk mixture until the frosting is thick and fluffy. You might not use all the milk mixture.

Here’s how mine turned out (on the left):

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