Difference Between a Malt and a Shake (With Table)

When you are looking for a refreshing beverage that deals with your thirst but also performs the part of a quick meal, a shake comes in handy. From a wide range of shakes available, it might be difficult to decide whether you should get a milkshake or a malted shake.

Malt vs Shake

The difference between Malt shake and Milkshake is that the malt shakes are made using malted milk powder in addition to ingredients like ice-cream, milk, and additional flavors and are comparatively sweeter, whereas a milkshake is creamier and made using the same ingredients but with the absence of malted milk powder. 

A malt or a malted shake is almost similar to a milkshake, but it has an additional spoonful of malted milk powder blended with other ingredients like ice cream and milk. The combination ends up giving it a sweet and savory taste. It helps enhance some ingredients but, it might fail to pair up with certain flavored syrups and ice-creams.

A milkshake is a classic blend of ingredients such as Milk, ice cream, and ice. It has a smoother and creamier texture compared to that of a malted shake. A milkshake can be paired up with probably anything from whole fruits to chocolate bars, and it still ends up into a fine and delicious emulsion.

Comparison Table Between a Malt and a Shake

Parameters of ComparisonMaltShake
OriginThe Malt was invented in the year 1922 by a Walgreens employee, Ivar “Pop” Coulson.The term milkshake was coined in 1885 though it was made using eggs and whiskey. In 1900 the ingredients were made more dessert friendly. 
IngredientsA Malt shake is made using malted milk powder, milk, ice cream, and optional additional flavors.A Milkshake is made using Milk, ice cream, ice, additional flavors, and optional ingredients like fruits and chocolate.
PreparationTo make a Malt shake, all other ingredients are blended together first, and the malt powder is added later and blended again.To make a Milkshake, all the ingredients can be added at once and blended together at the same time.
ConsistencyA malt shake has thicker consistency as it is blended for additional time to let the malt powder mix throughout.A milkshake is less thick as it lacks malt powder, though it is comparatively smoother in terms of consistency.
Nutritional FactorsA malt consists of nutrients such as vitamin D, B2, B6, Selenium, and Potassium. A milkshake is slightly less healthy, as it’s made of sugar and saturated fats alone.

What is a Malt?

A Malt or a malt shake is a type of shake made using malted milk powder. It is often served as a dessert at confectioneries and diners. 

Malted milk powder was invented in the year 1922 by a Walgreens employee, Ivar “Pop” Coulson, which gained popularity very quickly. 

The base ingredients used were malted barley, wheat, and evaporated milk.  

The idea behind the invention was to make an easily digestible supplement for disabled people and infants, though later, many other uses were introduced.

The addition of malted milk powder thickens the consistency of the malted shake, making it frothier.

Although, it ends up increasing the blending time as the preparation process is carried out in two steps where first the primary ingredients are blended, and later the malted milk powder is blended until it’s completely emulsified.

A malt has more nutritional benefits because of the malted milk powder. It contains nutrients such as vitamin D, B2, B6, Selenium, and Potassium. 

A malt is comparatively more digestible, contributing to the overall health factor even though it is a bit sweeter.

What is a Shake?

A typical milkshake is a blend of ingredients like Milk, ice cream, ice, and additional flavors. 

A milkshake can be paired with anything you want. It does not demote the taste rather embraces it as a result of the combination of the added ingredients.

The term milkshake was coined in the year 1885, though it was not termed as a dessert beverage. 

The authentic milkshake was made using eggs and whiskey, which made them more of eggnogs like a drink that was generally served as a festive treat or a medicinal tonic.

In the era of the 1900s, the traditional milkshakes were remodeled where eggs and whiskey were swapped with ingredients like Milk, Chocolate, Strawberry, and Vanilla syrup.

 This creation made it highly popular regardless of the absence of alcohol, and they started serving it in cafes and diners.

A shake is considered a bit less healthy as compared to a malt because of the saturated fats present in it.

Shakes are highly customizable. You can swap normal milk with toned milk and ice cream with healthy ingredients like fresh fruits and nuts to increase its health factor.

Main Differences Between a Malt and a Shake

  1. The invention of malt was done in the year 1922, whereas the orientation of milkshakes happened in the early 1900s.
  2. A malt takes more time to blend as the malted milk powder takes some time to mix, while you can add all ingredients of a milkshake at once.
  3. A malt has higher nutritional factors as compared to that of a shake as it consists of high saturated fat content.
  4. A malt is airy and thicker. The more you add the malted milk powder, the thicker it gets. A shake is more on the smooth and creamier side.
  5. A Malt might be difficult to pair with certain flavors, while a milkshake can be blended with any desired flavor.


To simplify it, a shake can be customized as per the customer’s wish, and it will remain a shake, but you can’t make a malt without malted milk powder. If you cut out the malted milk powder, you will get a milkshake. On the contrary, both of them will nearly taste a bit similar though they are two completely different beverages. If you like your beverage to be smooth and creamy as a relaxation after a long day, you can go for a shake, but if you want to end your meal on a sweet and thick note, you can opt for a malt.


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0141022998000623
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s002530050688
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