Classic Vanilla Malted Milkshake

Vanilla malted milkshake in two tall glasses with whipped cream

The Spruce Eats

Prep: 4 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 4 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
727 Calories
21g Fat
117g Carbs
17g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 727
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 21g 27%
Saturated Fat 13g 63%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 373mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 117g 42%
Dietary Fiber 5g 18%
Total Sugars 97g
Protein 17g
Vitamin C 2mg 10%
Calcium 525mg 40%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 1151mg 24%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

For some, the toasted, nutty flavor of a malted milkshake will bring back memories of hanging out at the soda fountain. But sadly, most of the true old-fashioned soda fountains are gone. So for the younger generations who don't know what a true malted milkshake tastes like, we bring a classic vanilla malted milkshake—and for the older folks we bring back a piece of their childhood. Creamy and thick, a milkshake made with malted milk powder is a true American treat. Ready in under 5 minutes, this is a perfect and decadent dessert or a fun treat for a hot summer afternoon.

Some diners or cafes where they maintain the old crafts might still serve a malted milkshake, and even some trendier spots that want to hearken back to that artisanal era might offer it. But there's no need to search for it, as with very few ingredients you can have this blast from the past at home. Our recipe uses reduced-fat ice cream and low-fat milk. It maintains the same rich flavor and indulgence, though it isn't as straw-defyingly thick as the full-fat counterparts. If you want the more rich version, simply use full-fat milk and ice cream.


Click Play to See This Vanilla Malted Milkshake Come Together

"This vanilla malted milkshake was super easy, tasty, and not overly sweet. You could swap out some of the milk for more ice cream if you like a thicker shake. If you can't find malted milk powder locally, it's easy to find online. I made it with vanilla bean ice cream, and it was delicious." —Diana Rattray

Classic vanilla malted milkshake in a glass with a straw
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 cup low-fat milk

  • 1 cup ice cream, slow-churned or reduced-fat

  • 4 tablespoons malted milk powder, or Ovaltine

  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for vanilla malted milkshake gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  2. Combine ingredients in a blender, or place in a tall and wide glass to mix with an immersion blender beaker.

    Vanilla malted milkshake ingredients in a blender

    The Spruce Eats

  3. Blend until creamy, 10 to 20 seconds.

    Vanilla malted milkshake ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  4. Transfer to a tall glass.

    Vanilla malted milkshake ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats

  5. Decorate with your favorite toppings, insert a straw, and enjoy.

    Vanilla malted milkshakes in two glasses with whipped cream and green straws

    The Spruce Eats

What is Malted Powder?

Malt is a term that describes a grain that has been sprouted and then quickly dried. Barley is the most common grain used to make malt. The powder has a natural sweetness and nutty flavor. It was originally used as a supplement for infants and those with health conditions for whom better nutrition and a robust 1caloric intake were necessary. Malted milk powder offers a good source of carbs and moderate amounts of copper and vitamins A, C, E, and B6.

Malted milk powder is made with malt powder, wheat powder, and powdered milk. Often sugar and additives such as salt and food coloring are included, as well as flavoring like chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. Nowadays it's commonly used in baking, as the enzymes from the sprouting process release sugars that help yeasted doughs grow better.

Ovaltine and Carnation are the most common brands in the United States. Easily found in most major grocery stores, it's often displayed in the baking aisle and near the powdered milk.

Add Your Favorite Toppings

Our simple recipe is a great base to personalize the milkshake to your taste. Here are some ideas:

  • Add malted balls, peanut butter cups, or chocolate chips for decoration and crunch.
  • Use chocolate or caramel syrup to coat the glass before adding the milkshake.
  • Add your favorite berries on top for decoration, or blend a handful of your favorite to give the milkshake a pretty hue of pink.
  • Make a chocolate malted milkshake by adding 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to the mixture before blending. Decorate with chocolate shaving or chocolate chips.
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Malt Powder, Classic. FoodData Central, United Stated Department of Agriculture.