Because crafts are like crack.

More Ovaltine, please! June 26, 2011

Filed under: Baking — Casey @ 3:13 pm

For Mom’s birthday cake this year she requested “something chocolate”. That left a lot of open territory and an excuse to spend a lot of time trolling through Pinterest. Mom makes her likes and dislikes pretty well known and a chocolate malt is one of her favorite desserts. It would seem I couldn’t go wrong with a Triple Malt Chocolate Cake. Then I made a trip to the grocery store and couldn’t find malted milk powder anywhere. The closest substitute I could find was some Ovaltine classic malt. It seemed like too much work to find a new recipe while at the store so I made the decision to go with it. If all else failed, we could walk up to the ice cream store and get a real malt!

I thought the result was delicious and it sure was a crowd pleaser. I reduced the amount of butter in the frosting based on the comments on the original website, and I think I might reduce it even further. It was a little too rich even for me!

But most importantly, the birthday girl loved it. Happy Birthday Mom!

Triple Malt Chocolate Cake


  • 2 cups Ovaltine
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/3 cups whole milk
  • 1 recipe Malt Frosting (below)
  • 1 cup malted milk balls, coarsely chopped


  1. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange the rack in the middle. Coat 2 (8-inch) cake pans with oil and flour, and tap out any excess flour. Set aside.
  2. Combine the Ovaltine, flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl, and whisk to aerate and break up any lumps. Set aside.
  3. Combine eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla in a separate large bowl, and whisk until combined and smooth. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture, and whisk until just incorporated. Add 1/2 of the milk, and whisk until smooth. Continue with remaining flour mixture and milk, alternating between each and whisking until all ingredients are just incorporated and smooth.
  4. Divide batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean and the cakes start pulling away from the sides of the pans, about 45 to 50 minutes.
  5. Remove cakes from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool, about 15 minutes. Run a knife around the perimeter of each, and turn cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  6. To frost, place a cake layer on an 8-inch cardboard round, a tart-pan bottom, or a cake plate. Evenly spread about 1/3 of the frosting over the top of the layer. Stack the second layer, and evenly spread another 1/3 of the frosting over the top and sides of the whole cake. (Don’t worry about looks at this point—this is just a basecoat, or crumb layer, and it will be covered up later.) Place in the refrigerator until frosting is set up and slightly hard, about 15 minutes. Remove from the refrigerator and spread remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake, ensuring it’s as even as possible. Press malt balls into the frosting around the sides of the cake and serve.

Malt Frosting

  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup Ovaltine
  • 1/2 cup whole milk, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Combine butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitter with a paddle attachment, and beat on low speed until sugar is incorporated.
  2. Increase speed to medium high and beat until mixture is light and whipped, about 3 minutes. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl and the paddle.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and return to low speed until ingredients are incorporated. Increase speed to medium high and continue whipping until frosting is evenly combined and light, about 3 minutes. Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, or cookies.

The official start of the Christmas crafting season

Filed under: Quilting — Casey @ 2:23 pm

I am aware that there are some non-crafty types out there who think the Christmas season begins with Black Friday sales. I strongly suspect they are the same folks who complain about stores putting up decorations before Halloween. For them,Christmas falls neatly into December during which there is more than enough time to decorate, purchase a few gifts and maybe even throw a batch of cookies into the oven.

Those of us who are craft-obsessed know Christmas is a holiday designed to show off our talents and requires months of preparation. And even a six month early start won’t prevent us from staying up all night on Christmas Eve to finish one or two gifts. But June 24th seems as good a time as any to start Christmas crafting, especially since Mom is in town to cut, press, pin and complete other less fun parts of quilting.

I bought the fabric for my tree skirt right after Christmas. A single day of work and it is now all pieced together. I might have the skirt completed by September at this rate!


We had quite the quilting bee going on in my dining room.

The best part of crafting with someone else may be the freedom to take lots of pictures, especially action shots.

Now I just have to decide whether I attempt the quilting on my own or send it home with Mom.


Do you think I can call in “crafty” to work tomorrow? June 1, 2011

Filed under: Sewing — Casey @ 6:41 pm

Look what the mailman brought today!

I predict a couple little girls will be getting new summer dresses!