Malt powder is a popular ingredient used in baking and cooking to add a rich, nutty flavor and a touch of sweetness.
It is made by sprouting and drying grains such as barley, wheat, or rice, then grinding them into a fine powder. However, if you’re unable to find malt powder or need to avoid it for dietary reasons, don’t worry! There are plenty of alternatives that can give you similar results.
In this blog, we’ll explore the top 8 best malt powder substitutes and how to use them in your favorite recipes. Whether you’re baking bread, making cookies, or brewing beer, these substitutes will provide a delicious and flavorful alternative to malt powder. So, let’s get started!
What To Know About Malt Powder
Malt Powder – Origin and Texture
First, let’s clarify what malt powder is. Malt powder, usually known as malt milk, is the grind made from the mixture of malted barley, evaporated whole milk, and wheat flour.
Therefore, the barley malt powder contains the taste of three ingredients: sugariness from barley, fattiness from whole milk with the soft, smooth, demi-hard texture of flour.
Typically, the malt powder is used to season beverages like soft drinks, beer, wine, and milk.
It also works well in baking and cooking with other ingredients like steak, goat, pork, vegetables, etc. In short, the powder is super versatile.
You can find malt powder in the nutrition facts of biscuits, milkshakes, beer, malt soybean milk, hot malt drinks, and malt-flavored sweets. Bagel is a special “cake” that contains lots of malt powder, too.
What Does Malt Powder Taste Like?
As mentioned above, the malt powder is mostly sweet. Compared to other food powders like wheat flour, cornflour, tapioca flour, the malt powder is considered the top 3 sweetest.
This is quite understandable since it is made from wheat flour, combining with barley and whole milk – the fatty ingredient, right?
Generally, malt powder is divided into two forms: nondiastatic and diastatic.
The diastatic malt is suitable for baking, specifically, making dough, because it contains enzymes that break starch into sugar, urging the crust-building process.
Meanwhile, the non diastatic malt powder has no active enzyme, so it is only available in seasoning drinks. This form contains a higher sugar level than the diastatic one.
Top 8 Malt Powder Substitute For You To Choose
1. Malt Syrup
The first diastatic malt powder substitute is malt syrup. So obvious, right? In fact, we believe that the top replacement for malt powder is a malt-related ingredient since the flavor of malt is quite irreplaceable by other foods.
Well, how does malt syrup taste? Malt syrup is made from malt, barley, maltose, sweetener, chemical substances, protein, etc.
With such nutrition facts, the syrup provides an extreme sugariness, which is far higher than malt powder.
Compared to malt powder, malt syrup is not suitable to substitute completely. The syrup’s sweetness level is higher than the powder, so you must reduce the amount of syrup used if you replace it.
For instance, if you use three tablespoons of malt powder in a recipe, then just keep one or 3/4 spoonful of syrup.
2. Coconut Milk Powder
For those who prefer slight sweetness, coconut milk powder may be a better choice than malt syrup as a malted milk substitute.
In short, it is sweet but not unpalatable sugary like the previous recommendations. The texture is smoother and more absorbable, making it more versatile than malt syrup.
You can use coconut milk powder in baking, making drinks and desserts, seasoning food, etc. There is no limit for coconut milk powder to mix.
In terms of taste, this ingredient is fattier than malt powder but insignificantly less sweet. Therefore, the flavor that malt powder and coconut milk powder provide are similar.
You can use coconut milk powder at the same ratio as malt milk powder.
3. Soy Milk Powder
If the coconut milk powder’s light sweetness cannot satisfy you, let us introduce soy milk powder as the less sugary product.
Yes, you are not wrong. The soy milk powder can work well as a substitution for malted milk powder but with a super light sweetness.
Compared to other ingredients on this list, the soy milk powder is cheap, easy to find in stores, and cook.
To add in, it is quite “bland” with no overshadowed taste besides light sweet. There is no smell from the food, either.
Therefore, soy milk powder is widely used in the culinary world. It is so versatile because the taste is neutral.
You can use it as a substitute for malted milk powder but also as a replacement for coconut milk powder, vanilla powder, etc.
Ovaltine is our favorite non diastatic malt powder substitute on this list. It is delicious, even when eating raw or served with milk and hot water.
When we try to replace it with malt powder, our children love it, and we love it too!
Originally, one of the ingredients made up of Ovaltine was malt powder. The drink has a unique and significant “malt” aroma, too. Considering the sugariness, the Ovaltine, surely, can replace the malt powder.
Affordable price, sweet, palatably delicious, good malt fragrance, what else should you demand from a malt substitute, right?
Ovaltine is the best malt milk powder substitute. You can use the Ovaltine for the same amount as the malt powder.
There is no need to argue much about vanilla powder since it is worldwide popular. Originated from vanilla beans, the vanilla powder is widely preferred in most households, from East to West, because of its versatility.
First, the vanilla beans are dehydrated and ground into powder. Then, sugar and chemical sweeteners will be added to the mix at a specific amount.
After going through the long cooking and measuring process, the final product – vanilla – is ready to serve.
That being said, vanilla powder is significantly sweet, smooth, finish, and harmless. It has a unique light aroma that none can feel uncomfortable with. In short, it is a great malted milk powder substitute!
Asides from malt syrup, let us introduce another extremely hardcore sweetener – molasses. It is a famous sweetener for the name “king of sugariness.”
Specifically, the molasses are made from grinding and extracting sugar from sugarcane three times and condensing the melting sugar mix into a semi-hard mixture.
In another word, it is the product of what remains after refining and filtering all “pure” sugar in the sugarcane.
Given those facts, molasses is super sweet and demi-hard. When using molasses to substitute for diastatic malt powder, please only use an appropriate amount.
6. Maca Powder
Maca powder is another compatible diastatic malt substitute. Compared to the color, texture, and taste, they are quite similar.
To be specific, maca powder is grounded from maca root with a light, healthful sugar level. Besides, this fruit contains high amounts of nutrients and vitamins.
In healthcare, maca is widely performed for the nutrition elements. And so does the maca powder.
Maca powder is usually grounded in smooth powder in terms of texture, so it is literally the same as malt powder. Thus, it can easily absorb any liquid, from beverages to baking cream.
And these are what the malt powder is used for, right? In short, maca powder is a good malt flour substitute with lighter sugariness, similar texture. The only problem is that it is quite expensive.
Anyway, you get what you pay for!
7. Homemade Malt Powder Mixture
If you have read the above suggestions but still do not favor any choice, then why don’t you make the malt powder mixture by yourself? Yes, we are not joking; you can do it yourself!
It is simple to do the DIY malt mixture: take a full cup of instant powdered milk, three tablespoons of malt, and pour into a big cup.
Shake them together until they blend well. You can use a blender and mixer to ensure they are well-blended. This stir can be stored for about a month at room temperature.
Through this article, we have found the top 8 malt powder substitutes and their features. We hope that you can find out which one is the best choice for you.
Among these eight, if we are about to choose, the Ovaltine must be our selection. In fact, Ovaltine is cheap, easy to buy, and we love its sweetness too! If we use the Ovaltine to make malt recipes for our children, they will surely love it!