Make a Classic Vanilla Malted Milkshake at Home

Vanilla Malted Milkshake Recipe

 The Spruce

  • Total: 4 mins
  • Prep: 4 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 serving

For a certain generation, tasting a vanilla malted milkshake will bring back memories of hanging out at the soda fountain. Even for those of us who never had that experience, we might long for the rich, creamy, and decadent treat our parents or grandparents told us about.

Unfortunately, many of the true old-fashioned soda fountains are gone, along with some of the other aspects of Main Street America. You can still get a great malted milkshake at a diner or cafe where they preserve the old crafts or at a new hipster establishment where they want to hearken back to that artisanal era.

Beyond nostalgia, you may be health-conscious enough to want the flavor and the mouthfeel of a classic vanilla milkshake without the extra fat and calories. How can you have your malt and drink it, too? This recipe is made with reduced-fat ice cream and low-fat milk. As a result, this malted shake is not quite as sinful of an indulgence as its ice-cream-parlor counterpart, nor is it straw-defyingly thick. Choose your favorite brand of vanilla ice cream, and of course, you don't have to use reduced-fat ice cream.


  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup slow-churned or reduced-fat ice cream
  • 4 tablespoons malted milk powder (or Ovaltine)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Vanilla Malted Milkshake Recipe ingredients
    The Spruce 
  2. Combine ingredients in a blender jar or an immersion blender beaker.

    Vanilla Malted Milkshake Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Blend until creamy, 10 to 20 seconds.

    Vanilla Malted Milkshake Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Transfer to a tall glass.

    Vanilla Malted Milkshake Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Insert a straw and enjoy.

    Vanilla Malted Milkshake Recipe
     The Spruce

Recipe Variations

  • To make the shake thicker, reduce the amount of milk slightly. To make it less thick, increase the amount of milk slightly. If the ice cream is softened or beginning to melt, the shake will also be thinner.
  • To make a chocolate malted milkshake, add 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup to the mixture before blending. If you have other flavorings you prefer to use, like strawberry or other fruits, you can try substituting them as well. You may have to adjust the amount of milk to ensure the shake is at your desired thickness.

What Is Malted Milk Powder?

Malt is a term for a grain that has been sprouted and then dried quickly. Barley is the typical grain that is used to make malt. The powder has a natural sweetness and nutty flavor. 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, depending on the brand.

Ovaltine and Carnation are the typical brands of malted milk powder found in American grocery stores, while Horlicks was the original brand. You can find malted milk powder in most major grocery stores. It's often in the baking aisle and near the powdered milk. Be sure you select plain malted milk powder rather than the chocolate version when making a vanilla malted milkshake. For an added malty treat, top your shake with crushed up malt balls.