10 Differences Between a shake and a malt

What is a shake?

A shake is a cold, frothy, and creamy beverage typically made by blending milk or ice cream with flavorings and sweeteners. It is enjoyed as a dessert or a refreshing treat.

Examples of a shake:

  • Vanilla shake
  • Chocolate shake
  • Strawberry shake

Uses of a shake:

Shakes are popular for their delightful taste and cooling nature. They can be consumed as a standalone drink or paired with burgers, fries, or other fast food items.

What is a malt?

A malt is a variation of a shake that includes malted milk powder or malt extract. It adds a distinct flavor and texture to the beverage, making it richer and more indulgent.

Examples of a malt:

  • Vanilla malt
  • Chocolate malt
  • Strawberry malt

Uses of a malt:

Malts are often enjoyed for their nostalgic taste and unique mouthfeel. They are commonly served in diners, ice cream parlors, and as a thick drink alongside sandwiches or hot dogs.

Differences between a shake and a malt:

Difference Area A Shake A Malt
Taste Smooth and creamy Rich and malty
Ingredients Milk or ice cream, flavorings, sweeteners Malted milk powder or malt extract
Texture Smooth and thick Thicker and grainier
Flavor Profile Creamy and sweet Creamy, sweet, and malted
Consistency Light and flowing Dense and heavy
Popularity Widely popular and available Less common, nostalgic choice
Serving Style Tall glass with a straw Malt glass or metal cup
Preparation Method Blending or mixing ingredients Mixing with malted milk powder or extract
Occasions Anytime dessert or treat Classic diner experience
Availability Found in most fast food chains and ice cream parlors Specialty diners or nostalgic eateries


In summary, while both shakes and malts are delicious beverages, they differ in terms of taste, ingredients, texture, flavor profile, consistency, popularity, serving style, preparation method, occasions, and availability. Shakes are smoother, creamier, and more widely available, while malts offer a richer, malted flavor and are often associated with traditional diners and specialty shops.

People Also Ask:

Q: Can you make a shake without ice cream?

A: Yes, you can make a shake without ice cream by using frozen bananas, yogurt, or a combination of milk and heavy cream.

Q: Is a malt healthier than a shake?

A: Neither a shake nor a malt can be considered particularly healthy as they often contain high amounts of sugar and fat. However, you can opt for lighter variations by using low-fat milk or yogurt instead of ice cream.

Q: Can you add toppings to shakes and malts?

A: Absolutely! Shakes and malts can be enhanced with various toppings such as whipped cream, chocolate sauce, sprinkles, or crushed cookies for added flavors and visual appeal.

Q: Are shakes and malts gluten-free?

A: Shakes and malts can be gluten-free if the ingredients used are free from gluten. It’s important to check the labels of flavorings and malted milk powder for any gluten-containing additives.

Q: Do shakes and malts contain caffeine?

A: Usually, shakes and malts do not contain caffeine unless additional ingredients like coffee or chocolate that contain caffeine are included in the recipe.

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