Dairy products such as cream, butter and yogurt are often staple ingredients in so many of the classic desserts that if you are on a dairy free diet, you might think it would difficult to find delicious tasting alternatives.
But do not worry! We have put together this wonderful list of dairy free and lactose free desserts which are perfect for midweek, dinner parties or just for you to indulge in, for a delicious treat.
Why would you need to go dairy free?
There are many reasons why someone might want or need to cut dairy out of their diet.
One reason is that they might be lactose intolerant or have a dairy allergy.
This means that the body finds eating dairy products difficult to digest and it can result in uncomfortable symptoms like flatulence, bloating and stomach cramps.
As well as this, if you are following a vegan diet then your diet cannot include dairy products.
Vegan do not eat anything which has been derived from animals. You may choose to be vegan because of concerns about animal welfare or because you are trying to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably.
Dairy products are excellent sources of protein and calcium, however, they can sometimes be high in calories and saturated fats.1
If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to reduce your intake of dairy products and so substituting your usual dairy dessert for one of these is a simple way to remove some extra calories from your diet.
10 dairy-free desserts
1. Dairy free cheesecake
It is quite easy to make a usual cheesecake dairy free.
Simply substitute the ricotta used in a usual cheesecake recipe for a soy based cream cheese alternative. Add blueberries and lemon for a delicious fruity taste.
2. Dairy free carrot cake
A family favourite, carrot cake works well without dairy.
A traditional carrot cake recipe is dairy free anyway, aside from the icing. To make it a completely lactose free cake, use dairy free butter alternative and dairy free cream alternative to make the topping. This recipe is not suitable for vegans as it does contain eggs.
3. Vegan chocolate cake
Everybody loves chocolate cake right?
This vegan chocolate fudge cake is easy to make and delicious served hot or cold.
You will need dairy free spread, a non-dairy milk alternative and (of course!) dairy free chocolate to make this indulgent treat.
4. Fruit salad
Take it straight back to the 70s with a fresh fruit salad.
Yes, it might be a bit retro but it is healthy and there are no substitutions needed here as it is already dairy free.
Chop up kiwi fruit, strawberries and pineapple…whatever you fancy! Just mix together and it is ready to serve.
5. Vegan brownies
This yummy dessert can easily be made vegan by substituting the eggs for bananas.
The bananas take the place of the eggs and help to bind the mixture together making for the fudgey texture that dairy free brownies are known for.
6. Bread pudding
Forget the butter, this bread pudding is dairy free and delicious.
Instead of using traditional custard, you can use coconut drink and dairy free custard alternative flavoured with vanilla and cinnamon to make a tasty pudding with a bit of spice.2
7. Meringues with fruit
Although meringues do contain egg whites (so they are unsuitable for vegans) they do not contain any dairy.
Top your meringue nest with a selection of berries and some dairy free ice cream.
This frozen dessert is the perfect palate cleanser following a big dinner.
It also makes for a great dairy free alternative to ice cream.
Sorbet is made from just water, fruit and sugar which means it is one of the simplest vegan, gluten free, dairy free desserts.3
Dairy free dessert accompaniments
Now that you have got some ideas for your dairy free desserts, you will need something to serve them with!
9. Dairy free ice cream
Dairy free ice cream can be eaten on its own or as an accompaniment for one of the other desserts.
Perfect for summer barbecues or garden parties. The main ingredient in dairy free ice cream is coconut drink.
10. Dairy free custard
Custard is usually made with cream and milk, although some custard powders are dairy free.
You can sub in coconut drink instead for a yummy dessert that you could eat by itself or pour over another dessert.4
Last updated: 19 January 2021
Author: Andrea Dobronszki, Regulatory Affairs
Andrea started her career as a clinical dietitian and lecturer at a university hospital, managing the dietetic treatment of patients with various diseases, and giving lectures in nutrition for medical students. Later she worked as a Product Developer at a sport nutrition company where she developed food supplements and fortified foods, and ensured that the products complied with the relevant regulations. Andrea joined Holland & Barrett as a Senior Regulatory Affairs Associate and specialises in food supplements, food regulations, nutrition and dietetics.