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15 Diastatic Malt Powder Substitutes

You’ve come to the right place if you need the best diastatic malt powder substitute. This is a go-to ingredient for savvy bread bakers. But since it’s not a common baking ingredient, it could be difficult to come by.

Today’s food guide is all about diastatic malt powder substitutes. Learn about the wonders it does for bread and how to use it in any recipe.

measuring scoop filled with diastatic malt powder

What Is Diastatic Malt Powder?

Malt is a cereal grain derived from a process called malting.

The result is a powder form called “barley malt powder.”

There are two types of malt: diastatic malt powder and non-diastatic malt powder.

Diastatic malt powder is generally produced commercially.

How its made

The process of making malt powder is long and rigorous:

  • First, the barley grains are soaked for several hours.
  • After that, they are washed and drained.
  • The next step is to air out the grains for a few days until they sprout.
  • Then, once the grains are dry, they are ground into powder.

diastatic Vs non-diastatic malt powder

The difference between diastatic and non-diastatic malt powder has to do with enzymes.

Diastatic malt powder has active enzymes that break down the starch in the dough to turn it into sugar.

Non-diastatic malt powder has its own enzymes, but they break down the starch in the grains.

The starch turns into sugar and results in a sweet flavor. The deactivated enzymes don’t affect the overall recipe.

It’s important not to mistake malt powder for malted milk powder.

People often refer to malted milk powder as “malt powder.” But true malt powder doesn’t have any milk.

What Does Diastatic Malt Powder Do?

Diastatic malt powder is a useful ingredient in baking. When making bread, bakers add yeast to help the dough rise.

The yeast feeds on the starch and proteins and, in turn, creates carbon dioxide.

The excess gas creates air inside the dough, making the bread fluffy.

There are times when the starch is too big for the yeast. This is when diastatic malt powder comes in.

The malt powder breaks down the starch and proteins into smaller pieces.

This makes it easier for the yeast to feed on the starch and facilitates the chemical reaction.

Using diastatic malt powder can also create a golden and crunchy crust.

Malt powder may also add an extra sweet flavor to the bread. Plus, you’d only need a little yeast if you’re using malt powder.

Best Substitutes for Diastatic Malt Powder

Diastatic malt powder is not easy to find in grocery stores. Specialty baking stores will most likely have it on the shelf. 

If you’re in a hurry, you can try one of the many malt powder alternatives.

Here’s a quick guide to every diastatic malt powder substitute:

1. Corn Syrup

Corn syrup is an artificial sweetener that can replace diastatic malt powder. It’s a thick and colorless liquid that contains glucose. Corn syrup has a mild, sweet flavor that easily blends into other ingredients. 

Its a common flavoring agent for many commercial products. You’ll find this syrup in beverages, coffee, tea, or bottled flavored drinks. 

Although it’s an artificial flavor, you can use it for homemade recipes. Some bakers add corn syrup to soften bread dough or to create moist cakes and cookies. 

Pro Tip: You can use corn syrup if you’re using diastatic malt powder as a sweetener. But take note that this won’t activate the yeast or help the dough rise. You can only use corn syrup as a flavoring agent.

2. Evaporated Whole Milk Powder

Evaporated whole milk powder is an easy choice to replace malt powder. Unlike its liquid counterpart, this evaporated milk comes in powder form. So it has a longer shelf life and contains zero liquid. 

If you want more sweetness, we recommend using condensed milk instead. Otherwise, evaporated milk powder should be a decent substitute for malt powder. You can also buy it in many varieties like skim and non-fat.

Pro Tip: We recommend using this as a substitute for malt powder if you want to maintain a tasty crust. The milk proteins in evaporated milk powder also add an extra creamy flavor. On the downside, this milk powder doesn’t add a lot of sweetness.

3. Any Flour That Contains Malt Powder

Any flour that contains malt powder can be a good substitute for diastatic malt. Most flours sold don’t come with malt powder, so you must buy them separately.

Malted barley flour is a ready-made substitute that you can use. You can buy this online or at any specialty baking store. 

If you can’t find flour that contains malt powder, we recommend making your own or using bread flour.

To make your own, combine all-purpose flour with other malt substitutes on this list.

If you’re using bread flour, you won’t need malt powder.

Pro Tip: Bread flour already contains tons of protein. This helps speed up the fermentation process in the dough. There’s a reason they’re called “bread flours.” This is the best type of flour to create fluffy and crunchy bread.

4. Malt Syrup

Using malt syrup is an excellent way to replace malt powder. Malt syrup, also known as “barley malt syrup,” is a common sweetener. It’s made from malt powder, barley, and maltose.

There are two important factors to remember when using malt syrup. One is that it’s notably sweeter than diastatic malt powder. We recommend cutting your measurements in half if you use them as an alternative.

Another factor is that most malt syrup uses non-diastatic malt. This means the enzymes don’t activate when in contact with the dough. But malt syrup’s added sugar is beneficial for yeast to feed on.

Pro Tip: Since it’s a flavoring agent, it has sugars and preservatives. Only use malt syrup if you use diastatic malt powder to sweeten your bread. It has a distinct malt flavor that can enhance the bread’s buttery taste.

5. Honey

Honey is another popular substitute for diastatic malt. It’s a natural sweetener often used in bread, pies, and other desserts. Although it doesn’t have active enzymes, honey has natural sugars.

Sugar activates the fermentation process by feeding the yeast. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that honey adds a delicious sweetness to any recipe.

Pro Tip: To substitute, use 1 1/2 tablespoons of honey for every two tablespoons of diastatic malt powder.

6. Molasses

You can also use molasses as a substitute for malt powder.

Like honey, it has natural sweet flavors that can enhance the dough. Its added sugars will also react with the yeast giving the bread a fluffier rise.

Note that molasses has a smoky flavor you may detect in the finished dish. We recommend adjusting your other sugars, as molasses is already very sweet.

Pro Tip: We recommend adding 1 1/2 tablespoons of syrup when using molasses as an alternative.

7. Sugar

Sugar is one of the easiest malt powder substitutes. Most recipes already call for sugar. If this is the case, we recommend using a different sweetener like molasses or honey.

If the recipe doesn’t contain sugar, you can add a small amount to encourage fermentation.

Like other sweeteners, plain sugar can help facilitate fermentation.

Pro Tip: Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of sugar to activate the yeast as an alternative. Remember to add only a little, as you wouldn’t want to have overly sweet bread.

8. Maca Powder

Did you know that maca powder is a good substitute for malt powder? Maca powder comes from the maca root and is generally sold in powder form.

Like malt powder, maca powder has a similar flavor, texture, and color.

Maca powder has a nutty taste with hints of butterscotch. Since it tastes similar to malt powder, you can replace it in most recipes.

Pro Tip: But maca powder doesn’t contain active enzymes, so it won’t help activate the yeast. Maca powder works if you’re only after the malt flavor.

9. Milk Powder

Milk powder can also be a great dry malt powder substitute. It’s made from any milk and is usually a by-product of the curdling process of butter and cheese.

Many varieties of milk powder include whole, skimmed, or non-fat milk.

The best thing about milk powder is that it’s lactose-free.

This substitute is only suitable as a flavor enhancer. A small amount of this powder can make your cakes, pastries, and smoothies creamier. 

Pro Tip: It’s a great milk alternative when making bread for people with lactose intolerance. The only downside is that milk powders don’t contain active enzymes.

10. Coconut Milk Powder

Coconut milk powder is one of the easier malt powder substitutes. This is a dehydrated version of coconut milk.

Coconut milk powder has a strong and unique nutty flavor, and it’s an excellent natural sweetener.

You can use coconut milk powder in any recipe, especially bread, and pastries.

The strong butty flavor could affect the final dish. 

Pro Tip: When using coconut milk powder as a substitute for malt powder, we recommend following a 1:1 ratio. Coconut milk powder is a great addition to drinks, soups, and sweet treats.

11. Soy Milk Powder

Soy milk powder is another handy substitute for malt powder. It’s less sweet than coconut milk, but soy milk powder boasts a mild and creamy flavor.

This milk powder comes from soybeans which makes it a great vegan option.

There are many uses for soy milk powder. When it comes to bread, it’s an excellent malt powder alternative.

Pro Tip: Soy milk powder has a natural and mild sweetness that can flavor the dough. It has no enzymes, but soy milk powder’s added sugars can still aid fermentation.

12. Diastatic Malt Syrup

Diastatic malt syrup is one of the best malt powder substitutes. This is basically diastatic malt powder but in liquid form.

Unlike the powder form, diastatic malt syrup contains active enzymes. These enzymes can help break down starch and speed up fermentation in the dough.

The syrup version is noticeably sweeter, so we recommend adjusting the measurements. It’s available in most supermarkets, or you can buy it online.

Pro Tip: To use as a substitute for malt powder, you’ll need 3/4 tablespoons for every three tablespoons of the powder.

13. Amylase Powder

You can also use amylase powder as a substitute for malt powder. In case you didn’t know, amylase is a stripped-down version of diastatic malt powder. It’s one of the enzymes in the powder that breaks down the starch.

Using the direct source can help create a unique crust on bread and prevent a sticky dough.

Pro Tip: When replacing malt powder, use at least half of the measurement needed for amylase. It’s stronger than malt powder, so don’t overdo it.

14. Malted Flour

Malted flour is one of the best malt powder substitutes. It’s a mix of malt powder and wheat flour.

Bakers use malted wheat flour to speed up the fermentation process when baking.

You will only need to add a little yeast when using malted flour. The added malt powder will break down the starches in the dough and feed it to the yeast.

Another reason for using malted flour is that it gives the bread a nice brown crust.

If you’re using malted flour, there’s no need to add more malt powder. Remember that too much malt powder may cause a tangy or sour flavor in the bread.

Pro Tip: We recommend using malted flour as you would with regular flour.

15. Malted Milk Powder

Malted milk powder can also be a good substitute for malt powder. In this case, you can use malted milk powder when you’re out of options.

Malted milk powder adds sweet and nutty flavors to baked goods.

Chocolate malted milk powder is also available in most grocery stores.

Pro Tip: Besides helping the dough rise, malt powder enhances the flavor.

How To Use Diastatic Malt Powder in Recipes

Diastatic malt powder is an essential ingredient in the kitchen. Many professional bakers use it as a leavening agent in bread recipes. Malt powder helps break down starch and proteins to make the fermentation faster.

An extra tip is to mix it with finely ground almond powder for a robust nutty flavor.

Bakers also use malt powder as a sweetener for their recipes. This is especially true with non-diastatic malt powder.

Since there are no active enzymes, it’s sweeter than its diastatic counterpart.

It’s also a common addition to malt drinks like ale, beer, and lager. But you can also add malt powder to cocoa drinks to enhance their chocolate flavor.

Can You Make Diastatic Malt Powder At Home?

Yes, you can make your own diastatic malt powder at home. It’s an elaborate process that includes soaking and washing barley grains. After this step, you must aerate the grains and let them sprout before drying and grinding them.

What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Diastatic Malt Powder?

Diastatic malt powder contains few nutrients. But it does contain active enzymes and protein. The enzymes break down the starch, and the protein aids in better digestion.

How Do You Store Diastatic Malt Powder Properly?

Store diastatic malt powder in its original storage or airtight container. Please keep it in the fridge or freezer to extend its shelf life. This will help the malt powder last for at most two years.


Diastatic malt powder is a leavening and flavoring agent often used in baking. It has active enzymes that break down starch and protein into smaller pieces to feed the yeast. It speeds up the fermentation process and provides a fluffy brown crust for bread.

The best diastatic malt powder substitute is diastatic malt syrup. It’s basically the liquid version of the powder. Other good alternatives include malted flour, milk powder, or amylase powder.

More Ingredient Substitutes

Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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