9 Best Malt Powder Substitutes Of 2023

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Malt powder is a fairly popular ingredient, and its versatility allows it to be used in quite a range of recipes.

It has a light, sweet and soft taste and texture, which helps add to its versatility. However, if you cannot get your hands on malt powder, or you are wanting to try and avoid it, then which are the best substitutes?

What are the best substitutes for malt powder? Some of the best substitutes for malt powder include coconut milk powder, maca powder, soy milk powder, and regular milk powder. These have a similar texture and taste to malt powder and should be able to be used in the same proportions and recipes.

In order to choose the best substitute for your purposes, we have listed the best 9 malt powder substitutes, how to substitute them in a recipe, and any difference they would have in taste compared to normal malt powder!

What Is Malt Powder?

Before deciding which would be the best substitute for malt powder, it helps to know exactly what malt powder is.

Malt powder is the grind that results from a mixture of malted barley and wheat flour being ground down.

Being made from these 2 ingredients, malt powder shares properties from both of them. It gets its sweet sugariness from barley, and the smooth and soft texture from the wheat flour.

Malt powder can be used for quite a wide range of recipes and applications. It can help to season drinks and beverages, or it can be used when cooking and baking.

Whether used for milkshakes, beer, biscuits, or sweets, malt powder has quite a definite taste and texture, which needs a good substitute in its place.

What Is The Taste Of Malt Powder?

Malt powder has a mostly sweet flavor compared to other powders, which is thanks to the combination of barely and wheat flour, which build the taste and texture.

When looking at malt powder, there are 2 different types.

The first is diastatic malt powder. This is suitable to be used for baking, and is great for making dough, as it contains certain enzymes that help break starch down into sugar, which helps to develop a beautiful crust.

This is a popular ingredient when making bagels.

The other type of malt powder is nondiastatic, which does not contain any active enzymes, and is mostly just used to season beverages and food. Nondiastatic malt powder contains less sugar than the other type.

What Makes A Good Malt Powder Substitute?

A good malt powder substitute will be dependent on what you are using the malt powder for.

When baking, it helps to have a substitute that contains similar ingredients to get a particular result. This could include the enzymes used to break down starch into sugar or so on.

When using the malt as a seasoning, then a substitute that tastes similar to malt powder will obviously be best.

You first have to know what you are using the substitute for to decide which would be the best one!

The 9 Best Malt Powder Substitutes

Here are the 9 best substitutes for malt powder that can help you make the same beverages or recipes, just without using malt powder!

Keep in mind what you need the substitute for when reading the below options, so you can find the one that would suit your needs best.

We have detailed how to use these substitutes, and if there is any taste difference to actual malt powder, to make deciding a little bit easier for you!

1. Coconut Milk Powder

Coconut milk powder is possibly the best substitute for malt powder. It can be used in place of malt powder in drinks and baked goods, with very little difference to the real thing.

The benefit of using coconut milk powder is that it has a similar fatty level to malt powder, which is so important in many different recipes, and which is difficult to find in other substitutes.

Coconut milk also has some sweetness to it, but it is not necessarily as sweet as malt powder.

Due to this, if you are using coconut powder in place of malt powder in a dessert, you might need to add a sweetener such as a maple syrup or sugar to give it that missing sweetness.

When substituting coconut milk powder for malt powder, you can add it in the same ratio, with one measure of coconut milk powder replacing one measure of malt powder.

2. Maca Powder

Maca powder is a good substitute for malt powder when it comes to baking, and it is especially useful in place of diastatic malt powder.

Made from ground maca root, maca powder has a light flavor and has a balanced sugar level. The benefit of maca powder is that it is quite rich in nutrients and vitamins, and this makes it a healthy substitute for malt powder.

When grounded down, maca powder is usually a fine powder, which is similar to the texture of malt powder. This makes it easy to absorb liquids, much like malt powder does.

Maca powder is a good option in place of malt powder when you do not need as much sweetness and if you are looking for something with a similar texture. It is also much healthier than most other options.

To substitute maca powder for milk powder, you can use a 1:1 ratio.

The downside is that maca powder is not always so readily available, and you might have to do some searching to find it.

However, the health benefits that it offers are really great, so if you find any in-store and are planning on a malt powder recipe soon, it is worth grabbing some!

3. Soy Milk Powder

Soy milk powder is mostly readily available all over, and with a small adjustment to the sweetness, it makes for a great substitute for malt powder.

As soy milk powder is not as sweet as malt powder, you will need to add a sweetener along with it if the recipe needs added sweetness.

Honey, maple syrup, or sugar are all good sweeteners to use that help the soy milk powder taste as close as possible to malt powder.

Soy milk powder works as a good substitute for malt powder when baking and cooking, and gives a similar taste and texture.

Soy milk does not add much taste to a dish, so if you are looking for something more neutral, then this is probably one of the better options for you.

When substituting soy milk powder for malt powder, you can use the same amount of soy milk powder as you would malt powder.

The only thing you would need to add is extra sweetener, but this would be up to your own tastes and preferences!

4. Malt Syrup

While it is not a powder, malt syrup can help to give a recipe that the same malt tastes that no other substitute can really give.

It is slightly more difficult to substitute malt syrup than other powder options as it will need to be diluted with some milk or similar substance, as the malt syrup has a much stronger taste than malt powder.

This substitute is better suited for flavoring drinks or food, where you do not need the powder to help form the dish. It is a good option if you are just after the malt flavor!

Remember that you will need to dilute the malt syrup down before adding it into a beverage or a recipe, and you might have to do this to taste as different recipes require a different malt flavor intensity.

5. Regular Milk Powder

One of the easiest malt powder substitutes to come by is regular milk powder. As regular milk powder is made from cow’s milk, it is not suitable for vegan diets, so if you are looking for a vegan substitute, this is not it!

If this is not a problem, regular milk powder can replace malt powder in most baked dishes, sweet desserts, and beverages.

However, regular milk powder is not as sweet as malt powder, so you will need to use a sweetener or sugar if using it in baked recipes or one that requires sweetness.

You can substitute the same amount of milk powder that you would use malt powder, so the conversion is really simple, just keeping in mind that you will need the added sweetness.

6. Ovaltine Powder

Ovaltine powder is a great substitute for malt powder, and gives a very similar taste and texture to what you could expect from malt powder! It is a really tasty substitute that can add some great taste and texture to drinks and baked goods.

One of the original ingredients of Ovaltine is malt powder, so it is a bit of a cheat substitute, but it is why it does work so well in place of just plain malt powder.

Along with the taste and texture, Ovaltine also has an amazing aroma!

Ovaltine does have added sweetener, so you would not have to add in any sweetener when using it in place of malt powder.

You can use Ovaltine in the same way that you would use malt powder, in the same ratio. Just consider that it can be sweeter than malt powder, which may not work in some recipes.

7. Oat Powder

Oat is really becoming more and more popular, and you should definitely consider using oat powder in place of malt powder if needed!

The neutral taste of oat powder makes it a great substitute for malt powder, and it can replace malt powder in the same ratio.

You will just need to test the sweetness as you go and add in any sugar, honey, or maple syrup if you need to.

Oat milk is a good substitute for smoothies and other beverages and can work in baked goods too. The texture is similar to malt powder, so it won’t alter the texture of a baked recipe too much.

8. Almond Powder

Almond powder can be used in place of malt powder, but it isn’t suitable for all recipes and uses.

It has a particularly nutty, almond flavor, which is great for some recipes, but not for all. Almond is not as sweet as malt flavor, but it does add a good flavor to many dishes.

Choose almond powder if you are baking a vegan dish or making a vegan dessert and if you want a healthy option for smoothies and beverages.

You can use the same amount of almond powder that you would malt powder, but add in any sweetener if you feel the recipe needs it.

It is best to use finely ground almond powder, as this will help it better match the texture and consistency of malt powder, and work similar in a recipe.

9. Quinoa Powder

Quinoa powder is a wonderfully healthy alternative to malt powder, and it can be used in so many ways, for beverages, smoothies, baked goods, and other recipes.

You can buy either sweetened or unsweetened quinoa powder, which gives you the opportunity to pick out one to suit the recipe that you are making. 

The only issue with using quinoa powder is that it has a fairly strong taste, stronger than that of malt powder, so you should use only around half the amount of quinoa powder to what the recipe calls for of malt powder.

However, you are able to use a 1:1 ratio if you do not mind the flavor of quinoa, which shouldn’t be too much of a problem in recipes where there are other stronger flavors included.

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over the best malt powder substitutes, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

Can You Make Malted Milk Powder?

If you want to use malted milk powder but cannot find any, then you can make some at home fairly easily.

You just need some malt powder and instant dry milk. Mix in 1 cup of instant dry milk with around 3 tablespoons of malt powder.

You simply need to mix these two together and keep them stored in an airtight container until you need to use it—but make sure to use it within a month.

Can I use Horlicks in place of malt powder?

Horlicks is very similar to Ovaltine and contains malt powder. This means that Horlicks can be used as a substitute for malt powder.

Horlicks is slightly less sweet than Ovaltine, so you will need to judge whether or not added sweetener is needed.

Where can I find malt powder in the grocery store?

You can either find malt powder in the baking aisle, where the flours and bread ingredients are kept, or in the dry beverage section of the store, close to the Ovaltine.

What is malt powder made from?

Malt powder is made from dried whole grains that are ground down into a fine-textured powder. This powder is used to flavor and increase the nutritional value of different foods and drinks.

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