Malt Chocolate Cake Brownies


Chocolate Malt Whopper Cake-Brownies

At my old job, I was (not surprisingly) very emotionally invested in the employee birthday situation. I was especially intrigued in one co-worker when he told me he didn’t like cake. DIDN’T LIKE CAKE? I’d never met such a person.

So instead of getting a cake, the HR department would buy him one of those super gross (but cute!), gigantic chocolate chip cookies. The problem was that they’d just send a production assistant to pick it up from the closest grocery store rather than sourcing it from a bakery that knew what they were doing. So, I did what any good co-worker would do: I emailed HR with suggestions as to where they can get good pie, good cakes and really great brownies.

They never listened. Also, pretty sure they thought I was soooo weird since it didn’t really concern me. And seriously, who was I?!

Just a super nosey girl that loved good brownies, that’s all.

When I was teeny-tiny, I loved drinking Ovaltine. It was the trick my mom used to get me in the mood to sleep.

I was the worst sleeper in the world, so my mom needed a bag of crazy tricks.

Getting me to sleep was an entire process. It started with a warm bath, book reading time, make believe story time and the last sure-to-work trick: a warm glass of Ovaltine.

So basically, I’ve loved the flavor of chocolate and malt from the start of time.

The thing with malt in chocolate is that it kind of isn’t profound. It just sort of rounds out the flavor of chocolate and makes it richer, more decadent and, well, it adds a slight malty flavor. How does malt taste? Malt tastes malty.

Ugh. I’m bad at this right now. It’s a tough flavor to explain.

But I do have malt facts…oooo! Malt is an evaporated version of malted barley, wheat flour, and whole milk.

These brownies are cake-like. The baking powder gives them a little lift. Almost like a kitten heel would give a woman. Let me take this moment to say that I have spent much of my life HATING kitten heels but these Valentino ones are pretty dreamy.

I digress…so these brownies are like if a sheet cake and a fudgy brownie had offspring. They’re fudgey toward the edges but kind of fluffy and airy in the middle. I adore them. Oh and the Whoppers. Oh gosh.

Whoppers are kind of the best movie theater candy ever! Chocolate covered malt balls? Yes!

So, I did what was right and chopped a bunch up and mixed them in this brownie batter. They added a nice crunch on top while the ones in the inside melted and became one with the brownie center. It was pretty cute.

Malt Chocolate Cake Brownies


  • 3/4 cup chocolate malted milk powder, I used Ovaltine
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped Whoppers, malt balls, plus a handful more for the topping


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment and grease it lightly with butter. Set aside.
  • In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the chocolate malt powder, brown sugar, flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder. Set aside. In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla and oil.
  • Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until no lumps remain. Fold in the chopped Whoppers and pour the batter into the 8-inch square pan, spreading it out evenly. Sprinkle the brownies with the remaining crushed whoppers and transfer the brownies to the oven. Bake them for 30 minutes. You'll know when they're done when a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out clean. When they're done, transfer them to a rack to cool. Drink with milk, please!

Adapted from King Arthur Flour

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    Leave a Reply

  • Reply Bev @ Bev Cooks February 20, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Oh my dear God.

  • Reply Tina February 20, 2013 at 6:21 am

    This is amaze balls A!! Brownies but with whoppers- how dreamy?!?! Holy sweet Jesus! Ur totally amazing 🙂 me digs those Valentino’s too 😉

  • Reply Annie February 20, 2013 at 6:30 am

    hi there – these look delicious. Instead of the Ovaltine, do you think I could sub some combination of cocoa powder and malted milk powder? Or hot chocolate mix and malted milk powder? Thanks!

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Hi! Yes you can definitely sub in malted milk powder. I’d use cocoa powder and malted milk powder. I’d recommend going 1/4 cup malted milk powder and 1/2 cup cocoa powder. You should be good to go!

  • Reply christin February 20, 2013 at 6:47 am

    Yea…I’ll be making these.

  • Reply Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie February 20, 2013 at 6:49 am

    I’ve only used malt in cookies, but I loved it. Should really try it in brownies too!

  • Reply Meghan {For the Love of Dessert} February 20, 2013 at 7:07 am

    I have such a love/hate relationship with malt. LOVE whoppers, love Ovaltine. Can’t stand it in milk shakes. This recipe sounds good to me!

    I’m going to disagree with you though, Snowcaps are the ultimate movie theatre candy! Haha!

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Fair enough!

  • Reply Little Kitchie February 20, 2013 at 7:42 am

    I think I’m going to faint. YUM!

  • Reply Julie February 20, 2013 at 8:26 am

    I love using malted milk powder in my baking! But I have to disagree…best movie candy is Cookie Dough Bites. Closely followed by Dots! 🙂

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm

      Oh gosh I can’t disagree with you.

  • Reply Kim @ Soliloquy Of Food & Such February 20, 2013 at 8:29 am

    Ohmigowd! These look like I’d want to hoard them…hide in the closet with them and whisper raspily to them, “My Preeecciousssss”.

  • Reply Megan February 20, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Oh man. I want these super tall brownies in my life!

  • Reply dana February 20, 2013 at 9:32 am

    ugh ugh ugh. This would not last 5 minutes in my house.

  • Reply Emily @ She Makes and Bakes February 20, 2013 at 9:50 am

    Looks pretty dang awesome!!

  • Reply Jessica@AKitchenAddiction February 20, 2013 at 11:14 am

    My husband loves malt powder! I’ll have to make these for him!

  • Reply Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking February 20, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Glorious! I was always the person in charge of birthdays at my old job. We weren’t allowed to buy treats or bake things for people, it was like a horrible dictatorship, but that is a different story. I had to decorate cubicles and make happy birthday posters. I wish I could have just baked these instead. Although getting paid to have craft time was kinda awesome.

  • Reply Katie @ Blonde Ambition February 20, 2013 at 11:23 am

    These look so chocolatey. I never had Ovaltine as a kid, but I sure loved Whoppers – them melted into brownies sounds deeeeevine.

  • Reply sandra February 20, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    malted milk balls are my absolute favorites. What a great idea!

  • Reply Nina@ambrosia February 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Whoppers definitely bring me back to my childhood, I used to love them so much! I would love to make these brownies, I’m going to make a batch as soon as I can get a box of Whoppers! Deeeeeelicious.

  • Reply Nina@ambrosia February 20, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Whoppers definitely bring me back to my childhood, I used to love them so much! I would love to make these brownies, I’m going to make a batch as soon as I can get a box of Whoppers! Deeeeeelicious.

  • Reply Amanda Lane February 20, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I just have to say two things: 1) Holy yum. 2) Ohhhhhhvalteeeen? (Can’t help but think of Young Frankenstein when I hear about Ovaltine)

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      HA! Yes. Yes.

  • Reply Maggie @ A Bitchin' Kitchen February 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm

    Oh. Em. Gee. I love malt. Ovaltine, whoppers, you name it. My favorite chocolate frosting even uses Ovaltine! These look fabulous!

  • Reply Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar February 20, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Mmm what a fabulous recipe!

  • Reply Spencer February 20, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    How good do they look? I would so love to try some. I am sure they taste great.

  • Reply Amy @ Elephant Eats February 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    I love malt! Ovaltine was the best growing up. I wonder why I don’t drink it anymore…i’ll have to remedy that. But these brownies would be a good start to getting me back on a malt kick…they look so good!

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 9:58 pm

      I actually had a glass of Ovaltine when I wrote this post because I was trying my hardest to describe the flavor of malt AND oh man, did it take me back!

  • Reply Kate Mai February 20, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I love how your pans look well used and well loved. Every time Ina pulls out a pristine Le Cruset I get depressed about mine.

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 9:59 pm

      Ha. Mine are broken in for sure. And I kind of like them that way. 🙂

    • Reply Amy N August 19, 2014 at 5:52 am

      About Ina, I know right? Every show, a new everything… gets on my freaking nerves… well, mostly bcos i want all her tools Lol

      @Adrianna, I’m gonna try these this weekend but not with ovaltine, with Milo. Let’s see how that turns out.

  • Reply Jayne February 20, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Our favourite chocolate malt drink is Milo. I like the idea of using that for brownies. I always have Milo at home but not necessarily cocoa powder. This is going into my backup recipe folder.

  • Reply Lindsey February 21, 2013 at 6:02 am

    um, wow. delicious!

  • Reply Monica February 21, 2013 at 6:06 am

    This is a really cool idea. My husband and I are nostalgic about malt too. I tried a malted milk chocolate cookie recipe not long ago that was really good – as you said, the malt is very subtle but still changes the whole thing somehow. I love that you were so invested in the birthday celebrations at work. We always used to get one of those ribbon ice cream cakes for birthdays…

  • Reply Meghan February 21, 2013 at 7:50 am

    First off – your mom is awesome. We only got Ovaltine as a treat at my house.

    Second, this is prefect use of all those leftover Malt robins eggs we always ended up with after Easter.

    Third – you’ve really started something with this movie theater treat thing – I’m going to tell you Red Vines and Popcorn are the only two acceptable movie theater snacks. Period.

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      Ha. Red vines are awesome. I used to drink my coke using the red vine as a straw.

  • Reply Alexis February 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Your story made me laugh and also made me feel better that I am not the only girl who gets so invested in the cakes work people bring in for birthdays. It just kills me to see grocery store cakes come in with the shortening filled icing and who knows what else! blech. I love cake but if it’s not from a good source, I wont eat it. Sad!

  • Reply Maria | My So-Called Vegetarian Life February 21, 2013 at 11:37 am

    I really want these right now! I don’t have malt balls here in Brazil…at least not by the name of Whoppers! We do have plenty of Ovaltine, or as we call it: Ovomaltine. And it’s EVERYWHERE. There’s Ovomaltine ice cream, sweets, etc. This looks amazing. I also am one of those who really cares about really silly things like where the office orders birthday cakes from. At the last place I worked at, I lobbied the secretary in charge of this to change the bakery. I started a little revolution, but she just wouldn’t budge.

    • Reply Adrianna February 21, 2013 at 10:00 pm

      A cake revolution! My favorite.

  • Reply a farmer in the dell February 21, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    wow. I’m totally drooling!

  • Reply Tasha @ Homemade February 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Oh yes please!!! Gimme!

  • Reply karen February 22, 2013 at 5:49 am

    omfg girl you got me ROLLING!!! the whole part about you emailing HR & being ignored. I think we’re seriously kindred spirits cuz that’s the type of nosey shit i’d pull hahah! and I haaaaaaaate kitten heels. anddddd I can’t sleep ever which is why i’m commenting on your blog at almost 6 am X_X

    but these look amazing! this is how I feel about malted milk
    aka delicious

  • Reply Nadette@Sin Mayonesa Por Favor February 22, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    I first thought the malt balls were hazlenuts, and was all like, “well I don’t really like cakey brownies, Adrianna. Why would you make them cakey??”. But then the malt ball bomb just blew my mind, and cakey or not I KNOW these brownies are awesome. And I would like some now, please. Can you overnight them overseas? just a suggestion….

  • Reply Christina @ The Beautiful Balance February 24, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    This combination together sounds incredible.

    You are not alone. I am always the one to bring in baked goodies to work any chance I get.

  • Reply Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe February 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Yuuuuuummmmmmm. I seriously don’t understand people that don’t like cake. Or chocolate.

  • Reply Let Me Eat Cake February 26, 2013 at 7:00 pm


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  • Reply Billy March 1, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I’m not going to deny the fact that I really love that you emailed HR about good sweets sources. I would totally do the same. It’s for the better good of everyone ever.

    And these brownies look divine. Slightly cakey brownies are the best!

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  • Reply Mayra March 24, 2014 at 5:13 am

    Very rich, and with an amazing texture! And my kitchen smelled heavenly while baking 🙂
    Thank you very much for sharing this recipe!

  • Reply Valeria May 23, 2015 at 8:37 am

    DELICIOUS!! 🙂 This recipe is easy and the end result is fantastic!! I might have to make another batch soon….THANK YOU!!

  • Reply Sophie December 11, 2018 at 4:12 pm

    These Malt Chocolate Cake Brownies were fantastic! I didn’t have Ovaltine, so following Adrianna’s suggestion, I subbed 1/4 cup malted milk powder plus 1/2 cup cocoa (King Arthur Black Cocoa). And I subbed walnuts for the Whoppers. Really good results – cakey brownies are a nice change from fudgy brownies, and this recipe does not disappoint. Not too sweet, not too rich – just right!