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Nutmeg Malt Cake

Updated on February 3, 2015

This cake has the texture of sponge cake and the flavour of baked custard. The secret ingredients to the baked custard taste are very simple - lots of ground nutmeg and malted milk powder. Add a tiny bit of vanilla essence and lots of eggs and then proceed pretty much as for any other cake, and out comes something that smells and tastes like custard tart but with a completely different texture. You might ask why, if you like baked custard, would you try to make a cake that tastes the same, but after I spontaneously made up this recipe for a New Years Eve party it turned out to be surprisingly popular, so I thought it would be useful to share. Tastes great with cherries and/or cream.

Ready for the oven

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Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 35 min
Ready in: 50 min
Yields: 1 25cm round cake, serves approximately 8.


  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine or other spread
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 5 tsp malted milk powder
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 1 tblsp canola oil
  • 2 tbslp milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
  1. Cream 1/2 cup butter or margarine with 1/2 cup brown sugar, 4 tsp malted milk powder and 2 tsp nutmeg
  2. Beat in the eggs, mixing well
  3. Add flour, milk and oil and beat well. Taste your mixture. If it doesn't already taste like baked custard, up the amount of nutmeg and malted milk powder in there and beat again.
  4. Add vanilla essence, mix well.
  5. Grease a cake tin, approximately 25cm diameter is about right for the quantity. Set oven to approx 170 degrees Celcius. The cake cooks a little slow in the centre, so having the oven a little bit cooler than for your average cake prevents it becoming over-brown on the top before it is cooked in the middle.
  6. Pour the batter into the cake tin and bake for approximately 35 minutes. When cooked, a skewer or knife inserted in the centre should come out mostly clean with a slight covering of tacky crumbs.
  7. While the cake is baking you can make the icing. Mix the remaining butter or margarine with 1 tsp malted milk powder, 1 tsp ground nutmeg, and 2/3 cup icing sugar. Blend well and place in the fridge to thicken while the cake cools.
  8. Place the cake somewhere to cool. It can be placed in the freezer without problems if well-wrapped in foil or plastic. When it is fully cool spread the icing on top. Cherries are a great garnish, whether fresh or from a jar.

The secret is malted milk and nutmeg together tastes like custard

Wrapping up

This cake seems a bit weird on the face of it, because wouldn't most people who like baked custard prefer to just eat baked custard? Well I was excited to hear from a friend who tasted this that they dislike the texture of baked custard but enjoy the flavour, and thus this cake was a winner for them. I hope that there might be others out there in the same position who will enjoy this dessert. What started out as an experimental cake because I was bored of making the typical flavours has become a regularly requested feature of our friendship circle gatherings, so I hope that it will find some fans in the wide world of bakers.


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