Difference Between Malt And Shake

Difference between malt and shake feature

A malt is bitter, thicker version of shakes, but is prepared using malt powder. A milkshake is a cool drink prepared using ice cream, milk, and some additional ingredients for flavor. 

The summer calls for refreshing drinks like malts and milkshakes. You can make either of these options using similar ingredients. But, are you wondering how malt is different from a shake? Do their preparation methods vary? Dive right in and learn the difference between these two all-time favorite drinks.

All You Need To Know About Malts

The malt, popularly known as a malted milkshake, came into existence in 1922. This summer drink is present in soda shops and cafes even today. A malt is similar to a milkshake, the only difference being the key ingredient – a spoonful of malted milk powder.

Malt powder is added right after blending whole milk and ice cream together. The powder gives the malted milkshake a slightly thicker consistency than a regular milkshake. Also, it offers a sweeter taste to the drink.

Difference between malt and shake
Malts and shakes are similar, except that a malt contains malt powder.

What Is Malt Powder?

The malted powder is evaporated milk made from wheat flour and malted barley. Initially, people used malted powder for infants and people who struggled to eat since it’s pretty easy to digest. Plus, as healthy drinks were starting to catch in popular culture, malted milk started gaining popularity. This is because people began consuming beverages made of malted milk more consistently. 

Malted milk is quite sweet and adds a thick texture to the beverage. You can get malted beverages at soda fountains. They come in several flavors like chocolate malt, strawberry, and vanilla, making them more popular among kids. 

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How Does a Malt Taste?

A malt shake is just like your regular shake, with malted powder being the only different ingredient. The taste of a malt shake is slightly sweeter than a traditional shake due to the malted powder. A malt shake also has a thicker consistency and is considered a heavy drink. It’s easy to digest and also has a higher content of vitamins in it.

What Is a Shake?

Milkshakes have been popular since 1885 but do not hold the same meaning today. Back then, milkshakes or shakes were prepared using eggs and whisky. However, by the 1900s, milk replaced the eggs and whisky with different flavors like chocolate, strawberry, etc., making it the drink we know today.

Milkshakes are traditionally prepared using ice cream, milk, and some additional flavors, giving them the creamy yet sweet taste everyone adores.  

Difference between malts and shakes - Oreo shake
Shakes often have mix-ins, like cookies or cookie crumbles, as seen here.

How Do Shakes Taste?

Milkshakes are the perfect blend of ice cream and milk, making them beloved drinks. Shakes have a creamy, buttery texture that is sweet and comes in all sorts of flavors like vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, depending on what you like.

Is a Malt Thicker Than a Shake?

A malt has malted powder added to it right after blending ice cream and milk, making it thicker than a shake. All in all, a malt has a thicker consistency while a shake has a creamier texture. The two beverages come in similar flavors and might not seem very different on the surface. The nutrition content and texture are what make the two different. 

Where Can You Get a Malt or Shake?

Back in the old days, shakes and malts were present everywhere, including soda shops and ice cream shops. You could easily find them while traveling to a small town. Today, you can find them at fast food restaurants like Burger King and Dairy Queen. 

Malted Milkshakes

You can find malt milkshakes and traditional shakes in almost all the burger or malt shops since they prominently sell burger and shake combos. Even ice cream parlors or cafes that sell waffles have a milkshake machine that serves chocolate milk, malts, and shakes. 

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There are tons of malt recipes available online that can teach you how to make malts or shakes from the comfort of home.

Making a malt or shake at home can be fun and easy. You can customize it to fit your taste. All the ingredients to make shakes or malts are easy to find at home and won’t require any shopping spree. 

How To Make Malts and Shakes

Malts and classic milkshakes have similar recipes and are easy to make at home. The ingredients you require are essential, and you can easily find them in your pantry or at your local grocery store. 

Getting Started

You will need milk, ice cream, flavors (strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla), syrups to add some additional flavor, fruits, and malted powder (to make malt). The first thing you should do is decide whether to make a malt or a shake.

If you decide to make a shake, you will have to collect certain ingredients, like vanilla ice cream, milk, chocolate syrup, or the flavor of choice. You can add mix-ins like cookie crumbles and candy. But for a malt shake, you will also need malted powder besides the shake’s ingredients.

Blend the Ingredients 

Once all the ingredients are in one place, put them in a blender and mix properly. You can add additional flavors as per choice to get an extra flavor. Choose the perfect glass for the drink and pour the blend into it. One can top the shake or malt with some whipped cream and fresh fruits.


What’s the Difference Between Malt And Shake?

The primary difference between malts and shake lies in the type of ingredients used to prepare and the recipe to prepare. Other than that, these two are similar to one another. Here are a few factors that set the drinks apart:

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Texture And Taste

Shakes are sweet and creamy in texture. Malts, on the other hand, are similar but have a distinct nutty flavor due to the malted powder added and are slightly thicker than shakes. The two come in similar tastes as per the syrup or flavor added. You can find a variety of different flavors that suit your palate.

Nutrition Content

Malts contain a malted powder comprising several vitamins like B2, B6, and D. Along with this, the mineral content of potassium and selenium is pretty high in a malt. This makes malted shakes a bit healthier than traditional shakes.

The downside to consuming the two beverages is the high sugar content. This can be a bit unhealthy due to the number of calories consumed. You should try to enjoy malts and shakes in controlled amounts and not too frequently.

Ingredients Used

Malts and shakes both need milk, ice cream, and additional flavors. Malt shakes have one distinguishing ingredient that sets them apart from traditional shakes: malted powder.

General Recipe

What differentiates malts from shakes is mixing malted powder right after blending milk and ice cream. Besides that, the basic recipe for making shakes and malt remains the same.


Choosing Between a Malt and Shake

Choosing between malts and shakes can be pretty tricky for all the milkshake lovers out there. The two beverages are similar, and there isn’t a significant difference in their tastes. Those who like their drink a little sweeter can always opt for a malt since it’s typically a sweeter drink.

If you like your ice cream and toppings, stick with a shake. Both malts and shakes come in various flavors like chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry, to name a few. You can also find them in fancier flavors like cookies and cream. Adding fresh fruits and syrups is also possible as per the taste. If you’re having trouble deciding between these two delicious desserts, check out this table below for a quick comparison.

Malt vs Shake
Milk, malted powder, ice cream, and additional flavors Ingredients Used Milk, ice cream, and additional flavors
Blend milk and ice cream together, and then add the malted powder to the mix to give a thick consistency to the drink. Later, add some additional flavors as per choice. Recipe  Blend milk, ice cream, and the flavor of choice, like chocolate, strawberry, etc., to prepare the drink.
Thick consistency  Texture Creamy consistency 
Slightly ‘nutty’ taste  Taste Sweet and creamy taste 
Has several vitamins like B6, B2, and D, along with Potassium and Selenium. Nutritional Content Has no vitamin or mineral content in particular.


Vanessa is passionate about written communication, especially after beginning her career as a middle school English teacher. She’s an experienced content marketer as well. Vanessa loves to analyze, compare, and contrast, which is why she writes for ContrastHub. Besides writing, Vanessa is a wife, mom, entrepreneur, spicy food enthusiast, comedy nerd and lifelong learner.

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