Bourbon Chocolate Malt Cupcakes

Oh hai guys! I made more chocolate things. It seems to be all I’ve got on the brain lately. Which is totally weird for me, because I would not call myself a chocoholic by any means. If you name something “death by chocolate” you’ve pretty much guaranteed that I’m not going to try it.

But for whatever reason I’m pulling the ultra-girl card the last month or so and all I can think about is chocolate. And then all I want to do is listen to Jason Mraz and Michael Bublé, curl up in comfy clothes and watch endless episodes of House Hunters International with The BF. Ugh. I’m my own worst nightmare.

So to offset this bizarre turn of girly chocolate events, I decided to kick it up a little in the man department and add bourbon. Bourbon and chocolate sounds way less girly. Phew, I think I just saved myself on that one.

Strawberry version with strawberry jam centers.

These cupcakes are awesome. I made them do like quadruple duty. Apparently the batter for this makes four hundred bazillion baked goods. I gave four dozen minis to Coach to hawk to her wallpaper clients; another dozen regular that I kept for dinner with my gym buddies; I made a two-tier 6-inch cake for my friend Adrienne’s birthday, and I still had at least half a dozen or more left over for noming on my own.

It’s like that magician trick with the silk scarves that never ends. Eesh. Delicious never-ending scarves.

So I paired half of these with a caramel cream cheese frosting, and the other half with strawberry buttercream. Some were filled with caramel and others with strawberry jam. Either way they were pretty tasty, and to be honest I couldn’t pick my favorite pairing. So I suggest you make the full batch and test it out for yourself. Just make sure you have lots of friends to pawn them off on. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

*Just a Note: I don’t know if there is just a plain malted milk powder but I bought chocolate malted milk powder at the grocery store by the condensed milk. I saw they also had strawberry and vanilla. Which I also plan to experiment with.

Bourbon Chocolate Malt Cupcakes
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cake recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Cupcakes (affiliate link!)
Serves: 4 dozen
For the cakes
  • 2¼ cups flour
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 1¼ cups malted milk powder
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup creme fraiche (or sour cream), room temperature
For the Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • ⅓ - ½ cup caramel sauce
  • 1 lb confectioners sugar
  • milk
  • salt
To make the cake
  1. Heat oven to 350ºF. Prepare your baking dish of choice with paper liners or crisco and dusted with flour.
  2. In the bowl of stand mixer combine the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda and salt until evenly distributed.
  3. In a 2 cup measuring cup comine the milk, bourbon and vanilla. Whisk in the malted milk powder until thoroughly combined. Add the oil to the milk mixture.
  4. With the mixer on low, gradually add the milk and oil mixture.
  5. When the dry ingredients are moistened beat on high until thoroughly combined.
  6. Add the eggs one at a time beating well between each addition.
  7. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the creme fraiche. Mix until combined.
  8. Divide batter evenly among your baking pans. Regular cupcakes take 15-20 minutes, minis take 10-15 minutes, and a 6 inch cake took around 30-40 minutes. Bake until the tops are springy and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  9. Cool on racks and frost as desired.
To make the frosting
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together the butter and cream cheese with a pinch of salt.
  2. Add the caramel sauce until thoroughly combined.
  3. Slowly add the confectioners sugar in 1 cup increments until desired consistency is reached. You can thin it with milk. Taste, add more caramel or salt to taste.


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