Malt vs Shake – Know the Major Difference

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malt vs shake

Whether you are looking for a refreshing beverage for hot summer days or an all-year ice cream-based drink, nothing can beat a shake. But with so many different types of shakes, you might find it hard to decide whether you want a milkshake or a malted shake.

What is the difference between malt vs shake? The thing that distinguishes a shake from a malt is the malted milk powder. A milkshake is a creamy cool drink made by blending ice cream, milk, and additional flavoring. A malt is sweeter, has a thicker consistency, and is made with the malted milk powder, milk, ice cream, and additional flavors.

Although malts and shakes are made with similar ingredients they are different in many ways. In this article, we’ll tell you what is the difference between a malt and a milkshake and how these sweet beverages are made.

What Is a Malt?

Malt, also known as malted shake, is a type of milkshake that can still be found at soda shops and diners. Invented in 1922 by Walgreens employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson, the malted milkshake quickly became popular.

The only thing that distinguishes a malt from a milkshake is the addition of malted milk powder after the milk and ice cream are blended together. The inclusion of malted milk powder enhances the malt’s flavor, making it sweeter and giving it a thicker consistency.

What Is a Shake?

A classic milkshake is made with milk, ice cream, and additional flavors such as chocolate or fruit syrup. All of these ingredients are blended together to create a well-known creamy consistency of a delicious milkshake.

The term “milkshake” goes way back to 1885, but it wasn’t used to describe the dessert beverage we know today. Originally, milkshakes were made with eggs and whiskey, and were more of an eggnog type of drink and served as a tonic or a treat.

However, by the 1900s the milkshake went through a makeover and the ingredients changed completely. The ice cream was added instead of eggs, and the whiskey was swapped for chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry syrups.

The lack of alcohol didn’t affect the milkshake’s popularity, and it’s still a highly popular sweet and refreshing drink.

What Is the Difference Between a Malt and a Shake?

difference between malk and shake

The only thing that separates malts and milkshakes is the malted powder milk. Although it may seem insignificant, the malted milk powder makes a huge difference when it comes to taste, consistency, and nutritional value.


As mentioned earlier, milkshakes are made with milk, ice cream, and additional flavoring or sweeteners. A malt is made in a similar way, but besides milk, flavoring, and ice cream, it also contains malted milk powder.

Malted milk powder enhances the flavor of certain ingredients and makes the malt sweeter than a shake. But, let’s see what is malted milk powder and how this simple ingredient makes such a huge difference.

What Is Malted Milk Powder?

Malted milk powder is made from malted barley, wheat flour, and evaporated milk. Originally used as an easily digestible nutritional supplement for infants and disabled people, malted milk soon gained wider use.

Healthy people started drinking beverages made with the malted milk powder, because of their taste. And soon enough sweet beverages containing chocolate syrup, milk, and malted milk powder become a standard at soda fountains.

Malted milk is in fact a sweetener that has a rich toasty flavor and adds a thicker consistency to the beverage. The actual taste is a bit hard to describe, but if you’ve ever had whoppers then you already tried chocolate malt.

The great thing about malted milk is that it comes in many different flavors including chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry. Keep in mind, the more malted milk you add into your shake, the thicker it will become.


Both milkshakes and malts are traditionally prepared in a milkshake machine. However, you can also use a blender and make either one of these delicious and cool beverages at home.

To prepare a milkshake at home just put all the ingredients into a blender and mix until you’ve got the desired consistency.

If you want to make a malt at home, you’ll need to add ice cream, milk, and flavored syrup first and blend everything until it gets a creamy consistency. Next, add malted milk powder and mix for a few more seconds so the powder is properly blended with the rest of the ingredients.

Is A Malt Better Than a Shake?

Milkshakes and malts taste great, and it’s up to you to decide which one you like more. While both these beverages contain a lot of sugar and saturated fats, a malt is slightly better for your health.

This is mainly because of the malted milk powder which contains vitamins D, B2, B6, selenium, and potassium. Furthermore, malted milk is easy to digest, so a malt can be a good choice if you’re recovering from an illness and need the extra nutrients and vitamins.

Is A Malt Thicker Than a Milkshake?

A malt has a thicker consistency than a milkshake due to the added malted milk powder. Generally, a malt should be blended until it becomes as thick as possible, but at the same time, you should still be able to drink it through a straw.


While they are made from similar ingredients and they look the same, malts and milkshakes are completely different. Technically, a malt is a type of milkshake, but a milkshake will never be a malt since it’s made without malted milk powder.

A milkshake can be made without ice cream, or with low-fat dairy products if you want to cut calories without losing delicious taste. Or, you can even make a fruit-based, dairy-free shake as a healthy and refreshing beverage.

On the other hand, a malt can’t be made without malted milk powder and is always sweet, packed with calories, and has a thicker consistency. However, malts aren’t unhealthy when served as refreshing desserts and consumed once in a while.

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