I made these a little while ago for my partner’s birthday picnic (image above was purely for quality control purposes…) and they went down a treat. They are a bit of a sugar hit what with the sugary buttercream AND Milo on board so the next time I make these I’ll be using a sour cream icing to help off-set this. A good recipe for a sour cream icing is from the Queen herself https://www.nigella.com/recipes/old-fashioned-chocolate-cake. I also may omit the Milo from the actual icing mixture itself and substitute it for malt powder for more of a malty hit. However, these are still good just as they are.
It’s safe to say I’m obsessed with the food processor for quick and easy sponges. Whenever I use it, it always produces the lightest and fluffiest of cakes. Obviously if you don’t have one, a free standing mixer or hand mixer would work just as well for this recipe. You could even do it by hand if you were feeling particularly athletic.
If you wanted you could make the sponge itself chocolate flavoured and even add a bit of malt powder to the mixture too. I chose to go simple with a vanilla base to really highlight the Milo tops. If I’m being totally honest, I also wanted to be a little bit kitsch and have the vanilla representing the “milk” of a Milo with the chocolate topping representing the usual Milo top before mixing it in…but I need help so don’t listen to me… Get into it!
125g softened butter at room temperature
1 cup caster sugar
2 room temperature eggs
1/4 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups self raising flour
50g of unsalted room temperature butter
1 1/2 cups sifted icing mixture
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 cup Milo powder and extra for dredging (can substitute for malt powder)
First blitz up the sugar, butter and vanilla until combined and lightly fluffed.
Once you get it to this stage you want to add your eggs, one at a time to combine evenly. You’ll probably want to run your spatula around the edges at this point before adding the flour.
Add the flour and sour cream and pulse for 30 seconds or so, depending on how powerful your food processor is.
Remove the blades and combine everything with a spatula to ensure no pockets of flour or lumps of butter are hiding and refusing to cooperate.
Now all you have to do is spoon dollops into cupcake cases. You’ll be worried you won’t have enough mixture and assume you’re being too stingy with the portions here but don’t fret as the mixture will rise just to the top and leave you with a flat, ice-able surface.
Pop in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes until lightly golden and risen. Leave to cool completely before icing.
Now for the icing, place all the ingredients in the processor and blitz. You can always just do this with either a hand held whisk or a free standing mixer but I figured I’d use the processor while it was out and it worked a treat.
Keep mixing away until you have a floppy, decadent icing to spread on your cupcakes. Now it will be slightly grainy from the Milo so don’t panic. It’s all meant to be.
Once all your cupcakes have been iced, pour some Milo onto a shallow plate and gently press the cupcakes down onto the malty grains. You want to dredge the whole top with them.
Now I’d recommend that you do this step as close as possible to when you want to serve the cupcakes. If left too long, the Milo will absorb into the icing and you’ll lose the crunchy topping. Still perfectly edible though.
As much it is about the icing, the real hero for me is the vanilla cupcake itself. Just so airy and light! Give these a go for any Milo lovers you know or selfishly save all for yourself.