This creamy and rich vegan malted milkshake tastes just like the classic malt milkshake, but made entirely dairy free, gluten free, and healthier! Using only 4 ingredients, ready in 5 minutes, and with a homemade vegan malted milk powder, this is the best vegan milkshake recipe!

Creamy Vegan Malted Milkshake (Gluten Free & Healthier!)

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What is the difference between malted and regular milkshakes?

If you’ve had a regular milkshake, then you know that they’re just about one of the best drinks on the planet. Creamy ice cream blended to a drinkable liquid that’s full of sweetness!

A malt milkshake, on the other hand, is a milkshake, but with the addition of malted milk powder. They’re typically found at diners (there was this amazing diner where I grew up that served vanilla and chocolate malted milkshakes) and came about in 1922.

They most definitely are not vegan (nor even gluten free), but don’t worry, we’re going to make a completely vegan malted milkshake that tastes just like the classic! But first:

vegan malted milkshake

What is malted milk powder?

You might have heard of malt or malted milk powder, but never had a chance to try it. Essentially, malt is derived from barley (so it is not gluten free). It adds a bit of a nutty and toasty flavor to the milkshake while being nut-free.

Malted milk powder is dried malt combined with milk powder. It is definitely not dairy free, so even purchasing malted milk powder and using vegan ice cream would not yield a vegan malted milkshake. This means that we need to make our own dairy-free malted milk powder. But don’t worry, it’s quite easy!

To make a homemade vegan malted milk powder, we’re combining maca powder and oat milk powder.

Vegan milkshake ingredients:

To make this malted milkshake entirely vegan, here’s what we’re using:

  • Vegan chocolate ice cream: Some malted milkshakes are made with vegan vanilla ice cream- it’s up to you! You can use either and choose your favorite vegan ice cream brand. I recommend Forager Project’s chocolate or vanilla. But you can also use one of my homemade vegan ice cream recipes!
  • Maca powder: This is what we’re using to replace part of the malted milk powder found in a traditional malt milkshake. More on that below! You can use malt powder (which I list in the recipe card) and combine it with oat milk powder if you’re not gluten-free. Just make sure that it’s truly malt powder and NOT malted milk powder.
  • Oat milk powder: The second half of replacing the malted milk powder is the vegan dairy free milk powder. I’ve also used coconut milk powder, and it works great!
  • Creamy dairy free milk: I love oat milk, soy milk, or cashew milk for a super creamy vegan milkshake.
vegan malted milkshake ingredients

What is maca powder?

Maca is one of my all time favorite plant adaptogens to use in daily life, and it works wonderfully for replacing malt. Like malt, maca powder adds a rich nuttiness (without containing nuts!) to your vegan milkshake.

Traditionally, maca powder was a very important food course for peoples of Peru, and was very useful in helping protect and harness energy to survive harsher climates. I personally use and love Anima Mundi Herbals’ maca powder because they take such great care in sourcing adaptogens and plant medicines in a respectful and environmentally safe way. And it’s run by really wonderful, caring, and passionate women.

How to make a secretly vegan malted milkshake (overview)

For the full written instructions and ingredient measurements, see the bottom of this post in the recipe card. You can also hit the “jump to recipe” button at the top of this post! Here, we’ll go over a brief overview of the steps, along with providing visuals for a better understanding of the recipe.

Here are some of my top tips for making a perfectly delicious and creamy dairy free and vegan milkshake that tastes as good as the classic:

Use a quality vegan ice cream.

Your vegan milkshake will taste very similar to the vegan ice cream you choose. Make sure that it’s a delicious vegan ice cream that you love! Personally, I would not recommend any of the sugar free ice cream brands. They’re just not creamy and they taste very “fake sweet” to me. Brands I love: Forager Project and Oatsome. So Delicious has a great cashewmilk ice cream line as well that would taste very good here.

Less milk = a thicker malted milkshake

Nobody likes a super soupy milkshake! I recommend starting with a little dairy free milk at first, and then adding more as you blend until you achieve the texture you desire.

Use classic milkshake glasses!

If you want the true diner experience, I recommend using a duralex drinking cup or one of the classic sundae goblets!

For the best vegan milkshake toppings:

You can top with vegan whipped cream (I love Forager Project’s new coconut whipped cream or using my homemade coconut whipped cream recipe), vegan hot fudge or vegan chocolate syrup, cocoa powder, cherries, vegan sprinkles, peanut butter, banana, or vegan chocolate chips!

Use a high speed blender!

You want your milkshake to be super creamy and smooth. Make sure your blender is powerful (you don’t need a Vitamix- I don’t even have one! But a good quality blender will work just fine).

Vegan milkshake variations:

  • Make a cookies n’ cream malted milkshake: add crushed vegan chocolate cookies to your blender and blend until smooth!
  • Make a peanut butter vegan chocolate milkshake: stir in a tablespoon of peanut butter before blending, then blend until smooth!
  • Try a vegan malted strawberry milkshake: A twist on the vegan strawberry milkshake, add 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries with vegan vanilla ice cream!
vegan malted milkshake

This vegan malted milk shake is just amazing! You’re going to love how creamy and rich it is, and topped with homemade dairy free whipped cream, it’s just the best vegan dessert.

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

Creamy Vegan Malted Milkshake (Gluten Free & Healthier!)

If you make this recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ below. This helps others to find the recipes! As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there as well!

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vegan chocolate milkshake

Healthier Malted Milkshake (Vegan, Gluten Free)

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  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Blending
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This creamy and rich vegan malted milkshake tastes just like the classic malt milkshake, but made entirely dairy free, gluten free, and healthier! Using only 4 ingredients, ready in 5 minutes, and with a homemade vegan malted milk powder, this is the best vegan milkshake recipe!




  1. Add all ingredients to a blender.
  2. Blend until thick and creamy. Add more milk in if needed.
  3. Pour and top with homemade coconut whipped cream or store bought coconut whipped cream (Forager Project is amazing!).


Vegan ice cream: For an amazing vegan chocolate ice cream, I recommend Forager Project’s rich dark chocolate.

Maca Powder: I used Anima Mundi Herbals’ maca powder. They really focus on sourcing herbs and plant medicines with respect and care, which is something I love! Maca does taste very very close to malt, so this is a great swap. However, I did find a malt powder that is dairy free that you can try if you’re not gluten-free.

Oat milk powder: This replaces the “milk powder” in malted milk powder. I used Anthony’s Goods oat milk powder, but have also made this recipe with Edward & Sons’ coconut milk powder. Both taste amazing!