Malted Egg Cream
Beverages,  Easy,  Recipes,  Vegetarian

Malted Egg Cream

When I first moved to New York (almost 10 years ago now!), I got hooked on diner food. Especially during the wee hours of the morning after a long night of bar-hopping, concert going, and all of the other fun things that recent college grads do.

Occasionally, Dino (a native New Yorker) would order something that would catch me completely off guard – something that sounded so weird that I would just stare at him, not sure if I heard him right. Half of the time, I figured he was ordering things just to get a reaction out of me. Like the time he ordered a Happy Waitress (from our not-so-happy waitress!), which I didn’t realize was just an open-faced grilled cheese sandwich with tomato and bacon with a side of fries.

Another one of the new-to-me items was an egg cream. I had no idea he was talking about a beverage when he ordered it. Chocolate and vanilla carbonated beverages didn’t sound good to me at all! This was back before I kicked my Pepsi addiction so I just couldn’t fathom the idea of drinking seltzer that wasn’t loaded with high fructose corn syrup and caramel coloring.

Malted Egg Cream

My, how the times have changed. We have since slowed down immensely on our diner outings, and when we do go, it’s usually at a time that resembles a “normal” meal time. We also make some of the things that we used to like ordering from diners at home now.

Like this malted egg cream. I like it as a nice, light way to end a meal. It has the richness of a malt without all the heaviness of a full glass of milk. Dino makes mine with regular milk and his with soy milk – the soy milk does tend to separate a bit from the carbonation, but it still tastes good.

I’m a total convert now, and I like having my own soda jerk at home. Ha!

To make a standard egg cream you would normally fill the glass half-way with seltzer, add some flavored syrup, then add the milk while stirring like a mad scientist. This order of things minimizes overflow. But since we’re adding a malt powder to this version of the drink, we need to make sure the powder gets an opportunity to fully dissolve. To do that we must reverse the order. There’s a good chance you’ll make a mess, but if you love egg creams it should be worth it.

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Malted Egg Cream

Malted Egg Cream

  • Author: Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen - Dino Covelli
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 serving 1x
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No Cook
  • Cuisine: American


Trust me,  you’ll love this diner staple! I’d never heard of it either, but now I’m a convert.



2 tablespoons Ovaltine (or your favorite sweetened malted milk powder)
4 ounces milk
4 ounces seltzer*


Pour the milk into a tall glass.
Add the Ovaltine and stir until completely blended.
Gently and slowly pour in the seltzer while stirring vigorously- bringing the foam up to the top of the glass.
Pop in a straw and enjoy!


*Freshly made seltzer works best, or a freshly opened bottle will do- the more carbonation, the better.


  • Serving Size:
  • Calories: 81
  • Sugar: 12.9 g
  • Sodium: 118.2 mg
  • Fat: 0.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.9 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 4.1 g
  • Cholesterol: 2.5 mg

Keywords: egg cream, malted milk, ovaltine, seltzer, diner food

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Ashley Covelli is a food photographer, recipe developer, and culinary instructor based in Ossining, New York. She loves helping people become enthusiastic and adventurous in the kitchen so that they can build skills and confidence to cook for themselves and their loved ones. She can almost always be found with at least 3 different beverages within arm's reach.


  • Lisa Taunton

    Having grown up in Brooklyn and my mom introducing me to egg creams as a child, there was nothing better then on made at the local candy store. Though my mom could whip up a pretty mean one herself. I love chocolate egg creams!
    When I was older and moved to Florida, I had a craving for one. Working at an outlet mall that I had an ice cream shop, I walked up to the counter and asked for one. They looked at me like I had lost my mind LOL. That night I picked up some seltzer and syrup, made it at home instead 😀
    I’ve never heard of a malted one, it sounds pretty good. I don’t like Ovaltine, but I do have some Nesquik. I wonder if that will work.

    • Dino Covelli

      Lisa, when you say Nesquick do you mean the chocolate powder? That should totally work. Although for an authentic Brooklyn-style egg cream, you’d want to try to find a bottle of Fox’s “u-bet” chocolate syrup. – there’s a link on this page to their web store.

    • BigFlavorsFromATinyKitchen

      Funny you say that, Lisa – I never really cared for Ovaltine, either! I did like malted candy, though, so maybe that’s why I like this drink. Or maybe my tastes have changed. Dino also makes a really good vanilla egg cream that we’ll have to make again soon so I can post about it. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

    • Ashley

      It’s funny – I wondered that when I first had one, too. I assumed it had an egg white in it or something. I did some poking around online and it seems there are a lot of theories on why it’s called that and whether or not it ever did actually contain egg. Some say it’s because the texture looks like egg foam, others say it was kind of lost in translation. So I’m not sure there is a real reason!

  • Krs

    The Studio Cafe at Warner Brothers in Burbank, CA, advertised what’s basically an egg cream.
    But their menu (from 1941) referred to it as:

    Malted Milk 25¢ with egg 25¢

    So, it makes it sound as though their version DID contain egg.

    Here’s the link:

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