17 Best Malt Powder Substitutes That You Can Try

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Malt milkshake was my go-to childhood drink. Being a malt lover, I still cherish the delicious thick drink. I love it to the extent that I wanted to recreate the good old recipes using malt.

Malt Powder

Like many people, I didn’t know that malt powder and malt milk powder are different *dumb as a doorknob*. But they are and are used interchangeably sometimes, so chill!

Most among us have completely sidelined this age-old variety of barley. Now, it has surged with supreme power (the homecoming). People have recognized the nutritional value and amazing taste it offers. You can make a lot of drinks and desserts with malt powder. 

But when in trouble, we need to know what can be done without it, right? Also, what if you can’t find malt powder or have run out of it? You need a bunch of substitutes to get the job done.

Some of the best malt powder substitutes are malted milk powder, malted syrup, Ovaltine powder, maca powder, and regular milk powder.

This article is dedicated to malt lovers and others who need a good encounter with this amazing ingredient. We’ll learn about malt powder in detail and how you can substitute it in recipes.

Quick Peek: Malt Powder

Malt Powder In A Bowl

The following scribbles tell you what malt powder is, its flavor, texture, culinary uses, and health benefits.

What Is Malt Powder?

Malt powder or malt flour is obtained after grinding, processing, and sprouting barley to a fine mixture. Sometimes, wheat flour is also added to it.

The germination period, even if short, releases the enzymes present in the grains, which break down starch into sugar. This is responsible for the sweet flavor of malt powder. 

Types of Malt Powder

Diastatic malt powder contains active enzymes which break down starches into sugars when added to the dough. Non-diastatic malt powder is devoid of enzymes and is used mostly as a sweetener for baked food products.

Malt Powder Vs. Malted Milk Powder

So, how do malt powder and malted milk powder differ? It’s simple. Malt powder is essentially the mixture of ground barley, while malted milk powder is a blend of malt and milk solids.

Describing Malt Powder: Flavor and Texture

Malt powder has a unique, caramel-like sweet flavor and is thus used as a natural sweetener in baked foods. Being a powder made by grinding barley grains, malt powder has a texture similar to regular flour that we store in our pantry.

Uses of Malt Powder

Malt powder adds color and flavor and gives a browny, velvety appearance to bread, sauces, and cereals. No wonder it goes by the name ‘sweet meal.’ It also ensures a smooth texture due to the presence of wheat flour.

Consequently, malt powder has numerous cooking, baking, and seasoning applications. The fact that it renders a distinctive taste, say, to your beer, milkshake, or desserts, makes it important to find the best substitutes to replace them when you are out of malt powder.

Malt Powder on The Health Radar | Looking Through The Wellness Telescope

Malt powder is back in the scenario, sweeter and stronger than ever. Malt powder is rich in fiber, folate, potassium, vitamin B6, amino acids, and micro minerals.

It is also a good source of antioxidants which help in boosting the cardiovascular system, enhancing bone health, and even mitigating the risk of some types of cancer.

Consumption of malt powder can also help reduce cholesterol levels and the risk of cardiac diseases. It does wonders for your digestive system and elevates a good mood, thereby improving mental health.

Why Should We Substitute Malt Powder?

Health-conscious foodies adore malt powder. So, why should we know about its substitutes?

Even though malt powder has substantial health benefits, it is basically a sweetener. You know what the deal with sugar is, right?

Excessive intake can spike up blood sugar levels and prove detrimental to your health. This might be one of the reasons why you searched for alternatives to malt powder that are healthy.

If not, you might have craved for a malt milkshake and realized you were out of malt powder. You need the favor of a bunch of ingredients that can simulate the flavor of malt powder and satisfy your craving.

Enough with the talk on malt powder, you say? Agreed, and let us now move on to the substitutes for malt powder.

Other Food Substitutes You Can Try

17 Best Malt Powder Substitutes 

You know now what malt powder is, its types, uses, and benefits. Let us move on to its seventeen best substitutes: 

1. Malted Milk Powder

Malted Milk Powder

Wouldn’t it be best to replace it with a malt ingredient when replacing malt powder? With only milk solids, wheat flour, and malted barley, malted milk powder essentially performs the same as malt powder. 

Malted milk powder gives a lovely hazel-colored appearance to bread and cereals and ensures a malty taste for sure, making it an ideal substitute for malt powder. You can even go for malted milk powder substitutes to replace malt powder in your recipes.

2. Malted Syrup

Malted Syrup

The malted syrup is another natural sweetener-worthy substitute for malt powder. It comprises malt, barley, maltose, and chemical substances. It has a sticky, thick consistency with an intense malty flavor.

The palatableness of malted syrup is much higher than malt powder. Therefore, the amount must be reduced and used for replacing malt powder. 

Malted syrup has a rich malty flavor, and when used in low quantities, it can very well replace malt powder.

3. Ovaltine


Ovaltine is a brand that offers chocolate-flavored malt powder made using malt extract, sugar, and whey. It has been considered a very healthy beverage for both children and adults alike.

It has a strong flavor and presence and can be undoubtedly added to replace malt powder. It gives a great taste and texture to your baked goods.

How does Ovaltine work as a substitute for malt powder? Ovaltine has a sweet, intense malt flavor, making it a good substitute for malt powder.

4. Maca Powder

Maca Powder

Talk about a healthy alternative to malt powder? Behold maca powder. Maca powder made from maca root has an inherent malty flavor and moderate sugar level. It is also very similar in texture to malt powder and can easily absorb liquids.

Maca powder is a rich source of iron as well as iodine. It is often cited as a remedy for specific health issues. It can boost your mood, mental health, and energy. Maca powder has a sweet, malty flavor making it a worthy substitute for malt powder.

5. Regular Milk Powder

Coconut Milk Powder

Milk powder is also known as powdered milk or dry milk. You get the sweetly delicious milk powder by discarding the moisture from cow’s milk. 

Regular milk powder has a sweet flavor, but it is not similar to the taste of fresh milk. If that is the case, it is also not as sweet as malt powder which is basically a sweetener.

When mixed with sweeteners or sugar, regular milk powder can substitute for malt powder in your recipes.

6. Molasses


A co-product of refining sugar, molasses are a natural sweetener with a syrupy, candied taste. They ensure a very thick consistency in your recipes. Mild molasses, blackstrap molasses, and dark molasses are the three varieties of molasses available. 

Molasses can be used to substitute for malt powder due to its sweet flavor. But be mindful of its intense sweet flavor, which should be considered for sure while adding to your recipes.

7. Cornstarch


The starchy, white-colored powder obtained from corn is cornstarch. Cornstarch is a well-known thickening agent utilized in sauces, casseroles, soups, and gravies. It has no particular flavor and a smooth texture.

Cornstarch is an easily available pantry item that can be used to swap malt powder. Cornstarch effortlessly gives you that feathery, crusty look to your bread or desserts. But it doesn’t emulate the flavor of malt powder, and thus you will have to add sugar for sure. 

8. Bread Flour

Bread flour is made from hard red spring wheat, a variety of hard wheat with high protein content. Some versions of bread flour contain malted barley as one of its ingredients, making bread flour suitable for replacing malt powder.

You can replace malt powder with bread flour on an equal ratio, and it would help you get a fine, fluffy texture to the ingredients in your recipes.

9. Coconut Milk Powder

Coconut milk powder made using coconut cream and water is perfect for rendering that fine, rich sweet taste and texture in baking recipes. It is akin to regular evaporated milk powder except for the fact that it is not made from cow’s milk.

Coconut milk powder has a naturally sweet flavor, and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t taste like coconut. It is just a good amount of cream with subtle sweetness and a sugary flavor.

Coconut milk powder has a sweet, creamy flavor making it a fine substitute for malt powder in curries, sauces, soups, and baking recipes.

10. Corn Syrup

To put it simply, corn syrup is made from the starch of corn. It is available in two varieties – light and dark. Light corn syrup has a smooth consistency and a moderately sweet flavor.

Dark corn syrup has a caramel-like flavor and is darkish brown in color. Dark corn syrup tastes stronger than light corn syrup.

Corn syrup can be used in limited quantities to replace malt powder considering the sweet flavor profile. You should be careful with the amount of corn syrup you add so that it doesn’t overpower other ingredients in the recipe.

11. Vanilla Powder

Vanilla powder is the powdered form of pure and unadulterated vanilla beans. It is a delightful flavor-enhancing agent used to perk up the flavor of baked goods or other dishes.

Vanilla powder is packed with the essence, flavor, and aroma of vanilla. Since sugar is added as a sweetener while making, it has a mild, sweet flavor as well. The remarkable thing about vanilla powder is that it can withstand high heat and temperature.

Although you won’t get the essential flavor of malt, the vanilla powder can still enrich your recipes with its pleasant rich sweet flavor.

12. Potato Flour

It is easy to talk about potato flour. Your favorite potatoes are cooked, dried, and then ground to make a fine powder that comes to you as potato flour. Potato flour has a light, bland, or flat flavor with a texture similar to that of wheat flour.

Potato flour is a considerable substitute for malt powder if you are looking for a thickener to thicken your sauces or gravies. It can render thickness as well as fluffiness to your recipes.

13. Soy Milk Powder

Soy milk powder is simply soy milk with all the water removed. It can be made using just plain soy milk or adding sugar, calcium, or natural flavors. It has a light flavor and a fine powdery texture. 

Being high in protein content, soy milk powder is a sure shot at getting that fluffy texture. But be mindful of its sugar content – it is less when compared to either coconut milk powder or malt powder. You might want to add a few spoons of sugar.

Soy milk powder is a considerable and healthy alternative to malt powder due to its mildly sweet flavor. 

14. Oat Powder

Oat powder is a type of whole-grain powder made from rolled oats. It has a neutral but slightly nutty flavor and a smooth texture. It is an incredibly versatile ingredient that has become a significant part of healthy eating.

Oat powder’s mild, nutty flavor makes it a good substitute for malt powder. You can add sugar or any other sweetener for a sweet flavor.

15. Almond Powder

Almond flour is the powdered form of peeled almonds. Almond flour is available in both blanched and unblanched varieties.

Blanched almond flour refers to the flour of peeled ground almonds, while unblanched refers to almonds with their skins unpeeled. It has a unique nutty flavor and a fine, smooth texture. 

Almond powder certainly has the characteristic almond flavor, which means you can’t use it to substitute malt powder in all recipes. But, almond powder, if added with any sweetener, can work as a good alternative to malt powder due to the similar consistency and texture. 

16. Quinoa Powder

Quinoa powder is obtained by grinding quinoa seeds. It looks very similar to all-purpose flour and has a fine, smooth texture. It has a grass-like flavor with subtle hints of bitterness. 

Quinoa powder comes in both sweetened and unsweetened varieties. That gives you the freedom to choose the type that best fits your recipe.

The only downside is its intense flavor, which can dominate the flavor of other ingredients’ flavor. Be careful to limit the quantity while replacing malt powder. For a cup of malt powder, use half a cup of quinoa powder.

Quinoa powder can be an option worth trying to replace malt powder for thickening sauces, soups, or gravies. 

17. DIY Malt powder

If time is gracious to you, you can stop bothering with the substitutes of malt powder and make your own malt powder at home.

Simply grind some sprouted and dried barley to a fine powder. You can easily use your homemade malt powder to prepare whatever recipes you have in mind.

Short Recap

That was quite a long read, huh…I get it. Use the following points below to remember malt powder substitutes easily.

Flavor: Malted milk powder, Ovaltine, malt syrup, and maca powder are some of the best malt powder substitutes in terms of flavor.

Texture: Malted milk powder, Ovaltine, maca powder, regular milk powder, and bread flour are some of the best substitutes for malt powder in terms of texture.

Availability: Malted milk powder, Ovaltine, bread flour, regular milk powder, molasses, and cornstarch are some of the easily available alternatives for malt powder.

Final Musings

Malt powder has innumerable health benefits and applications when it comes to cooking. But in a scenario when you don’t have your hands on malt powder, try out these best alternatives and enrich your recipes. 

All you have to take care of is the amount of sugar necessary to balance sugar content. Rest assured, you are in for a treat! Tell me in the comments which substitute for malt powder you deem best. I’ll see you next time!

How To Use Malt Powder Substitutes In A Recipe

Malt Powder

Malt Powder Substitutes

Malt Powder can be used to make a lot of drinks and desserts. But when in trouble, we need to know what can be done without it, right? You need a bunch of substitutes to get the job done.
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  • Malted Milk Powder
  • Malted Syrup
  • Ovaltine
  • Maca Powder
  • Regular Milk Powder
  • Molasses
  • Cornstarch
  • Bread Flour
  • Coconut Milk Powder
  • Corn Syrup
  • Vanilla Powder
  • Potato Flour
  • Soy Milk Powder
  • Oat Powder
  • Almond Powder
  • Quinoa Powder
  • DIY Malt powder


  • Go through the substitutes and see which one seems fit for the recipe.
  • Collect your ingredients and use your preferred substitute.
  • Use the substitute in the required amount and proceed to make the dish according to the recipe.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

What’s the difference between diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder?

Diastatic malt powder has active enzymes which convert starches into sugars. Non-diastatic malt powder has no such enzymes. 

Can I use brown sugar instead of malt powder?

Brown sugar can be used to substitute for malt powder.

Is malt powder the same as malted milk powder?

Malt powder is not the same as malted milk powder. Malt powder is made from malted barley and wheat flour (sometimes). Malted milk powder is made using malt powder and milk solids.

Can you make bagels without malt powder?

Baking bagels without malt powder can affect the flavor and texture of the bagels. 

How is malted milk powder made?

Malted milk powder is made by mixing malt powder with milk solids.

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