Chocolate Malt Ice Cream

How about a sweet trip down memory lane to remember the thick chocolate malts once so famous at The Bay, Canada's department store? Then comes the fun part! We re-create that old-time fountain flavor right at home with homemade ice cream heady with malted milk powder.

Chocolate Malt Ice Cream ♥ Old-time fountain flavor made at home.

Ice Cream Made from Scratch with Just Six Ingredients. Budget Friendly. Weeknight Easy, Weekend Special. Potluck & Party Friendly. Easy DIY.

Food Memories Emerge Early.

My mother’s girlhood favorite if rare treat was a chocolate malt at The Bay, a big downtown department store in Winnipeg. She vowed, “When I have money, I’ll buy a chocolate malt every day” – this, in the 1940s, when a malt cost a whole nickel.

Later, Mom led chocolate malt pilgrimages with daughters in hand. Winter or summer, every trip to Winnipeg, we’d ride the escalator down to the basement lunch counter at The Bay for chocolate malts.

My budding inner foodie coveted the juicy hot dogs twirling inside the counter rotisserie.

But when Mom was buying, malts it would be. Thick. Creamy. Rich. Dark with chocolate, deep with malt. Slow to melt.

At first, we’d need spoons, then suck through straws, our cheeks concave.

Such a treat!

Mom passed on the penchant to me. Now I share it with you – or close enough, no trip to the Manitoba prairie required.

Treat yourself often, if not every day. Chocolate malts no longer cost a nickel but they sure do taste good.

"You Have an Ice Cream Maker, Don't You?"

My mother's childhood friend was scheduled to visit from Texas some years back.

(That friend? The famous Phyliss whose Fresh Tomato Sauce so many love. The same Phyllis and husband Bob who so shaped my early visions of the kitchen dance that couples can perform when cooking together, see Cold & Creamy Cantaloupe Soup.)

She planned to arrive with home-grown Meyer lemons for lemon sorbet. "You have an ice cream maker, don't you?"

Well. No. I didn't.

Her surprise spoke volumes. "Oh, Alanna. You really will love having an ice cream maker. And they're not that expensive, $40 or $50."

That very day, I bought an ice cream maker.

LOL, in 2002 that purchase required a car trip to an actual physical store. Today of course, click click online, it's on order and will arrive in a day or two.

And Phyl was right. Ever since, I really do love having an ice cream maker!

It's so easy to make ice cream from just a handful of ingredients, no preservatives, no fillers and none of the high prices that grocery stores exact for ice cream these days.

I especially love making simple ice creams, especially ones with unusual flavors.

There are numerous ways ice cream recipes here on Kitchen Parade. But for even more ideas, check out one of last year's hottest cookbooks, The Perfect Scoop.

Summer is nearly here, Mother's Day too. If your family loves-loves-loves ice cream, an ice cream maker or the ice cream cookbook is worth considering as a family gift.

Investing in Ice Cream Gear

  • ICE CREAM MAKER Nearly twenty years later, I'm still happy with this Cuisinart ice cream processor. It's three pieces, the electric base which turns the freezer bowl that holds a paddle that churns the liquid mixture into ice cream. Magic! Do know, the freezer bowl needs to spend a good 48 hours in the freezer before it's cold enough for ice cream.
  • SECOND BOWL? In the summer, I make ice cream so often that a second freezer bowl comes in handy. You can always buy a second one later, though, once you see whether homemade ice cream works for you.
  • METAL SCOOP Essential, I think, is a metal ice cream scoop. Dip it in hot water between scoops and it'll just melt its way to smooth, perfect-looking scoops. And you won't bend all your regular spoons ...
  • COOKBOOK INSPIRATION The Perfect Scoop by pastry chef, cookbook author and food blogger David Lebovitz.

Concept Recipes for Ice Cream, One Skinny & One Chubby.

SKINNY n 2004, I shared the formula for my go-to light ice cream recipe. It’s called "Chameleon" Ice Cream because the base recipe so easily converts into anyone’s own 31 flavors.

CHUBBY Today's Chocolate Malt Ice Cream is based on my go-to rich ice cream base that calls for 3 cups of half & half, four to six egg yolks and a half cup sugar. Just add fruit, nuts, fresh basil or whatever sounds good – and if you like, call it "Chubby" Chameleon Ice Cream.

What's In Chocolate Malt Ice Cream? Just Six Ingredients!

In all my recipes and most well-written recipes, every ingredient serves a purpose. Each one matters. Each one contributes to the overall dish. It's not that an ingredient can't be substituted by something else but when choosing the substitute, it's important to understand why the original ingredient was present in the first place.

  • Milks This ice cream is quite rich. It calls for "half cream and half whole milk" – and now you know what's in the product called "half & half"! So you're good to go either way, use either equal amounts of cream and milk (so two things to buy) or all half & half (just one to buy).
  • Egg Yolks The yolks add to the richness, save the egg whites for something else. Here are some good ways to use up leftover egg whites.
  • Sugar This recipe isn't particularly sweet but it does contain sugar.
  • Vanilla I love to push flavors forward, this ice cream calls for a whole tablespoon of vanilla.
  • Unsweetened Cocoa Powder This dry powder gives the ice cream intense chocolate flavor. Look for unsweetened cocoa powder in the baking aisle and don't be tempted to substitute hot cocoa powder which contains sugar, powdered milk and very little actual chocolate. I'm especially fond of Hershey's Cocoa "Special Dark" 100% Cacao unsweetened cocoa powder. Time and again, it just amps up the chocolate flavor.
  • Malted Milk Powder This is the ice cream's signature ingredient, you don't want to skip it! In the U.S., look for malted milk powder in grocery stores near the boxes of hot cocoa mix. I've made this ice cream with two brands, Carnation and Ovaltine.

Bookmark! PIN! Share!

How do you save and share favorite recipes? recipes that fit your personal cooking style? a particular recipe your mom or daughter or best friend would just love? If old-fashioned homemade ice cream hits the mark, go ahead, save and share! I'd be honored ...

Chocolate Malt Ice Cream ♥ Old-time fountain flavor made at home.


Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 24 hours
Makes 3 cups

Be sure the ice cream bowl has been frozen hard, this can take up to 48 hours. If it's not fully frozen, the ice cream won't form. It'll still taste good, it just will be more like frosty milk.
  • 3 cups half & half (or half cream & half whole milk)
  • 1/2 cup (100g) sugar
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup malted milk powder
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon (yes, tablespoon) vanilla extract

WARM THE LIQUIDS In a medium saucepan, gently warm the half & half and sugar until small bubbles form along the edge of the pan, stirring often at first, then frequently to avoid scorching the milk. Once it's hot, turn the heat to low or even remove the pot from the stove.

WHISK THE EGGS Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, use a whisk or a fork to whisk the yolks until completely smooth, then whisk in the malted milk powder and cocoa powder until fully incorporated.

TEMPER THE EGGS To temper the eggs, add 1/4 cup of the hot milk mixture to the eggs and whisk well, then repeat several times. (If you poured the whisked egg straight into the hot liquids without "tempering" first, they would cook instantly, creating lumpy bits of egg. Not nice!)

COOK Whisk the combined egg-milk mixture into the saucepan and the remaining milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring or whisking constantly, until it thickens and a few big bubbles pop on the surface. (Experienced custard makers may stir less often though at risk of scorching the mixture if time gets away. I've learned to just stick with the pot, stirring continuously.)

CHILL Remove the mixture from the heat and stir for a minute off heat, this cools the mixture down a bit and prevents the hot saucepan itself from continuing to cook the custard. Stir in the vanilla. Transfer to a refrigerator container, let cool, cover and refrigerate for 8 – 24 hours.

PROCESS Pour the mixture into the frozen bowl of a commercial ice cream processor and process until thick. Serve immediately (it'll be slightly soft) or hold in the freezer for an hour.

SERVE Scoop and serve! For chocolate malts, mix scoops of Chocolate Malt Ice Cream with cold milk in a blender.

ALANNA's TIPS Be sure to whisk the eggs really well, there should be no signs of yolk once the malted milk powder and unsweetened cocoa powder are added. Look for malted milk powder near the hot cocoa at the grocery store. At least in the U.S., two brands are widely available, Carnation and Ovaltine.
NUTRITION INFORMATION Per Half Cup: 280 Calories; 17g Tot Fat; 10g Sat Fat; 185mg Cholesterol; 107mg Sodium; 1g Carb; 18g Fiber; 18g Sugar; 6g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS Old Points 7 & PointsPlus 8 & SmartPoints 13 & Freestyle 13 & myWW green 13 & blue 13 & purple 13

Get Your Fix: Easy Chocolate Desserts

~ chocolate recipes ~

Chocolate-Almond Shortbread Cookies ♥, crisp little chocolate shortbreads, easy to ship. Made with almond meal. Gluten Free, Low Sugar and Low Carb.

Gourmet Chocolate Mocha Cookies ♥, decadently chocolate-y, laced with espresso, almost like a brownie cookie or a fudge cookie. Wonderful with a glass of cold milk.

Easy-Easy Chocolate Coconut Pudding ♥ Just five ingredients and ten minutes.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, for more scratch cooking recipes using whole, healthful ingredients, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. If you make this recipe, I'd love to know your results! Just leave a comment below.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade
2008 & 2021

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Anonymous4/24/2008

    I live in the States now too but remember my mum taking all of us to the Bay for malts when I was a kid. Do you know if it still exists?

  2. Hi Mona ~ Last time I was in Winnipeg, the Bay was still there and the malt shop still in the basement (though I think it used to be on another floor, Two maybe, way back whenever). So glad I'm not alone in this happy memory!

  3. Anonymous4/24/2008

    That's so funny, my mom used to drag me around for chocolate malts too. She couldn't get enough of them. I was always the straight vanilla kid – no syrup, no nothing. Fun story, I haven't thought about malts in years...

  4. Ever since David's book came out last year I've been toying with the idea of getting an ice cream maker. I followed your link (thanks!) and now I'm trying to decide between a Cuisinart (where you just freeze the bowl) or an "old fashioned" ice and salt model. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I just can't make up my mind now! LOL

  5. Sally ~ Good timing! I can't imagine anything except the one with the freezer bowl -- and that's with someone with a childhood attachment to the old crank models. Here's an idea: poll your friends, someone will have an old salt-type machine (likely electric) in their basement which they'll be happy to give you. Then go buy a Cuisinart type. Then you won't have to make up your mind but will know which one works better!

  6. Just made your Chocolate Malt Ice Cream. My mom has arrived and is on her second cone! She, too, remembers when they only cost 5 cents at The Bay. She frequented the Malt Shop in the basement in 1954 while attending United College and living at Sparling Hall. She couldn't afford to go too often on a student budget but sured enjoyed the malts when she could. So far, her tab this afternoon is at a dime...

  7. Dana ~ Oh my, what a great treat for your mother! So glad to be a part of that for her.

    Our mothers were contemporaries ... your sweet comment has brought tears, we lost my mom eleven years ago tomorrow. I've been wondering how to mark the day, now I know ...


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna