5 Ingredients or Fewer

DIY Ovaltine

February 16, 2016
4 Ratings
Photo by Mark Weinberg
  • Makes about 12 glasses' worth
Author Notes

A chocolate malt ball, in powder form. Why DIY Ovaltine? It's easy! And you can adjust the levels of sweetness, maltiness, chocolatey-ness, etc. to your preferences. In fact, you can adjust the levels of everything to your preferences—which means that if you want to use a non-dairy milk powder, you can. (And you can make it in bulk.)

There are two approaches to this: If bulk Ovaltine isn't something you're interested in, the first recipe is for you (but you will cede your ability to control the exact amount of sugar, since most malted milk mixes do have added sugar). If bulk Ovaltine does sound up your alley, or you have the pantry space to accommodate cartons of milk and malt powders, follow the second recipe and sweeten to taste. —Caroline Lange

What You'll Need
  • Not-Bulk Version
  • 9 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 15 tablespoons malted milk powder
  • Add-ins (like espresso powder, cinnamon, or cardamom) to taste
  • Bulk Version
  • 1 cup milk powder (whole or nondairy)
  • 5 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 tablespoons barley malt powder (not malted milk powder)
  • Add-ins (like espresso powder, cinnamon, or cardamom) to taste
  1. Regardless of the variant you choose (bulk or non-bulk), combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk them together, then sift them over another bowl (either with a sifter or through a fine-mesh strainer). Store the powder in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  2. To serve, combine 2 tablespoons with hot or cold milk and stir until combined. It will resist mixing completely with cold milk and may settle on top. If this bothers you, shake the milk and the powder together in a jar with a lid, and pour back into your glass.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Mary Eileen Allen
    Mary Eileen Allen
  • Maggie Pountain
    Maggie Pountain
  • Rebecca Firkser
    Rebecca Firkser
  • Marilyn Marthaler
    Marilyn Marthaler
  • shahnnen elizabeth-head
    shahnnen elizabeth-head
Writing and cooking in Brooklyn.

13 Reviews

arcane54 March 13, 2016
I went right for the bulk version because Ovaltine was part of my childhood (and a glass of cold chocolate milk is my afternoon pick-me-up). A few tips for success and that Ovaltine flavor: I doubled both the cocoa and the barley malt powder, it needed both to be what I remember. Once you mix everything together it will be a fine powder that's a bit difficult to "wet" with milk. I made a paste first --you could use milk or hot water) and then mixed in the milk. Perfect! I found barley malt powder at my local home brewing supply store under the mysterious title "DME". Enjoy and remember!
Mary E. March 9, 2016
...sweetened or unsweetened cocoa powder?? Put malted milk powder on frozen custard as a kid in Wisconsin.....called it a "Dusty Road"!
Caroline L. March 9, 2016
good question, mary eileen! unsweetened. will have to try this dusty road!
Maggie P. February 18, 2016
I think you may need to edit the cocoa amounts, too. 9 Tbsp in the non-bulk version but only 3 Tbsp in the bulk version. Should that be 30 or 13?
Caroline L. February 18, 2016
hi maggie! thanks for your note—it should be 5 tablespoons (though the great thing about this is that you can really add as much or as little as you want). the milk powder really makes up the bulk of the mix in the second recipe, and i found i didn't need as much cocoa (and i tend to prefer a maltier drink)! but again, it's very adjustable. i hope you enjoy it!
Rebecca F. February 17, 2016
Ovaltine is probably my favorite drink ever, thank you so much for sharing this recipe!
Marilyn M. February 17, 2016
Am I missing something about sugar? I don't see it in either recipe.
Caroline L. February 17, 2016
hi marlene! malted milk powder does have some added sugar already, and i find that the barley malt is quite sweet on its own, but you can certainly sweeten to your preferences. thank you for checking!
Marilyn M. February 17, 2016
oh ok Thanks!
shahnnen E. February 17, 2016
5 what of barley?
Caroline L. February 17, 2016
sorry about that, shahnnen—it should be tablespoons! i've corrected the recipe.
shahnnen E. February 17, 2016
Thanks! I love malt so love the less-sweet, can-be-organic version of this.
Caroline L. February 17, 2016
me too :)—the maltier the better.