12 Unexpected Uses For Malted Milk Powder

The world of malted milk powder goes beyond your favorite childhood milkshake. We all know the joy it brings when included in a thick, frosty shake, but what if we told you there's more to this sweet, malty elixir? Prepare to be amazed as we explore 12 unexpected uses for malted milk powder. So, if you have a package that's been languishing in your pantry, now's the time to make use of it.

But before we dive into the details, let's have a quick chat about malted milk powder. It's made from malted barley, wheat flour, and milk. Known for its rich, toasty flavor, this powder has been a kitchen staple for decades. Originally created by the Horlick brothers as a nutritional supplement for infants and the infirm in the late 19th century, it quickly found its way into kitchens for other uses. In the U.S., Carnation and Ovaltine are the two most common brands. However, in the U.K. and other parts of the world, you can still buy Horlicks, which is based on the original malted milk recipe.

Malted milk powder isn't just a relic of soda fountain nostalgia; it's a versatile ingredient that can add complexity to dishes. Its sweet, malted flavor makes it a delightful addition to a range of recipes. So, if you've got a canister of this magical powder sitting in your pantry, or if you're considering picking some up, get ready to unlock its full potential with these unexpected uses.

1. Add it to cake batter

Cake is the first port of call on this voyage. Malted milk powder isn't just for sipping — it can work wonders in your cake batter, enhancing the flavor and adding a subtle richness. While you could be heavy-handed and create a malted milk-flavored cake (and that would be delicious), the object isn't necessarily making a cake that has a noticeably malty flavor.

Effectively, what you're doing is adding some slightly savory, umami notes to complement the other flavors. It's a bit like adding salt to a sweet recipe. You don't want the finished recipe to taste salty, but the salt enhances the other ingredients. So, a chocolate cake with a pinch of salt in it can taste more chocolatey than one without salt. The same logic applies when you're using malted milk powder. It shouldn't be a major flavor in the finished cake, but you would notice the difference if you did a side-by-side comparison of the same recipe between one with added malted milk powder and one without.

So, how do you go about adding it to your cake recipes? It's as simple as adding a couple of teaspoons with the dry ingredients. The next time you're whipping up a cake, consider incorporating malted milk powder. You'll get a cake that's not only moist and tender, but also boasts a unique malty undertone that boosts the other flavors in your recipe, whether chocolate, vanilla, coffee, or anything else.

2. Mix it in cookie dough

Whether you're a fan of classic chocolate chips or prefer a more adventurous cookie experience, adding a hint of malted goodness to your cookie dough can take your favorite treats to a whole new level. Adding malted milk powder to your cookies is a little bit like adding brown butter. It gives you a toasty, nutty, caramel-like flavor. You can even enhance this flavor further by toasting your malted milk powder. People usually do this with regular milk powder. But if toasting standard milk powder gives you an intense nutty flavor, you can only imagine what doing this to malted milk powder is like. We've used this trick for cookie recipes and been blown away by the results.

In addition to the flavor, malted milk powder can also give your cookies a chewier texture. It's not the only factor that impacts chewiness in a cookie recipe, but if you're looking for that perfect chewy center and crispy edges, the extra mild solids help.

Adding malted milk to your cookie dough is easy. The powder dissolves seamlessly into the dough when added along with other dry ingredients. If you want a subtle toastiness without really tasting the malt, just a couple of teaspoons will do it. However, you can add a quarter-cup of malted milk powder — or more — for a more pronounced flavor that comes through.

3. Whip it in frosting

The frosting is an important part of many cakes and cupcakes. It can make a basic recipe so much more special, giving you a cake that people will be talking about for years to come. Malted milk powder can really transform your standard buttercream. While buttercream can be overly sweet and a little one-note, the addition of malted milk powder turns it into a show-stopper.

It brings a complexity of flavor that you simply won't find in most buttercream frostings. You can also add it to vanilla frosting for a pronounced malty flavor that's complemented by the lightness of vanilla. Or, you can add it to a chocolate frosting to give you a flavor that's reminiscent of chocolate malt balls or chocolate malt shakes.

All you have to do is whip it into your frosting for a luscious texture and a flavor that will have everyone asking for your secret ingredient. And, because you're adding an extra dry ingredient into your frosting, you can cut down the powdered sugar without changing the texture. This is good news for anyone who finds most frosting too sweet.

4. Stir it in hot chocolate

Picture this: a chilly evening, a cozy blanket, and a steaming mug of hot chocolate. Now, imagine that hot chocolate infused with the warm, toasty notes of malted milk powder. It's a game-changer. Malted milk powder can be used to craft hot drinks on its own, so it's not a huge stretch to add it to a hot chocolate. Still, if you've never thought to do it before, it's going to add some amazing, unexpected malty notes to your hot drink.

There are a couple of ways you can make a malty hot chocolate. One is to stir a spoonful of malt powder into your hot cocoa mix. Or, you can make up hot malted milk according to the package directions before dropping in a few squares of your favorite chocolate and stirring until melted. Either way, you'll get a drink that's not only comforting but also boasts a rich and indulgent flavor. The ratios are fairly forgiving, so you can experiment and adjust to taste.

5. Use it as popcorn seasoning

Popcorn, the beloved movie night snack, is about to get a delicious upgrade. Malted milk brings a new dimension to homemade popcorn seasoning. Why limit yourself to plain butter and salt when you can add a hint of sweetness and a touch of malty goodness to your popcorn?

Malted milk powder brings a delightful balance of sweetness and malty richness, turning your popcorn into a gourmet treat. There are all kinds of ways you can add it to your popcorn. For a sweet twist, mix malted milk powder, cocoa powder, and confectioner's sugar and add it to buttered popcorn.

If savory is more your style, combine malt powder with herbs, garlic powder, and a pinch of cayenne for a savory popcorn seasoning that's both unexpected and irresistible. The malted milk powder seamlessly integrates into the mix, providing a unique depth of flavor that will have you reaching for more.

Creating your malted milk popcorn seasoning is a breeze. After popping your popcorn, whether on the stove or in a popcorn maker, melt some butter in a separate bowl. You can then either add your malted milk powder and other seasoning ingredients to the butter and drizzle it on your popcorn or coat your popcorn in butter first, before tossing it in the dry seasoning ingredients.

6. Mix it in whipped cream

Malted milk powder can turn ordinary whipped cream into a dreamy, malty cloud of goodness. Why settle for ordinary when you can transform a classic topping into a next-level ingredient? The addition of malted milk powder brings those complex flavors you can expect but with an amazingly light texture. You can serve this heavenly concoction atop pies, cakes, or hot beverages for an instant upgrade.

Creating malted milk-infused whipped cream is a straightforward process. As you begin whipping your cream, gradually add malted milk powder to taste. We'd recommend starting with a teaspoon or two and adding gradually from there. Continue whipping until the cream forms soft, billowy peaks. The result is a luscious whipped cream with a delightful malty undertone. The powder seamlessly integrates into the cream, creating a velvety texture. The flavor somehow captures both the familiar and the unexpected.

Whether you're hosting a gathering or simply indulging in a solo treat, malted milk whipped cream is a surefire way to add a touch of sophistication and flavor complexity to your desserts. Say goodbye to ordinary whipped cream; the magic of malted milk powder will win you over, and you'll never whip cream without it again.

7. Bake it in Indian sweets

When it comes to Indian sweets, tradition meets innovation with the addition of malted milk powder. Many classic Indian sweets, such as burfi and laddu, often feature milk powder as a key ingredient, making the incorporation of malted milk powder a seamless twist. There is a world of Indian sweets to explore, so it's a great place to experiment.

As you can expect, you'll get a malty flavor in Indian sweets that use malted milk powder. Its versatile nature allows it to effortlessly replace conventional milk powder, elevating these beloved treats. The warm, toasty notes of malted milk powder add an extra layer of complexity to the traditional sweetness of Indian desserts. For an effortless transition, substitute milk powder with malted milk powder in the same quantities in your favorite Indian sweet recipes. That said, not every recipe includes milk powder, so you'll need to look for one that does. This makes the substitution straightforward and means you can expect similar results to the original recipe.

8. Mix it in crème brûlée

Crackling caramelized sugar meets deep, toasty flavors when you add malted milk powder to crème brûlée — need we say more? Malted milk powder can be the secret ingredient that transforms your classic crème brûlée into a dessert masterpiece that you won't stop thinking about for weeks. While you can whip it up just for yourself, it's a perfect dessert for when you're entertaining guests. It's familiar but just different enough to be memorable.

The depth of flavor that malt powder brings perfectly complements the creamy custard. The result is a crème brûlée that stands out. Incorporating malted milk powder into your crème brûlée is a surprisingly straightforward process considering how much it brings to the table. Begin by infusing the cream with malted milk powder during the heating stage. Allow the powder to dissolve, letting its essence blend seamlessly with the cream. Once the custard is prepared and set, proceed with the recipe as directed.

As you're ready to serve, you can take it up a notch. Rather than simply sprinkling a thin layer of sugar atop the custard, also add a touch of malted milk powder before you caramelize it to perfection. The satisfying crack of the malty caramelized sugar will only be rivaled by the delighted sighs of your guests.

9. Use it in custard

With its silky smooth texture and comforting flavor, custard is a dessert classic. We've already covered the fact that you can add malted milk powder to crème brûlée (which is a baked custard), so it follows that you can add it to standard custard, too. By incorporating malted milk powder into your custard base, you're adding a twist. The result is a custard that's not only velvety and rich, but also boasts a subtle maltiness that sets it apart from the ordinary.

As the same when you're making crème brûlée, when making custard, infuse the cream with a couple of teaspoons of malt powder before continuing the recipe. However, not everyone makes custard from scratch. So, if you're using custard powder or even heating up packaged custard, just add a little bit of malted milk powder while you're warming it. Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a larger dessert, malted milk custard is delicious.

10. Add it to pancake batter

Ever wondered what makes those diner pancakes irresistibly delicious? The secret lies in the addition of malted milk powder. While only enough is added to enhance the flavor without tasting obviously like malted milk, it still adds something special. If your favorite stack comes from the local diner, here's a tip — recreate that magic at home by incorporating malted milk powder into your pancake batter.

Diner pancakes hold a special place in our breakfast-loving hearts, and one of the keys to their appeal is malted milk powder. This underrated ingredient imparts a subtle sweetness and a toasty flavor that makes them even more delicious. Recreating that diner magic is simpler than you think, and the result is a stack of pancakes that rivals your favorite breakfast spot.

To capture the essence of diner-style pancakes, start with your favorite pancake batter recipe. As you're mixing up your dry ingredients, simply replace the sugar with the same quantity of malted milk powder. Then, proceed with the rest of the recipe as usual. Malted milk powder has enough sweetness that you won't miss the sugar in your recipe. Cook the pancakes on a griddle or skillet, and watch as the malted milk powder works its magic, creating a golden-brown exterior and a fluffy interior. Top your stack with maple syrup, fresh berries, or a dollop of whipped cream for a breakfast experience that rivals your cherished diner memories.

11. Use it on French toast

If you believed pancakes were the only breakfast item that could benefit from malted milk powder, think again. French toast, with its custardy interior and crispy exterior, becomes a breakfast sensation when infused with malted milk. Elevating this classic morning delight is as simple as whisking a spoonful of malted magic into your recipe. So, get ready for a French toast experience like never before.

Upgrading your French toast with malted milk powder is a breeze. Begin by preparing your usual custard mixture — a combination of eggs, milk, sugar, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt. To this mix, add a tablespoon or two of malted milk powder. Whisk the ingredients together until the powder is fully dissolved, creating a smooth and flavorful custard.

Dip your bread slices into the malted milk-infused custard, ensuring they are well-coated. Cook on a hot griddle or skillet until each side is golden brown. The malted milk powder works its magic during the cooking process, caramelizing the exterior to make it even tastier.

12. Stir it in a latte or iced latte

Bid farewell to boring coffee routines; malted milk powder is about to shake things up. Whether you prefer your coffee hot or iced, a spoonful of malted milk powder complements both the coffee flavor and the milkiness of lattes. The result is a latte that not only satisfies your caffeine cravings, but also adds a layer of complexity. It's a subtler version of using flavored syrups in your coffee.

It's super simple to make a malted milk latte. Begin by brewing some espresso-strength coffee. In a separate container, heat your preferred milk — whether dairy or plant-based. As the milk warms, whisk in a tablespoon or two of malted milk powder until fully dissolved. Combine the malted milk-infused milk with your brewed coffee, stirring gently to ensure an even blend. Top with a dollop of whipped cream or a sprinkle of malted milk powder for an extra touch of decadence.

If you prefer your caffeine on the rocks, follow the same steps but use cold milk and serve it over ice. And if you like your coffee a little stronger than a latte, you can follow the same steps, but use less milk and more espresso to make a flat white strength drink, then make it hot or iced.