Homemade Ovaltine Recipe | Malted Milk Powder

One of my little sisters (she of Mapo Dofu fame) is pregnant for the first time. She has been obsessed -and when I say obsessed, I mean O.B.s.e.s.s.e.d. (get the pregnancy joke?)- with chocolate malts. Chocolate malted shakes, particularly, but chocolate malted anything pretty much. She texted me that she was making a chocolate malt cake (this cake, as a matter of fact) this afternoon. I suggested she use homemade malt powder. She asked what I meant. I explained how I make malted milk powder for my kids and have for years. Her response?

“Why have you not blogged this?”

I had no answer.

Homemade Ovaltine Malted Milk Powder in chocolate or plain from foodiewithfamily.com

We went on to talk bras, back pain, Julia Child, and other things, like you do… but my mind wandered back to the “Why have you never blogged this?”

So here we go. I’m blogging it now. This has been a pantry staple in our home since back in the only-have-two-kids-day when I calculated how much money I was spending on Ovaltine for my munchkins one of whom would only drink milk with a solid third-of-a-cup of Ovaltine mixed into it. I make my  mix without sugar because, well, I’m that kind of mom… But I’m also the kind of mom that lets the kids add sugar to taste so long as ‘to-taste’ does not mean equal parts sugar and milk.

How about serving up an old-fashioned, icy-cold tumbler full of chocolate malted milk for an after school pick-me-up?

Why leave the sugar out of the Homemade Ovaltine Recipe {Malted Milk Powder}?

There are three solid reasons for leaving the sugar out of the malted milk powder when you’re mixing it:

  • Most Obvious: You can control how much sugar goes into each cup. Malt powder is already naturally sweet… Adding sugar to taste is almost going to guarantee you a cuppa malted milk that contains less sugar than a commercial mix. Shoot. You could even sweeten it to taste with stevia, xylitol, honey, or agave!
  • Less Obvious: Leaving the sugar out of the mix actually helps prevent clumping somewhat.
  • Also Less Obvious: You can use the malted milk powder in cooking and baking (think milkshakes, cookies, and the aforementioned cake) without adjusting the other sweetening called for in the recipes.

Homemade Ovaltine Malted Milk Powder in chocolate or plain from foodiewithfamily.com

Why make your own Homemade Ovaltine Recipe (Malted Milk Powder)?

It’s WAY less expensive, for starters! You get a pound and a half of malt powder (which can also be used alone in baking in place of sugar to help extend the shelf-life of your bread. In other words, to keep it yummy and fresh longer…) for $10.99 from Amazon.com. You only use six tablespoons of the malt powder in the mixture, which means that you get roughly a bajillion batches of malted milk powder from one thing of malt. I’m sorry. It’s almost the school year. Please excuse me from math for just a couple more weeks?

There’s a real bonus to making your own Homemade Ovaltine (whether it’s plain or chocolate flavoured) other than just saving your pocketbook a little bit; you avoid preservatives and artificial colourings! Score and score!

Where can I get the ingredients to make Homemade Ovaltine Recipe {Malted Milk Powder}:

Well, most grocers carry instant dry milk and cocoa powder. If you’re near a really GOOD grocer, they may even carry malt powder in the baking section… If you -like me- are in the middle of a corn field or just don’t feel like going out, you can certainly order all of the ingredients through my darling Amazon.com. Here’s a list of all the items you will need!

For the Plain:
Barley Malt PowderInstant Dry Whole Milk Powder ~OR~ Instant Nonfat Dry Milk. Of the two, we vastly prefer the whole milk powder. It has a much richer taste!

For the Chocolate:

Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder

When something is going to be on my counter top with some frequency, I like it to be pretty. Any container with a tight fitting lid will do the job, but this lovely jar holds a full batch of Malted Milk Powder (whether plain or chocolate) in style.


  Homemade Ovaltine Malted Milk Powder in chocolate or plain from foodiewithfamily.com

Cook’s Notes

  • There is no getting around it. Our Homemade Ovaltine  Recipe {Malted Milk Powder} gets a little clumpy if it’s stored for long periods of time. If it’s used quickly (within a week or two) this isn’t an issue, but any longer than that and you may need to just stick a fork in the jar and break it up a bit.
  • This Homemade Ovaltine Recipe{Malted Milk Powder} has no added sugar, but it’s very naturally sweet. Remember that you can use malt in place of sugar in baked goods. Do yourself a favour and taste your malted milk before adding any extra sweeteners! …And if you want added chocolate oomph and sweetness minus sugar, try chocolate stevia drops… It’s kind of one of my favourite things ever. (Add to iced coffee!!!)
  • We use this little frother to mix our Homemade Ovaltine Recipe {Malted Milk Powder} into the milk. It dissolves everything and makes the final milk super frothy. What kid doesn’t love frothy milk?

    If you don’t have something like this or want to purchase it, I do recommend mixing your Homemade Ovaltine{malted milk powder} and milk in a blender for a similar effect.



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5.0 from 2 reviews
Homemade Ovaltine | Malted Milk Powder (Chocolate and Plain)
There's nothing quite as comforting as an old-fashioned, tall, cold glass of chocolate or plain malted milk... and now you can make your own mix at home without breaking the bank. Bonus: The mix is sugar free, making it a great addition to cookies, cakes, and other homemade goods.
For the Plain:
  • 2 cups instant dry milk (whole or non-fat)
  • 6 tablespoons malt powder
For the Chocolate:
  • 2 cups instant dry milk (whole or non-fat)
  • 6 tablespoons malt powder
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
To Make the Homemade Plain Ovaltine:
  1. Whisk together the malt powder and the instant dry milk. Scoop into a clean, dry jar with an airtight lid and store at room temperature for up to a year.
To Make the Homemade Chocolate Ovaltine:
  1. Whisk together the malt powder, instant dry milk, and cocoa powder. If any lumps remain, force the powder through a fine-mesh sieve.
  2. Scoop the powder into a clean, dry jar with an airtight lid and store at room temperature for up to a year.
To Mix Homemade Ovaltine (Plain or Chocolate):
  1. Add ⅓ of a cup of the dry mix to 8 ounces of cold milk. Use a frother or blender to mix together, sweeten to taste with sugar, honey, agave, or stevia.

This post originally published on August 15, 2013.



  1. Jenny says

    Oh yum! Is this anything like the malt powder that Nestlé makes? I’m going to dig it out if the cupboard and mix it into some chocolate milk today.

  2. Jessica says

    I read your post and I have to say that I am a bit puzzled about it… Do you realize that “Dry Malt (Diastatic) Powder” isn’t the same as the barley malt extract used in ovaltine products? Are you aware that dry malt powder is made with Malted Barley Flour, dextrose and plain flour? I am telling you this not just because I don’t think it’s going to work but because I seriously doubt it will have any resemblance with any of the ovaltine products.
    Please, correct me if I am wrong.

    • says

      Oh, it’ll be a bit different, but the difference comes mostly from the lack of artificial colours, flavours, and preservatives… You can use diastatic malt powder OR beer making malt (I’ve used both) with slightly different results, but both delicious and wonderful. There is no carrageenan in the homemade version, but still it manages to be thick! I’d encourage you to try it and see what you think. My kids’ fave version is 1 TB of plain, 1 TB of chocolate, 1 teaspoon raw sugar, and 5 drops of chocolate stevia drops… It’s remarkably close to Ovaltine: equally yummy, but slightly different!

  3. Janel says

    I’ve found that the NuNaturals brand of stevia has NO aftertaste! Go grab your vets cost affiliate link 😉 although I think Amazon has it too. Yum on everything and congrats to Christina!

  4. says

    Oh Rebecca I love this!! My boys are crazy for Ovaltine or Nestle or basically anything powdered and chocolate-y. But I am the boring mom who limits buying such things in favor of straight-up milk. Ahhhh this is going to be a fun surprise for them!!!

  5. Chris says

    Thank you. I was going to buy some Ovaltine but I’ll give this a try. I’ve been drinking it after walks/runs.

  6. Pamela says

    I had to give up drinking Ovaltine when I gained ninety bazillion pounds one pregnancy. This is a happy day, even if Jessica the Malt Expert disagrees.

  7. Denise says

    Hi Rebecca! Long time reader, first time commenter… I’m also raising boys and so excited to try this! Just paid full price for a large tub of Ovaltine yesterday…along with one of everything else in the store to feed these little men! One question, have you seen the Carnation product called Malted Milk? It has malted barley and dry whole milk together. Wondering if you’ve tried it…I’m thinking I could just add the cocoa powder to it and be done. We’ll give it a try and see if it passes the test. Thanks so much for your recipes…keep them coming! :)

  8. ginger daddy says

    Maybe my math is wrong, but how is it cheaper? 900grams of powdered milk is $17.31 and only yields 3.8 cups. Confused here? ??

  9. Astrid says

    As a long tome consumer of Eurpoean Ovaltine (entirely different, not as sweet in 2 lb orange tin)who is lactose intolerant, you also might want to try this with unsweetened Almond Breeze almond and coconut milk. It contains only about 40 calories and 50 % more calcium than milk and is delicious.

  10. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’m expecting twins and have been craving malted milk, but I can’t eat the food dyes in Ovaltine. Your recipe has made my day!

  11. says

    Hi, I have a slightly different question. I am a diabetic but I too love Ovaltine. I have other health issues that prevents me from using “real” milk. I don’t care for rice or almond milks so I choose Unsweetened Soy Milk. I also cannot have caffeine (sp*) so how can I make it the way you have it so I can still have the chocolate?

  12. sipi says

    Hi this is very delicious nd nice recipe. I
    have 1 query, do we have to use organic
    version of barley malt nd milk powder
    while feeding our kids. I did search for
    organic barley malt but did not find any.

  13. Crystal says

    I prefer using ovaltine for my little ones over say nesquik because of the add vitamins but would love to cut out the sugar and other artificial additives any ideas on upping the vitamin content? Thanks in advance

  14. capt ern says

    Great idea & recipe! One thing, malt is not fermented, but malted. Malting involves sprouting the grain, this turns the starch into sugar b for the little embryo. Fermenting turns sugar into alcohol

  15. vanessa says

    Thank you for this recipe! I’ve been looking for an alternative to ovaltine for years.

    What is the function of the dry milk in this recipe? If you’re going to add the mix to milk in the end, is it necessary?

      • vanessa says


        Do you know of a dairy-free alternative which would also keep it from clumping?

        Sorry if that’s an annoying question hehe

        • says

          HA! I’m not entirely sure what you would use in place of it. I’m sorry! Is there such a thing as a non-dairy dried milk? I guess you could always just use cocoa powder, sugar, and malt and then a blender to make sure it doesn’t clump.

  16. susan rosenberg says

    I’ve been combining ovaltine and cafix (also made w/malt) for years. I’m happy to see you’ve done some research to find the healthier alternative I look forward to adding plain barley malt and cocoa to the roasted barley malt that is used to create cafix. Thank you

  17. Deirdre O'M Humphrey says

    You didn’t answer the query about the nutritional comparison between your version and traditional Ovaltine, which has a whole list of vitamins, etc. I depend on Ovaltine for it’s nutritional value since there are few foods I can eat without my ostomy appliance self-destructing. I mix it with organic, unpasteurized milk from a local farm. Been doing this for 4 years. I’m 87 and very healthy! I wouldn’t mind a cheaper, lower sugar version, though. Reply if possible. Thanks!

    • says

      I didn’t answer the query because I am not a qualified nutritional scientist. I encourage you to plug the recipe ingredients into one of many available nutritional calculators online. I hope this suits your needs!

  18. Lisa says

    Thank you! My husband is the Ovaltine perpetrator in our house and he just asked me to buy it AGAIN! I told him “no”, because of all the artificial ingredients and he was surprised. He thought it was completely healthy. Now I can whip him up a batch of this and he’ll be happy and a bit more healthy.

  19. lillian says

    why did u change ovaltine.now its to sweet and full of stuff not needed.it was a good product. now it junk like all the others.

  20. Kar says

    Was looking for a dark chocolate ovaltine, but this will be so much better as I have to watch how much sugar I add to things. I really like chocolate smoothies.

  21. Sue says

    How is this a sugar free mix when the only dry milks, required for your recipe, that I can find have loads of sugar in in them?

    • says

      Hi Sue- there is no added sugar in the recipe. I’m not sure where you’re buying your non-fat dry milk, but the only ingredients on the box of dry milk I buy at Walmart are: Nonfat Dry Milk, Vitamin A Palmitate, Vitamin D3.

  22. Candelaria says

    Hi! Thank you for the recipe.

    I wonder if malt extract is the same that Orzo coffee or roasted barley. Are different things?
    Could use roasted barley powder ? I appreciate any information you can give me. Thanks again :)

    • says

      Roasted barley powder is, as far as I know, not the same thing. I have never tried it in this application. If you try it, please let me know how it works out for you!

  23. ron says

    FYI- You can save even more by buying the malted barley from homebrewing supply stores, either online or at a local homebrew supply store. I just pulled one up randomly, the price was $4.99 a pound or $12.99 for three pounds.

  24. Susan says

    I am intrigued by the idea of making my own malted milk powder, but I have no clue how to use it – or how much. It seems to me it would be nice in smoothies. HELP!!

    BTW the cute little illustrations that show up in the email you sent do not show up in the blog post. Most specifically the milk frother. (There are links for the other items.)

  25. rnkenly says

    So, Hubby requires Ovaltine in his coffee…and is recently diagnosed diabetic so the added sugar isn’t that great for him. Going to try this. I am also excited that it may remove a Nestle product from our house and I am not too pleased with Nestle politically, so that would be a huge bonus…without an unhappy hubby. 😉 Thanks.


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