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Top 15 Malt Powder Substitutes (Diastatic & Non-diastatic)

Malt powder is a unique substance that recipes often use to add some natural sweet flavor to your baked goods.

It’s similar to flour and makes a great addition to recipes for cookies, bread, granola, and even sauces and gravies.

But every once in a while, we start a recipe only to realize we’re missing one of our key ingredients.

Today we will take a look at 15 malt powder substitutes that you can use instead.

15 Substitutes for Malt Powder You Can Get Easily

1. Ovaltine


Ovaltine is a chocolate malted milk powder and is one of the best non-diastatic substitutes for malt powder. The original Ovaltine recipe contained malt powder in its ingredients.

Ovaltine has a strong malt smell and flavor, making it highly suitable as a replacement in recipes. It will give you a sweet savor, and it’s affordable and common.

You can use Ovaltine at the same ratio as malt powder.

2. Bread Flour

bread flour

Bread flour is a super convenient substitute for barley malt powder because it already has malt powder in its mixture.

You can use bread flour in place of both regular flour and malt powder.

Doing so might not give you the exact measurement of malt powder, but it will help your bread get nice and fluffy.

Your recipe will turn out to be tasty when using the same amount as you would use malt powder.

3. Malted Milk Powder

malted milk powder

The difference between malt powder and malted milk powder can be confusing, but it’s pretty simple.

Malted milk powder has non-diastatic malt powder, so it’s mostly used for the malt flavor. Malted milk powder makes a great substitute for recipes that use malt simply for the taste.

Just make sure to use the same ratio.

BTW, you can use one of the malted milk powder substitutes if you can’t find it.

4. Coconut Milk Powder

coconut milk powder

Coconut milk powder tends to offer a just-right sweetness to recipes. It has a nice balance of flavor with a smooth texture that makes it versatile and enjoyable.

This dry malt powder substitute is ideal for baking, but you can also use it in drinks and even as seasoning. Coconut milk powder is a tad fatter than malt powder, but the taste is similar enough to swap out.

You can use it at the same ratio as malt powder.

5. Molasses


Molasses is known for its sweet flavor and incredibly thick consistency. This ingredient stems from sugarcane, giving it a delightfully candied taste.

Molasses is a great diastatic substitute to use for malt powder due to its flavor, but be sure to use it sparingly as it has a high sugar content and is a very heavy ingredient.

Just a small amount is usually enough!

6. Corn Syrup

corn syrup

Corn syrup is prevalent for adding sweetness to recipes, so it’s a quality replacement for malt powder when used as a flavor ingredient.

It also serves as a great binder in recipes and mixes well with a wide range of ingredients.

Beware, though; its sweetness can quickly become overwhelming, and it’s not the healthiest of products.

When replacing malt powder, use an appropriate amount according to your needs.

If you like it, corn syrup can also be used as a maple syrup substitute.

7. Corn Starch

corn starch

Corn starch is the ultimate thickening ingredient, and it’s almost always found in any kitchen pantry.

You can use corn starch in sauces, gravy, bread, baked goods, and even to make the perfect crust.

And, yes – it can be used to replace your missing malt powder ingredient. While it doesn’t have the sweet flavor that malt powder delivers, it’s fantastic for creating feathery baked goods and thick, creamy sauces.

Add some sugar together with corn starch to substitute malt powder.

8. Vanilla Powder

vanilla powder

Vanilla is a super common kitchen ingredient. The vanilla bean is used to flavor all kinds of baked goods and dishes.

Most of the time, you find vanilla in its liquid form. But today, we’re focusing on vanilla powder.

Vanilla powder also comes from the vanilla bean. The bean is dehydrated and ground down to a fine powder, which you can then use to substitute for malt powder. It has a naturally sweet, smooth flavor with a light, pleasant aroma.

9. Maca Powder

maca powder

Have you ever heard of maca powder? No? Well, now is your chance to hop on this ship.

Maca powder is one of the best diastatic malt powder substitutes, it comes from the maca root, a pretty healthy plant with a good level of sweetness.

When compared to malt powder, maca powder is similar in almost every way. It’s close in taste, texture, and even color, so it makes for a wonderful substitute. Plus, it’s jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients, and who doesn’t love that?

Use it in a 1:1 swap.

10. Potato Flour

potato flour

Potato flour is a great ingredient for a wide range of uses in the kitchen, but one of its best qualities is as a thickener.

Malt powder is often used to add thickness and fluffiness to a recipe, so potato flour is an excellent product to fill its shoes in its absence.

This ingredient is a particularly good replacement when you’re making a sauce or gravy. It’s also a fairly healthy alternative.

11. Soy Milk Powder

soy milk powder

Are you looking for an allergy-friendly, lightly flavored substitute for what is typically a very sweet, heavy ingredient? You needn’t look any further than soy milk powder.

Soy milk powder offers a lighter, just-sweet-enough flavor that adds a lovely touch to your recipes when malt powder isn’t available. It contains less sugar, so it’s also a healthier option.

Soy milk powder is such a versatile ingredient that it’s just good sense to keep it in your kitchen regardless of whether you use it as malt powder or not.

12. Rice Malt Syrup

rice malt syrup

The light and sprightly flavor of Rice Malt Syrup is a delightful sidekick to your waffles and pancakes.

It tastes naturally delicious with just enough sweetness for an energizing start to each day!

It works well when serving as a replacement for malt powder.

13. Malt Syrup

barley malt syrup

Malt syrups are usually non-diastatic, so you can use a little bit of this ingredient to substitute malt powder.

The syrup has sugar, which is useful for feeding the yeast in bread recipes, plus it adds a nice flavor and color.

Malt syrup is probably the closest you will ever get to the flavor of malt powder without actually using malt powder, so it’s one of the best options to choose if you have it on hand.

The syrup’s sweetness level is higher than the powder, so use malt syrup in a ratio of 1:3.

14. Homemade Malt Powder

If you still don’t favor any choice after reading the above suggestions, why not make your own malt powder?

  • 1 cup of instant powdered milk
  • 3 tsp of malt

Use a blender and mixer to shake them together well.

15. Nothing!

When all else fails, you can simply make your recipe as is and skip the malt powder.

Malt powder can help dough rise in various recipes and add some great flavor, but it’s never truly necessary.

So, if you don’t have any on hand or any of the substitutes above, you can make your recipe without it at all.

Recipes with Malt Powder

Chocolate Malted Milk Cake

This Cake is for someone who loves chocolate malted milk flavor.

Amos cookies

FAQs About Malt Powder

What’s the difference between diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder?

There are two forms of malt powder: diastatic and non-diastatic.

Diastatic malt powder contains enzymes that can encourage sugar breakage, makes it popular for baking.

While non-diastatic has no active enzyme which can only be used in seasoning drinks. It has a higher sugar level than diastatic malt powder.

What’s the best chocolate malt powder substitute?

Ovaltine will be your best chocolate malt powder substitute, it combines the two delicious flavors of chocolate and malt.

It will add a chocolate flavor to your recipe. I’m sure you’ll like it!

Can I use honey as a substitute for diastatic malt powder?

Yes you can! Honey works very well to replace diastatic malt powder when you can’t get malt. A ratio of 1:1 will be perfect for your recipe.

What is a substitute for diastatic malt powder in sourdough bread?

Unfortunately, there is no substitute for diastatic malt powder in sourdough bread.

Is there a gluten-free substitute for non-diastatic malt powder?

It’s very hard to find a gluten-free replacement for malt powder, it may not be a bad idea to make your recipe without it.

Is malt powder the same as milk powder?

The short answer – No!

Malt powder is usually made from barley and wheat flour. While malted milk powder is made from malt powder and milk solids. They are different.

What does Diastatic malt powder do?

Diastatic malt powder contains active enzymes which can make yeast grow efficiently throughout the fermentation period.

So it is an important ingredient when baking to promote a great texture, strong rise, and lovely brown crust.

Final Thoughts

Nothing is worse than excitedly beginning your favorite recipe, only to realize that you’re missing one of your key ingredients.

Now you have 15 different options for substituting barley malt powder when you run out.

From our best options like maca powder and Ovaltine to lesser-known choices like soy milk powder and malt syrup, you’re sure to find a suitable replacement on the list above.

So, what are you waiting for? Get to the kitchen and start baking!

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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2 thoughts on “Top 15 Malt Powder Substitutes (Diastatic & Non-diastatic)”
  1. If one desires the TRUE flavor of MALT in a recipe I would recommend either malted milk, malt syrup, or if a chocolate-based recipe, Ovaltine. I specifically would stay away from molasses and coconut and any other substitute product with a flavor different from MALT unless one does not care what the taste of the finished product is.


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