Malt vs. Shake vs. Concrete: Differences Explained

Malt, shake, and concrete are all popular, related, nay very similar frozen dessert drinks. They share more similarities than there are any differences. However, they have some subtle but important differences to tell them apart, which relate to ingredients, consistency, and preparation methods. Here’s an in-depth comparison between the three desserts to help you understand them and their differences better and once and for all.

Key Takeaways

Shake is a smooth, customizable, and drinkable dessert made with ice cream, milk, and flavorings.

Malt is also cold, drinkable dessert boasting a nutty flavor and thicker texture due to malted milk powder that containes malted barley powder.

Concrete, the thickest of the three, utilizes frozen egg custard (with 10-14 percent egg yolks) and mix-ins, resulting in a spoonable dessert rather than a drink.

Malt vs. Shake vs. Concrete: Detailed Differences


Malt, short for a malted milkshake, is a type of milkshake that incorporates malted milk powder, which is, in turn, made from sprouted barley that has been dried and ground, then combined with wheat flour, whole milk, and sugar. This results in a distinctive nutty, and slightly caramel-like flavor in the malt.
Ingredients: Ice cream, milk, malted milk powder (made of malted barley powder, whole wheat flour and powder milk), and flavorings (such as chocolate or fruit syrups)
Consistency: Creamy and smooth, similar to a regular milkshake but with a thicker consistency due to the malted milk powder
Preparation: Blended together using a blender or milkshake mixer


A milkshake without malted milk powder cannot be considered a malt.


A shake, or milkshake, is a cold, sweet beverage made by blending ice cream, milk, and flavorings together. Shakes are commonly made with various ice cream flavors and can be customized with additional mix-ins, such as fruit, syrups, cookies, or candy.
Ingredients: Ice cream, milk, and flavorings (such as chocolate or fruit syrups), may have yogurt, protein powder as well.
Consistency: Creamy and smooth, thinner than a malt due to the absence of malted milk powder
Preparation: Blended together using a blender or milkshake mixer


Concrete is a dessert originating from frozen custard stands. It looks similar to ice cream but w has about 105 to 14% of egg yolk to give it thickest consistency among all. The name “concrete” comes from the thick consistency that allows it to be served upside down without spilling.
Ingredients: Frozen custard (made from 10-14 percent egg yolks, cream, and sugar), and mix-ins (such as fruit, candy, or cookies)
Consistency: Extremely thick and dense. Spoonable rather than drinkable or lickable
Preparation: The frozen custard is blended with the mix-ins using a high-speed mixer, or a specialized machine called a “concrete mixer.”

To Sum Up

Malts, shakes, and concrete are all dessert beverages made with ice cream, milk, or frozen custard by adding different ingredients. Malts are distinguished by their malted milk powder, which gives them a unique flavor and thicker consistency. Shakes are smooth and creamy, typically made with just ice cream, milk, and flavorings. Concrete is much thicker than both malts and shakes, made with frozen egg custard featuring and mix-ins, resulting in a dense, spoonable treat.

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Cashmere Muhammad
Cashmere Muhammad

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