Best Dairy-Free Desserts to Buy

Whether you’re vegan, lactose intolerant, or simply exploring dairy-free diets for health reasons, the array of available desserts is impressive and growing. Supermarket shelves and bakery cases today showcase a variety of treats crafted to satisfy any dessert craving without compromising on taste or texture. From frosted cupcakes to decadent chocolate bars that melt in your mouth, these alternatives promise to delight without dairy.

When shopping for dairy-free desserts, it’s important to review labels for hidden dairy derivatives, but rest assured that the marketplace has become savvy to the needs of consumers like you. With dedicated plant-based brands and traditional companies expanding their product lines, finding that perfect sweet finale to a meal or a comforting snack for a cozy night in has never been easier.

Exploring Dairy-Free Dessert Options

Vegan Ice Cream and Frozen Treats

You’ll be delighted to know that vegan ice cream has come a long way. Brands now offer a plethora of flavors, from classic vanilla to mango, all made without a drop of dairy. Look for bases like almond milk, coconut milk, or oat milk to find your perfect scoop.

  • Vegan Ice Cream: Available in diverse flavors including, but not limited to, rich chocolate, refreshing mint chip, and indulgent salted caramel.
  • Sorbet: A fruity and refreshing option, perfect if you’re looking for something light and dairy-free.

For example, Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Chocolate Fudge Brownie is a popular choice, while Talenti’s Sorbettos provide a luscious, fruit-packed treat.

Cakes and Cupcakes Without Dairy

Finding dairy-free cake and cupcakes is easier than ever. Bakers are crafting these treats using dairy substitutes like soy milk or apple cider vinegar to ensure the cake’s moisture and flavor remain stellar.

Chocolate Cake:

  • Dairy-Free Options: Seek out brands that use dairy-free chocolate and natural sweeteners to capture that signature richness without using milk or butter.


  • Varieties: Vanilla, red velvet, and lemon are just a few of the flavors you’ll find, all with the same moist and fluffy texture you love, but without the dairy.

Duncan Hines offers a range of dairy-free cake mixes if you want to bake your own.

Cookies and Brownies for Every Occasion

A plate of vegan peanut butter and banana cookies with a glass of milk.

Your cookie jar doesn’t have to suffer because you’re avoiding dairy. Many companies now bake cookies and brownies that are completely free of dairy products.


  • They’re rich, chocolaty, and now dairy-free. Brands like Enjoy Life cater to those desserts cravings with chewy brownies that skip the cow’s milk and butter.


  • Chocolate Chip Cookies: A classic choice and now available without dairy. Look for brands like Enjoy Life or homemade recipes that substitute vegan chocolate chips.
  • Peanut Butter Cookies: These often come dairy-free naturally and are a great source of protein as well.

Whether you pick up a pre-made treat or make your own using dairy-free recipes, these desserts ensure you never miss out on indulging your sweet tooth. Enjoy exploring these delectable dairy-free delights!

Alternative Ingredients for Dairy-Free Indulgence

A couple of bottle of coconut milk with fresh coconuts.

In this section, you’ll discover a variety of dairy substitutes and additives that can transform your desserts into luscious, dairy-free treats. The focus here is on practical alternatives that maintain the richness and flavor you desire in a dessert, without the dairy.

Non-Dairy Milks and Creams

Your dairy-free dessert journey can start with the selection of non-dairy milks and creams. These are foundational for creating the creamy texture often associated with traditional dairy products.

  • Coconut milk: A rich, creamy alternative that’s perfect for desserts with its subtle sweetness and aroma. Ideal for creamy puddings and pie fillings.
  • Almond milk: Lighter in texture and mildly nutty, almond milk works well in baked goods or smoothies.
  • Cashew milk: This milk boasts a creamier texture than almond milk, making it a suitable option for creamy desserts.
  • Coconut cream: Thicker and richer than coconut milk, use it in recipes that require a heavier, cream-like consistency, such as frostings or mousse.

Sweeteners and Flavor Enhancers

Dairy-free doesn’t mean dull. The right sweeteners and flavor enhancers can elevate your desserts to a new level of deliciousness.

  • Honey: A natural sweetener that adds moisture and a golden hue to your treats. Great for drizzling over fruit-based desserts or sweetening your non-dairy milks.
  • Coconut sugar: A less processed option that offers a toffee-like flavor. It can replace granulated sugar in most recipes for a unique twist.

Spices also play a crucial role:

  • Cinnamon: Adds warmth and pairs wonderfully with apple or pumpkin desserts.
  • Ginger: Provides a spicy kick to cookies and cakes.
  • Turmeric: An unexpected addition that offers earthiness and color, particularly in mango or tutti-frutti flavored sweets.

Binding Agents and Egg Replacers

To achieve the desired consistency in your dairy-free desserts, you’ll need effective binding agents and egg replacers.

  • Egg replacer: Commercial egg replacers are available and vary in composition, but they all serve to bind ingredients just as eggs would.
  • Vegan butter: Can provide the moisture and fat necessary to bind dry ingredients together, perfect for pie crusts and crumbles.

Utilizing these ingredients, you can create sumptuous desserts that are both indulgent and dairy-free, catering to your taste preferences as well as dietary needs.

Dairy-Free Desserts for Special Occasions

When planning for special events, you’ll want to have desserts that everyone can enjoy, regardless of dietary restrictions. The following selections are dairy-free and perfect for your festive tables or birthday bashes.

Holidays and Festive Gatherings

For Holidays and Festive Gatherings, you can dazzle guests with a Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie. This classic dessert, rich with spices, can be made with coconut cream to provide that creamy texture you crave without dairy. Another festive treat is dairy-free Gingerbread Cookies, which can be enjoyed by themselves or used to create charming gingerbread houses for a fun family activity.

  • Dairy-Free Pumpkin Pie
  • Gingerbread Cookies
    • Prime Ingredients: Molasses, ginger, cinnamon, and dairy-free butter substitute

During the holiday season, Chocolate Truffles made with dairy-free dark chocolate can add a touch of elegance to your dessert spread. If you’re looking to prepare something eye-catching and delicious, consider a Dairy-Free Oreo Cream Pie, which uses a simple Oreo crust and a rich, silken tofu-based filling.

  • Chocolate Truffles
    • Core: Dairy-free dark chocolate, coconut cream, and a choice of coatings (cocoa powder, nuts, etc.)
  • Dairy-Free Oreo Cream Pie
    • Crust: Crushed Oreo cookies (dairy-free variety)
    • Filling: Silken tofu, dairy-free chocolate, and sweetener of choice

Birthdays and Celebrations

For Birthdays and Celebrations, a cake is often the centerpiece. You can opt for a delicious Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake, with layers of moist cake and rich, dairy-free chocolate frosting that will delight all your guests, whether they avoid dairy or not.

  • Dairy-Free Chocolate Cake
    • Layers: Chocolate cake made with a dairy-free milk substitute and egg replacer if needed
    • Frosting: Dairy-free butter substitute mixed with cocoa powder and powdered sugar

Moreover, making individual Dairy-Free Truffles can serve as a sweet and personalized gesture. With various flavors, from classic chocolate to adventurous fruit-infused varieties, they can double as both a treat and a unique party favor for your guests to take home.

  • Dairy-Free Truffles
    • Options: Dairy-free chocolate base with various flavor add-ins (mint, orange, berry)
    • Coatings: Options include dairy-free chocolate, nuts, or even sprinkles for a festive touch

Remember, with the right ingredients and a little creativity, you can easily provide sumptuous dairy-free desserts that’ll make any special occasion even more memorable.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, you’ll discover a variety of ready-made dairy-free desserts that cater to diverse dietary needs, from vegan to gluten-free options, all readily available for purchase.

What are some popular vegan desserts that are ready to purchase?

You can find a range of vegan desserts at many grocery stores, including decadent chocolate mousses, fruit sorbets, and creamy cashew-based cheesecakes from brands like Daiya and So Delicious.

Can you suggest any dairy-free cookies available in stores?

Absolutely, Look for dairy-free cookies from brands like Enjoy Life and Lenny & Larry’s. They offer a wide selection of flavors without dairy ingredients, perfect for snacking or as dessert treats.

Which sweet snacks are suitable for school that do not contain dairy?

For school-safe sweet snacks, consider dairy-free granola bars, fruit leathers, or crispy rice treats from MadeGood or Annie’s Homegrown. These snacks are often individually wrapped, convenient, and allergen-friendly.

Are there any gluten-free and dairy-free desserts available for purchase?

Yes, there are multiple options, including gluten-free and dairy-free brownie or cake mixes from brands like King Arthur Baking Company or Betty Crocker’s gluten-free range, ready for you to prepare and enjoy.

What types of dairy-free ice cream options does Trader Joe’s offer?

Trader Joe’s has a selection of dairy-free ice cream flavors like Coconut Milk-based ice creams or Almond Milk-based frozen desserts available under their store brand, offering sweet relief for those avoiding dairy.

Where can I find store-bought cake mixes that are both dairy-free and vegan?

Brands like Simple Mills and Bob’s Red Mill offer cake mixes that are dairy-free and vegan, easily found in most health food stores or larger supermarkets in the baking aisle.

Written by Laurie Graves

Laurie is a 50-something wife and boy mom, who loves to share easy recipes, DIY home ideas, and food hacks. She truly believes that with a little inspiration, anyone can make their home and meals feel special.