What Are the Different Types of Dairy-Free Sweets?

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  • Written By: Lauren Romano
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 24 October 2019
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From milkshakes to cheesecake, there's no shortage of delicious dairy-free sweets. Vegans and those who adhere to a lactose-free diet are just some of the people who can benefit from knowing all about these treats. Many dessert-type beverages are dairy-free even though they may not taste like it. Although ice cream is typically associated with dairy, those who can't have it can still enjoy versions that contain no milk or cream. Plenty of candies are dairy-free, but surprisingly, so are many kinds of chocolate. There's even a long list of baked goods that contain no milk products.

Milk and any food made from it, such as ice cream and cheese, is considered a dairy product. Due to the lactose that is present in milk, those who follow a lactose-free diet cannot have dairy. Vegans may be able to have some dairy-free sweets, but not all of them. Dairy-free recipes don't contain milk or milk-based ingredients, but some recipes might call for using eggs, which vegans don't eat. Rather than use regular milk, recipes for dairy-free sweets typically use rice milk, soy milk, almond milk, or coconut milk.


There are quite a few dessert-type beverages for those with a sweet tooth. To make eggnog that's free from dairy, use soy milk or rice milk, although some may prefer to use full-fat coconut milk. Those who want to indulge in a milkshake can use dairy-free ice cream and either almond milk or full-fat coconut milk. Rather than adding milk or cream to chai tea, use almond milk.

Instead of including the cream and milk that's called for in the standard recipe for ice cream, replace them with alternate ingredients. Depending on the recipe, some might call for using tofu, almond milk or soy milk. To make the ice cream extra creamy, use full-fat coconut milk rather than the almond milk or soy milk. Those who want a lighter, more simple version of ice cream can try sorbet, which comes in a variety of flavors such as lemon, mango, strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla, and naturally contains no dairy.

When looking for dairy-free sweets, some may automatically reach for lollipops, licorice, gummy bears, and many other options that are available in almost any grocery store candy aisle. Finding chocolate that's dairy-free isn't typically so easy, but there are several companies that make versions which are not only free from dairy, but are also egg-free, nut-free, and gluten-free. The chocolate looks exactly like the standard version; it comes in various shapes and sizes including large bars and small squares.

Some think that eating dairy-free sweets means giving up cookies, cake, pie, and brownies. However, there are plenty of versions of each that contain no milk, and when using egg replacement powder, they won't contain eggs either. To make cherry pie dairy-free, use soy milk with dairy-free cream cheese and soy margarine in the pie dough. Rather than using regular cream cheese in cheesecake, use soy cream cheese. To make a basic layer cake, include soy margarine and almond milk.


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