Chocolate Ovaltine Loaf

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Ovaltine or malted milk is a bit of a throw back for me and cues a number of fond childhood memories with my Amah (grandma). A warm cup of Ovaltine was an evening ritual for Amah – like a warm hug or a bedtime story before a long slumber.

For old times sake, I’m always looking for recipes using malted milk or Ovaltine. I stumbled on this one featured in the May issue of Bon Appétit. The recipe comes from Tandem Coffee and Bakery, an old gas bar turned Laundromat turned darling bakery in Portland, Maine serving up some mean rocket fuel. I loved their recipes so much that this is the second one I’m featuring on my blog. Their gluten-free coconut cream pie can be found here.


I made two changes to the printed recipe. 1) I used Ovaltine in place of the Carnation malted milk; and 2) I ended up with LOTS of batter…enough for two 5 x 9 inch loaf pans, so I made 2 cakes – which is not a terrible thing.


Thanks to the coffee syrup, this cake is beautifully moist. Make it ahead, cover well and keep in the fridge for up to 3 days.

Chocolate Ovaltine Loaf

  • 1⅓ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup Ovaltine powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • cups sugar
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • cup vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ cup coffee, cooled, divided

Grease and line 2 5 x 9 inch loaf pans. In a large bowl, mix together all the dry ingredients together. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients and pour into two loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 45 – 55 minutes.

Coffee Syrup

  • 2 Tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ cup coffee

Dissolve the sugars in the coffee. You can warm the mixture in the microwave in 10 second increments to help this along. With the hot loaves still in the tins, brush all the syrup liberally on the surface of each cake while still warm.

Chocolate Ovaltine Ganache

  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup Ovaltine Powder
  • 3 oz. dark chocolate

Heat the cream and the Ovaltine in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the Vanilla, salt and chocolate. Stir gently until completely uniform, turn off heat. Allow to cool until it the chocolate mixture has the consistency of molasses. Stir occasionally so a skin does not form.


Once the cakes have cooled completely, invert them onto a piece of wax or parchment paper. Slowly pour the ganache overtop allowing some to roll onto the sides.


When the ganache is almost set, transfer the loaf onto the serving plate using an offset spatula. Slice and serve!

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