Feed & Heal Domestic Violence Survivors In Need →

We can’t imagine a summer going by without this classic treat: a chocolate malt. A classic chocolate malt is one of those desserts that instantly inspires fond memories of childhood; carefree summer days that are cooled off by a refreshingly cool and creamy malt. There are a million and one ways to make a shake, but a malted milkshake goes beyond. The secret to taking a plain ol’ milkshake up to the level of milkshake nirvana is adding malted milk powder, or simply “malt”. We’ve never asked before, because why question something that tastes so good, but have you ever wondered what “malt” is made of?

A little internet research quickly revealed the history and process of making malt. Malt is a blend of barley, wheat flour, and evaporated milk. It was once thought to be a healthy supplement – of sorts – offering some nutritional value, but it was especially popular added to milkshakes. Malted milkshakes have been a part of American life for quite some time, especially during Prohibition, when, in the absence of alcohol, grabbing a malted milkshake at the local drug store became all the rage. Malt isn’t limited to milk shakes; beer also needs malt in the brewing process.

Malted milk powder is readily available at the grocery store, so there’s no excuse for skipping a scoopful the next time you want to make a milkshake. It adds a subtle sweetness to that elusive flavor that is the distinctive taste of malt. Dash out to the grocery store to pick up some ice cream (vanilla or chocolate are classic flavors) and some malted milk powder. And don’t forget the whipped cream! We know a malted milkshake is super delicious on its own, but why not top it with some whipped cream, sprinkles (or jimmies) and mini chocolate chips or candies. And don’t forget a nice long straw and maybe a spoon, so you won’t miss a single slurp or scoop of this malted treat.

Chocolate Malt Shake

(Makes 1 serving)


2-4 scoops vanilla ice cream

3/4 cup whole milk

2 oz chocolate syrup

3/4-1 oz malt powder

Optional: Whipped cream, cherry, and/or cookies for garnish


  1. Start with 2-4 scoops (your choice) of high quality vanilla ice cream—the denser the better—and place in a blender.
  2. Add your chocolate syrup. If you like it really rich and chocolate-y, add extra.
  3. Next pour in your whole milk. The amount depends on how much ice cream you use, but pour in enough that the ice cream is surrounded, but the top is not covered by milk.
  4. Now add your malt powder.
  5. If using a household blender, alternate between pulsing it and hand mixing. You want to keep the consistency nice and thick. Mix for no more than 1 minute total.
  6. Pour into a glass, add whipped cream, a cherry or some chocolate wafers, and enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Scene

Subscribe to 12 Tomatoes