What Is Malted Milk Powder?

Malted milk powder is a fine powder mixture with a sweet, nutty flavor and consists of malted barley, wheat flour, and powdered milk. It was invented in 1869 to be used as a nutritional supplement for babies. It has since been added to a variety of foods and beverages to give that distinct flavor. You may be familiar with the flavor of malt if you’ve ever had a malted milkshake or chocolate-covered malted milk balls (also known as Whoppers). 

Although you can purchase unflavored and natural malted milk powder, many brands, such as Ovaltine add other ingredients to turn it into a sweet drink mix to be added to milk. These types of malted milk powders typically also include salt and sodium bicarbonate, as well as sugar, cocoa powder and artificial flavors.

Malted milk powder should not be confused with malt powder.

What Is Malted Milk Powder Made Of?

Malted milk powder is made of:

  • Malted barley – germinated barley (which is ground into a fine powder)
  • Wheat flour – wheat ground into a fine powder
  • Powdered milk – a shelf-stable, concentrated form of milk that has had water removed

When purchasing malted milk powder from a brand such as Ovaltine or Nestle Carnation, it may also contain:

  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Cocoa powder
  • Soy lecithin
  • Artificial flavors
  • Other supplements

What Can You Make With Malted Milk Powder?

Malted milk powder is most commonly added to baked goods and desserts. You can add malted milk powder to brownies, cookies, cakes, icing, and even puddings and milkshakes. Here are several recipes that feature malted milk powder.

You can also add a malted milk powder, to hot or cold milk to make a malt beverage. Nestle Carnation also offers it in a chocolate flavor

Is Malted Milk Powder Good For You?

Malted milk powder was initially invented as a nutritional supplement and can be healthy if it’s unflavored and natural. However, most malted milk powders on the market are not healthy because they also contain sugars and artificial flavors.

Because traditional malted milk powder contains milk, as well as wheat and barley extracts, it’s not suitable for those who are lactose or gluten intolerant. The milk content also makes it unsuitable for vegan diets. 

Malted milk powder is most commonly mixed with milk to make a sweet-flavored beverage. Although milk can be a good source of protein, calcium and other vitamins and minerals, you do need to be mindful of the saturated fats that can raise your cholesterol in high doses.

Malted milk powder should be used in moderation when trying to maintain a healthy diet. Always read the labels so you’re aware of all the ingredients and talk to your doctor about whether or not it’s a fit for your diet and body.

Is Malted Milk Powder The Same As Milk Powder? 

No, malted milk powder is not the same as milk powder. Milk powder is simply milk that’s been evaporated and is in a dry form and does not contain malt powder. Some brands of milk powder do include soy or wheat, but nothing that adds the nutty flavor of malted barley.

Milk powder is a concentrated form of milk that adds fat, protein, and flavor. If a recipe is calling for malted milk powder, you can use milk powder to add the extra lactose to a recipe that adds creaminess and helps baked goods brown in the oven. For example, it will add chewiness and a bit of a crust to a chocolate chip cookie. 

However, you won’t get the malted flavor when using milk powder, which is often described as nutty, earthy, or grainy.

If a recipe is calling for Ovaltine, or Nestle Carnation Chocolate-flavor Malted Milk Powder, or something similar, it’s also adding a chocolate flavor and additional sweetness to a recipe. If you use plain milk powder instead, you may want to add extra sugar and cocoa powder to the recipe.

You can find substitutions for malted milk powder here.

What Does Malted Milk Powder Do?

Malted milk powder is mainly used to add an earthy, nutty flavor and natural sweetness to recipes through the malt, and add creaminess through the powdered milk. The lactose will also help baked goods brown in the oven. It is most commonly purchased as a powdered drink flavor to be added to milk to give it a sweet, malted flavor. 

Diastatic malted powder is not the same as malted milk powder as it contains active enzymes. It’s most often used in baking to give a malt flavor, promote rising, and create nice brown crusts. 

Can You Make Malted Milk Powder?

You can make malted milk powder by combining 3 tablespoons of malt powder with 1 cup of powdered milk. Depending on what you’re using the malted milk powder for, you may also want to add a tablespoon or two of wheat flour, which will thicken the mixture.

You can also make each of those ingredients if you have the time. 

Powdered milk is made by simply allowing the liquid in milk to evaporate. It will take several hours but it’s not a complicated process. You can find instructions here link. 

Malt powder can be made by soaking a grain (typically barley, but wheat, rye, etc. are other acceptable grains to make malt from), draining the water and then letting the grain sprout. Once it has sprouted, you can dry and grind it to create a malt powder. You’ll find more information on malt powder and how to make it here.