Milk Ladder Recipes | Malted Milk Biscuits

Inside: How to make malted milk biscuits for stage 1 of the milk ladder.

It has been a good few years since I have had to do this (you can read all about my first experience of the milk ladder here) and I am a little out of touch.

I thought I would share our journey through a series of recipes this time around, starting with malted milk biscuits for stage 1.

What is the milk ladder?

If you or your child has a milk allergy (or intolerance) then you will have been advised that you need to work your way up the milk ladder. However, sometimes this information seems to slip through the net and people have no idea that it even exists.

The milk ladder is essentially a series of steps from no milk, up to being able to drink a glass of milk. It isn’t a quick process and you may find yourself repeating steps if a step causes a reaction, but there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

When to start the milk ladder?

I started the milk ladder with Lily at around 2 years old (I think!) but due to the amazing choice of dairy-free products on the market, I have been spoiled with William. But he is getting to an age when he recognises that he is different, so it is definitely time.

Go with the advice of your doctor but I would say that 1 year – 18 months is a good time to start the process.

What if they fail a step?

The advice is to wait 3 months if you encounter a reaction. But be aware that often a reaction can happen because you are rushing steps. So take your time, wait a day between each bite and spend a minimum of 3 days on each step. I actually spend over a week on each step to be on the safe side.

Stage 1 of the milk ladder – malted milk biscuits

You don’t have to make your own biscuits, there are plenty of malted milk biscuits available in the shops. For us though, we are dealing with a soya allergy too and so the only option for us is to make our own.

This recipe makes 40 small biscuits


110g unsalted butter

110g caster sugar

175g self-raising flour

50ml evaporated milk

Water if the mixture is too try


Preheat the oven to 180ºC (160ºC for fan ovens)

Cream the butter, sugar and milk together and then add the flour to create a dough. Add in water as necessary so that you can roll the dough into a sausage.

Flour the countertop and then use a knife to chop the dough into discs. You can either use up the whole mixture to make around 40 discs or divide up the mixture and save some for later. You can wrap and freeze the excess dough to use another time.

Cook for 15 minutes, until the biscuits are golden but still soft.

Leave to cool and then they are ready to eat.

How much to give?

I always start off with half a biscuit. If that doesn’t cause a reaction within 24 hours then I will repeat with another half the next day and the next. Then I will move on to a whole biscuit per day for the next 3 days. If, after 6 days of having had halves and whole biscuits, I will move on to the next stage.

How did we get on?

I will update this post once we have completed the stage and then will write up the next stage.

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