What’s the Difference Between a Malt and a Milkshake?

updated Aug 5, 2022
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There are a whole lot of decisions to make in a diner. Do you want scrambled or fried eggs? Hash browns or home fries? White or wheat toast? When it comes to which sweet drink to enjoy, it’s a question of whether you want a malted shake or a milkshake. The difference between malted shake and milkshake is the use of malted milk powder. Read more to know difference between the two.

Malted Shake

Sometimes simply called a malt, a malted shake is one of those seriously old-timey drinks that is still found at diners and soda fountains. What distinguishes it is malted milk powder — the evaporated powder made from malted barley, wheat flour, and whole milk. It has a toasty, buttery flavor that’s just a bit savory. Malted milk powder is blended with ice cream, milk, and any flavoring, like chocolate syrup, to create a thick but drinkable shake.


Cut out the malted milk powder and what you have is a classic milkshake. Made with ice cream, milk, and any additional flavors, such as strawberries, it’s a well-loved companion to a burger and fries or simply enjoyed alone as sweet treat. You can easily make the best milkshake at home with simple, easy-to-find ingredients.