{Milk Bar Mondays} Chocolate Malt Layer Cake


It’s my favorite day- Milk Bar Monday!! Man oh man did we pick a good one to share with you today. Maybe not the simplest recipe we’ve done- but it is so delicious and totally worth it. In fact, Andy claimed that this was his favorite recipe I’ve made from the Milk Bar Cookbook so far! (He even liked it better than the Sweet Corn Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie which used to be his reigning fave.)


Like always with Christina Tosi’s cakes, this one has many different layers and fillings making each bite taste better than the one before. The base is a rich chocolate cake with thick fudge filling, charred marshmallows, malted milk “crumb” and Ovaltine “soak” which keeps each layer of cake extra moist and flavorful.


From the outside, my cake got a little smudgy as the fudge seeped out a bit, but for some reason I kind of loved the gooey messy look of it. The fudge was used in place of frosting so the whole thing was a bit ooze-y.

Once I cut into the cake though, I was so relieved to see that everything had more or less stayed in place, and that the gooey fudge only make the cake richer and more delicious. I tried the cake right out the fridge, but after I photographed it and let it sit out for a few minutes, and the fudge got soft and almost melty, it was even better.


I only made one small change to the original recipe which was to use all her recipe for classic hot fudge instead of making an additional batch of “malt hot fudge.” Erin mentioned that she liked the classic better, so I thought I’d save myself one step and avoid making two batches. I’m sure using the other makes it taste “maltier,” but I am really glad I made it as I did. That fudge sauce was to die for!


It’s just a small group of us posting today, but Erin from Big Fat Baker has posted the whole original recipe for you with all it’s steps. Jacqueline from The Dusty Baker also made the cake, but gluten and dairy free! 

Chocolat Malt Layer Cake

Chocolat Malt Layer Cake

Yield: 1 6 inch cake

From the Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook, by Christina Tosi


  • 1 recipe Chocolate Cake, recipe follows
  • 1 recipe Ovaltine Soak, recipe follows
  • 1 recipe Hot Fudge Sauce, minus the 3 T used for the cake. (recipe follows)
  • 1 recipe Malted Milk Crumbs, recipe follows
  • 1 recipe Charred Marshmallows, recipe follows


  1. Invert the chocolate cake onto a sheet of parchment paper or silpat, and peel off the parchment paper backing. Using the 6-inch cake ring, stamp out two circles from the cake. These will be the top and middle layers. The remaining cake "scrap' will come together to make the bottom layer of the cake.
  2. Clean the cake ring and place it on a sheet of parchment paper or silpat atop a baking sheet. Use one strip of acetate to line the inside of the cake ring. Put the cake scraps in the ring and use the back of your hand to press the scraps together into a flat even later.
  3. Dunk the pastry brush in the ovaltine soak and give the layer of scraps a good, healthy bath of half of the soak.
  4. Spread one fifth of the fudge sauce over the base layer using the back of a spoon. (Warmer fudge sauce is easier to spread.)
  5. Then sprinkle half of the malted milk crumbs crumbs and 1/3 of the marshmallows evenly over the top of the fudge. Use the back of your hand to anchor them in place.
  6. Top with another fifth of the fudge, using a spoon to spread it as evenly as possible.
  7. With your index finger, gently tuck the second strip of acetate between the cake ring and the top 1/4 inch of the first strip of acetate, so that you have a clear ring of acetate 5-6 inches tall- high enough to support the height of th finished cake. Top with a full circle of cake (save the nicest one for the top layer), brush the rest of the ovaltine soak over this layer, and repeat the process of layer 1.
  8. Nestle the remaining cake round into the fudge. Cover the top of the cake with the last fifth of the fudge. Garnish with extra crumbs or marshmallows.
  9. Freeze the cake for at least 12 hours to set the cake and filling. (And to make the unmolding much easier.)
  10. Three hours before serving, pull the pan from the freezer, and using your fingers and thumbs, pop the cake out of the cake ring. Gently peel off the acetate and transfer the cake to a platter or cake stand. Let it defrost in the fridge for a minimum of 3 hours. (wrapped well in plastic, it can be refrigerated for up to 5 days.)
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


  1. Oh goodness me. I haven’t had breakfast yet, but now I want this cake. I wish it were possibly to make this cake in 20 minutes. That would be nice, but then I might have the entire cake for breakfast, and I don’t think that would be quite as nice.

    This does look like a fabulously fudgy cake! <3

  2. …Can I have this for breakfast? Worth the stomach ache I’ll have all day. I LOVE chocolate malt cakes. I slaved over one pretty much for a whole day for my boyfriend’s birthday last year (and it really just turned out “decently”, but even a decent chocolate malt cake is a fantabulous cake ;-)). I’ll definitely need to make this one this year!

    1. No you’re not missing anything- :) I think that her post just hasn’t gone up yet by mistake. I’m sure it will be up very shortly!

      1. It looked soooo good I had to know how to make it. I needed a little more patience :)
        Thank you

  3. Holy moly! I’ve been LOVING malt lately. I keep adding it to everything. Honestly, this cake looks like a labor of love because obviously there are a ton of steps but if I knew that cake was the end result, I would TOTALLY do this.

    1. Thanks Annie! I’ve never actually baked with malt before and it’s so good right? And like always- this cake is totally worth the time and trouble :)

  4. You are endlessly convincing me that I need to dive into the milk bar cookbook once and for all…what am I waiting for?!? Each layer of this sounds better than the last.

  5. Whoa! I feel like I have diabetes just looking at these pictures! :) In a good way of course. This cake is gorgeous!

  6. ok, so this cake looks amazing! true to its momofuku self, all messy and gorgeous but how does it taste like? Ive made the Birthday Layer cake and I know you have too. Is this chocolate version better? I am stuck between this and the coffee version of the layered cake :)
    I couldnt stop eating the birthday layer cake, it was like crack for me and my hubs. Heres the post if your interested: http://www.thebatchmaker.com/2013/02/birthday-layer-cake.html

  7. I’m not going to lie to you, I will not be making this recipe. I just don’t think I have it in me. However, I am sending your blog link to my sister in hopes that she will bake this next weekend! This sounds amazing!

    1. I don’t blame you- it’s a tough one! But I do home someone makes it for you so you get a chance to taste it! :)

  8. I don’t even know what to say about this cake – it’s breathtaking!! I saw your tease on Instagram and couldn’t wait to see this post. Need anyone to come and help you finish the last few slices? :)

    1. Yes I did actually! I couldn’t bear to have it in the house anymore so I brought it to my book club tonight. All gone! :)

  9. I wold love to try this cake, Can you tell me what is the substitute for buttermilk? as we dont have it where i live. Also the amount of corn syrup when you say a pinch? i dont understand that, please help.

    1. Hi! You can sub yogurt or sour cream for buttermilk if those are accessible to you.
      Also- I just meant to use Glucose OR in a pinch (if you don’t have it) you can use half the amount of Corn syrup. (1/2 cup in this case)

      1. Thank you soo much for your quick reply. I am going to try this recipe as soon as i get the stuff.. hugs x

  10. Like most MilkBar recipes this is time consuming. But look at the gorgeous results! I would so love a piece of this cake!

  11. I haven’t taken on the layer cakes in this cookbook yet, the long instructions have scared me off so far! This cake looks so amazing, I’ll have to buy myself a cake ring and give it a try!

  12. I think this cake would definitely satisfy my craving for chocolate at the moment!!! Yum! Totally intrigued by the ovaltine soak…seems like a great idea, rather than using a simple syrup to moisten the cake. Thanks for posting…I found you on foodgawker btw :)

    1. Hey Jenn! Thanks for stopping by.
      I’ve made lots of the Milk Bar Cakes and she always has a soak of some kind- you’re right- probably just like the simple syrup but with more flavor! :)

  13. Yeah, this looks INSANE LADY! I adored this cake too, much more than I expected. I’m still going to work on my go-to chocolate cake recipe, but this one was so fudgy and almost brownie like – I LOVED it. Had to give most of it away ;) Onward and upward! (or onward and outward, if I keep eating these)

  14. This is one of my favorite cookbooks to turn to for desserts! This looks amazing – my own Andy would love this just as much as yours!

  15. What an ambitious recipe, and a loooong process with all the steps, freezing, and thawing! Well done. And your pictures are beautiful, too :)

  16. Making this right now! Looks amazingly delish. Just noticed you didn’t publish the recipe for the Ovaltine soak. I guess I’ll just make a 1/4 cup of Ovaltine…?

    1. Shoot- I can’t beleive I somehow missed that. It is essentially yes- a bit of ovaltine and milk. How did it turn out?

      1. Thanks! I actually had a few issues with the cake. One, was that the crumb didn’t congeal very well and ended up with more of a sandy texture, which was not very pleasing. Secondly, the marshmallows were so sticky, I could barely cut through the cake! This may be because I didn’t char the marshmallows enough? And finally, after cutting about 1/3 of the cake, it started to lean and cave in. My friend, Molly Damon (amazing baker- check her out on Instagram!) said that cutting it in half first, would have probably helped that issue. Anyway, it still tasted delicious and was most certainly polished off :)

        1. Oh I’m sorry you had issues. These cakes are certainly a bit more complex than most. I do remember needing a pretty sharp knife for slicing. In terms of the crumb- it sounds like it was too dry. Is there a chance you didn’t add the right amount of liquid? :)

          1. I used the right amount, but I don’t think I melted the butter. I remember thinking, “Oops!” after adding it in room temp. Oh well. In better news, I also tried the birthday cake recipe and it was every bit as dreamy as it was when I ordered it directly from Momofuku a few years ago.

  17. This was the desert Christina made two of the last four MasterChef constestants make. In 90 minutes.

  18. I want to thank you for posting this recipe i plan to make it next month for my daughters birthday. I was noticing it says 1 recipe of ovaltine soak but i dont see it posted

  19. About to put this cake together and….. no recipe for the soak.What is it?

  20. Where are the recipes for everything? It says on all of them, recipe below, but I don’t see anything

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