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Malted Mocha Bars - A Family Feast

If you’re a regular reader here at A Family Feast, then you’ve probably started to realize that I have a large stash of old recipe clippings!  Some are from my mother and grandmother, others that I clipped myself many years ago from the local newspaper, or from magazines that I once subscribed to – way back when I first started to enjoy cooking for myself – and long before online recipes were so readily available!

The convenience of going online today to find just about any kind of recipe is so great – but I still love to look back through old hand-written recipe cards (especially the ones with little notes and comments from my mother), or through my old recipe clippings – it’s a walk down memory lane!  And in most cases, I can still remember what made me decide that I wanted to try the recipe when I originally clipped it!

I was thinking about this the other day – and it struck me that someday, this blog and the recipes and stories that we’re sharing will be a legacy of sorts for our children – just an online version instead of handwritten recipe cards!  I hope they enjoy going through the pages of this blog as much as I enjoy going through my old recipe clippings!

Malted Mocha Bars - A Family Feast

I also hope that our kids will remember how delicious the food we cook is – including these Malted Mocha Bars!  If you love the combination of chocolate and coffee as much as I do – then this is the recipe for you!

These malted mocha bars start with a sweet butter cookie bottom crust, then a chewy and rich middle layer flavored with coconut, brown sugar, chocolate malted milk powder, and espresso powder.  Finally a chocolate malted and espresso icing tops these bars off perfectly!   These bars are rich and delicious – and the espresso flavor helps balance the sweetness of the malted milk powder so it’s sweet – but not too sweet.  These delicious Malted Mocha Bars are the perfect sweet treat!

This recipe was adapted from (you guessed it) one that was originally clipped many years ago from the pages of Better Homes & Gardens Magazine (you can find it online here).  Julie Wesson from Hainesville, Illinois created this recipe and was the magazine’s $200 winner in a monthly recipe contest in the Best Brownies and Bar Cookies Category.

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Malted Mocha Bars - A Family Feast

Malted Mocha Bars

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 24-36 pieces


For the bottom crust

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

For the middle layer

  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups flaked, sweetened coconut
  • ¾ cup chocolate malted milk powder (such as Ovaltine), divided
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder, or instant coffee crystals
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the frosting

  • 2 cups sifted powdered sugar
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate malted milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons boiling water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 13×9-inch baking dish or pan and set aside.

To make the bottom crust

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the softened butter, brown sugar, and flour and mix until smooth and crumbly.
  2. Pour the crumbs into the prepared baking dish, and evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan to create a crust. Bake for 15 minutes or until set.

To make the middle layer

  1. While the bottom crust is baking, in a medium bowl, mix the beaten eggs, granulated sugar and vanilla together until completely combined. Stir in the coconut, malted milk powder, flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and salt and again, mix until completely combined.
  2. Once the bottom crust is baked, spread the middle layer mixture evenly over to top of the baked layer. Bake for another 15 to 20 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting

  1. Once the baked pan is completely cool, prepare the frosting as follows:
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the powdered sugar, malted milk powder, vanilla, espresso powder and 1 ½ tablespoons of boiling water and stir until completely blended. Add small amounts of additional boiling water as needed until the icing is a spreadable consistency. Spread the icing evenly over the cooled bars.
  3. Allow the icing to set completely (1-2 hours) and then cut into individual bars.

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  • Melissa wrote:

    Hi! These look awesome! Can they be frozen?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Melissa – The frosting on top is a little soft so it might not stay as smooth if you wrap it in plastic or foil to be frozen. But aside from that, I don’t see a reason why you couldn’t freeze these.

  • Lily wrote:

    Hi there, these bars look amazing! Do you have any ideas for substitutes for the coconut flakes? My sister can’t stand the taste of coconut (I really don’t know why!)

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lily – I can relate – my husband Jack is not a fan of coconut either! But I will tell you that he liked these bars and I think the malted chocolate flavor was enough to hide the coconut flavor for him. In terms of substitutions – not really sure. The coconut definitely gives the bars some texture and body so without playing around with the recipe, I’m a little stumped about what to suggest. If you are looking for alternatives using malted milk powder, we shared this collection which might give you some other ideas that don’t have coconut: Hope that helps!

  • Chloe wrote:

    These bars are lovely. I accidentally used salt instead of sugar for the middle layer, had to use just the bottom crust and icing, but that alone was amazing! It tasted like mocha shortbread.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Chloe! I’m glad you were still able to enjoy them (even without the middle layer) and I hope you’ll try it again! Thanks for writing to us today!

  • Becki’s Whole Life wrote:

    These bars look wonderful – particularly since I love my coffee:-). Cute post, too. I love reading old recipes and I always hope my kids will read my blog one day when they are older like I read my mom’s recipes she has handwritten for me.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Becki! It’s always interesting to try to imagine what things will be like when our kids are grown – especially when it comes to technology! Hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Kathy wrote:

    These bars look amazing. I love looking through old recipe clippings and recipes from my mom! I really enjoy looking through my mom’s binder of her recipe clippings!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Kathy!

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