Malted Milk Cake

358/365 Malt Cake #mostly365

It’s my sister @adjoa’s birthday in a few hours; and I’ve spent a bit of time trying to come up with the perfect gift.
We aren’t big birthday people, our birthdays were never really ‘celebrated’ even as kids – there were no parties, or cakes or ponies or tiaras.
Over the years we’ve managed to settle into a comfortable place where birthdays are commemorated handsomely without feeling like we’re making up for lost time.
We try to stick to the norm, although it doesn’t always work out – I was lost in a sea of cards this afternoon determined to find the perfect birthday card, none truly said what I wanted to say, they were either too syrupy, not germane, unfunny or downright depressing.
I went back to think on it at my desk, and later in the day… in lieu of a birthday card I went downstairs and got the new Kinfolk volume 3.


This malted milk cake isn’t a birthday cake per se; it’s a union of nostalgia items from my pantry.
The idea for this cake came to me a couple of weeks ago while discussing favourite childhood treats, I’m not sure where the conversation was headed but I remember thinking ‘what if we could take some of our favourite things from childhood and bake them into a cake’

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And so we made ourselves a little cake with a bit of nostalgia baked into it; my mom’s soothing cup of hot Horlicks, those rare lazy hot afternoons we snacked on Maltesers, and the childhood decadence of thick custard puddings with spongy vanilla cake.

We wavered at the start… but then when we got a rich batter that tasted like salted caramel ice cream, we knew we were on to something.
A cake most deliciously light and fluffy, just sweet with that subtle malted milk flavour.
Perfect for that un-birthday dessert!



Malted Milk CAke


  • 150grams (5.29oz) butter
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 flax ‘egg’ (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons of water, mix and set aside)
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½cups pastry/cake flour
  • ¼ cup custard powder (I used Bird’s Custard Powder)
  • ½ cup Horlicks
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Coconut Cream Frosting

  • 1 can coconut milk, refrigerated overnight
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Horlicks
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 share-size bag of Maltesers
  • Colourful sprinkles (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease a medium round baking pan and set aside
  3. In a large bowl, beat sugar and butter until light and fluffy
  4. Gradually add ‘flax egg’ and keep beating
  5. Add in milk and vanilla extract and mix well
  6. In other bowl, whisk together flour, custard powder, Horlicks, baking powder and salt
  7. Gradually mix the flour mixture into the wet mixture
  8. Pour batter into the greased pan and bake for about 35 – 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean
  9. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and let it cool completely on a rack
  10. While the cake is cools, open the chilled can of coconut and scoop out the fat (top white solid) into a bowl
  11. Add the confectioners’ sugar, Horlicks and vanilla extract
  12. Whip until light and fluffy, and use it to frost the cooled cake
  13. Garnish/dot the top and sides of cake with Maltesers and add sprinkles



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  • Reply Medeja

    It looks just beautiful!

    29 March, 2012 at 2:12 am
    • Reply Elsa


      29 March, 2012 at 10:43 am
  • Reply Ambika Viswanathan

    Amazing!! I can’t believe you made a cake with Horlicks!!! Horlicks is one of my most favorite drinks. I would LOVE to make this cake and happy birthday to your sister!!

    30 March, 2012 at 6:23 pm
    • Reply Elsa

      Thank you! I’m glad to have found another Horlicks lover. 🙂

      30 March, 2012 at 10:31 pm
  • Reply Mccuist

    This is going to be my next birthday cake. You can’t buy happiness, but you can eat cake. You can have this cake and eat it too, so i don’t understand anyone who thinks otherwise. You just need a fork. Or, if you are on the Survivor tv show, you just need your hands and about 15 seconds.

    Furthermore, life is not like a box of chocolates. It’s about baking this cake for someone you love. I’ll go buy the ingredients right now. I’m declaring Cake Bake Week has begun. (This may be extended to Cake Bake Month, or Cake Bake Year, etc.) if you are one of those 2012 Pessimists who set their clock on Mayan calendar, then your motto should be, “let them eat cake”. Seriously, what else should we do? Chefs, your time starts right now. . . (apologies to Padma)

    23 April, 2012 at 9:03 am
    • Reply Elsa

      Oh I agree! 🙂

      23 April, 2012 at 9:09 am

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