I've been really into baking with malted milk powder. It just has this deep and toasty flavor that lends so much depth and deliciousness to baked goods. Inspired by strawberry malt milkshakes, I created this malted funfetti cake with strawberry buttercream and cookie crumble. Strawberries and malted milk powder are so, so good together, this is my second recipe using them together within the past couple months. Fluffy and tender malted funfetti cake flecked with sprinkles, silky strawberry Swiss meringue buttercream and strawberry shortbread cookie crumble makes for a truly delicious cake that you will want to make on the regular.
Malted Funfetti Cake
The base recipe of my malted funfetti cake is my go to vanilla cake, with the additional malted milk powder and sprinkles. This cake is mixed using the reverse creaming, or two stage method. Reverse creaming cakes have a tighter, more delicate and soft crumb. They tend to be more compact, with less of a rise compared to creamed cakes, and have a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Reverse creaming cakes can be delicate, so they are easiest to layer, carve, stack, etc. when they are chilled.
Strawberry Swiss Meringue buttercream is fluffy, silky and so yummy. It reminds me a lot of strawberry ice cream - which is always a good thing, right? In this recipe, I use strawberry jam for the strawberry flavoring in the buttercream. You can also try the method I use for making strawberry Italian meringue buttercream by making your own concentrated jam first as used in my strawberry rose buttermilk cake.
Strawberry Cookie Crumbs
I really like adding crunchy elements to my cakes. I like the texture they add and it helps to add additional complementary flavors to the cake. The cookie crumbs for this recipe is a shortbread style crumble that is baked until golden and crispy. Once cool, freeze dried strawberries are crushed into the crumble and tossed to fully incorporate. This crumble is super yummy and even tastes amazing on ice cream, yogurt, etc.
I baked my cakes in 2 - 2" pans and torted them (or split them in half) to create 4 layers total. You want to make sure that the cake layers will be stable so I typically put down a thin layer of buttercream and then pipe a dam around the edge of the cake first before sprinkling on the cookie crumble. Then scoop additional buttercream on top of it, spreading it out to even it out with the dam. This ensures that the buttercream layers are even but also will make sure the layers are adhered properly and are stable, and not just sitting on the crumble.
I hope that you enjoy this malted funfetti cake with strawberry buttercream and cookie crumble as much as I do! If you make it, let me know and leave a comment or tag me on Instagram.
For more layer cake recipes, check out these posts:
Strawberry Rose Buttermilk Cake
Chocolate Stout Cake with Coffee Irish Cream Buttercream
Earl Grey Cake with Honey Buttercream and Blackberry Caramel
Malted Funfetti Cake with Strawberry Buttercream and Cookie Crumble
Malted Funfetti Vanilla Cake
- 14 ounces (397g) cake flour
- 14 ounces(397g) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- ¼ cup malted milk powder
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 9 oz (255g) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 ounces (85g) canola oil
- 12 ounces (31g) whole milk, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ cup sprinkles
- 1 batch prepared Swiss meringue buttercream
- 1 - 1½ cups strawberry jam
Strawberry Cookie Crumble
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoons malted milk powder
- 1½ tablespoons granulated sugar
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ½ cup freeze dried strawberries
- ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
Make Funfetti Malt Cake
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Prepare your cake pans. Brush the bottoms and sides of your cake pans with melted butter. Line the bottoms and sides with parchment paper.
- Combine the milk, oil, eggs, vanilla extract and vanilla extract in medium bowl. Whisk to thoroughly combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, malt powder and salt. On low speed, mix for 1 minute.
- With the mixer still running, add in the softened butter pieces, one or two pieces at a time. Mix until the mixture resembles cornmeal. You should be able to gather a bit in your hand, squeeze and you have a solid piece. This means the butter is evenly distributed.
- With the mixer still on low, pour in a small amount of the liquid ingredients (about ½ cup) and mix until the flour mixture is moistened.
- Turn the mixer speed to medium (4 or 6) and beat for *two full* minutes. The mixture should be whipped up, thick, and lighter in color.
- Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure everything is properly mixed.
- With the mixer speed on low, add the remaining wet ingredients in three parts, scraping down the bowl after each addition has been mixed in.
- Once all the wet ingredients have been incorporated, give the bowl a final scrape and mix with a spatula. Fold in the sprinkles.
- Evenly divide the batter among the prepared pans.
- Bake the layers for 35-45 minutes. Check the cake at 30-35 minutes to test for doneness. If a toothpick comes out clean, and the top of the cake feels springy and set when touched, take the cakes out.
- Tap the cake once, firmly against the counter to remove excess steam. If your cakes dome at all, use a clean kitchen towel to gently push the domes down. Cool the cakes for 15 minutes in the pans.
- Run a palette or butter knife around the cakes in their pans before turning them out to cool completely on cooling racks.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator a couple hours.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the salted caramel sauce and the prepared Swiss meringue buttercream.
- Mix on low until everything is incorporated and the buttercream is smooth.
Strawberry Cookie Crumble
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, malt powder and salt.
- Pulse in the butter, pulsing until the dough forms clumps.
- Turn the mixture in an even layer onto the prepared baking sheet and break up some of the large pieces.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the tray from the oven and, using a heatproof spatula, gently flip the mixture and bake for 10 more minutes. Let tray cool completely on a wire rack. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Let tray cool completely on a wire rack. Crumble in the freeze dried strawberries. Store in an airtight container for up to a week.
Assemble the Cake
- Work with chilled cake layers. Using a long serrated knife torte the layers, cutting them evenly in half. You will have four cake layers total. The tops of the cakes will be the center two layers of your cake. If you made your cake in 3 pans, skip this step.
- Put one of the cake layers, cut side up onto an 8" cake board or directly onto a cake stand.
- Spread a thin, even layer of the buttercream on the cake layer with an offset spatula. Pipe a rim (or dam) of buttercream around the edge of the cake layer.
- Sprinkle the strawberry cookie crumble on top of the cake layer. Pat into place.
- Spread about one cup of the buttercream on top of the crumble using an offset spatula to evenly distribute the buttercream. You're looking for the buttercream to be about ¼ inch thick total.
- Place the second cake layer on top, top up, and press down gently so that the layer is adhered to the buttercream. Repeat steps 3-6.
- Place the third cake layer on top, top up, and press down gently so that the layer is adhered to the buttercream. Repeat steps 3-6.
- Place final cake layer on top and frost with the remaining buttercream. Chill for 30 minutes.
- Slice into pieces and serve.
Can this cake be made ahead of time? Will the freeze dried strawberries and cookies be okay or will it go soggy?
You can make this a day or two ahead of time and store in the refrigerator. The crumble will start to soften a bit around the second day.