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Vanilla Malt Cupcakes

Jonathan ordered a vanilla malt with his green chili burrito at Southwest Diner (a new retro-style diner in St. Louis). When our sever dropped off the cool vanilla malt in front of him along with the metal canister dripping from condensation, Jonathan saw vanilla ice cream mixed with milk and malt powder – the drink he’d been craving for weeks. I saw an opportunity to steal half of his drink (malts are meant to be shared, right?) and my next cupcake idea – vanilla malt cupcakes.

A vanilla malt cupcake topped with whipped cream and a homemade maraschino cherry

Carnation Malted Milk, Original, 13-Ounce Jars (Pack of 3)

I made my vanilla malt cupcakes by doctoring my go-to vanilla cupcake recipe to include malt powder.

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It’s the same cupcake you know and love, but a bit more dense (I used all butter instead of butter and oil) and loaded with malt powder for that soda shop taste. I topped the cupcakes with fresh whipped cream and homemade maraschino cherries.

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Vanilla Malt Cupcakes
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5 from 1 vote

Vanilla Malt Cupcakes

It's the same cupcake you know and love, but denser and loaded with malt powder for that soda shop taste. I topped them with fresh whipped cream and homemade maraschino cherries.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword vanilla malt cupcakes, whipped cream frosting
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 16 cupcakes
Calories 179kcal


  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup malted milk powder
  • 1 ¾ cups cake flour not self-rising
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsalted butter room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • whipped cream to taste
  • 16 maraschino cherries


  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, malted milk powder, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add butter and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy (about three minutes on high speed when using an electric mixer).
  • Mix in eggs until just combined.
  • Slowly mix in milk until just combined.
  • Fill cupcake liners ¾ full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until cupcakes bounce back when lightly touched.
  • Top each cooled cupcake with whipped cream and a maraschino cherry.


Nutrition Facts
Vanilla Malt Cupcakes
Amount Per Serving
Calories 179 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Fat 7g11%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 137mg6%
Potassium 103mg3%
Carbohydrates 25g8%
Sugar 13g14%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 235IU5%
Vitamin C 0.1mg0%
Calcium 50mg5%
Iron 0.3mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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12 comments on “Vanilla Malt Cupcakes”

  1. I clicked over from my reader today because my fiance lurves vanilla malts and I love cupcakes. BUT, after reading your blog for a couple months now, I JUST realized you live in STL! We live in Chicago now but St. Louis is our home area, the city to which we will move in a couple of years, AND our wedding location! It’s always good for us to see creative and interesting people living in our beloved city. It makes us excited to move back! Also, thank you, thank you for featuring Southwest Diner. I hadn’t heard of it and can’t wait to give it a try when we’re next back in town!


  2. Anonymoussays:

    Clicked on Paula Deens site to get the recipe for vanilla malt cupcakes- followed it EXACTLY and watched them collapse into cupcake shaped flat cookies. Went back over the recipe to make sure I followed it exactly and realized that you don’t have ANY eggs in the recipe! Thanks for the waste of my ingredients and the waste of my time and energy. Yes, I should have known better that the darn thing wouldn’t work without eggs, but the whole reason I used someone else’s recipe was because I didn’t feel like having to concentrate on experimenting today. Can’t imagine how they worked for you.

    • Stefsays:

      I’m so sorry! I made a mistake and inadvertently left off the eggs and the corresponding directions. I’ve sent in my changes and hopefully they’ll be up soon. In the meantime, the recipe does require two large eggs, and they should be mixed in until just combined right after you add the butter and vanilla and mix until light and fluffy. Thanks for letting me know, and I’m sorry again that my recipe had an error.

  3. Maureensays:

    I love vanilla malt cupcakes and have never made them at home. It will soon change! They look beautiful.

  4. Since I absolutely love Chocolate malts I will definitely try this recipe and also make my own chocolate malt cupcakes. I will let you know how those turn out

  5. I love cupcakes. Your Vanilla Malt Cupcake looks yummy. Nice recipe and pictures also.

  6. Anonymoussays:

    I am not a novice baker but I tried the recipe and the cupcakes came out a lot darker looking than the picture (even checked the oven to make sure it wasn’t overbaking) and the texture wasn’t very good – it felt very ‘gummy’. I wasn’t able to get the batter to be ‘light and fluffy’ after adding the butter and vanilla to the dry ingredients (instead I ended up with a coarse crumbly mixture). I also don’t believe I overmixed the batter – I used a hand whisk to gently incorporate the eggs and milk till just combined. What am I doing wrong?

  7. Anonymoussays:

    I followed the directions exactly…and the batter tasted very malty….after baking however, the malt flavor disappeared completely. And the cakes were dark and some even burned on the bottom…sorry to say but this is one recipe I won’t be making again.

  8. Mary Ann Rousseausays:

    Where is the recipe? I hAve looked All over this site for the vanilla cupcake recipe??

  9. Myrthsays:

    Hi, I baked these cupcakes today and while i loved the flavour, the texture was dry and slightly gummy. I dont mind the dryness, because it was still very light and fluffy, but i didnt like the fact that it stuck to the roof of my mouth. Like another commenter, I only got a dry crumbly mixture after mixing in the butter. To anyone who is attempting this, I would advise you to try these cupcakes but instead of this method, do it the traditional way (cream butter with sugar, add eggs, then flour last). This way you won’t overmix your batter and maybe the texture will be improved. Stef – if you see this, might you enlighten me on why the texture ended up this way? :-)

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